NEWS - WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 02, 2019 - NEWS
A week and a half into a partial government shutdown, House Democrats released their plan to re-open the government without approving money for President Donald Trump's border wall. At the same time, the president struggled to find leverage to break the stalemate before the GOP's monopoly on Washington. Baltimore Sun
VOA VIEW: Dems are acting like the fools they are.
Police in the English city of Manchester are questioning a man arrested in the New Year's Eve stabbing of three people at a train station and treating it as a terrorist attack, authorities said Tuesday. Greater Manchester Chief Constable Ian Hopkins said a man and a woman suffered "very serious" injuries. Baltimore Sun
The list includes a special lunar eclipse and a rare view of Mercury.Perpetual stargazers and NASA nerds have a few things to look forward to in 2019, including a total lunar eclipse and a glimpse of Mercury that may not come around for another 13 years. The year ended on a high note for NASA scientists on Monday, when they guided a spacecraft to the orbit of Bennu, an asteroid between Earth and Mars. Houston Chronicle

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Bacon and black coffee for breakfast, or oatmeal and bananas? If you're planning to try to lose weight in 2019, you're sure to find a fierce debate online and among friends and family about how best to do it. It seems like everyone has an opinion, and new fads emerge every year. Two major studies last year provided more fuel for a particularly polarizing topic — the role carbs play in making us fat. Houston Chronicle
There was one winning ticket sold for the New Year's Day drawing, according to the Mega Millions website. Seven other players won at least $1 million after matching all but the Mega Ball. The winning numbers were 34, 44, 57, 62, 70 and Mega Ball 14.          IndyStar
About 175 people in a caravan of Central American asylum-seekers rested up Thursday ahead of the final leg of their monthlong journey to seek asylum in the United States, with the Trump administration warning they could be prosecuted, detained and quickly deported. Las Vegas Sun
VOA VIEW: Illegals must be stopped.
President Donald Trump said Thursday that personal attorney Michael Cohen handles very little of his legal work, but did represent him in the "crazy Stormy Daniels deal," a rare presidential public reference to the porn star whoclaims she had sex with the president in 2006. Las Vegas Sun
Late in the morning in the Seattle neighborhood of Georgetown, James Harper is fetching lunch from a Mexican restaurant called Lorena's Kitchen. An aircraft bound for Boeing Field obscures the gleaming sun, flying so low that it feels as though it might land in Harper's salsa. LA Times
VOA VIEW: Foolish move.
President Trump’s already confusing policies toward Syria have become even more difficult to parse, both in Washington and in the region convulsed by nearly eight years of civil war, after a flurry of contradictory statements over the last 72 hours. On Sunday, Trump met with Sen. Lindsey Graham. LA Times

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Florida’s minimum wage will rise from $8.25 to $8.46 Tuesday, in accordance with a 2004 ballot amendment indexing the wage to inflation increases. The minimum wage for tipped workers will also climb, from $5.23 to $5.44 an hour. Miami Herald
With little resistance from a friendly White House, Israel has launched a new settlement push in the West Bank since President Donald Trump took office, laying the groundwork for what could be the largest construction binge in years, according to data obtained by The Associated Press. Miami Herald
Mitt Romney offered some criticism of President Trump on Tuesday and announced that he will continue to “speak out” against “destructive statements” made by the White House. Romney, who will be sworn in as Utah’s GOP senator this week, claimed in an opinion piece for The Washington Post that President Trump “has not risen to the mantle of the office.” “It is well known that Donald Trump was not my choice for the Republican presidential nomination,” Romney wrote in the piece. New York Post
VOA VIEW: Fool!
The new year brought continued tensions along the U.S.-Mexico border as U.S. authorities fired tear gas at migrants from the Central American caravan that has gathered there. Authorities fired the gas into Mexico to keep roughly 150 migrants from breaching the border fence in Tijuana. An Associated Press photographer witnessed at least three volleys of gas launched onto the Mexican side of the border near Tijuana’s beach early Tuesday. New York Post
VOA VIEW: Illegals must be stopped.

