Former Texas Rep. Beto O'Rourke formally announced Thursday that he'll seek the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, ending months of intense speculation over whether he'd try to translate his newfound political celebrity into a White House bid. Baltimore Sun
Gambino crime family boss Francesco Cali was gunned down Wednesday night in front of his Staten Island home, police sources said. Cali, 53, was shot six times in the chest by a gunman in a blue pickup truck on Hilltop Terrace near Four Corners Road in Todt Hill about 9:15 p.m. Medics took him to... Baltimore Sun
VOA VIEW: The higher you go the harder you can fall.
Gov. Roy Cooper argued for higher teacher pay in a Charlotte visit Wednesday as Republican leaders claimed credit for advancing North Carolina several notches in a national pay ranking. Cooper … Charlotte Observer


In early voting states, O’Rourke is among a handful of top contenders that already have name recognition and fundraising ability for a national campaign. Houston Chronicle
VOA VIEW: A waste of time.
President Donald Trump has done his level best to tank his presidency. The trade and budget deficits are soaring, his legal woes are mushrooming, his North Korea policy collapsed, Democrats beat him on the border wall and the Republican Senate … Las Vegas Sun
VOA VIEW: Liberal propaganda.
Nevada may be the newest state to allow the use of cameras to help catch vehicles that run red lights, if a bill currently going through the committee process is signed into law ... Las Vegas Sun
As a self-described Republican dirty trickster, Roger Stone spent decades gleefully and gratuitously inspiring ire among his critics and opponents. Now the former political advisor to President Trump is struggling to stay out of jail while awaiting trial in the Russia investigation. Stone is due... LA Times
VOA VIEW: Stone is a fool.
The State Department released its annual human rights report Wednesday with blistering criticism for China, a pass for ally Saudi Arabia and less harsh views on North Korea. The report says the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi by Saudi government agents last year constituted a human rights... LA Times
President Donald Trump has grounded all Boeing 737 Max 8 and 9 airplanes in the U.S. following a deadly plane crash in Ethiopia killed 157 people on Sunday. Other countries, … Miami Herald


Taiwan's foreign minister says Washington should be concerned for strategic reasons that Taiwan is losing its diplomatic allies in Latin America to rival China. Latin American nations have been switching … Miami Herald
Johnson & Johnson must pay $29 million to a woman who claimed its baby powder gave her terminal cancer, a California jury ruled Wednesday. A Superior Court jury in Oakland found the world’s largest health care company mainly liable for Teresa Leavitt’s mesothelioma. The verdict said that the baby powder was a... New York Post
VOA VIEW: A large award.
The mastermind of the $25 million college-admissions racket pitched his crooked services as a surefire way for wealthy parents to get their underqualified kids into some of the nation’s top universities — and far more effective than making big-bucks donations to the schools without any guarantees. New York Post
VOA VIEW: it's called bilking the rich.
Amid a measles outbreak in New York, a federal judge denied a request by 28 parents for an order to let their unvaccinated children return to their private school. New York Times
VOA VIEW: There others to think of.

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Facebook’s offices in Menlo Park, Calif. A federal grand jury is looking at partnerships that gave tech companies broad access to Facebook users’ information. New York Times
General Electric Co forecast adjusted earnings of 50 cents to 60 cents per share in its 2019 outlook on Thursday, below analysts' expectations of around 70 cents as new Chief Executive Larry Culp plows ahead with asset sales and restructuring. Rueters
The U.S. Senate was poised on Thursday to pass a proposal to terminate President Donald Trump's declaration of an emergency at the southern border, defying his threat to veto the measure and heavy lobbying of his fellow Republicans. Rueters
VOA VIEW: Republicans are their worst enemies.


The decision by Gov. Gavin Newsom to grant a sweeping reprieve from execution for all 737 inmates on the state’s death row, shutter the execution chamber and discard the state’s capital punishment protocol reverberated through San Diego’s legal community Wednesday. Prosecutors, lawyers, death penalty... San Diego Tribune
VOA VIEW: There is something wrong with Newsom.
San Diego County had the second-most home price reductions in the nation so far in 2019, said research from real estate website Trulia. Price reductions are more common in the winter months, but San Diego County hasn’t seen as many cutbacks since 2014 when the market was still crawling out of the... San Diego Tribune
In declaring a state of emergency, President Trump is using pre-existing statutory authority to address a legitimate crisis.         USA Today
VOA VIEW: It is what it is.
New plan would shutter U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services offices worldwide that handle emergencies, adoption petitions and citizenship applications from U.S. military families. Washington Post
VOA VIEW: A good start.
Two years after New Mexico's largest county barred local law enforcement from cooperating with immigration authorities, its leaders learned that the policy was being subverted from within. Staff members at the Bernalillo County jail in Albuquerque were still granting immigration authorities access to its database and, in ... Washington Times

