Food stamps for 38 million low-income Americans face severe reductions and more than $140 billion in tax refunds are at risk of being frozen or delayed if the government shutdown stretches into February, widespread disruptions that threaten to hurt the economy. Baltimore Sun
VOA VIEW: It may make Dems wakeup.
President Trump may call a national emergency to fund the border wall if he is unable to get sufficient funds from Congress. President Trump is still locked in a heated battle with congressional Democrats over funding for a border wall between U.S. and Mexico, telling reporters Friday that he believes the ongoing partial government shutdown could continue for over a year. But he acknowledged that there is another way to get the wall built without negotiating for $5.6 billion in funding from Congress. Mr. Trump said that he was considering calling a national emergency at the border so that the wall could be built without congressional approval. I can do it if I want," Mr. Trump told reporters in the Rose Garden after meeting with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and other congressional leaders. CBS
VOA VIEW: What he can legally do - US security is a must.
Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., made history Thursday afternoon for being the first Palestinian American woman sworn into Congress. Hours later, she made headlines for swearing at a bar - in comments that would continue to reverberate in Washington the next day. Baltimore Sun
VOA VIEW: A total idiot that does not belong in Congress.


San Antonio U.S. Rep. Will Hurd, who won reelection in November with less than a single percentage point, was one of seven Republicans voting to reopen the shuttered parts of the government without a deal on a wall. Houston Chronicle
The parents of U.S. college student Otto Warmbier filed a wrongful death lawsuit against North Korea on Thursday, saying its government tortured him. Las Vegas Sun
The Supreme Court agreed Friday to review highly partisan election maps drawn by Republicans in North Carolina and Democrats in Maryland, and decide whether such political gerrymandering violates voters’ rights to a fair election. LA Times
President Trump and congressional leaders remained far from an agreement over his demand for money for a border wall after another White House meeting, an impasse that has blocked funding for many government operations and forced a partial shutdown now two weeks old. Sen. Charles E. Schumer. LA Times
The education of the star-studded class of House freshmen has begun. Lesson one: Speaking with the bluntness of a candidate can produce swift and uncomfortable results. Rep. Rashida Tlaib learned. Miami Herald
VOA VIEW: Dems acted like the fools they are.
Federal agencies have been directed to hold off enacting pay raises for top administration officials during a government shutdown that has left hundreds of thousands of federal workers without pay. The guidance was issued Friday in a memo from Margaret Weichert, the acting director of the Office of Personnel Management. The raises were the result of a pay freeze for top federal officials, including the vice president and cabinet secretaries, that was on the verge of expiring because of the shutdown. New York Post
VOA VIEW: As it should be.


A $750 million defamation lawsuit filed against CBS by the brother of JonBenet Ramsey has been settled. The Daily Camera reports court records show that a Michigan Circuit Court judge on Wednesday dismissed the lawsuit filed by Burke Ramsey in December 2016. The terms of the settlement have not been disclosed. New York Post
Yellowstone National Park in October. Many national parks are closed to visitors during the government shutdown, but some have remained open despite bare-bones staffing. New York Times
U.S. National Security Advisor John Bolton warned the Syrian government that it should not see the impending U.S. military withdrawal from the country as an invitation to use chemical weapons. Rueters
Mexican hanged himself amid lapses at ICE detention center in south Georgia. Authorities failed to monitor a mentally ill detainee as often as they were required before he hanged himself with a pair of socks in an immigration detention center in southwest Georgia last year, according to documents obtained through Georgia’s Open Records Act. his is not the first time this has happened at Stewart Detention Center, a sprawling federal complex located just outside the city of Lumpkin. In July, Efrain De La Rosa, 40, became the second detainee to hang himself in his solitary confinement cell at Stewart in less than two years. Atlanta Journal

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The Russian Foreign Ministry said on Saturday the United States had detained a Russian citizen, days after Moscow arrested the former U.S. Marine Paul Whelan on suspicion of spying. Rueters
As police in riot gear stood outside, dozens of Central American caravan members refused on Friday to leave a private warehouse near the U.S. border where they have camped out since mid-December. Members of the group defied orders by Mexican authorities to vacate the premises of the shelter. San Diego Tribune
VOA VIEW: It shows the US does not need this group in the country.
Hundreds of protesters are trying to breathe new life into France’s apparently waning yellow vest movement with marches in Paris and gatherings in other cities, but numbers appeared down on their first demonstration of the new year. There were no reports of violence on the eighth consecutive Saturday of yellow vest protests. Seattle Times


