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NEWS   SUNDAY, FEBRUARY  19, 2017   NEWS

China Grants Trump A Trademark He's Been Seeking For A Decade
Trump fought unsuccessfully in Chinese courts for years to try to gain control of the trademark, but his fortunes changed suddenly last year during the latter stages of his campaign for the White House. China's trademark review board announced in September it had invalidated a rival claim for the Trump trademark, clearing the way for Trump to move in. In November, soon after the election, it awarded the trademark to the Trump Organization. The trademark was officially registered this week after a three-month notice period for objections expired. CNN
VOA VIEW: CNN will fabricate any news that they think will make Trump look unstable.

New U.S. Travel Ban To Spare Green Card Holders: Trump Official
A new version of a Trump administration travel ban will not stop green card residency holders or travelers already on planes from entering the United States, U.S. Secretary for Homeland Security John Kelly said on Saturday. U.S. President Donald Trump's initial attempt to clamp down for security reasons on immigration from seven Muslim-majority countries and on refugees snarled to a halt amid a judicial backlash and chaos at airports. "The president is contemplating releasing a tighter, more streamlined version of the first (order). And I will have opportunity to work (on) a rollout plan, in particular to make sure that there's no one in a sense caught in the system of moving from overseas to our airports," Kelly said at the Munich Security Conference. Reuters

'Blind Sheikh' Convicted In 1993 World Trade Bombing Dies In U.S. Prison
Omar Abdel-Rahman, the Muslim cleric known as "the blind sheikh" who was convicted of conspiracy in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and of planning a broader "war of urban terrorism" in the United States, died on Saturday in a North Carolina prison, authorities said. Abdel-Rahman, 78, died of natural causes at 9:40 a.m. (1440 GMT) at a medical center at a federal prison compound in Butner, North Carolina, according to Greg Norton, a spokesman. The cleric, who had diabetes and coronary artery disease, had been incarcerated at the complex for nearly 10 years, Norton said. Reuters

Pence Tells Europe: US Backs NATO, Will Put ISIS on ‘Ash-Heap’
The U.S. will consign the terrorist group ISIS "to the ash-heap of history," support NATO and will take a tough stance on Russia, Vice President Mike Pence said at an international security conference on Saturday in Germany. "Throughout the Middle East, radical Islamic terrorists have found safe havens — and secured vast resources — that have allowed them to launch attacks here in Europe and inspire attacks in the United States," Pence said, speaking at the Munich Security Conference. "As President Trump has made clear, the United States will fight tirelessly to crush these enemies — especially ISIS and its so-called caliphate — and consign them to the ash-heap of history, where they belong," he said. MSNBC

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McCain: Dictators 'Get Started By Suppressing Free Press'
Sen. John McCain slammed President Donald Trump's attacks on the media this week by noting dictators "get started by suppressing free press." It was a startling observation from a sitting member of Congress against the President of the United States, especially considering McCain is a member of Trump's party. "I hate the press," the Arizona Republican sarcastically told NBC News' Chuck Todd on "Meet the Press." "I hate you especially. But the fact is we need you. We need a free press. We must have it. It's vital." CNN
VOA VIEW: CNN is in a war they can't and must not win.

Trump Party: Italian Politician Borrows President’s Name
Donald Trump may be working to make America great again, but Gianni Musetti is hoping the president will help do the same for Italy. The right-wing mayoral hopeful has gone so far as to launch the "Trump Party" in ancient Tuscan town of Carrara. "I have known who Trump is for a long time because I am a big fan of wrestling," said Musetti, referring to Trump's links to the WWE. "Then, when I watched his rise to power, I saw in him the leader that we in Italy haven't had for years."  The 31-year-old said "Trump" was an obvious name for his new party because he sees the president as the heir to Italy's last strong conservative leader — Silvio Berlusconi, the billionaire who was elected prime minister four times before being ousted in 2011. "They are very similar," said Musetti, who is also the leader of the right-wing "Gioventu' italiana" youth movement. "They are both successful businessmen who gave up a comfortable life to get into politics at the service of the people," he added. MSNBC

