NEWS     MONDAY,  NOVEMBER   26, 2018    NEWS

US soldier killed in Afghanistan during firefight with Al Qaeda militants identified by Pentagon
U.S. Army Ranger Sgt. Leandro Jasso, 25, from Leavenworth, Wash., was wounded by small arms fire while conducting an operation to eliminate Al Qaeda militants in Nimruz Province, located in the southwest part of Afghanistan. Jasso was evacuated to Helmand province, where he was pronounced dead, officials said. "The loss of Sgt. Jasso is felt by his family and loved ones, by all who served with him and by all on this mission to protect our country and our allies," said Gen. Scott Miller, Resolute Support and United States Forces - Afghanistan Commanding General. Fox

Ex-Trump aide Papadopoulos must report to prison for two-week term, judge rules
Former Trump campaign foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos must report to prison on Monday as scheduled, a judge ruled Sunday, denying his bid to delay his term until an appeals court rules in a separate lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's appointment. In a 13-page ruling, Obama-appointed U.S. District Court Judge Randy Moss noted that Papadopoulos had forfeited most of his rights to contest his conviction when he became the first person to plead guilty in Mueller's probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election.  Fox

Rudy Giuliani tells CNN that Mueller is not done with seeking answers from Trump
President Donald Trump's lawyer Rudy Giuliani said Wednesday that special counsel Robert Mueller could still try to seek additional answers from Trump on questions of potential obstruction of justice, but he signaled they will fight any questions they believe violate executive privilege. "It's not on the table, but could be put back on the table," Giuliani told CNN of obstruction questions. Trump submitted written responses to the special counsel's office on Tuesday to respond to questions surrounding collusion between Russian officials and Trump's team during the campaign. CNN
VOA VIEW: CNN needs Trump for what little ratings they have.


The race to control the Senate in 2020 has already started
Massive fundraising in Maine. A countdown clock in Alabama. Calls and texts encouraging potential challengers in Colorado. Just a few weeks after 2018's Election Day, the signs are clear: the 2020 Senate campaigns are already underway. Democrats start 2020 in a solid position, though they remain in the minority in the upper chamber of Congress. Of the 12 Democratic seats up for re-election, only two are from states President Donald Trump won in 2016 -- Alabama's Doug Jones and Michigan's Gary Peters. Republicans have more seats to defend, with 22 GOP seats on the line. "The map looks good for the Democrats — I'll tell you that," Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, the new chair of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, told CNN. Democrats will have opportunities to flip seats and potentially win back the majority in 2020. CNN
VOA VIEW: Dems and CNN are wishful thinking.

Inside a corporate giant’s fight to thwart a massive pollution tab
Chemical industry giant 3M is waging an aggressive campaign to stave off new regulations and potentially billions of dollars in damages stemming from a contamination crisis that has fouled tens of millions of Americans’ drinking water. The Minnesota-based company is putting its lobbying muscle to work in Washington and courting the support of state attorneys general as it faces potentially massive financial liability for toxic pollution linked to two of its nonstick and water repellent chemicals, which have turned up in the water supplies of more than 1,500 U.S. communities. Politico

Alabama GOP: Sessions not guaranteed to win back his old seat
Republicans are certain they can win back the Alabama Senate seat they lost in spectacular fashion last year. They just aren’t sure whether Jeff Sessions is the one to do it. Sessions’ name surfaced as a potential candidate immediately after he was dumped as attorney general this month. But he could be dogged by his strained relationship with President Donald Trump, who remains wildly popular in Alabama and savaged Sessions throughout his tenure at the Justice Department. Though Sessions would be the clear front-runner if he runs, his frayed ties with Trump could create an opening for other Republicans to make a play for the seat — and cause a messy primary similar to the one that cost the party the seat last year, several Alabama Republicans tracking the situation said. Politico
VOA VIEW: Trump is loyal and would be so with Sessions, if he were to run.


Mueller report will be 'devastating' for the president
Alan Dershowitz, a frequent defender of President Donald Trump, said special counsel Robert Mueller’s report will be “devastating” for the president. The Harvard Law professor emeritus told ABC News Chief Anchor George Stephanopoulos that he believes the president will have to navigate the political impact of a potentially damning final report from the special counsel. “I think the report is going to be devastating to the president and I know that the president's team is already working on a response to the report,” Dershowitz said on "This Week" Sunday.  ABC
VOA VIEW: Liberals would like to see an anti Trump report.