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Nearly two years into his presidency and more than six months after his historic summit meeting with Kim Jong-un of North Korea, President Trump finds himself essentially back where he was at the beginning in achieving the ambitious goal of getting Mr. Kim to relinquish his nuclear arsenal. That was the essential message of Mr. Kim’s annual New Year’s televised speech, where he reiterated that international sanctions must be lifted before North Korea will give up a single weapon, dismantle a single missile site or stop producing nuclear material. The list of recent North Korean demands was a clear indicator of how the summit meeting in Singapore last June altered the optics of the relationship more than the reality. New York Times
When officials at the University of Utah invited Joseph R. Biden Jr. to speak there in December, Mr. Biden’s representatives listed a number of requirements for the appearance. His booking firm, Creative Artists Agency, said the school would need to fly Mr. Biden and his aides to Salt Lake City by private plane. It would have to buy 1,000 copies of his recent memoir for distribution to the audience. There would be no insertion of the word “former” before “vice president” in social media promotions. And the speaking fee would be $100,000 — “a reduced rate,” it was explained, for colleges and universities. New York Times
Weak manufacturing data from China soured investors in Asia, suggesting the uncertainty that drove stocks down last year won’t end anytime soon. New York Times

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China reserves the right to use force to bring Taiwan under its control but will strive to achieve peaceful "reunification" with the self-ruled island that has a bright future under any future Chinese rule, President Xi Jinping said on Wednesday. Taiwan is China’s most sensitive issue and is claimed by Beijing as its sacred territory. Rueters
On the 60th anniversary of Cuba's revolution, ruling Communist Party leader Raul Castro blasted the Trump administration for returning to an outdated path of confrontation with the island nation and of intervening in Latin America. Rueters
VOA VIEW: Castro should keep his mouth shut.
President Donald Trump’s trade war may be pushing more manufacturers and other businesses to leave China — and one beneficiary is Tijuana, which seems to be booming, in part thanks to the trend. Businesses don’t face the tariffs in Mexico that they would if they remained in China. San Diego Tribune
Afghan officials say an Italian military adviser escaped unhurt after a rogue border policeman opened fire on his armored vehicle in western Afghanistan’s Herat province, not far from the border with Iran. Gelani Farhad, spokesman for the provincial governor, says the adviser was inside his armored vehicle after finishing a meeting. Seattle Times
Facebook has apologized for temporarily banning North Carolina evangelist Franklin Graham from its platform over a 2016 post about the state’s “bathroom bill.” The Asheville Citizen Times reports Facebook apologized to Graham on Sunday. Graham, the son of the late Rev. Billy Graham, said last week that platform banned him for 24 hours in December, saying the post violated community hate speech standards. Seattle Times
VOA VIEW: Facebook must be sanctioned.

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In October, Kanye West said he was taking a break from politics. Tuesday, the rapper jumped back in, firing off a flurry of tweets. In October, Kanye West said he was taking a break from politics. But that was last year. Tuesday, the rapper jumped back into the waters of controversy with both feet, firing off a flurry of tweets that covered everything from his love of President Donald Trump to his own political aspirations to fashion.         USA Today
Nationally, the percentage of people who say they use a bike to get to work fell by 3.2 percent between 2016 and 2017, to an average of 836,569 commuters, according to the latest figures by U.S. Census Bureau.         USA Today
It was unclear whether Dana W. White’s departure Monday night was related to the probe of whether she mistreated employees. Her move came within hours of Mattis’s resignation. Dana W. White said on Twitter: “I appreciate the opportunity afforded to me by this administration to serve alongside Secretary Mattis, our service members and all the civilians who support them. Washington Post