Trump To Interview Bolton, 3 Others For National Security Adviser Post
President Trump will interview former U.N. ambassador John Bolton and at least three military officers this weekend for the job of national security adviser, the White House said Saturday. Mr. Trump will speak Sunday with Mr. Bolton, said White House press secretary Sean Spicer. The president is staying at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Fla., for the weekend. The president also will interview Army strategist Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster, acting national security adviser Keith Kellogg and West Point superintendent Lt. Col. Robert Caslen. Mr. Spicer said there are “potentially more” candidates for the job. He said former CIA Director David Petraeus is officially out of the running. Washington Times

IRS Offers Extended Customer Service Hours This Weekend To Get A Jump On Filings
The IRS is offering extended telephone help desk Saturday and even Monday, a federal holiday, to help taxpayers get a start on their filings. The Tuesday following the Washington’s Birthday holiday is typically the busiest day of the year for telephone calls, with the IRS fielding thousands of calls her hour. But taxpayers can take advantage of the weekend hours and get a jump. The lines Saturday are open until 5 p.m. local time. Monday, phones will be answered for an even bigger window, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. local time. “During this peak time of the tax filing season, the IRS opened its customer service lines on Saturday and Monday of the Presidents Day weekend,” said IRS spokesman Matt Leas. “The IRS wants taxpayers to know that we’re here to help during this peak period, but IRS.gov has the answers to many standard questions.” Washington Times

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Authorities 'Strongly Encourage' House Members To Review Security Plans Before Week Of Town Halls
House lawmakers are being told by law enforcement to maintain “enhanced security awareness” as they return to their home districts for a week -- following several raucous town hall meeting in which congressional Republicans were ripped over plans to dismantle ObamaCare and other GOP initiatives. The advisory issued Thursday by the House Sergeant at Arms “strongly encouraged” the chamber’s roughly 435 members to review security protocols as they leave Capitol Hill for a “District Work Period,” which historically includes town hall-style events and other interactions with constituents. Fox News
VOA VIEW: Liberals are getting very dumb.

Petraeus Out Of The Running For National Security Adviser
Sources close to retired Gen. David Petraeus say the White House eliminated the former CIA director from consideration for the open national security adviser post after he weighed in on the job during a conference in Germany this week. ”Whoever it is that would agree to take that position certainly should do so with some very, very significant assurances that he or she would have authorities over the personnel of the organization -- that there would be a commitment to a disciplined process and procedures,” Petraeus said at the Munich Security Conference. That pronouncement angered the White House as it deepened the sense the next national security adviser must assert authority over staff and the inter-agency process -- highlighting the reason Vice Adm. Robert Harward refused to take the job earlier this week. Two sources confirmed to CBS News that Harward had demanded his own team, and the White House resisted. CBS

Trump's Navy Secretary Nominee On The Verge Of Withdrawing
Two sources close to the situation tell CBS News that President Trump’s Navy Secretary nominee Philip Bilden is likely to withdraw his nomination. The sources said Bilden, a former Army Reserve military officer with little naval experience, has drawn resistance to his lack of familiarity with Navy issues and has encountered difficulty separating himself from his financial interests. But the White House has publicly denied that Bilden is reconsidering his nomination. CBS

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Trump Returns To Florida For Campaign Rally, Hoping To Reignite Voters With Unfiltered Message
President Trump returns to friendly and familiar ground Saturday with a campaign rally in Florida, after a challenging first several weeks in the White House, largely deprived of the voter enthusiasm that helped propel him to his unexpected November win. Trump will hold the event inside an airplane hangar in the central Florida city of Melbourne. The Republican president visited Florida nearly two dozen times during the 2016 presidential campaign and won the state after Democratic President Obama was victorious there in 2008 and 2012. Fox News
VOA VIEW: Trump won the peoples hearts.

Anxieties Rise At Detroit Haven For Asylum Seekers
Lucy Neighbor knew that to start over after fleeing torture, bloodshed and repression in her native Cameroon, she needed to find something called Freedom House. She managed to reach the place in 2008, and though she wasn't exactly sure what it was, she felt at home the moment the door opened. "When you come here, the person talking to you has so much compassion and love. All the anxiety, all the fear starts just going," said Neighbor, 41, who became a U.S. citizen last year and now works at a Detroit-area hotel. Freedom House is a haven in Detroit for asylum seekers that bills itself as the only facility in the U.S. providing temporary housing, legal aid and other services under one roof and at no charge. For more than three decades, the nonprofit organization has welcomed immigrants from around the globe, especially Africa, Latin America, South Asia and the Middle East. ABC

