With a growing debate on social media and in political circles about the impact of the GOP tax cuts as Americans file their taxes for 2018, the Treasury Department on Monday disputed reports that the tax cutting plan had failed to deliver tax savings, amid stories of a drop in the size of tax refunds early in the tax filing season. Atlanta Journal
VOA VIEW: Liberal deception.
Key lawmakers said late Monday that they had reached a tentative agreement over immigration rules and funding for border barriers, a deal that if signed by President Donald Trump would avert another government shutdown set to start at week's end. White House officials did not have an immediate response. Baltimore Sun
VOA VIEW: Trump must not except a bad deal.
President Donald Trump went to Texas to push his immigration policies but turned first to mocking Beto O'Rourke, the former Democratic congressman from Texas now mulling a presidential run, as the two held dueling rallies in El Paso on Monday evening. Baltimore Sun
VOA VIEW: The liberal media will not report that Beto had a bad low turnout.
Long lost grand jury transcripts that could shed light on one of Georgia’s most notorious unsolved lynching cases should be released, a federal appeals panel affirmed on Monday. Long lost grand jury transcripts that could shed light on one of Georgia’s most notorious unsolved lynching cases should be released, a federal appeals panel affirmed on Monday. The transcripts from the federal grand jury that met in Athens in December 1946 to hear evidence in the Moore’s Ford lynching are one of the last hopes for shedding light on the murders of two African-American couples in rural Walton County. Atlanta Journal
VOA VIEW: Reverse history or truth.


For years, the investigation found, the Southern Baptist Convention refused to keep track of these pastors, youth pastors and other leaders. Since 1998, about 220 church pastors, leaders, employees and volunteers within the Southern Baptist Convention have been convicted of sex crimes or took plea deals, according to an exclusive Houston Chronicle and San Antonio Express-News investigation. Houston Chronicle
In his State of the Union address last week, Trump cast himself as Horatius at the bridge standing against the Red Menace: “We renew our resolve that America will never be a socialist country.” Yet in referring to “new calls to adopt socialism in our country,” he had a point. “We socialists are trying to save capitalism, and the damned capitalists won’t let us.” Political scientist Mason Williams cited this cheeky but accurate comment by New Deal lawyer Jerome Frank to make a point easily lost in the new war on socialism President Donald Trump has launched: Socialism goes back a long way in the United States, and it has taken doses of it to keep the market system alive. Las Vegas Sun
VOA VIEW: Silly thought.
The #MeToo movement has brought a reckoning to some of the most powerful men on earth, from politicians and movie magnates in the United States to business titans and Bollywood legends in India. The latest example was the former Costa Rican president Óscar Arias Sánchez, a Nobel laureate who was accused last week of sexual misconduct by multiple women. Yet the movement has had little effect on the broader problem of sexual abuse, harassment and violence by men who are neither famous nor particularly powerful. Las Vegas Sun
On the fifth day of deliberations, at least one juror in the federal case against Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman appears confused about how to handle the complex set of charges against the Mexican drug kingpin. The morning was spent once again sifting through and likely debating some parts of the trial. LA Times
El Grande Supermarket in Tampa will pony up $198,039 in back pay and damages after demonstrating great diversity in ways of violating federal pay rules and the U.S. Department of Labor. Miami Herald


Several French journalists have been suspended for allegedly coordinating online harassment through a private Facebook group. French newspaper Liberation and cultural magazine Les Inrockuptibles announced on Monday they have suspended three journalists working for them, including the creator of the group. New York Post
President Trump blasted Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Green New Deal as a flunky high school idea Monday night, prompting the Bronx congresswoman to mock the president’s intellect. Trump was holding a rally in El Paso where he said Ocasio-Cortez’s signature plan to combat climate change “sounds like a high school term paper that got a low grade. New York Post
VOA VIEW: Cortez is and acts like a child.
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand’s first big speech as a presidential candidate took place at a women’s march in Des Moines last month. Though a few women are running, she is the only one making feminism the central theme of her candidacy. New York Times
VOA VIEW: No chance.

