Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker said on Friday that he has "not interfered in any way" in the special counsel's Russia investigation as he faced a contentious and partisan congressional hearing in his waning days on the job. The hearing was before the House Judiciary Committee. Baltimore Sun
VOA VIEW: Dems were put in their place - idiots.
President Donald Trump announced Friday that his upcoming summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un will take place in Hanoi, ending weeks of speculation over the venue for the two leaders' second meeting. Trump revealed the decision in an evening tweet. "My representatives have just left North Korea. Baltimore Sun
Hundreds of immigrants in the U.S. illegally were arrested this week in North Carolina after some local law agencies stopped cooperating with immigration enforcement, a federal official said Friday. Immigration and Customs Enforcement regional director Sean Gallagher said the arrests resulted from what he termed “the dangerous policies of not cooperating with law enforcement. New York Post
Former U.S. Rep. John Dingell, the longest-serving member of Congress in American history and a master of legislative deal-making who was fiercely protective of Detroit's auto industry, has died. The Michigan Democrat was 92. Dingell, who served in the U.S. House for 59 years before retiring in 2014, died Thursday at his home in Dearborn, said his wife, Congresswoman Debbie Dingell. Houston Chronicle


On Jan. 3, China became the first nation to make a soft landing of a spacecraft on the far side of the moon. The subsequent video footage of the Chang’e 4 rover making its way around this unexplored terrain, along with the images of their first-of-its-kind plant experiments, have hearkened us to another era, when NASA’s Apollo astronauts planted the American flag on the moon and returned home with new science, data and perspective on the world and universe that we all share. Las Vegas Sun
VOA VIEW: Good for China, if true.
A small bipartisan group of lawmakers plans to work through the weekend to craft a government spending deal in hopes of averting another partial shutdown by Feb. 15 — but it’s far from certain President Trump will sign the deal. The group is up made of Republicans and Democrats from both the House and Senate. LA Times
VOA VIEW: Dems have to weigh the problem.
Dozens of people packed into the one-room chapel Friday to pray that the 19th century mission known as La Lomita, perched on a hill above the Rio Grande, won’t be sealed off behind a border fence. Worshipers bowed their heads during the Catholic novena prayer vigil, the latest of nine Masses to pray for a favorable outcome. LA Times
Some 800,000 federal workers have only just been made whole for the paychecks they missed in the last government shutdown, and already the deadline looms for the next one. Congress and President Trump must agree by midnight next Friday on a measure to fund government agencies, or else the lights go out again. LA Times
VOA VIEW: It's up to Dems.
Terry McAuliffe, the former governor of Virginia, called on Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax to resign on Friday. New York Times
VOA VIEW: Sad state of events.


To those who are eager to see Virginia move beyond its racist past, this past week’s tribulations have obscured the real progress the state has made in recent decades. New York Times
VOA VIEW: Liberal propaganda.
U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren, struggling to move past criticism over her Native American heritage claims, will aim for a fresh start on Saturday when she formally launches her 2020 presidential campaign. Rueters
VOA VIEW: An idiot.
U.S. negotiators are preparing to press China next week on longstanding demands that it reform how it treats American companies' intellectual property in order to seal a trade deal that could prevent tariffs from rising on Chinese imports. Rueters

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Other enforcement activities also fell, according to agency data. Civil cases EPA started and completed in 2018 hit a 10-year low, and the $69 million in civil penalties it leveled represents the lowest in nearly a quarter-century. Washington Post
Migrants from Central America wait to be processed, say going back is not an option. Earlier in the week, on the U.S. side of the border, about 500 Texas state troopers, 50 reserve deputies from across the state and 250 active duty military were dispatched to the area around Eagle Pass in response to the influx of migrants in Piedras Negras. Alvaro Miranda held up his phone showing a photo of injuries, his arms bruised and beat from a confrontation with a gang in El Salvador.         USA Today
VOA VIEW: Entry must be legal.
Civil rights and child welfare groups are fighting back against the effort, saying they discriminate against LGBTQ individuals and others and create challenges to placing children in safe, happy homes. Washington Post
Pakistani authorities detained a rights activist who led a protest and a journalist who allegedly criticized state agencies on social media, officials said Saturday. Police officer Abdur Rauf said Dr. Ammar Ali Jan, a college professor, was arrested early Saturday after he led a protest. Washington Times