Columbia University Accidentally Sent Acceptance Letters To 277 Applicants
An Ivy League university informed more than 200 students that they'd been accepted earlier this week, but it turned out to be a mistake. Columbia University said it accidentally sent acceptance emails to 277 prospective students on Wednesday and then recalled them. The university said the notices "incorrectly implied" that they'd been admitted to its Mailman School of Public Health Master's program. Columbia said it sent a follow-up email within an hour saying the initial notice was sent erroneously. ABC

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Superbugs, Climate Chaos Have Bill Gates And The UN Worried
Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates joined the United Nations to warn world leaders about a new series of threats shaping up as megatrends, led by global warming, superbugs and artificial intelligence. U.S. Vice President Michael Pence and trans-Atlantic military officials were on the receiving end of the warnings issued by Gates, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres and German Chancellor Angela Merkel. They all said that the world isn’t prepared to deal with the emerging risks. “The next epidemic could originate on the computer screen of a terrorist intent on using genetic engineering to create a synthetic version of the smallpox virus, or a super contagious and deadly strain of the flu,” said Gates, whose private foundation helps combat public health and global warming problems. “Getting ready for a global pandemic is every bit as important as nuclear deterrence and avoiding a climate catastrophe.” Bloomberg

U.S. Policy On North Korea ‘Not Working,’ Chinese Official Says
The U.S. policy of maintaining sanctions and military pressure on North Korea while refusing to talk to the country isn’t working and will only make matters worse, a Chinese official said Saturday, venting Beijing’s impatience with the stalemate over its isolated neighbor. “China just keeps on telling you this is not working, although we’re going along with you,” Fu Ying, who chairs the Foreign Affairs Committee of China’s legislature and was a vice foreign minister until 2013, said at the Munich Security Conference. “You have to realize -- without talking with them, you will only drive them in the wrong direction further.” Bloomberg
VOA VIEW: N Korea has been extorting the US for a long time.

A Month Of Trump: Tweets And Turmoil For The 45th President
One month after the inauguration, the stretch of Pennsylvania Avenue in front of Donald Trump's White House still is a hard-hat zone. Skeletal remains of the inaugural reviewing stands poke skyward. Random piles of plywood and cables are heaped on the ground inside crooked lines of metal fencing. The disarray outside the president's front door, though not his fault, serves as a metaphor for the tumult still unfolding inside. Four weeks in, the man who says he inherited "a mess" at home and abroad is presiding over a White House that is widely described as itself being a mess. Las Vegas Sun

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Rex Tillerson Reaffirms Defense Pledge, Condemns North Korea Rights Violations
U.S. State Secretary Rex Tillerson pledged U.S. commitment to the defense of Japan and South Korea, including the assurance to provide extended nuclear deterrence to its allies, on the sidelines of the Group of 20 foreign ministers' meeting. The meeting marks the first time Tillerson has met with both foreign ministers.
Tillerson, who was in Bonn, Germany, for ministerial-level talks of the 20 major world economies, also exchanged views with South Korean Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se and Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida on the recent assassination of Kim Jong Nam at an airport in Malaysia, South Korean newspaper Donga Ilbo reported. UPI News

At Least Four Dead As Powerful Storm Pounds Southern California
At least four people died as the result of heavy rains and intense winds brought on by a powerful storm in Southern California. Heavy precipitation covered the roads in San Diego with at least eight inches of rain, causing a pair of fatal crashes, while mudslides, rushing water and falling trees caused significant damage and left at least two more people dead. California Highway Patrol reported that a car struck multiple vehicles, killing one person and leaving three injured after hydroplaning on across Interstate 15 in San Diego. UPI News

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PENCE: IRAN WON’T HAVE NUCLEAR WEAPONS TO USE AGAINST US OR ISRAEL
The United States will stop Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons that can be used against it or Israel, Vice President Mike Pence told the Munich Security Conference on Saturday, just days after meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Washington. “Under President [Donald] Trump, the US will remain fully committed to ensuring that Iran never obtains a nuclear weapon capable of threatening our country [or] our allies in the region, especially Israel,” Pence said. Jerusalem Post

TRUMP'S DEFENSE CHIEF VISITS UAE IN FIRST MIDDLE EAST TRIP
US President Donald Trump's defense secretary arrived in the United Arab Emirates on Saturday for talks with one of Washington's closest allies in the Middle East. Jim Mattis, on his debut trip to the region as Pentagon chief, was expected to meet Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahayan and US embassy representatives. US officials have not disclosed details about his agenda. Jerusalem Post