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San Diego police are searching for a man who fired gunshots into a downtown nightclub last month and multiple law enforcement sources said the shooter allegedly has ties to the Arellano Félix cartel, a Mexican drug cartel based in Tijuana. San Diego Tribune
A British government-commissioned report is calling for a regulator to oversee online platforms such as Facebook and Google to help weed out “fake news.” Academic Frances Cairncross says tech firms should be obliged to help users understand the origin of news articles and the trustworthiness of their sources. Seattle Times
With Democrats now controlling both chambers of the Legislature, Mayor Bill de Blasio, a Democrat, received an unusually kind reception on Monday during his annual appearance at a state budget hearing. New York Times
VOA VIEW: Dems deserve each other.
Climate experts in the Aloha State told USA TODAY on Monday that tourists cannot escape climate change — not even on the islands, where 60-foot waves and wind gusts up to 191 mph were part of a fierce weekend storm that downed power lines and felled trees.         USA Today


Mueller's investigation has cast a shadow over nearly all of the first two years of Trump's presidency. Prosecutors working to determine whether Trump's campaign coordinated with Russian efforts to sway the election that put him in office have brought charges against some of his top aides and revealed extensive Moscow ties. As the inquiry grinds closer to its conclusion, there are signs that the public might never learn the full extent of what Mueller has – or hasn't – found.         USA Today
VOA VIEW: A quack.
Republican lawmakers said they “are doing the long-term responsible thing.” Critics say the plan will cover fewer people at greater cost, while “the voters’ intent is playing second fiddle.” Washington Post
Federal transportation officials say dozens of firearms were seized in Tennessee's largest airports last year. The Transportation Security Administration said on its website that Nashville International Airport ranked No. 10 in the country with 86 firearms seized at security checkpoints last year. Washington Times
President Donald Trump reacted to Sen. Amy Klobuchar's announcement in snowy Minnesota by questioning global warming. Minnesota Democratic Sen. Amy Klobuchar on Monday refuted President Donald Trump's questioning whether climate change is real because it was snowing heavily when she announced this weekend she's running for president. "Okay. That is so wrong," Klobuchar said on ABC's "Good Morning America" in her first network ABC
VOA VIEW: Klobuchar is a nobody who wants to be somebody - foolish.
The allegations span 20 years and multiple states. The Houston Chronicle and the San Antonio Express-News published a six month investigation into allegations of widespread sex abuse, reporting that 380 church leaders and volunteers faced allegations of sexual misconduct. The investigation was a joint effort between the two newspapers -- both of which published the same, explosive report in their respective publications on Sunday. Of the 380 individuals who have faced or are facing allegations of sexual misconduct, about 220 have either been convicted or accepted plea deals in connection to their misconduct, and dozens of pending cases remain unresolved, according to the investigation. ABC

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Russia may briefly disconnect from the internet as part of a test of its cyber-defenses. The test will mean data passing between Russian citizens and organizations stays inside the nation rather than being routed internationally. A draft law mandating technical changes needed to operate independently was introduced to its parliament last year. The test is expected to happen before 1 April but no exact date has been set. The draft law, called the Digital Economy National Program, requires Russia's ISPs to ensure that it can operate in the event of foreign powers acting to isolate the country online. Nato and its allies have threatened to sanction Russia over the cyber-attacks and other online interference which it is regularly accused of instigating. BBC
VOA VIEW: A means to control the people.
Google and Facebook should be overseen to ensure their news content is trustworthy, a report recommends. The Cairncross Review into the future of the UK news industry said such sites should help users identify fake news and "nudge people towards reading news of high quality". It also backed tax reliefs to encourage the provision of local journalism. In addition, the report called for a new Institute for Public Interest News. Such a body, it said, could work in a similar way to the Arts Council, channeling public and private funding to "those parts of the industry it deemed most worthy of support". BBC
VOA VIEW: Control and regulation is a must.
Two women have now accused Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax of sexual assault, and many are calling for his resignation. Fairfax has denied the claims, saying they are an attempt to "smear" him as his political profile rises. The situation draws parallels to the allegations Brett Kavanaugh faced during his Supreme Court confirmation hearings last year, which many said was a loss for the #MeToo movement. Washington Post national columnist Karen Tumulty joined CBSN to discuss her recent column comparing the two. CBS
VOA VIEW: The truth hurts.