Ohioans eyeing 2020? Kasich, Brown ‘very seriously’ consider runs against Trump
As the race to challenge President Donald Trump in the 2020 general election kicks off, two Ohioans addressed speculation that they would mount runs for the White House in 2020. On "This Week" Sunday, outgoing Republican Gov. John Kasich and recently re-elected Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown said they are considering their options, but that they have no plans to announce as of yet. ABC
VOA VIEW: Kasich and Brown have little change in beating Trump.

Bernie Sanders confident bill stopping U.S. support of Saudi Arabia in Yemen can pass
Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vermont, said Sunday that he was confident the Senate will pass a resolution to pull back any kind of U.S. support for the Saudi-led war in Yemen, given the CIA's conclusion that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ordered the killing of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi. "I think we now have a chance to get a majority of the United States Senate," Sanders said on "Face the Nation," referring to the resolution he co-sponsored with Republican Sen. Mike Lee of Utah. The resolution only garnered a handful of Republican support when the Senate took it up in the spring.  CBS
VOA VIEW: The CIA did not make a positive finding and it would be foolish for Republicans to go against Trump.

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Sen. Angus King calls border troop deployment an "overreaction"
Independent Maine Sen. Angus King questioned the justification for sending thousands of troops to the U.S.-Mexico border to anticipate the arrival of migrant caravans from Central America and called the deployment by President Trump an "overreaction."  "If indeed there was an invasion — which there isn't — clearly we can defend ourselves. I mean, that's one of the reasons we have a military," King told CBS News' Margaret Brennan on "Face the Nation" Sunday. "But using troops in a border situation with asylum-seekers is, I think, not appropriate." CBS
VOA VIEW: King is an idiot.

Gigantic crater discovered hiding under Greenland ice is bigger than Washington, D.C.
An international team of researchers say they've discovered an impact crater of vast proportions hiding beneath more than a half-mile of ice in Greenland. More than 19 miles wide and about 1,000 feet deep, the huge bowl-shaped depression is bigger than Washington, D.C., and one of the 25 biggest craters ever discovered on Earth. It's also the first crater to have been discovered under a continental ice sheet. The crater formed when a meteorite more than half a mile wide smashed into an area that is now covered by the Hiawatha Glacier in northwestern Greenland, the researchers say in a paper describing their discovery. The researchers can't pinpoint the age of the crater. NBC

Rep. Cummings: It's the law to let asylum seekers across the border
The incoming chairman of a key oversight committee in the House of Representatives said Sunday that any attempt by President Donald Trump to keep migrants from claiming asylum in the U.S. would be unlawful. “That’s not the law,” Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., said in an exclusive interview on “Meet the Press,” indicating that Congress will act if the president moves ahead with that policy. “They should be allowed to come in, seek asylum, that's the law." President Donald Trump has said he’s reached a deal with the government of Mexico to keep migrants traveling in large caravans from Central America in Mexico until their court date to plead asylum. But a spokesman for incoming Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has said talk of such a deal is premature and U.S. officials told NBC News that the details are still being worked out.  NBC
VOA VIEW: Cummings will be called a idiot many times over the next two years.


France fuel unrest: 'Shame' on violent protesters, says Macron
French President Emmanuel Macron has lashed out at demonstrators who clashed with police in Paris during the latest protests sparked by rising fuel prices. "Shame on those who attacked" officers, he tweeted. "There is no place for violence in the [French] Republic." There was chaos on the Champs-Elysées on Saturday as police used tear gas and water cannon to disperse protesters. The demonstrations had been billed by the "yellow vest" movement as "act two" in a campaign that began a week ago. Named after their distinctive high-visibility attire, the protests initially focused on a rise in a fuel duty on diesel. They later grew to reflect anger at rising living costs, particularly in rural areas, and other grievances against President Macron's policies. More than 100,000 people took part in about 1,600 protests across France on Saturday, the interior ministry said. Most passed off peacefully - except in the capital, where 8,000 demonstrators gathered. BBC

