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NEWS     WEDNESDAY,  OCTOBER  17, 2018    NEWS

Susan Collins' honorary degree should be rescinded, nearly 1,500 St. Lawrence University faculty, alumni say
Nearly 1,500 St. Lawrence University alumni and faculty are calling on the school to rescind an honorary degree Sen. Susan Collins was awarded last year because of her vote to confirm Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh. A more moderate Republican, Collins was targeted by liberal activists and those opposed to Kavanaugh – particularly after allegations of sexual assault came to light – who thought she could abandon her party and vote against confirming the judge. But ahead of the vote, Collins said she didn't believe the charges could "fairly prevent Judge Kavanaugh from serving on the Court.” Fox
VOA VIEW: Fools!

Body of missing Saudi journalist was cut into pieces
The body of missing journalist Jamal Khashoggi was cut into pieces after he was killed two weeks ago at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, a Turkish official told CNN on Tuesday. The claim, which was first made to the New York Times earlier in the investigation, comes after Turkish officials searched the consulate for nine hours on Monday night. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan earlier Tuesday said Turkish investigators were looking into "toxic" and "painted over material" as part of their inquiry. CNN
VOA VIEW: CNN and the NYT have questionable reputations of deception.

Dow spikes 548 points as investors cheer fat corporate profits
The Dow soared 548 points, or 2.2%, on Tuesday as investors cheered fat profits from major companies and relative calm in the bond market. The huge rally, the Dow's best day since March, helped the index recover a chunk of last week's hefty losses. Tech stocks, the biggest losers during the market turmoil, raced back to life. The Nasdaq spiked nearly 3%, while the S&P 500 advanced 2.2%. Investors piled back into tech darlings. Amazon, Facebook and Netflix closed sharply higher. "It's a bounce back after an overdone situation last week," said David Joy, chief market strategist at Ameriprise Financial.  CNN
VOA VIEW: Half of last weeks loss has been regained.

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FRC's Tony Perkins: Evangelical Support for Trump Still Strong
Evangelical support for President Donald Trump "hasn't really changed" since the 2016 election, when polls showed that some 80 percent of evangelicals voted for him, said Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council. "When you look at his policies" -- evidenced most recently by the homecoming of evangelical Pastor Andrew Brunson -- "that speaks volumes to the evangelical community that has felt marginalized, neglected and even targeted by the previous administration," Perkins told C-SPAN's Washington Journal on Tuesday. You look at how he's advanced religious freedom here in the country domestically; you look at how he's advanced the pro-life agenda; you look at the Supreme Court nominations he has made. CNS News

Trump calls Elizabeth Warren 'total fraud' after Native American DNA test results
President Donald Trump, in a series of tweets Tuesday, demanded that Sen. Elizabeth Warren apologize for claiming she had Native American heritage and called the results of her DNA test "bogus" and "useless." President Trump has repeatedly referred to the possible 2020 presidential contender sarcastically as "Pocahontas" including during an Oval Office event last year honoring Native American code talkers for their service during World War II. ABC News
VOA VIEW: The truth hurts.

Mega Millions, Powerball reach combined $1 billion jackpot
Oh, the dreams of instant, crazy wealth! The combined jackpot of the nation's two big lottery games, Powerball and Mega Millions, has reached over $1 billion. Tuesday's 11 p.m. drawing of the Mega Millions game will be for $667 million, according to AP, the second-largest jackpot in the game's history and the third-largest in U.S. lottery jackpot history. That's for the annuity over 29 years. The cash option, which almost everyone takes, is $380 million. The Powerball jackpot for Wednesday's 10:59 p.m. drawing has rolled to $345 million annuity, with a cash value of $199 million. Newsday
VOA VIEW: Mine to win.

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Cuba Gripes Over Use of UN Facilities For US Event Highlighting Political Prisoners
Cuba is demanding that the United Nations secretariat cancel an event planned by the U.S. Mission in New York on Tuesday focusing on political prisoners in the communist-ruled nation, charging that the U.S. should not be able to use U.N. facilities to “attack” another member-state. A leading observer of the U.N. human rights system said an event highlighting political prisoners was “exactly what the U.N. founded for,” and that Cuba’s argument that U.N. premises should not be used in this way was “nothing but sound and fury from a broken and failing regime.”  CNS News

