It was a foundational promise of Donald Trump's historic presidential campaign: Mexico would pay for his 2,000 mile border wall. But as he desperately fights for $5.7 billion in taxpayer money for the project, Trump now claims he never said Mexico would directly foot the bill. Baltimore Sun
VOA VIEW: Unfortunately, Trump made a foolish statement.
Texas scientists who developed an effective vaccine for the deadly Ebola virus are now reporting promising results with new medication to better treat full-blown cases of the disease. Houston Chronicle
Vice President Mike Pence, speaking on a Republican Governors Association panel in 2014, attacked the idea of using presidential powers to go around Congress, something President Trump is considering.          IndyStar
VOA VIEW: Times change and so do circumstances.


President Trump's decision to pull U.S. troops from Syria is viewed as a betrayal by American volunteers who fought alongside Kurdish militias there to oust Islamic State. LA Times
Officials have given President Trump a plan to divert funds designated for Army Corps of Engineers projects in California and Puerto Rico to help pay for a wall along the southern border, a leading member of Congress said Thursday. On his way to the Texas border Thursday, Trump was presented with this option. LA Times
VOA VIEW: Speculation!
With more federal security screeners refusing to work without pay, Miami International Airport plans to cut off access to one of its terminals over the weekend in order to secure airport. Miami Herald
VOA VIEW: Those who walk off the job, should not get paid.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s criticism of the Obama administration’s response to Iran’s “Green Movement” was exaggerated, and his claim that the Trump administration has been “clear” about withdrawing troops from Syria ignored clearly contradictory statements. New York Times
VOA VIEW: Liberal propaganda.
In President Trump’s view, the display surrounding him in McAllen, Tex., on Thursday all added up to a single word, “crisis,” with a lone solution, building a wall. New York Times
VOA VIEW: It is a true crisis.
Nissan ex-Chairman Carlos Ghosn has requested his release on bail after being indicted in Tokyo on Friday on two new charges, his lawyers said, as the once-feted auto executive awaits a lengthy criminal trial that could be as long as six months away. Rueters


A cluster of superbug cases that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently termed a “serious” threat has surfaced among Americans who traveled south of the border to have operations at a Tijuana hospital. The CDC has confirmed that multiple cases of antibiotic-resistant pseudomonas. San Diego Tribune
While there does not appear to be any immediate cause for concern, the partial government shutdown has created some anxiety with local agencies that rely on federal funds for programs that help low-income and homeless people. San Diego Tribune
Russia’s Foreign Ministry has dismissed suggestions that an American arrested in Moscow on suspicion of spying could be used in a prisoner swap for a Russian held in the United States. Paul Whelan, a former U.S. Marine, was arrested in Moscow last month on suspicion of spying. Seattle Times
You can order stamps online, print them from home or buy them at major grocery stores and pharmacies, as well as some banks and officer suppliers. With the United States Postal Service set to increase the price of forever stamps by five cents on Jan. 27, now is the time to stock up on postage.         USA Today

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President Donald Trump joined a chorus of Republicans in mocking Jim Acosta, CNN's chief White House correspondent, on Twitter for a video the journalist posted showing areas of the border that had a wall. Acosta, who traveled to Texas for the president's border visit, posted a video on Twitter of him walking alongside a steel-slated fence at the U.S.-Mexico border. He said he didn't "see anything resembling a national emergency." USA Today
VOA VIEW: Acosta acted and talked like the fool he is.
The state’s alternative way of paying for the expensive drugs could become a model for other states struggling with high drug prices. Louisiana officials announced Thursday that their state would become the first to move forward with a new way to pay for expensive hepatitis C treatments, which could dramatically increase the number of people who can be cured of the liver-damaging disease and provide a model for others struggling to afford the medications. Washington Post
It makes intuitive sense that smaller class sizes would make it easier for teachers to address the needs of each student, yet sometimes we hear from powerful people that it doesn’t matter to a great teacher. Actually, research clearly shows that it matters — a lot. Here is what's at stake. Class size is an important determinant of student outcomes and one that can be directly determined by policy. All else being equal, increasing class sizes will harm student outcomes. Washington Post


Death by drug overdose is classically more common in men but a report released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Thursday shows that women, specifically middle-aged women, are also increasingly affected. Prescription pill overdose rates are now rising more sharply in women. Prescription painkillers are opioid narcotic drugs such as Vicodin (hydromorphone), Dilaudid (hydromorphone) and Oxycontin or Percocet (oxycodone). ABC
Court documents show an Arizona woman in a vegetative state who was sexually assaulted and had a baby received a medical exam nearly nine months before giving birth. The 29-year-old woman's mother and legal guardian submitted an annual report as required by state law that included results of a physical done April 16. The report says the doctor who examined her at the long-term care facility where she lives found "no change" in her health. ABC
Members of the "yellow vests" protest movement have vandalised almost 60% of France's entire speed camera network, the interior minister has said. Christophe Castaner said the wilful damage was a threat to road safety and put lives in danger. The protest movement began over fuel tax increases, and saw motorists block roads and motorway toll booths. BBC
Soldiers have been stationed at this base for a month - but already their future in the region is in doubt. Soldiers at an army base on the Syria-Iraq border have described the fight they face against so-called Islamic State. This particular base is only one-month old but is home to hundreds of French and American troops. However, doubts have been cast over their future after President Trump announced he was pulling US soldiers from Syria. BBC
Inflators made Japan's Takata can explode with too much force and have killed at least 23 people. The risk of exploding air bags made by Japanese manufacturer Takata continues to plague automakers. A day after Toyota announced it was recalling 1.7 million cars to deal with the potentially lethal part, Fiat Chrsler on Thursday recalled 1.6 million vehicles. CBS

