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NEWS - FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 22, 2019 - NEWS
North Carolina election officials on Thursday ordered a new contest in the 9th Congressional District, ending a dramatic months-long investigation into allegations of widespread ballot-tampering and potentially refocusing the national debate about election fraud. The board voted unanimously to have a new election. Baltimore Sun
VOA VIEW: It was clear what had to happen.
A winning bid of $350,100 secured a rare Michael Jordan basketball card Wednesday night on eBay after a flurry of bids raised the price by nearly $150,000 in the final two minutes. “We call it a ‘holy grail’ because it’s so scarce and so desired that you just frankly never see it,” said Brent Huigens. Baltimore Sun
Israel's first moon-bound probe successfully left Earth's atmosphere Thursday night -- putting the tiny nation one step closer to becoming the fourth country to land on the moon. Houston Chronicle
VOA VIEW: Great achievement for a small country.

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A federal judge overseeing the reunification of nearly 3,000 separated families said the Trump administration may need to reunite more families.          IndyStar
VOA VIEW: The alleged parents should not have crossed into the US illegally.
Starting January 1, 2020, one of the most common refrigerants, HCFC-22, will no longer be produced in or imported into the United States. HCFC-22, better known as R-22, is used in most residential and commercial air conditioning equipment produced before 2010. Las Vegas Sun
William Barr has been attorney general for just one week but is on the cusp of staring down what will almost certainly be the most consequential decision of his long career, how to handle the Mueller report. Las Vegas Sun
VOA VIEW: The buck stops at the top.
President Trump is likely to celebrate if the final report from special counsel Robert S. Mueller III echoes Trump’s relentless claims of “no collusion” with Russia — or least doesn’t outline a criminal conspiracy between his 2016 campaign and the Kremlin. No matter what Mueller concludes, the administration has been implicated in crimes punishable when he is no longer President. LA Times
VOA VIEW: Nothing new - the Dems will always be disruptive.
In the eight months since President Trump and Kim Jong Un held a one-day summit in Singapore, North Korea has taken small, strategic steps aimed at demonstrating a willingness to partially denuclearize, but the progress has barely reach an embryonic stage. The two leaders prepare for their second meeting. LA Times
VOA VIEW: The liberal media will find any fault.
U.S. immigration authorities once again granted a one-year extension to Reina Gómez Ramírez, a Honduran immigrant suffering from cancer. The woman faces deportation, but says that sending her back to her country is a death sentence. Miami Herald

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A North Carolina doctor has been sentenced to three years in federal prison for giving female patients drugs such as Percocet and Clonazepam in exchange for sex. The Charlotte Observer reports Michael Alson Smith was sentenced Thursday, having pleaded guilty last year to charges including health care fraud. New York Post
Five Americans, arrested last week while armed to the teeth in Haiti, said they were working for a local “businessman” on Thursday as it was revealed that they won’t be facing charges in the US, a report said. The men, who returned to American soil on Wednesday night, are not expected to be charged criminally. New York Post
Elizabeth Warren's child care plan would be a life-changer for many parents trying to return to the work force. New York Times
VOA VIEW: Warren has no values.
A group of Conservative lawmakers said on Friday they had warned Prime Minister Theresa May that they are ready to try to force a delay to Britain's exit from the European Union to prevent a disorderly 'no deal' Brexit. Rueters

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About 1,000 people working to help the homeless nationwide are in San Diego this week to share ideas and learn from top officials in the field. “It’s come to our attention lately that the president can declare a national emergency,” National Alliance to End Homelessness President and CEO Nan Roman messages coincide. San Diego Tribune
A San Diego federal judge overseeing the landmark family separation litigation appears poised to open up the class-action lawsuit to potentially thousands more migrants who were previously separated from their children — a ruling that the government said would represent a seismic shift in the case. San Diego Tribune
San Francisco challenged the Trump administration decision to withdraw guidelines that attempted to improve the lives of poor and disabled people. A federal judge said the city had no legal standing to sue. San Francisco Gate
VOA VIEW: The judge made the right call.

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Many Republicans have said they were uncomfortable with the president declaring a national emergency to get funding for a wall along the southern border, but it's unclear whether they would vote for such an effort.         USA Today
VOA VIEW: Fools!
The deadline for President Trump’s termination of “deferred enforced departure” could create thousands of new undocumented immigrants. Washington Post
Islamic State fighters facing defeat in Syria are slipping across the border into Iraq, where they are destabilizing the country's fragile security, U.S. and Iraqi officials say. Hundreds - likely more than 1,000 - IS fighters have crossed the open, desert border in the past six months. Washington Times
Top U.S. and Chinese trade negotiators met on Thursday at the White House as they faced a March 1 deadline to end a seven-month trade war. Negotiations were led by U.S. Trade Amb. Robert Lighthizer and Chinese Vice Premier Liu He. The teams did not comment as they sat across from each other at a long table in the Indian Treaty Room. Lighthizer was joined for the high-stakes talks by Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and Director of the National Economic Council Larry Kudlow as well as other officials. ABC
VOA VIEW: China better wise up.
The Trump administration announced it did not reach an agreement with California on proposed changes to fuel efficiency standards. In their latest clash over environmental issues, the White House announced on Thursday that talks with California had ended without an agreement on a controversial Trump administration proposal to roll back fuel efficiency standards for cars and trucks meant to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. ABC
VOA VIEW: CA is playing hard nose with the wrong President.