Journalists, writers sue President Donald Trump
PEN America, a New York-based writers and journalists group, sued President Donald Trump in Manhattan federal court on Tuesday for violating the First Amendment by repeatedly threatening and retaliating against those who cover his administration critically. "President Trump has First Amendment rights and is free to criticize the press vehemently, but he is not free to use the power and authority of the United States government to punish and stifle it,” the lawsuit said. Citing allegedly retaliatory episodes including pressure to raise postal rates on online retailer Amazon, whose top shareholder, Jeff Bezos, also controls The Washington Post, and opposition to the merger of AT&T with CNN owner Time Warner, the lawsuit says Trump’s actions improperly chill reporting.The lawsuit seeks a court order that bars the president from “directing any officer, employee, agency, or other agent or instrumentality of the United States government to take any action against any person or entity in retaliation for speech that the President or his Administration do not like.” Newsday
VOA VIEW: A frivolous lawsuit.

U.S. airstrike in Somalia kills about 60 al-Shabab fighters
The U.S. military on Tuesday announced its deadliest airstrike against the al-Shabab extremist group in Somalia in nearly a year, killing about 60 fighters. The U.S. Africa Command said Friday's airstrike occurred near the community of Harardere in Mudug province in the central part of the country. According to its assessment no civilians were injured or killed, the statement said. It was the largest U.S. airstrike since one on Nov. 21, 2017, killed about 100 al-Shabab fighters. The statement gave no further details about what was targeted in this latest strike and the U.S. Africa Command did not immediately respond to questions. Las Vegas Sun

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Instacart Continues Funding Spree, Raises $600 Million
When Amazon.com Inc. bought Whole Foods for $13.7 billion last year, anyone watching grocery-delivery upstart Instacart Inc. was just about ready to stick a fork in it. But the San Francisco-based startup maintained a more optimistic outlook. It said competition from Jeff Bezos’s e-commerce behemoth would actually help it grow.
Now, it looks like Instacart may have been right—or at least, the naysayers were wrong. On Tuesday, the company said it had raised $600 million in new funding, a capstone to a remarkable year. In the last eight months, the startup increased the number of grocery retailers on its platform by 50 percent to 300 and raised close to $1 billion from investors.  Bloomberg

McConnell blames budget deficit rise on government programs
A day after the treasury department announced the federal budget deficit had reached $779bn, Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell said popular government programs, not massive tax cuts passed by Republicans last year, were to blame. Independent analyses have found the tax cuts have caused the deficit to balloon faster than predicted. In an interview with Bloomberg News on Tuesday, however, McConnell rejected that argument. Citing federal spending on healthcare and retirement benefits such as Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security, McConnell said changes to such programs would require cooperation from Democrats. “It’s disappointing but it’s not a Republican problem,” McConnell said.  Guardian
VOA VIEW: The truth hurts.

Tax evasion: blacklist of 21 countries with 'golden passport' schemes published
A blacklist of 21 countries whose so-called “golden passport” schemes threaten international efforts to combat tax evasion has been published by the west’s leading economic thinktank. Three European countries – Malta, Monaco and Cyprus – are among those nations flagged as operating high-risk schemes that sell either residency or citizenship in a report released on Tuesday by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development. The Paris-based body has raised the alarm about the fast-expanding $3bn (£2.3bn) citizenship by investment industry, which has turned nationality into a marketable commodity. In exchange for donations to a sovereign trust fund, or investments in property or government bonds, foreign nationals can become citizens of countries in which they have never lived. Guardian

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Analysts Like Goldman’s Results, But They Love Morgan Stanley’s
Morgan Stanley is a clear winner, posting its biggest share rally since February 2017, after reporting third-quarter results earlier, garnering near-universal approval from Wall Street analysts picking through its report. Goldman Sachs Group’s stock is gaining too, but just the most since September 19, while its earnings are getting more of a cold eye. Morgan Stanley is scoring the biggest gain in the S&P 500 Financials Index, while BlackRock Inc. and a host of regional banks, including Comerica Inc., were among the largest decliners. BlackRock’s and Comerica’s third-quarter earnings disappointed, with BlackRock flagging lower fees and investor anxiety, and Comerica’s loans slipping. Bloomberg

Britain will face £36 billion Brexit bill if it fails to agree a trade deal with EU
Britain will still have to pay the EU up to £36 billion if it fails to agree a trade deal, Philip Hammond has claimed, as Brussels said no deal is now “more likely than ever”. The Chancellor told Cabinet ministers the UK would be unlikely to win any legal battle to withhold large chunks of the Brexit bill, despite previous Government promises that the payment was conditional on a deal. Mr Hammond’s comments angered Eurosceptics, who described his stance as “mystifying”. However, sources close to the Chancellor insisted he was as frustrated as his colleagues with the EU’s intransigence, and was merely setting out legal advice the Treasury had been given.
Telegraph

