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NEWS - WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 16, 2019 - NEWS
Staring down the next deadline to pay federal workers, the White House shifted tactics Tuesday, trying to bypass House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to negotiate with rank-and-file lawmakers even as President Donald Trump dug in for a prolonged shutdown. Baltimore Sun
VOA VIEW: Trump must hold out.
As the first Los Angeles teachers’ strike in 30 years stretched into its second day, attendance ticked up slightly — about 20,000 more students went to school Tuesday — but remained at about a third of the district’s total enrollment. Baltimore Sun
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott joined a bipartisan group of Texas lawmakers Tuesday urging President Donald Trump not to use recovery money for Hurricane Harvey to end the partial government shutdown over a border wall. Houston Chronicle

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More than 50 people protesting the shutdown Tuesday outside NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston. They held signs aloft denouncing the shutdown -- and those responsible for it -- inciting enthusiastic honking from passersby that became so loud people had to shout to be heard. The number of protesters Tuesday is nowhere near the number of people impacted by the shutdown. About 94 percent of the 3,055 federal employees at the Houston center have been out of work since Dec. 22. Houston Chronicle
VOA VIEW: It is tough for all - but a must.
Air traffic controllers handed pamphlets to travelers Tuesday to show the impact the shutdown has on the local employees who aren't being paid.          IndyStar
Hoping to make a crack in Democratic unity as the partial government shutdown reached Day 25, President Trump invited a handful of moderate Democrats to the White House on Tuesday for lunch and a chat. None showed up. That despite the fact that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco) jokingly. LA Times
VOA VIEW: Fools!
Kenya's security forces have killed the Islamic extremist gunmen whose assault on a luxury hotel and shopping complex took 14 "innocent lives," the country's president said Wednesday. Miami Herald
Two Michigan parents were charged Tuesday with the murder of their infant daughter, who prosecutors say had an “extraordinary” amount of fentanyl in her system at the time of her death. Macomb County Prosecutor Eric Smith announced second-degree murder charges for Antonio Floyd, 28, and Shantanice Barksdale, 27, in the Christmas Day death of 18-month-old. New York Post
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has secured a spot on the House Financial Services Committee, a panel chaired by fellow progressive Maxine Waters that oversees the financial services industry. Ocasio-Cortez confirmed her placement in a tweet on Tuesday night, writing: “Financial Services is one of just four exclusive committees in the House. New York Post
VOA VIEW: Her first bribe.

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What President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia has told President Trump in their meetings remains largely unknown, even to American officials. New York Times
Federal workers, contractors and supporters demanding the reopening of the government last week. The White House estimated on Tuesday that the shutdown was causing twice as much economic damage as previously projected. New York Times
VOA VIEW: Dems are at fault.
The U.S. economy is taking a larger-than-expected hit from the partial government shutdown, White House estimates showed on Tuesday, as contractors and even the Coast Guard go without pay and talks to end the impasse seemed stalled. Rueters
Federal subsidies that helped pay the rent at hundreds of local housing units for the needy, seniors and the disabled have not come through this month because of the partial federal government shutdown. Nationwide, about 1,150 contracts between property owners and the U.S. Department of Housing have not been paid. San Diego Tribune
VOA VIEW: Dems are hurting those they are supposed to care for - themselves.

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Navy Personnel Command — which oversees the Navy brigs where military prisoners are held — has pushed back against a congressman’s claims that a SEAL charged with multiple war crimes is being held in “irregularly harsh” conditions. San Diego Tribune
Tensions in international relations and nationalist politics have the potential to further weigh on the global economy this year, organizers of next week’s gathering of business and political leaders in the Swiss ski resort of Davos warned Wednesday. In its annual Global Risks Report, the World Economic Forum said a “darkening” economic outlook. Seattle Times
China's central bank injected a record $83 billion into the country's financial system on Wednesday, seeking to avoid a cash crunch that would put further pressure on the weakening economy. Rueters
VOA VIEW: China is losing the trade war.