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Fiat Chrysler agreed on Thursday to pay hundreds of millions of dollars, including a $300 million fine to the U.S. government, to settle allegations that the Italian-American automaker cheated on emissions tests. Under a deal with the U.S. Justice Department and Environmental Protection Agency, the automaker will recall and repair the more than 104,000 out-of-compliance Jeep SUVs and Ram pickup trucks. CBS
Macy's disappointing holiday sales are less about the consumer and more about department stores' relevance these days, former retail CEO and Target executive Gerald Storch told CNBC on Thursday. Macy's reported weak holiday sales and cut its 2018 earnings outlook on Thursday morning, sending its shares and others tumbling. CNBC
VOA VIEW: Most Americans will lose as Department stores lose.
Serhiy Lyovochkin and Rinat Akhmetov, two Ukrainian oligarchs who had paid Paul Manafort for years for his political work in their country, were the intended recipients of the American polling data that Manafort shared with Konstantin Kilimnik during the 2016 presidential campaign, a person familiar with the matter said. Special counsel Robert Mueller's team has been circling Lyovochkin and Akhmetov's dealings with Manafort for a while, as they were both key, generous backers of Manafort's Ukrainian lobbying work, prosecutors said at Manafort's financial fraud trial last summer. CNN

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Special counsel Robert Mueller sought information directly last year from one of Donald Trump's campaign pollsters who is also a former business associate of Paul Manafort's. Mueller's team met with pollster Tony Fabrizio in February 2018, an interview that has not been previously reported and takes on new significance after Manafort's attorneys revealed Tuesday that Mueller's team is still interested in how Manafort shared polling data with his Russian intelligence-linked colleague. CNN
VOA VIEW: Liberal CNN hype.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom proposed a $144 billion budget this week which will increase the state’s overall spending, with a large cut going towards education programs and health care initiatives, expanding coverage for illegal immigrants. FOX News
VOA VIEW: Newsom begins to whine after speaking harsh against Trump.
Eleven former junior college football players are suing Maricopa County Community Colleges in federal court, alleging that racial discrimination was behind the shuttering of the schools' football programs last year. FOX News
Guarantees over workers’ rights offered, as prime minister eyes compromiseTheresa May has sparked hopes among senior Labour figures that she is laying the groundwork to compromise on her Brexit deal after next week’s meaningful vote, following a flurry of contacts with union leaders and MPs in recent days. Guardian
Former Trump lawyer says he accepted invitation from top Democrat and will offer ‘full and credible account of events’Donald Trump’s longtime lawyer and aide Michael Cohen says he has accepted an invitation from a top House Democrat to testify publicly before Congress next month. Guardian
VOA VIEW: Big deal for Dems.
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro started a second term on Thursday, defying critics in the United States and Latin America who called him an illegitimate usurper of a nation where economic chaos has wrought a humanitarian crisis. Reuters
Google shareholders are suing the company board and senior management for covering up executives' sexual harassment and rewarding them with large payouts for leaving quietly. Two lawsuits, including one from shareholder James Martin and another from the Northern California Pipe Trades Pension Plan and Teamsters Local 272 Labor Management Pension Fund, were filed on Wednesday and Thursday respectively. Telegraph
VOA VIEW: Google is a joke that must be regulated.
The International Commission Against Impunity (CICIG) was set up by the UN in conjunction with the Guatemalan Government, 11 years ago, and has sucessfully highlighted corruption cases involving hundreds of politicians, bureaucrats and business people. Its mandate is due to run through to 3 September this year. UN News
Economic uncertainty and underlying structural issues could push negotiators to reach a "near-trade agreement." Economic uncertainty and underlying structural issues with the U.S. and Chinese economies could push negotiators to reach a "near-trade agreement" to end the months-long tariff dispute, a U.S. analyst said Thursday. UPI
VOA VIEW: China is losing the trade war.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 erased some of their 2018 losses after a fifth consecutive day posting gains Thursday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 erased some of their 2018 losses after a fifth consecutive day posting gains Thursday. The Dow was up 122.80 points, or 0.51 percent, at the end of trading Thursday, while the S&P rose 11.68 points or 0.45 percent. UPI

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