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The children's brand is planning to return as Tru Kids, with smaller stores and a stronger e-commerce presence. Toys R Us fans in the U.S. should see the iconic brand re-emerge in some form by this holiday season. Richard Barry, a former Toys R Us executive and now CEO of the new company called Tru Kids Inc., told The Associated Press he and his team are still working on the details, but they're exploring various options including freestanding stores and shops within existing stores. He said e-commerce will play a key role: $20 million severance fund started for Toys R Us workers, and Toys for Tots takes hit from Toys R Us closing. CBS
Buttigieg's views on climate change, taxes and health care prove his progressive credentials — though they're less extreme than his Democratic competitors. Like any number of other Democrats who have already jumped into the 2020 race, presidential hopeful Pete Buttigieg holds progressive views on climate change, income inequality and health care. What sets his exploratory committee apart from the sprawling list of would-be challengers to President Donald Trump? The young mayor of South Bend, Indiana, says it's his approach. CNBC
VOA VIEW: A foolish endeavor.
"If you are a member of Congress, you are going to try to extract everything you can from the opposite party; however, you realize that the political cost and the economic cost are simply just too high," says Pimco's Libby Cantrill. The odds of another government shutdown are "quite low," Libby Cantrill, the head of public policy at Pimco, told CNBC on Monday. Talks to avoid the partial shutdown have stalled, with members of Congress unable to find common ground on border security. The deadline to reach a deal is end of day Friday. CNBC
VOA VIEW: Maybe, or maybe not.
Donald Trump Jr.'s comment on social media was in response to a tweet from the President, who on Saturday attacked Warren and emphasized the word "trail" in a tweet widely construed to be a mocking reference to the Trail of Tears, the forced relocation of thousands of Native Americans which led to thousands of deaths. Donald Trump Jr. later posted a screenshot of his father's tweet on Instagram along with a reply by another user that said." CNN
When asked if she is concerned with President Trump's tweets referencing the Trail of Tears, Congresswoman Liz Cheney turns to slam presidential hopeful Elizabeth Warren for claiming Native American heritage. CNN
VOA VIEW: Warren is an idiot.
A powerful House chairman is warning members of his panel that anti-Semitism will not be tolerated after a freshman member sparked a bipartisan backlash to a tweet criticizing an American organization that supports Israel. Freshman Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar "unequivocally" apologized Monday for tweets suggesting that members of Congress support Israel because they are being paid to do so, which drew bipartisan criticism and a rebuke from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. The Minnesota Democrat said she had no intention offending anyone, including Jewish Americans. FOX News
VOA VIEW: Omar is an idiot.
Cairncross review warns that closure of local newspapers threatens democracy. Local news coverage could disappear unless the government provides direct financial support, according to an independent report on the future of the British media, which warns the industry’s collapse poses a threat to the “long-term sustainability of democracy”. Dame Frances Cairncross was appointed by the government last year to investigate ways to secure the future of high-quality journalism in Britain. Guardian
According to the combat activities exception, armed forces cannot be sued for damages if they negligently harm a citizen of an enemy. Jerusalem Post
The top four Democratic and Republican congressional negotiators on border security funding resumed talks on Monday, with the possibility of another partial U.S. government shutdown looming if they fail to reach a deal by a Friday deadline. The talks, which had broken down over the weekend, restarted in the U.S. Capitol just hours before a scheduled rally in the Texas border city of El Paso, where President Donald Trump will promote his promised wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, a proposal opposed by Democrats. Reuters
Eating white bread and ready meals could be killing us, according to the first major study linking “ultra-processed” food with early death. The study of 45,000 middle-aged people found that every 10 per cent increase in intake of “ultra-processed food” was linked to a 14 per cent increased risk of death within the next eight years. Previous research has linked consumption of foods like white bread, ready meals, sausages, sugary cereals, fizzy drinks to a higher risk of high blood pressure and cancer. Telegraph
Though attacks were down last year, a new United Nations report to the Security Council on Monday shows that ISIL is still a global threat, despite evolving into a “covert” terrorism network, with countries continuing to face challenges from the growing scourge of violent extremism. UN News
VICS Acquisition, a Harlingen, Texas, food processor, is recalling 99,975 pounds of frozen chicken sold under the happi foodi and Southeast Grocers brands. The products contain eggs, an allergen known to cause immune problems in some consumers. The presence of eggs is not mentioned on the label. UPI
President Donald Trump's former attorney, Michael Cohen, postponed his scheduled appearance before the Senate intelligence committee, citing medical reasons. The committee subpoenaed Cohen, 52, to testify Tuesday, as part of the panel's Russian interference investigation, but his attorney said Monday that the hearing would need to be postponed as his client recovers from shoulder surgery. UPI
VOA VIEW: Faking to get out of testifying.
Last night, amidst the hubbub of the Grammys, Disney released the first TV spot for its upcoming live-action version of Aladdin. Directed by Guy Ritchie, it features Hot Jafar, a sweeping soundtrack, and Will Smith as the iconic Genie (the character voiced by Robin Williams in the animated 1992 film). The trailer itself looked fine; Smith's Genie, however, looked, well, off. Wired

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