Syria war: Aleppo 'gas attack' sparks Russia strikes
Russia has carried out air strikes against Syrian rebels it accuses of launching a chemical attack on the government-held city of Aleppo. Both Syria and its Russian allies say shells carrying toxic gas injured about 100 people late on Saturday. State media showed images of Aleppo residents being treated in hospital as they struggled to breathe. The rebels deny carrying out a chemical strike and say the claims are a pretext for an attack on opposition-held areas. Parts of the Aleppo region, as well as the neighbouring provinces of Hama and Idlib, are controlled by Turkish-backed rebels and jihadists. BBC

Thousands march in Spanish cities to protest violence against women
Tens of thousands of protesters, many wearing purple, marched through Madrid and other Spanish cities on Sunday to mark the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. Protesters chanted slogans and carried signs reading “For Those Who Aren’t With Us” and “Justice”. In Madrid, the protest ended with a reading of the names of the 44 women killed in Spain last year in incidents of domestic violence. Earlier this year, women across Spain went on strike and held hundreds of rallies to protest against gender inequality.  Reuters

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To avoid sanctions, Kremlin goes off the grid
An isolated, war-scarred enclave in the Caucasus Mountains has become a hidden financial crossroads for Russia’s shadow empire around the Black Sea. The Kremlin has for years bankrolled an array of pro-Russian breakaway states within the former Soviet republics of Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova. For Moscow, the goals could not be bigger — rebuilding Russia’s influence and countering the region’s drift toward the West. The network of semi-states has become so important for Russia that an off-the-grid financial system now ties some of them together, bridging hundreds of miles and circumventing international sanctions. A Washington Post investigation — including interviews with business and political leaders — uncovered the extensive use of this improvised banking system, which runs through a mountainous patch called South Ossetia, a self-declared splinter state in Georgia. Washington Post

Pelosi fight offers hints of Democratic division ahead
They are now on the record: 14 men and two women who really, really don't want Nancy Pelosi to become speaker of the House again. The letter from current and future House members vowing to not back her will not be enough to block her path to the speakership. Though more who share their sentiments didn't sign on, the anti-Pelosi squad is still without a candidate of its own. But if this is a distraction, it's one unlikely to fade even with the swearing-in of the new Congress. The Democratic Party remains locked in internal battles that are ideological as well as attitudinal -- and, as laid bare in current arguments over who should be speaker, often generational.   ABC
VOA VIEW: Only radical Dems can work together.

Blizzard warnings in Midwest spark travel nightmare for motorists and airports
On the busiest travel day of the holiday weekend, blizzard warnings stretch through the heart of the country from the Great Plains to the Great Lakes. Hundreds of flights have been canceled or delayed Sunday, while motorists found major highways closed. But snow isn't the only threat; powerful wind advisories are posted from Texas to Illinois. In Kansas, the governor declared a state of emergency ahead of whiteout conditions, according to CBS affiliate KCTV. There were more than 14,000 residents without power, KCTV reports, and the station said the University of Kansas has canceled Monday's classes. CBS

Firefighters reflect on Northern California's deadly Camp Fire after blaze fully contained
A huge wildfire that killed dozens of people in Northern California and destroyed thousands of homes has been fully contained Sunday after it had burned for more than two weeks, according to officials. The so-called Camp Fire, which started Nov. 8, ended up scorching more than 153,000 acres (240 square miles). The blaze was put out by firefighters after days of rain in and around the devastated town of Paradise, which was virtually consumed in a day. The Camp Fire, the Golden State's deadliest wildfire in a century, killed at least 85 people and left some 249 others on a list of those unaccounted for. CBS

Nasa's Mars InSight mission heads for '7 minutes of terror'
The American space agency Nasa will attempt to put another robotic probe on Mars later. The InSight lander is being targeted at a flat plain just north of the planet's equator called Elysium Planitia. It carries a suite of instruments - many of them from Europe - to try to determine the rocky world's internal structure. Signals from the probe confirming its safe touchdown should be received at 19:53 GMT, give or take a minute. As with previous surface missions, InSight must survive the "seven minutes of terror" - the time it takes for a probe entering Mars' thin atmosphere at hypersonic speed to slow to walking pace and gently put itself on the ground.  BBC

Brexit: Back my deal or risk more division, May to tell MPs
Rejecting the Brexit deal will be risky and lead to "division and uncertainty", Prime Minister Theresa May will say to MPs who oppose her plan. Her Commons speech comes after the 27 other EU leaders approved the terms of the UK's exit at a summit on Sunday. Mrs May now has to persuade politicians in the UK Parliament to back the deal. But cabinet ministers admit she faces an uphill struggle, with Labour, the Lib Dems, the SNP, the DUP and many Tory MPs set to vote against it. Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionist Party has said it will review its parliamentary pact with the Conservatives - which props up Mrs May's government - if the deal is approved by MPs. BBC
VOA VIEW: Few trust May's judgment.