Mosul Battle: UN Plea To Protect Trapped Civilians
The UN humanitarian co-ordinator for Iraq, Lise Grande, told the BBC Iraq had made this its priority when it won back the east of the city. But the western side, with its narrow streets, may prove a bigger challenge. Leaflets warning residents of an imminent offensive have been dropped. Mosul is the last major base of IS in Iraq, and the operation to drive the militant group from the city started in October. BBC

Donald Trump Savages Media At Florida Rally
He told the crowd the media did not want "to report the truth" and had their own agenda. The gathering in Melbourne is similar in style to those Mr Trump held during the election campaign. It comes off the back of a week in which Mr Trump attacked the media in an aggressive press conference. His national security adviser Michael Flynn also quit earlier in the week. Mr Trump is to interview candidates for the role on Sunday. BBC

Insurance Companies Take The Lead On Obamacare Replacement Ideas
If you want to know where Republicans find ideas to reform Obamacare, look no further than the private insurance companies. As Republicans struggle to unify around a plan to replace the Affordable Care Act, and at the same time attempt to keep insurance companies in state marketplaces, health insurance executives appear to have found a friendly ear for their demands for change. The most striking inclusion of industry ideas in policy appeared this week, when the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a draft rule that could dramatically affect individuals who buy insurance on state marketplaces. Guardian

Far-Right Leader Geert Wilders Calls Moroccan Migrants ‘Scum’
The Dutch populist leader Geert Wilders sparked outrage on Saturday when he launched his election campaign with a stinging attack on the country’s Moroccan population. The anti-immigration MP called them “scum” and said he wanted to make the Netherlands “ours again”. Wilders, 53, was surrounded by police and security guards when he made his remarks during a walkabout in his party’s stronghold of Spijkenisse, part of an ethnically diverse industrial area just south of Rotterdam. “The Moroccan scum in Holland … once again not all are scum … but there is a lot of Moroccan scum in Holland who make the streets unsafe, mostly young people ... and that should change,” he told journalists as he attempted to take a stroll in a market. Guardian

Donald Trump Echoes Chairman Mao By Attacking Media As 'Enemy Of The People'
Donald Trump has ramped up his attacks on journalists, echoing Chairman Mao Zedong and other dictators by branding a large section of the mainstream media "enemy of the people". After a combative press conference on Thursday, in which he railed at "fake news", bullied reporters  and dismissed facts, the president took to Twitter on Friday to continue his assault on the press.  "The FAKE NEWS media (failing @nytimes, @NBCNews, @ABC, @CBS, @CNN) is not my enemy, it is the enemy of the American People!," he declared. Telegraph

Donald Trump Has Awkward Exchange With Reporter Over False Election Claim
Donald Trump was asked by a reporter “Why should America trust you?” after repeating a false election claim during his fiery press conference. During the 75-minute impromptu Q&A with journalists, Trump wrongly claimed that his victory had been “the biggest electoral college win since Ronald Reagan”. “I'm here following through on what I pledged to do. That's all I'm doing. I put it out before the American people, got 306 electoral college votes. I wasn't supposed to get 222. They said there's no way to get 222, 230's impossible,” said Trump. Telegraph

Iraq: UN Aid Agencies Preparing For 'All Scenarios' As Western Mosul Military Operations Set To Begin
With military operations to retake western Mosul starting, United Nations humanitarian agencies in Iraq are rushing to prepare for the humanitarian impact of the fighting amid grave concerns that tens of thousands of families are at extreme risks. According to the UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in the country, food and fuel supplies are dwindling, markets and shops have closed, running water is scarce and electricity in many neighborhoods is either intermittent or cut off. UN News

At Munich Security Conference, UN Chief Guterres Highlights Need For 'A Surge In Diplomacy For Peace'
Highlighting the complex and interlinked challenges confronting the global community that also compound the suffering of the most vulnerable, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres called for a boost in preventive diplomacy and mediation efforts, as well as for a strategy to address root causes of such conflicts in the world. “There are things that are obvious: the alignment of the sustainable and inclusive development with the sustaining peace agenda,” said Mr. Guterres in his remarks to the Munich Security Conference, noting also their importance in preventing conflicts. UN News

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