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The UK won't be able to roll over an EU trade deal with Japan in time for a no-deal Brexit, Liam Fox has said. The UK won't be able to roll over an EU trade deal with Japan in time for a no-deal Brexit, Trade Secretary Liam Fox has said. It was one of the most important EU trade deals the UK hoped to replicate ahead of the 29 March withdrawal date. The trade department also said it would not be able to roll over the EU's customs union deal with Turkey on time. BBC
Arkansas became the fifth state to preemptively outlaw abortion this week. Four more states have legislation in the pipeline. Arkansas became the fifth state to preemptively outlaw abortion this week, preparing for a day when Roe v. Wade could be overturned, and the laws on abortion access get kicked back to the states. Louisiana, Mississippi, North Dakota and South Dakota have already passed similar laws. Four more states — Kentucky, Ohio, South Carolina and Tennessee — have such legislation, dubbed "trigger" laws, in the pipeline. CBS
The president is facing heavy criticism from Democrats and some Republicans for issuing a national emergency proclamation. President Trump will host a reception at the White House's East Room for African American History Month Thursday night. Joining the president will be Vice President Michael Pence and Second Lady Karen Pence, as well as several members of his cabinet, including newly-confirmed attorney general William Barr, acting Department of Defense secretary Patrick Shanahan and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) secretary Kirstjen Nielsen. CBS
VOA VIEW: Trump doesn't seem like a racist.

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Delta Air Lines opens the world's largest engine test cell with an eye on expanding its maintenance and repair business at the rate of $1 billion a year. President Trump will host a reception at the White House's East Room for African American History Month Thursday night. Joining the president will be Vice President Michael Pence and Second Lady Karen Pence, as well as several members of his cabinet, including newly-confirmed attorney general William Barr, acting Department of Defense secretary Patrick Shanahan and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) secretary Kirstjen Nielsen. CNBC
An analyst with the Internal Revenue Service was charged with disclosing confidential reports about Michael Cohen's bank records that revealed the President's former lawyer sought to profit from his proximity to the White House. CNN
VOA VIEW: Not good.
Senate investigators want to question a Moscow-based American businessman with longstanding ties to President Donald Trump after witnesses told them he could shed light on the President's commercial and personal activities in Russia dating back to the 1990s, multiple sources have told CNN. CNN
VOA VIEW: Dem foolishness.
Former Enron Corp. CEO Jeffrey Skilling has been released from federal custody. The 65-year-old was initially sentenced in 2006 to 24 years in prison and fined $45 million for multiple counts of securities fraud, conspiracy and other crimes. In 2013, the sentence was reduced to 14 years. Houston-based Enron collapsed into bankruptcy in 2001 after years of illicit business deals and accounting tricks that put more than 5,000 people out of work, eliminated over $2 billion in employee pensions and rendered worthless $60 billion in Enron stock. FOX News
Plants, insects and organisms crucial to food production in steep decline, says UN. The world’s capacity to produce food is being undermined by humanity’s failure to protect biodiversity, according to the first UN study of the plants, animals and micro-organisms that help to put meals on our plates. The stark warning was issued by the Food and Agriculture Organization after scientists found evidence the natural support systems that underpin the human diet are deteriorating around the world as farms, cities and factories gobble up land and pump out chemicals. Guardian
Collapse of Venezuela’s healthcare system could fuel spread of malaria and other diseases across region. Experts have warned of an epidemic of diseases such as malaria and dengue on an unprecedented scale in Latin America following the collapse of the healthcare system in Venezuela. Continent-wide public health gains of the last 18 years could be undone if Venezuela does not accept help to control the spreading outbreaks of malaria, Zika, dengue and other illnesses that are afflicting its people, experts have warned in a report published in the journal Lancet Infectious Diseases. Guardian
VOA VIEW: Socialized medicine is bad.
Actor Jussie Smollett paid two brothers thousands of dollars to beat him in a staged racist and homophobic attack because he was unhappy with his salary on the hip-hop TV drama "Empire," Chicago's police chief said on Thursday. Reuters
VOA VIEW: Smollett should get jail time.

VOA VIEW -- Is the opinion of "Voice of Americans", which is a private entity not affiliated in any way with the United States government or any of its agencies. The opinions expressed here, in whatever medium or format, are not necessarily the opinions of the ownership or advertisers of this web site - 0415.


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February 22, 2019

      Actor Jussie Smollett paid two brothers thousands of dollars to beat him in a staged racist and homophobic attack because he was unhappy with his salary on the hip-hop TV drama “EmpirSmollett, who is black and openly gay, was arrested on Thursday and charged with lying to police about the alleged attack on Jan. 29. Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson was visibly angered as he condemned his actions. e,” Chicago’s police chief said on Thursday.

     Police did not spell out how the 36-year-old actor hoped to boost his salary by staging the supposed attack by supporters of President Donald Trump. “Smollett took advantage of the pain and anger of racism to promote his career,” Johnson told a news conference, adding that the actor paid $3,500 to the brothers to stage the supposed hate crime.

     “This stunt was orchestrated by Smollett because he was dissatisfied with this salary. He concocted a story about being attacked,” Johnson said. “We gave him the benefit of the doubt.”  Smollett should be put in jail if found guity.