Manhattan DA won’t be filing financial charges against Harvey Weinstein
Harvey Weinstein just dodged another bullet. The Manhattan district attorney won’t be bringing a financial crimes case against the once-mighty film mogul, The Post has learned. Prosecutors didn’t find any criminal conduct after a year-long investigation into whether Weinstein misappropriated money from his companies to silence accusers, law-enforcement sources said. Authorities served more than two dozens subpoenas demanding documents from the Weinstein Company, Miramax and two law firms that represented him and his company, the sources said. Weinstein, however, still faces predatory assault, rape and other charges related to two victims, production assistant Mimi Haleyi and an unidentified woman. New York Post

Trial to begin for man charged in white nationalist rally
Jury selection is set to begin in the trial of an Ohio man accused of killing a woman during a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville last year. James Alex Fields Jr., of Maumee, Ohio, is charged with first-degree murder in the death of 32-year-old Heather Heyer. Fields is accused of driving his car into a crowd of people protesting the white nationalists. Heyer was killed and dozens of others were injured. Fields’ trial is scheduled to begin Monday in Charlottesville Circuit Court. The “Unite the Right” rally on Aug. 12, 2017, was organized in part to protest the planned removal of a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee. New York Post

Adam Schiff embraced Steele's anti-Trump conspiracies
Democrats taking over the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and its Russia-Trump probe have stayed doggedly loyal to the Hillary Clinton-financed dossier that Republicans say is a hoax. At times, incoming Chairman Adam Schiff, California Democrat, and colleagues have hailed dossier writer Christopher Steele for predicting events. A close examination showed his assertions already had appeared in the press. Other Steele allegations embraced by Democrats remain unproven publicly more than two years after he started submitting memos to his Democratic handlers. Mr. Schiff describes the dimensions for his upcoming probes this way: There are so many Trump scandals, he says, “our caucus will need to ruthlessly prioritize the most important matters first.”Washington  Times
VOA VIEW: Schiff is a hoax and fool.

Trump correct on blast of judges' ideological gap
President Trump wasn’t wrong last week when he pointed to an obvious ideological gap between judges nominated by a Democratic president versus those nominated by a Republican — but legal experts said his mistake was in coupling it with such naked criticism of the judiciary. A Washington Times analysis of significant judicial decisions on immigration cases over the last two years shows that 53 of the 54 Democratic judges who issued or signed onto opinions in immigration cases ruled against the Trump administration’s get-tough approach. By contrast, among GOP-appointees to the federal bench, 15 judges have backed the administration in immigration cases and 13 have not. Washington Times
VOA VIEW: Trump is correct,

Top Democrats accuse Trump of lying about CIA's Jamal Khashoggi report
Senior Democrats in Congress have accused Trump of lying about the CIA’s findings on the involvement of Saudi's crown prince in the murder of Jamal Khashoggi. Adam Schiff, the top Democrat on the House intelligence committee, said on Sunday it was false for Trump to claim the CIA “did not come to a conclusion” on whether Mohammed bin Salman ordered the killing of the dissident journalist. “I think the president is being dishonest with the American people,” Schiff told CNN’s State of the Union. He said his briefing by the CIA on the agency’s assessment of Khashoggi’s killing, reportedly concluded that Prince Mohammed was directly involved. Schiff’s remark followed similar comments from Senator Jack Reed of Rhode Island, who said on Friday Trump was lying about the CIA’s findings.  Guardian

Trump at bay: failure looms as Democrats load 'subpoena cannon'
“There’s no doubt we’re entering new territory and Donald Trump is in big trouble,” said Larry Jacobs, the director of the Center for the Study of Politics and Governance at the University of Minnesota. “The election results, no matter what he says, were devastating to him. The coalition he put together is clearly strained and he seems incapable of creating consensus.” Just over a month ago, Trump celebrated the confirmation of his second supreme court justice, a trade deal with Canada and Mexico, the release of an American pastor from prison in Turkey and the lowest unemployment rate for nearly half a century. He was chatting regularly to the media and had rapper Kanye West over to join in the fun. Newt Gingrich, the former House speaker, confidently predicted to the Guardian:  Guardian