Facial recognition system to approve alcohol and cigarettes sales to be trialled by first British supermarket
Facial recognition software is to be used in UK supermarkets for the first time to verify the age of people buying alcohol and cigarettes, the Telegraph has learned. The pilot scheme is set to be rolled out at self-service checkouts by the end of the year and could be applied more widely in 2019. NCR, a US company which makes self check-out machines for Asda, Tesco and other UK’s supermarkets, will integrate a camera that will estimate the age of shoppers when they are buying age restricted items. The camera will reduce the need for staff to approve purchases by using AI to scan a person’s face to determine their age and either accept or deny the sale of the item.  Telegraph

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Netflix subscriber growth beats estimates, shares surge
Netflix Inc added about 7 million streaming customers in the latest quarter, 1.8 million more than Wall Street expected, as it debuted a record amount of original programming, including new seasons of popular shows “Orange is the New Black” and “BoJack Horseman.” The additions brought Netflix’s customer base to 137 million worldwide and shares of the video streaming pioneer jumped 14 percent to $394.25 in after-hours trading. Netflix is investing billions of dollars in entertainment programming to hook new customers around the world. Investors have generally accepted the big spending as subscriber rolls swelled in recent years. Reuters

Trump widens Fed critique, calls it 'my biggest threat'
U.S. President Donald Trump heaped more criticism on the Federal Reserve in an interview with Fox Business Network on Tuesday, extending his discontent beyond its chairman, Jerome Powell, whom he has frequently critiqued in public. “My biggest threat is the Fed,” he said, according to excerpts released before the interview with “Trish Regan Primetime” airs. “I put a couple of other people there I’m not so happy with too but for the most part I’m very happy with people.” Last week, Trump criticized the U.S. central bank twice, saying it was raising interest rates so swiftly that it threatened the country’s economic health. Nonetheless, in the face of a hot labor market and signs of inflation, the Fed has settled into a gradual policy tightening and is expected to raise interest rates again in December. Reuters

World Food Day: here’s what the UN is doing to fix ‘intolerable’ wrong of hunger
Currently, more than 815 million people do not have enough to eat. Some 155 million children under the age of five – 23 per cent – are chronically malnourished and stunted and may endure the effects of it for the rest of their lives. One in two infant deaths worldwide are caused by hunger. "This is intolerable," said the Secretary-General. “Zero hunger is about joining forces,” he stated, as he called for “stronger political will and more financial support… until everyone has enough and quality food”. Speakers at the global World Food Day ceremony in Rome echoed the UN chief’s call to action to governments, companies, institutions and individuals.
UN News

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Kiah Morris: Vermont's only black woman lawmaker on why she quit
Kiah Morris, the only black woman in the Vermont legislature, shocked the US state when she resigned last month, citing ongoing racial harassment. Even in one of the most progressive states in America, she says white supremacy and a toxic political discourse are serious, unacknowledged problems. Kiah Morris was puzzled. Why did friends on social media keep sending her links to a Saturday Night Live comedy video? Then she watched it. In the sketch, which aired the last weekend of September, a group of Southern neo-Confederates discuss resettling in place with "no immigrants and no minorities - an agrarian community where everyone lives in harmony because every single person is white". One member, played by actor Adam Driver, raises his hand. "Yeah, I know that place," he says. "That sounds like Vermont." BBC News
VOA VIEW: Black race card.

Trump threatens to cut aid to Honduras over migrants
President Donald Trump has threatened to cut financial aid to Honduras over a large group of migrants heading towards the US border. In a Tweet posted on Tuesday, Mr Trump said the country's president was told funds would be cut "immediately" if the group was not stopped and returned. Honduras has a long history of poverty and corruption. It also has one of the highest murder rates in the world. The group of at least 1,500 migrants grew rapidly in size over the weekend. About 160 people originally set off on Friday from San Pedro Sula, a notorious Honduran crime hotspot.  BBC News
VOA VIEW: Good move.

More than 1,300 still missing in Florida after Hurricane Michael
Rescuers said Tuesday more than 1,300 people in the Florida Panhandle have not officially been accounted for, now several days after Hurricane Michael hit. Michael hit a week ago as a Category 4 storm -- uprooting trees, tearing through homes and flooding neighborhoods. At least 19 people have died as a result of the storm, officials said.  United Press International

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