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At Wednesday's confirmation hearing, EPA Nominee Andrew Wheeler is expected to face scrutiny from Democrats irate over the agency's environmental record.         USA Today
Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker is scheduled to testify before Congress next month — one day after a high profile hearing with the president's former lawyer, Michael Cohen. Rep. Jerrold Nadler, the New York Democrat who heads the House Judiciary Committee, announced on Tuesday that Whitaker would be testifying before the committee on Feb. 8, the first congressional oversight hearing of the new Congress.         USA Today
"I hate to break it to you, but you should’ve been better prepped. I’m black,” radio host David Webb told CNN legal analyst Areva Martin. CNN legal analyst Areva Martin thought she was talking to a white man Tuesday while appearing as a guest on David Webb’s SiriusXM radio show. When Webb, a frequent Fox News contributor and host on Fox Nation, said he considered his qualifications more important than his skin color when applying to jobs in journalism, Martin accused him of exercising white privilege. But there’s a problem with that sentiment, as Webb quickly pointed out: “Areva, I hate to break it to you, but you should’ve been better prepped,” he responded. “I’m black.” Washington Post
VOA VIEW: CNN Fool.
Fast food company Supermac's hails the end of the "McBully" after winning the trademark case. An Irish fast food company has won a case against McDonald's to prevent it trademarking the terms "Big Mac" and "Mc" in some instances in Europe. The European Union Intellectual Property Office ruled McDonald's had not proven genuine use of "Big Mac" as a burger or restaurant name. Galway-based Supermac's said it opened the door to register its brand in Europe as a trademark. Supermac's managing director hailed the "end of the McBully". BBC
After MPs heavily defeat her Brexit deal, Theresa May says there will be time on Wednesday for the opposition to put a no confidence vote. She told the House of Commons that the 432 to 202 vote "tells us nothing about what it does support, nothing about how or even if it intends to honour the decision that people took in a referendum". The PM said the government will proceed with a "constructive spirit" and that the British people "want this issue settled". BBC
VOA VIEW: There is no confidence in May, but Conservatives don't want to give power to liberals.

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European allies have urged the U.S. to relax the sanctions, which they say threaten jobs. The Senate will vote Tuesday afternoon on whether to block a Treasury Department proposal that would lift sanctions on three Russian companies, including Rusal, the world's second-largest aluminum producer. The companies are all owned by Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska, who became the subject of U.S. sanctions last Spring. CBS
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo banned stretch limos after a deadly crash. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced a slew of new safety reforms for limos and large passenger vehicles, outright banning stretch limos and adding a number of regulatory reforms. These reforms come three months after a limo crash in upstate New York led to the death of the driver and 19 passengers. ABC
VOA VIEW: Cuomo has lost his mind - no, it is already lost.
The agency has been practically shuttered since Dec. 22 -- something that has never happened during tax season. The U.S. government is recalling 46,000 IRS workers to the office, without pay, to handle tax refunds, the Associated Press reports. The IRS has been operating with a skeleton staff since the shutdown began on Dec. 22, but it announced last week that it would issue tax refunds despite the closure. Earlier on Tuesday, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told a Bloomberg News reporter he expects refunds to go out on time during the shutdown. CBS