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In the United States, right-wing violence is on the rise
As a Republican, Mitchell Adkins complained of feeling like an outcast at Transylvania University in Lexington, Ky. “Hardcore liberals” made fun of him, he wrote, and he faced “discrimination on a daily basis.” He soon dropped out and enrolled in trade school. But his simmering rage led him back to campus one morning in April 2017, when Adkins pulled out a machete in the campus coffee shop, demanded that patrons state their political affiliation and began slashing at Democrats. “There was never any ambiguity about why he did it,” said Tristan Reynolds, 22, a witness to the attack, which left two women injured. Washington Post

Listeria outbreak prompts recall of Vietnamese pork rolls
A multistate outbreak of listeria has been traced to a Houston manufacturer's Vietnamese ready-to-eat pork products, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced this week. Long Phung Food Products has issued a recall of its ready-to-eat pork products, which were shipped nationwide. Four people were hospitalized after eating Long Phung anchovy-marinated pork patty rolls manufactured between May 21 and November 16 and labeled with establishment number "EST. 13561." No deaths have been reported. Listeria is the third leading cause of death from food poisoning in the United States, according to the CDC. CNN

Al Franken reflects on the 'experience of women in this country' in Thanksgiving post
Former Minnesota Sen. Al Franken took to Facebook Thanksgiving morning to reflect on "the experience of women in this country" almost a year after he resigned from the Senate following allegations of sexual misconduct. "I've also spent a lot of time over this past year thinking about the broader conversation we've been having about the experience of women in this country. I know that, for so many people, this issue raises a lot of powerful and painful feelings," wrote Franken, a Democrat. "This conversation can also be incredibly complicated. I don't think it's my place to weigh in on all the debates -- but I will continue to listen and learn." "What I will say, though, is that, after a year of reflection, CNN

Sen. Angus King: There's No Invasion at the Border
President Trump's order to send active-duty troops to the U.S. Mexico border is a "gray area," Sen. Angus King (I-Maine) told CBS's "Face the Nation" on Sunday.
He pointed to Posse Comitatus, a longstanding law that says federal troops may not be used for law enforcement: It gets gray when you get to the border. Now, if indeed there was an invasion, which there isn't, clearly, we can defend ourselves. I mean, that's one of the reasons you have a military. But using troops in a border situation, with asylum seekers, is, I think, not appropriate. If they're being used in support -- President Obama sent people down to support the Border -- Customs and Border Patrol. But all the indications are, this was an overreaction. CNS
VOA VIEW: King should be on the border front line.

Rep. Cummings: 'They Should Be Allowed to Come In, Seek Asylum. That's the Law'
Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), the incoming head of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, said members of the "caravan" should not be forced to wait in Mexico until they have an immigration hearing in U.S. courts.  "No, no. Because that's not the law," Cummings told NBC's "Meet the Press" on Sunday. "They should be allowed to come in, seek asylum, that's the law."  Host Chuck Todd asked Cummings if he would support changing the law: "No, no," Cummings said. "I think that we have a system that has worked for a long time. This president has come in, wants to change it, that's up to him.  CNS
VOA VIEW: Cummings is an idiot.

Ukraine says Russia has seized 3 of its navy's ships after firing on them near Crimea
Russia fired on and then seized three Ukrainian navy ships in the Black Sea close to Crimea on Sunday, injuring six crew members, according to Ukraine, marking a sharp spike in tensions between the two countries and raising fears of escalation. In a statement posted on its Facebook page, Ukraine’s navy said that ships belonging to Russia’s FSB border service had opened fire on two small armored artillery boats and a tug accompanying them. It said the Russian fire had immobilized the two artillery boats and that Russian special forces had then boarded and seized them, injuring six Ukrainian sailors. Russia’s FSB confirmed that it had seized the three Ukrainian ships and had used weapons to stop them. In response to the incident, Ukraine's president Petro Poroshenko summoned an emergency session of his military cabinet and announced that he would propose introducing martial law. Speaking after the session, Poroshenko said he would request Ukraine’s parliament vote on the measure on Monday. ABC

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