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Eager posters everywhere were forced to table foodie photos, kid pics, sponsored influencer posts and relationship status updates for a little while as Facebook and Instagram experienced widespread outages Wednesday afternoon. "We’re aware that some people are currently having trouble accessing the Facebook family of apps," a Facebook spokesperson told ABC News. "We’re working to resolve the issue as soon as possible." ABC
VOA VIEW: The problem will only be fixed when sanctions are instituted.
Democratic Sen. Doug Jones, a former prosecutor, said he doubts that the long-awaited report from special counsel Robert Mueller’s office will be the "blockbuster" that many of President Donald Trump’s critics are hoping for. On the other hand, Jones said, he also doubts that the report will contain "information that's going to exonerate a lot of people, as the president's supporters would suggest and would hope." ABC
VOA VIEW: Most have figured it has been a waste of time and money.
MPs have voted to reject leaving the EU without a withdrawal agreement. Theresa May said there was a "clear majority" against a no-deal Brexit but the "legal default" was that the UK would leave without a deal on 29 March if no deal is reached. MPs will now get a vote on delaying Brexit, said the prime minister. That vote will take place on Thursday, and if it is passed - and the EU agrees to it - the UK will not leave the EU as planned on 29 March. There could be a short extension - or a much longer one - depending on whether MPs backed her withdrawal deal "in the coming days", said the prime minister. BBC
VOA VIEW: England must be free.

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Former campaign manager Paul Manafort had pleaded guilty to charges stemming from the special counsel. BBC
The head of a California venture capital firm is out of a job after being charged in a sweeping college admissions scam. Manuel Henriquez, co-founder, chairman and CEO of Hercules Capital, as "voluntarily stepped aside," though he will remain a board member and adviser, the Silicon Valley-based financial firm said Wednesday. Released on $500,000 bail after his arrest on fraud charges Tuesday, Hernriquez is accused of paying at least $250,000 to buy his daughter's entry into Georgetown University, and is one of 50 people indicted in a scheme unveiled by federal prosecutors on Tuesday. CBS
VOA VIEW: The scandal is real and the punishment should be directed.
The State Department's report calls out Saudi Arabia for Khashoggi's killing but also does not mention Mohammed bin Salman CBS
What happened when Warren Buffett, Jamie Dimon and Jeff Bezos, technology's biggest power player, got together to try to disrupt health care? The market went absolutely bonkers. In January of 2018, three corporate giants -- Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway and J.P. Morgan -- announced that they wanted to do something about the problem of rising health care costs for their employees and a lack of improvement in care. In response to that news, health care stocks shed billions in value. CVS Health, Walmart, Cardinal Health and Express Scripts were among those affected. CNBC
VOA VIEW: Control is what Amazon and the others want.
Daniel Elwell said the FAA grounded the aircraft after receiving new actionable data. CNBC
Sterling rose on Wednesday after U.K. lawmakers rejected leaving the European Union without a withdrawal agreement. CNBC
President Donald Trump says new information about the crash of an Ethiopian Air Boeing 737 Max 8 led his administration to order the immediate grounding of all Max 8 and 9 aircraft in the US. CNN
Former acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker did not deny talking with President Donald Trump about Michael Cohen's case, the President's former personal attorney, House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler told reporters Wednesday. Nadler also said that Whitaker, who was in charge of the Justice Department from November until February, told the committee leaders Wednesday he was involved in conversations about Southern District of New York US Attorney Geoffrey Berman's. But the top Republican on the committee pushed back on Whitaker's comments in the closed-door meeting with the Judiciary Committee leaders, disputing Nadler's characterization of Whitaker's comments. CNN
VOA VIEW: Liberal media trash.
U.S. defense officials say they are planning an initial test in August of a type of cruise missile that has been banned by treaty for more than 30 years. FOX News
The White House and Republican senators sought compromise on limiting presidents' powers to unilaterally declare national emergencies, as chances improved that President Donald Trump might avoid a long-expected rejection by Congress of his effort to divert billions more for building barriers along the Mexican border. FOX News
VOA VIEW: Republicans would be wise to support Trump.
PM signals she will put her deal to parliament again after cabinet splits three ways and government defeated twiceLive: MPs told to pass deal by next WednesdayTheresa May will attempt one final desperate roll of the dice on her Brexit deal, issuing a stark warning to mutinous Brexiteers that they must approve her offer by next week or face a long article 50 extension.The prime minister was humiliated yet again amid chaotic scenes on Wednesday night in parliament, as her cabinet ruptured three ways and MPs inflicted two more defeats on the government to demand no deal should be permanently be taken off the table. Guardian
The US State Department changed its usual description of the Golan Heights from "Israeli-occupied" to "Israeli-controlled" in an annual global human rights report released on Wednesday. Jerusalem Post
Hezbollah’s role in Syria is part of larger network of Iranian-backed groups seeking to threaten Israel and to create a corridor of Iranian influence across Iraq and Syria. Jerusalem Post
California Governor Gavin Newsom on Wednesday imposed a moratorium on the death penalty as the possibility of the first executions in the state in 13 years loomed, causing him a crisis of conscience. Reuters
VOA VIEW: Newsom is a liberal idiot.
The U.S. Senate appeared poised to pass a proposal to terminate President Donald Trump's declaration of an emergency at the southern border, despite his threat to veto the measure and heavy lobbying of his fellow Republicans. Reuters
VOA VIEW: Those who vote against Trump are making a major mistake.
A new UN-led plan has been unveiled to tackle the estimated one billion cases of influenza which occur each year, and protect against the “real” threat of a global pandemic, the head of the organization’s health agency said on Monday. UN News
Senate Democrats reiterated their objections to the cuts the White House proposed this week to Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security UPI
VOA VIEW: Dems are fools.
The U.S. Air Force announced the delivery of its newest gunship on Wednesday as the AC-130J Ghostrider was unveiled at Hurlburt Field, Fla. UPI

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