Russia’s deputy foreign minister is brushing back suggestions that an American being held in Moscow on suspicion of spying could be exchanged for a Russian. Paul Whelan, who also holds Canadian, British and Irish citizenship, was detained in late December. His arrest has led to speculation that Russia could be using him. Seattle Times
President Donald Trump is warning that parts of the government could stay shuttered for months or years. Trump told Democrats during a contentious budget meeting on Friday that he is prepared to allow parts of the government to remain shuttered for months or even years if that’s what it takes to get the funding he wants for a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Later, Trump stressed during a Rose Garden news conference that he doesn’t believe a shutdown would drag on that long. “But I am prepared,” he said. "I will do whatever I have to do," he said.         USA Today
NASA has postponed a Houston visit from the head of Russia's state space corporation Roscosmos amid mounting backlash over his history of racist and homophobic comments. Houston Chronicle
Federal inmates feasted on Cornish hens, steak over the holidays as prison guards labored without pay because of the government shutdown.         USA Today
While 800,000 federal workers go without pay during a partial shutdown, hundreds of top Trump administration officials are poised to get raises barring new budget legislation. The pay increases for Cabinet secretaries, deputy secretaries, top administrators and even Vice President Pence are scheduled to go into effect Saturday without legislation to stop them, according to documents issued by the Office of Personnel Management and experts in federal pay. The raises, for hundreds of appointees, including ambassadors, appear to be a consequence of the shutdown: Washington Post
VOA VIEW: Liberal media hogwash.

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Citing Ohio ordinances that allow individuals to seek charges against someone they’ve seen commit a crime, seven Euclid residents claim to have “witnessed” the encounter between Officer Michael Amiott and driver Richard Hubbard III by virtue of viewing a four-minute video on Facebook. Washington Post
TOKYO (AP) - Nissan Chief Performance Officer Jose Munoz, who oversaw the Japanese automaker's global strategies, is taking a leave of absence to work on "special tasks arising from recent events," the company said Saturday, referring to the arrest of former Chairman Carlos Ghosn. Nissan Motor Co. spokesman Nicholas Maxfield. Washington Times
President Trump is repeating his claim that Democrats are talking impeachment because 'they can't win in 2020.' Trump has said similar about impeachment before but these are his first comments since the Democratic House takeover and they come after new House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in an interview that impeachment could be considered if not done for "a political reason" and said a possible indictment was "an open discussion." Pelosi is facing pressure from some House Democrats to move forward on the impeachment front -- especially from some newly elected members. ABC
VOA VIEW: The truth hurts Dems.

