A beefed-up White House legal team is gearing up to prevent President Donald Trump's confidential discussions with top advisers from being disclosed to House Democratic investigators and from being revealed in the special counsel's long-awaited report. Baltimore Sun
VOA VIEW: Dems are costing all.
Employees of the U.S. Coast Guard who are facing a long U.S. government shutdown just received a suggestion: To get by without pay, consider holding a garage sale, babysitting or serving as a "mystery shopper." The suggestions were part of a five-page tip sheet published by the Coast Guard Support Team. Baltimore Sun
VOA VIEW: Liberal propaganda.
Even if Cruz's amendment to the U.S. Constitution were somehow enacted by the current Congress and the states – a longshot at best – it would not bar him from running for a third or even fourth term in the Senate. Houston Chronicle


Trump said he is still considering declaring an emergency on the border if talks with Democrats fail to yield a deal on wall funding.          IndyStar
VOA VIEW: Walking out made sense.
More than a half century ago, the Supreme Court in one of its most famous decisions boldly put a check on executive power, one that has been cited repeatedly as proof the president cannot declare a national emergency to bypass Congress. Many legal experts, however, say they are not confident the ruling will stop Trump. LA Times
China and the United States made progress on "structural issues" such as forced technology transfers and intellectual property rights in talks this week and more consultations are being arranged, China's commerce ministry said on Thursday. Rueters
VOA VIEW: China is learning that pushing Trump and US is costly.
The prosecution’s recipe for Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman’s downfall was on full display in federal court Wednesday: turncoats, technology — and the notorious drug kingpin’s own paranoia. The FBI was able to tap into scores of text messages that Guzman, 61, sent in 2012. LA Times
New Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham will meet for the first time this year with White House officials to discuss the fate of judicial nominees. Miami Herald
VOA VIEW: The Senate should move forward without Dems.
U.S. health officials are declaring an end to a food poisoning outbreak blamed on romaine lettuce from California. From October to December, the E. coli outbreak sickened 62 people in 16 states. No one died, but 25 people were hospitalized. Illnesses were also reported in Canada. New York Post


During the government shutdown, the feds haven't been able to pay its $5 million water bill to Washington D.C. As a result of the ongoing shutdown, the government won't be able to promptly pay Washington D.C a $5 million water bill for services to federal buildings. With 195,000 employees, the federal government is the city's largest water customer. Those employees work in dozens of federal buildings and all of that toilet flushing, hand washing and other water use adds up. The bill? Some $16.5 million, of which the federal government has paid $10.5 million. ABC
VOA VIEW: Dems will feel the financial pain.
If President Trump invokes emergency powers to build a wall along the southern border, it could be a mutually face-saving way to reopen the government, but also an extraordinary violation of constitutional norms. New York Times
House Democrats have called Steven Mnuchin, the Treasury secretary, to testify before Congress on Thursday. New York Times
President Donald Trump on Wednesday threatened to cut off federal emergency aid to California for wildfire relief, prompting a swift response from new Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom that "disasters and recovery are no time for politics." "Billions of dollars are sent to the State of California for Forest fires that, with proper Forest Management, would never happen," Trump tweeted. CNBC
VOA VIEW: CA should be cut off federal funding for being anti what is best for the country.

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Ford said on Thursday it will cut thousands of jobs, exit unprofitable markets and discontinue loss-making vehicle lines as part of a turnaround effort aimed at achieving a 6 percent operating margin in Europe. Rueters
President Donald Trump’s Oval Office address failed to sway most Californians on the need for a border wall, a new poll shows. Of the 614 registered voters surveyed across the state who saw the address, more than half said they oppose construction of a wall across the U.S. border with Mexico. San Diego Tribune
VOA VIEW: CA is liberal.
Napa police say they’ve arrested a middle school student and found evidence at two homes that the suspect was planning mass shootings at Napa schools. The suspect, a River Middle School student, was arrested and has been in custody since Jan. 2 after police served search warrants at two homes and found evidence supporting the shooting plans, police said Monday night. San Francisco Gate


Turkey’s foreign minister says a planned Turkish military offensive against U.S.-allied Kurdish fighters in northeast Syria doesn’t depend on whether the United States withdraws its troops from the region. Mevlut Cavusoglu said in an interview with NTV news channel on Thursday that Turkey would take the necessary steps to thwart threats Seattle Times
The findings, tracked by the Center for American Progress, come amid reports that special counsel Robert Mueller is finishing his investigation. The milestone illustrates the deep ties between members of Trump's circle and the Kremlin. The findings, tracked by the Center for American Progress and its Moscow Project, come amid reports that special counsel Robert Mueller is nearing the conclusion of the two-year investigation into Russian collusion in the 2016 election and possible obstruction of justice by the president. USA Today
A day after budget negotiations blew up in acrimony, President Donald Trump heads to Texas border to pitch his proposed border wall. The trip to McAllen, Texas, takes place a day after Trump stormed out of a meeting with Democratic leaders who were negotiating an end to a partial government shutdown – now in its 20th day – that has left some 800,000 federal workers without pay. USA Today
For the first time since the early 1980s, the monitoring program, which traces the forest’s recovery from acid rain, has a gap in its weekly data. Because the project uses federal money on federal land, the data point became another casualty of the ongoing shutdown. “Losing that one point is going to be really detrimental,” said Atkins, a postdoctoral researcher at Virginia Commonwealth University who usually takes samples of Shenandoah’s streams on weekends. Washington Post
Amnesty International has renewed a call for an international investigation into the killing of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi - a slaying that has implicated some members of the Saudi crown prince's entourage. The group made the call outside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul on Thursday. Washington Times