Attorneys for President Donald Trump confidant Roger Stone objected to a possible gag order a federal judge is considering issuing. Attorneys for longtime President Donald Trump confidant and GOP political operative Roger Stone objected to a possibility of a gag order for their client in a court filing Friday, arguing that such a move would unfairly silence their client – whom they describe as “a voice.” The filing comes as the federal judge hearing Stone's case has warned she may impose a gag order prohibiting Stone from speaking out about the case recently brought against him by special counsel Robert Mueller. ABC
VOA VIEW: There is a good point to be made.
More than 200,000 people were arrested trying to cross the U.S.-Mexico border illegally in the past four months, an 85 percent increase from the same period last year. U.S. officials apprehended more than 200,000 people trying to cross the U.S.-Mexico border illegally in the past four months, about an 85 percent increase from the same time last year, according to data released Friday by U.S. Customs and Border Protection. ABC
VOA VIEW: It shows there is a major border problem.
Inside the hospital where there's barely running water, let alone medicines. President Nicolas Maduro promised Venezuelans free medical treatment for all - but hospitals are now only able to offer a bed and little else. Hospital staff and families of patients say the health service has crumbled, neglected by the government over the last five years. BBC
VOA VIEW: Socialism does not work.
President Trump is not meeting the Feb. 7 deadline to determine who is responsible for Jamal Khashoggi's death. It's a congressional deadline originating from the Global Magnitsky Act, which gave the president 120 days to make the determination and state whether the U.S. intends to impose sanctions on any person or persons deemed responsible. A bipartisan group of senators sent a letter to Mr. Trump in October triggering an investigation under the Global Magnitsky Act on whether Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was involved in the death of Khashoggi. CBS
Last year the president was declared in "excellent health," albeit overweight. President Trump's health is "very good," according to White House physician Dr. Sean Conley. Mr. Trump had his second annual physical at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center Friday, after the now-infamous Dr. Ronny Jackson gave him a strict regimen to follow last year. Conley conducted this year's examination on Mr. Trump, which took place "over the course of approximately four hours." CBS

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Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam told his top staff Friday that he is not going to resign over the racist photo that has roiled state politics, despite intense pressure to step down, according to a top administration official. CNBC
VOA VIEW: Northam has nothing to lose.
Fairfax was recently accused of sexual assault by another woman, California university professor Vanessa Tyson. A woman said Friday that Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax had raped her nearly two decades ago. Lawyers for that woman, Meredith Watson, made the accusation in a statement that also called on Fairfax to resign from office. Another woman, California university professor Vanessa Tyson, had recently accused Fairfax of sexual assault in an incident nearly 15 years earlier. CNBC
VOA VIEW: Another long time me too.

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The partial government shutdown that ended last month has delayed about 60,000 immigration court hearings. Kathryn Mattingly, a spokeswoman for the Executive Office for Immigration Review, said Friday that hearings have been rescheduled for the earliest available date. With more than 800,000 pending cases, the immigration courts overseen by the Department of Justice are notoriously backlogged and at least one judge said she has no openings on her calendar until 2022. FOX News
Tempering expectations, the Trump administration's peace envoy for Afghanistan said Friday that although his talks with the Taliban have produced a tentative "framework" agreement, negotiations are far from finished. The envoy, Zalmay Khalilzad, said he hopes a final deal is clinched before Afghanistan's presidential election in July. FOX News
The Amazon CEO has accused the tabloid of threatening to publish nude images of him to stop him investigating acquisition of intimate text messages. A sprawling international scandal involving Jeff Bezos – the owner of Amazon and world’s richest man – and allegations of “extortion and blackmail” by a tabloid publisher threatened on Friday to also engulf Donald Trump as several key questions went unanswered. Guardian
Sleeplessness can blight people’s lives, but until recently it has not been taken seriously. What causes it and how can it be treated?Part of The Ultimate Guide to Sleep: a special supplement appearing in The Guardian on SaturdayI have spent the last 30-plus years trying to understand and find the best solution for the phenomenon of insomnia. Having spoken to countless thousands of patients and research participants, I know that being unable to sleep when you need to, and when you want to, is one of the most frustrating of human experiences. Guardian
Roughly 7,000 protesters confronted IDF forces on Friday during what Palestinians call the March of Return protests. Jerusalem Post
VOA VIEW: Don't get in harms way. Inc is exploring alternatives to locating part of its new headquarters in New York in case the plan should fail due to local opposition, a person briefed on the matter told Reuters on Friday. Reuters
Pakistan, long at odds with the United States over the war in Afghanistan, has begun to play a behind-the-scenes but central role in supporting U.S. peace talks with the Afghan Taliban, including by facilitating travel to negotiations, U.S. officials and Taliban sources told Reuters. Reuters
The owner of the National Enquirer on Friday said it would investigate claims by Jeff Bezos that the tabloid had attempted to blackmail the billionaire by threatening to release sexually explicit photographs. American Media Inc (AMI) said it believed it had “acted lawfully” after Mr Bezos published emails appearing to show the tabloid asking him to retract suggestions that political motives drove their decision to reveal his extramarital affair, in return for not publishing the images. Telegraph
Evidence collected in Turkey shows on initial examination, that former dissident and journalist Jamal Khashoggi was the victim of “a brutal and premeditated killing, planned and perpetrated by officials of the State of Saudi Arabia,” according to the United Nations expert conducting an independent human rights inquiry into his death. UN News
Former FBI Director James Comey called Thursday for the removal of Confederate statues in Virginia's capital in the wake of blackface scandals involving top statewide elected officials, in an op-ed for The Washington Post. CNN
VOA VIEW: Comey is an idiot.
President Donald Trump marked the death of former Rep. John Dingell on Friday by ordering flags at public sites to fly at half-staff until sunset Saturday. UPI
Wireless carrier Sprint is suing AT&T, saying its competitor's "5GE" promotional campaign is "deceptive" and illegal. Sprint accuses AT&T of running an advertising blitz that is "falsely and misleadingly stating that AT&T offers its wireless service on a 5G network" and incorrectly telling customers their phones are operating on a 5G network when they are instead connected to a 4G LTE network. UPI

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