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Zinke departed the administration amid a cloud of unresolved investigations. As former U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke exits Washington chased by ethics investigations and criticism of his actions favoring industry, he told The Associated Press he's lived up to the conservation ideals of Teddy Roosevelt and insisted the myriad allegations against him will be proven untrue. The former Montana congressman also said he quit President Donald Trump's cabinet on his own terms, despite indications he was pressured by the White House to resign effective Wednesday. ABC
Mr Trump says he may declare a national emergency to bypass Congress and build a border wall. US President Donald Trump has said he is prepared for a partial shutdown of the US government - now entering its third week to last years. After meeting top Democrats, he also said he could declare a national emergency to bypass Congress and build a US-Mexico border wall. Mr Trump insisted he would not sign any bill without wall funding, which Democrats adamantly oppose. BBC
VOA VIEW: Good - whatever it takes, but no deal less than $5B.
Al-Badawi, who was listed on the FBI's most wanted terrorists list, escaped from prison in 2006. U.S. officials believe a drone strike killed one of the terrorists behind the 2000 bombing of the USS Cole in Yemen. Jamel Ahmed Mohammed Ali Al-Badawi was wanted in connection with the deaths of 17 Americans who died in the attack on Oct. 12, 2000. U.S. forces conducted a precision airstrike targeting al-Badawi on January 1 in the Marib governorate, said Capt. Bill Urban, a Central Command spokesperson. He said officials are still assessing the results to confirm his death. CBS
This is the 21st government shutdown since Congress adopted new budgeting procedures in 1976, according to the Congressional Research Service, and it's also the third this year alone. For perspective, there were only three shutdowns in the 25 years before 2018. The history of government gridlock shows a pattern: Shutdowns are usually resolved in just a few days, or they drag on for two or three weeks.The shutdowns start when the president and Congress can't agree on government funding — and the longer they last, the more they hurt the economy. Hundreds of thousands of federal workers are furloughed, services are ceased and major tourist attractions close. Standard & Poor's estimated last year that shutdowns cost the U.S. $6.5 billion a week. The last major shutdown, in 2013, cost $24 billion — a rate of nearly $1.5 billion a day, according to S&P. CBS
VOA VIEW: All shutdowns less than $5B - Dems are wasteful as usual.
A federal judge reportedly has extended by up to six months the authorization for a grand jury that is being used by special counsel Robert Mueller to conduct his investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. A federal judge has extended by up to six months the authorization for the grand jury that is being used by special counsel Robert Mueller to conduct his investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and related issues. Judge Beryl Howell, chief judge of U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C. extended the term of the grand jury that Mueller has been using for his probe since July 2017, Howell's administrative assistant told CNBC. CNBC
VOA VIEW: Madness!
CNN's Kaitlan Collins presses President Donald Trump on how he can say he's not failing on delivering his campaign promise to build a concrete wall and have Mexico pay for it. CNN
VOA VIEW: Mexico is paying.
Hundreds of Transportation Security Administration officers, who are required to work without paychecks through the partial government shutdown, have called out from work this week from at least four major airports, according to two senior agency officials and three TSA employee union officials. Hundreds of Transportation Security Administration officers, who are required to work without paychecks through the partial government shutdown, have called out from work this week from at least four major airports, according to two senior agency officials and three TSA employee union officials. CNN
NGO's in El Paso are scrambling to find temporary housing for migrants. The number of immigrants released by ICE could go up to 500 a day. “I’m concerned. We’re up to 2,300 per week. If we get up to 500 a day, it’s going to be very taxing,” said Mayor Dee Margo. Non-profit organizations in Texas, like the Annunciation House, are finding themselves scrambling to find housing for the immigrants. The house has taken the lead in connecting the migrants to a network of 20 shelters it operates, which include high school gyms and places of worship. FOX News
Comments come as the US secretary of state embarks on a tour of Arab capitals The US does not believe the official Saudi version of the murder of the Washington Post columnist and dissident Jamal Khashoggi is credible, a senior administration official has said.The official was speaking to the press before the secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, embarks next week on an tour of eight Arab capitals, seeking to shore up support for US policy, and to reassure allies that the US is not abandoning the region despite Donald Trump’s order for the withdrawal of American troops from Syria. Guardian
The two men spoke in advance of a visit to Israel and Turkey this weekend by National Security Advisor John Bolton to discuss the withdrawal of US troops from Syria. Jerusalem Post
What makes this problem even more challenging is the fact that antisemites on the left, in contrast to white nationalists, are often defended by radical Jewish groups. Jerusalem Post
President Donald Trump on Friday downplayed a revenue warning by Apple Inc and said slowing economic growth in China puts the United States in a strong position as negotiators from the world's two largest economies prepare for trade talks next week. Trump has slapped import tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars of Chinese goods as he seeks concessions from Beijing on issues ranging from industrial subsidies to hacking. China has retaliated. Reuters
U.S. employers hired the most workers in 10 months in December while boosting wages, pointing to sustained strength in the economy that could ease fears of a sharp slowdown in growth. Reuters
White House officials and House and Senate staff members will meet at 11 a.m. EST (1600 GMT) on Saturday in a bid to end the partial U.S. government shutdown, White House spokesman Hogan Gidley said on Friday. Reuters
The criminal trial in Saudi Arabia of individuals suspected of being involved in the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi does not meet the requirements of an independent and international probe requested by the UN’s top rights official, Michelle Bachelet, her office said on Friday. UN News
The USDA has closed multiple offices in this government shutdown, leaving a list of services unavailable to farmers at the start of the new year. "Right now this isn't the sort of thing we would call an emergency," said Will Rogers, a spokesman for the American Farm Bureau Federation. "But if it goes on for much longer it will hurt." The list of stalled services include many of the same programs that have been frozen since the farm bill expired in September. UPI

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