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Multiple sources told ABC News Rosenstein's departure is imminent. Rosenstein has communicated to President Donald Trump and White House officials his plan to depart the administration around the time William Barr, Trump's nominee for attorney general, would take office following a Senate confirmation. Sources told ABC News Rosenstein wants to ensure a smooth transition to his successor and would accommodate the needs of Barr, should he be confirmed. ABC
VOA VIEW: Sooner the better.
President Donald Trump has walked out of a meeting with Democratic leaders as negotiations broke down on the 19th day of a US government shutdown. The Republican president ended talks after Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer stuck by their refusal to fund his planned US-Mexico border wall. Mr Trump called his meeting with the pair "a total waste of time". BBC
The Amazon CEO and novelist wife, MacKenzie, married for 25 years, release the news on Twitter. The pair announced the move in a joint statement on Wednesday on Twitter. "After a long period of loving exploration and trial separation, we have decided to divorce and continue our shared lives as friends," the couple said in the statement. BBC

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The affected models include Corolla, Matrix, 4Runner, Sienna, Scion and several Lexus models. Toyota is recalling 1.7 million vehicles in North America to replace potentially deadly Takata front passenger air bag inflators. The move announced Wednesday includes 1.3 million vehicles in the U.S. and is part of the largest series of automotive recalls in the nation's history. CBS
Some monetary policymakers didn't want to raise interest rates in December, signaling concern about economic slowdown. Federal Reserve officials expressed growing concerns about the U.S. economy when they met last month, grappling with volatile stock markets, trade tensions and signs of slowing global growth. These threats made the future path of interest rate hikes "less clear," they said. CBS
VOA VIEW: They should be careful.
Bed Bath & Beyond said it is ahead of its long-term financial goals in its quarterly earnings released on Wednesday. The stock soared more than 20 percent after hours. The company said it is ahead of schedule in terms of slowing down the declines in operating profit and net earnings per share, plus increasing net earnings per share by 2020. CNBC
On Tuesday we learned -- thanks to a redaction error in a filing in the special counsel's investigation into Russian interference -- that Paul Manafort met with a Russian-linked operative named Konstantin Kilimnik during the course of the 2016 campaign. And in that meeting, according to special counsel Robert Mueller's office, Manafort discussed policies related to the Russia-Ukraine relationship and shared polling data about the 2016 campaign with Kilimnik. CNN
VOA VIEW: Liberal propaganda.
Billionaire Tom Steyer will not run for President in 2020, his spokeswoman tells CNN, ending months of speculation that the Democratic donor will escalate his efforts to defeat Trump by attempting to take him on at the ballot box. CNN
A former commanding officer of the U.S. Navy base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, was charged Wednesday with obstruction of justice and other offenses relating to the 2015 death of a civilian employee. According to court documents filed in Florida federal court, Capt. John R. Nettleton faces two counts of obstruction of justice, one count of concealment of material facts, two counts of falsification of records and five counts of making false statements to investigators looking into the death of Christopher Tur. FOX News
Senior figures fear creating colleges with remit to improve access could lead to accusations of ‘ghettoisation’A radical proposal by the former education minister Andrew Adonis for a new breed of Oxbridge colleges designed to improve access for under-represented students has been greeted with little enthusiasm by the two universities.. Guardian
British Prime Minister Theresa May suffered an early defeat to her Brexit plans on Wednesday when parliament demanded the government come up with a plan-B within days if she loses a vote on her deal to leave the European Union. Reuters
A Republican rebellion against Donald Trump’s refusal to reopen government without new money for his Mexico border wall appears to be growing as his TV address failed to break the impasse. Three Republican senators are now publicly calling for the government shutdown to end even if there is no border wall deal, while half a dozen more have voiced concerns about the stand-off. Telegraph
VOA VIEW: Liberal media propaganda.
A Kentucky candy company voluntarily recalled its products over concern they may be contaminated with hepatitis A, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said. The FDA advised consumers not to eat and throw away any Bauer's Candies Modjeskas, an individually wrapped marshmallow candy dipped in chocolate or caramel and sold through and QVC, purchased after Nov. 14, 2018, after an employee at the company's facility tested positive for hepatitis A. UPI

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