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United Continental Holdings, the parent of the airline, reported fourth-quarter earnings. United Continental Holdings posted stronger revenue and profits than Wall Street expected in the fourth-quarter, while issuing a sunny outlook for earnings growth in 2019. The company's shares jumped by about 6 percent after the markets closed Tuesday. CNBC
The U.S. will make major strides towards energy independence in the next two years as oil production and exports hit new highs. The U.S. will make major strides towards energy independence in the next two years as oil production and exports hit new highs, according to the Department of Energy. U.S. oil production, already at an all-time high this year, will increase by another 2 million barrels per day by 2020, the agency's statistics bureau projects. CNBC
VOA VIEW: Great!
Rep. Steve King (R-IA) spoke on the House floor in response to a resolution disapproving of his comments in a recent interview that appeared to lament that the term "white supremacist" is considered offensive. The U.S. will make major strides towards energy independence in the next two years as oil production and exports hit new highs, according to the Department of Energy. CNN
An art exhibit near the World Trade Center in New York will be removed after it received backlash for the inclusion of the Saudi Arabian flag near the 9/11 memorial site. An art exhibit near the World Trade Center in New York will be removed after it received backlash for the inclusion of the Saudi Arabian flag near the 9/11 memorial site. FOX News
A U.S. federal narcotics agent known for his expensive tastes and high-profile drug seizures has been implicated in a multimillion-dollar money-laundering conspiracy that involved the very cartel criminals he was charged with fighting in Colombia. A once standout Drug Enforcement Administration agent, Jose Irizarry is accused of conspiring with a longtime DEA informant to launder more than $7 million in illicit drug proceeds, sometimes using an underground network known as the black-market peso exchange, according to five current and former law enforcement officials. FOX News
Alex Cifuentes, a close associate of the cartel chief, testified that he told US authorities about the alleged bribe in 2016A witness at the US trial of Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán has testified that he told US authorities the accused Mexican drug lord once paid a $100m bribe to former Mexican president Enrique Peña Nieto. Guardian
With the US government in partial shutdown, the president continues to demand funding for his Mexican border wall. Lauren Gambino, in Washington DC, and Bryan Mealer, in Texas, discuss how Trump’s central campaign promise has led to this point of paralysis. Plus, John Harris looks back to the optimism of 1989 Donald Trump has visited the southern US border in Texas after walking out of talks to resolve one of the country’s longest government shutdowns in history. Guardian
PG&E Corp's shares and bonds fell sharply for a second day on Tuesday, as a failure to make interest payments by the California power utility added to investor nerves following the company's plans to seek Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Reuters
Acknowledging “a long road ahead” on the United Nations ambitious agenda, Secretary-General António Guterres welcomed “the historic leadership of the state of Palestine” as the new Chair of the Group of 77’s (G77). “Palestine and its citizens have first-hand experience of some of the most challenging and dramatic global issues we face” said Mr. Guterres in his remarks at the annual ceremony for handover of the rotating Chairmanship of the G77. Egypt was the previous Chair of the bloc, a coalition of 134 developing countries, along with China. UN News
VOA VIEW: The UN is worthless.
Conditions in a makeshift Syrian camp near the border with Jordan are “increasingly desperate” and “have become a matter of life and death”, United Nations officials warned on Tuesday, after at least eight children died there from extreme cold and a lack of medical care. The development comes as the newly appointed UN Special Envoy for Syria, Geir Pederson, arrived in Damascus, for his first meeting with the Government, since taking over from veteran UN negotiator Staffan de Mistura. UN News
One of South Korea's oldest restaurants specializing in North Korean cold noodles could soon vanish from Seoul. Eulji Myeonok, which opened in 1985 and serves authentic Pyongyang-style cold noodles, may soon have to shutter for good, if final steps are reached in a city plan to demolish buildings in the area. The demolition, if it takes place, is part of the city's "rehabilitation promotion," Kyunghyang Shinmun reported Tuesday. UPI
Special counsel Robert Mueller asked a federal judge to delay the sentencing of Rick Gates because he is cooperating with multiple investigations. Mueller's team requested to be allowed to provide a status update on March 15. "Defendant Gates continues to cooperate with respect to several ongoing investigations, and accordingly the parties do not believe it is appropriate to commence the sentencing process at this time," Tuesday's court filing said. UPI
VOA VIEW: This means that Mueller is not near to end its witch hunt.

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January 16, 2019

     Dems are hurting those who they seem to care about. Nearly 43,000 immigration hearings have already been canceled due to the government shutdown, bumping immigrants out of court dates that took years to secure, according to a new report. And tens of thousands more hearings will soon be in jeopardy if the shutdown continues. Attorneys say migrants may have to wait up to four years in some areas to have their hearings rescheduled after the government reopens.

     The partial government shutdown has closed most immigration courts, effectively cancelling 42,729 hearings from December 24 through January 11, according to the report from Syracuse University's Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC). Each additional week the government is shut down will cancel another 20,000 hearings. If the shutdown continues through all of January, that means more than 100,000 individuals will have had their hearings postponed, according to TRAC.

     Once the government reopens, those court appearances will get added to the immigration court's record-high 800,000-case backlog, which has grown by 49 percent since President Trump took office in January 2017, according to TRAC.