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The U.S. Strategic Command, which oversees America's nuclear and missile arsenal, boasted in a New Year's Eve tweet that it's ready if ever needed "to drop something much, much bigger" than the Times Square ball. ABC
VOA VIEW: Dumb!
The brother of a US citizen arrested for spying in Moscow says he was attending a wedding. The family of ex-Marine Paul Whelan, 48, learnt of his arrest on Monday from news reports after wondering why they had not heard from him for days. His twin brother David Whelan says he knew Russia well and cannot believe he would have broken any laws. Russia's FSB state security agency says he was "caught spying" in Moscow. BBC
Democratic congressional aides expressed skepticism about the briefing, saying the agenda for the session is unclear. President Trump has invited congressional leaders of both parties to the White House on Wednesday for a "briefing" on border security, according to a congressional source. Wednesday marks the 12th day of the partial government shutdown as the president and Democrats remain at odds over Mr. Trump's insistence on $5 billion for improving security on the border. Democrats are set to take over the House on Thursday, with Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi set to be elected speaker. CBS
VOA VIEW: Dems will regret waiting to cut a wall deal with Trump.
Addressing a joint session of Congress minutes after taking the oath of office, Bolsonaro, vowed to adhere to democratic norms. Right-wing nationalist Jair Bolsonaro was sworn in as Brazil's president on Tuesday, and immediately called on Congress to combat endemic corruption and promised to "work tirelessly so that Brazil reaches its destiny." Addressing a joint session of Congress minutes after taking the oath of office, Bolsonaro, a former Army captain and admirer of the country's 1964-1985 military dictatorship, vowed to adhere to democratic norms. CNBC
Thousands of demonstrators marched in Hong Kong on Tuesday to demand full democracy, fundamental rights, and even independence from China in the face of what many see as a marked clampdown by the Communist Party on local freedoms. Thousands of demonstrators marched in Hong Kong on Tuesday to demand full democracy, fundamental rights, and even independence from China in the face of what many see as a marked clampdown by the Communist Party on local freedoms. The New Year's day march included calls to restart stalled democratic reforms and to fight "political repression" from Beijing. CNBC
In one of his first tweets of the new year, President Donald Trump attacked retired four-star Army Gen. Stanley McChrystal after he criticized the President on Sunday. In one of his first tweets of the new year, President Donald Trump attacked retired four-star Army Gen. Stanley McChrystal after he criticized the President on Sunday. that Trump was dishonest and immoral. "I don't think he tells the truth," McChrystal told ABC's Martha Raddatz on "This Week." When asked if he thought Trump was immoral, McChrystal responded: "I think he is." CNN
VOA VIEW: McChrystal is a foolish coward.
Washington lobbyist W. Samuel Patten, who has been one of the most low-profile but potentially significant cooperators in the special counsel's office investigation, appears to still be involved with sensitive aspects of Robert Mueller and the Justice Department's work. In a court filing Monday meant to update a judge on his case and whether he should proceed to sentencing, prosecutors revealed nothing. Instead, they filed the entire status update under seal, giving no public reason for keeping details of his case private. CNN
VOA VIEW: Mueller is a loser.
The Vatican blocked U.S. bishops from taking measures to address the clergy sex abuse scandal because U.S. church leaders didn't discuss the legally problematic proposals with the Holy See enough beforehand, according to a letter obtained by The Associated Press. FOX News
MPs must show leadership on issues such as meat production and air travel, says Clive LewisPoliticians must persuade consumers to make dramatic lifestyle changes if devastating climate change and mass extinctions are to be averted, according to the shadow Treasury minister Clive Lewis.From cutting back on red meat to taking fewer flights, the Norwich South MP said the public must face up to “real, stark choices” in the years ahead. Guardian
Saudi Daily Elaph says Israel's government rejected Aviv Kochavi's recommendation to remove Assad as they preferred a known adversary. Jerusalem Post
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Tuesday in Brazil, where the two are to intend the inauguration ceremony of Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro. Jerusalem Post
Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives plan to vote on Thursday on a funding package to end the 10-day-old partial U.S. government shutdown, without providing the $5 billion President Donald Trump has demanded for a U.S.-Mexico border wall. Reuters
VOA VIEW: It shows are dumb Dems can act.
NASA's New Horizons explorer successfully "phoned home" on Tuesday after a journey to the most distant world ever explored by humankind, a frozen rock at the edge of the solar system that scientists hope will uncover secrets to its creation. Reuters
As the calendar flips to 2019, about 395,072 babies will be born around the world, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) said on Tuesday, adding that a quarter will be born in South Asia alone. As revelers say ‘hello’ to 2019 with great festivities, the world welcomes its newest residents. In a press release issued on the first day of the year, UNICEF said that globally, over 395,000 children are expected to be born on 1 January. UN News
A federal workers' labor union filed a lawsuit against the federal government for requiring employees to work without pay during a government shut down. Federal employees deemed "essential" are required to work without pay during the ongoing government shutdown. And the American Federation of Government Employees accused the government of violating the Fair Labor Standards Act by forcing employees to work without pay since Dec. 22, when the shutdown began. UPI
A sheriff's in Arizona will refer alleged incidents of staffers dragging and shoving migrant children at a shelter to county prosecutors for an investigation. UPI

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