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Putin Confirms Syria Airstrikes Serve To Help Assad Regime
Russian President Vladimir Putin confirmed in a television interview that Russian airstrikes in Syria serve to reinforce Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's regime.
Speaking Sunday on Rossiya One state television, Putin said, "Our task is to stabilize the legitimate government and to create conditions for a political compromise, by military means, of course. "The units of international terrorists and their ilk have no desire to negotiate with the Syrian government, who is almost sieged in its own capital." UPI
VOA VIEW: Putin slapped Obama in the face, again.

U.S. Delivers 50 Tons Of Ammunition To Syria Rebel Groups
U.S. military cargo planes gave 50 tons of ammunition to rebel groups overnight in northern Syria, using an air drop of 112 pallets as the first step in the Obama Administration's urgent effort to find new ways to support those groups. Details of the air mission over Syria were confirmed by a U.S. official not authorized to speak publicly because the details have not yet been formally announced. C-17s, accompanied by fighter escort aircraft, dropped small arms ammunition and other items like hand grenades in Hasakah province in northern Syria to a coalition of rebels groups vetted by the US, known as the Syrian Arab Coalition. CNN

In ‘60 Minutes’ Interview, Obama Muddles Facts On Ukraine
Defending himself against accusations that Russian President Vladimir Putin is challenging American leadership, President Obama erroneously told CBS’s “60 Minutes” that when he took office Ukraine was ruled by a Putin “stooge.” Questioning the premise that Putin’s foreign policy was succeeding, Obama cited the situations in Ukraine and Syria. “When I came into office, Ukraine was governed by a corrupt ruler who was a stooge of Mr. Putin,” he told interviewer Steve Kroft. “Syria was Russia’s only ally in the region.” Today, Putin is no longer able to count on those allies’ support, Obama continued, adding that the Russian leader instead was having to deploy his military “just to barely hold together by a thread his sole ally” – Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. CNS News
VOA VIEW: Obama is a liar and weak president.

DNC Vice Chair Disinvited From Democratic Debate
Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, a vice chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, said the committee disinvited her from the first Democratic presidential debate after she publicly called for more face-offs. Ms. Gabbard said her staff received the message last Tuesday from the chief of staff to Florida Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the DNC chairwoman, a day after she appeared on MSNBC demanding more than the current six sanctioned debates, The New York Times reported. Washington Times


RNC’s New TV Ad Hits Hillary Clinton With Email Scandal Ahead Of First Democratic Debate
The Republican National Committee on Monday debuted a new TV ad highlighting ongoing federal investigations into Hillary Rodham Clinton’s email practices and potential mishandling of classified material as secretary of state. The ad went up on cable TV and the Internet as Mrs. Clinton prepares for the first Democratic presidential debate Tuesday in Las Vegas and continued to aggressively move to cast the email scandal as a political smear campaign orchestrated by House Republicans. Washington Times

Ga. Confederate Flag Supporters Face Terrorism Charges
Fifteen individuals associated with a group of Confederate flag supporters in Douglas County, Ga., have been indicted on terrorism charges, it was announced on Monday. The charges are related to a July 25 incident in which members of a group called Respect the Flag drove a convoy of vehicles displaying Confederate flags through a neighborhood in Douglasville, when they were involved in an altercation with residents outside a home where a children's birthday party was taking place.
According to a July 27 Atlanta Journal-Constitution report, those engaged in the confrontation offered conflicting accounts of what happened. CBS
VOA VIEW: Outrageous - it's not terrorism when blacks take to the streets looting, committing violence and setting cars and buildings on fire.

Obama: Donald Trump Is A "Classic Reality TV Character"
In an interview with "60 Minutes" that aired Sunday, President Obama called Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump "the classic reality TV character" and "a great publicity seeker" who is capturing hearts and minds at a time the Republican Party "hasn't really figured out what it's for, as opposed to what it's against." "I think that he is tapped into something that exists in the Republican Party that's real. I think there is genuine anti-immigrant sentiment in the large portion of at least Republican primary voters," Mr. Obama said. Ultimately, however, Mr. Obama predicted, "I don't think he'll end up being president of the United States." CBS


Hotel Booking Scams A Much Bigger Problem Than Previously Known
The problem of "rogue" hotel booking websites is bigger than previously known and is creating enormous problems for both travelers and the hotel industry. A recent survey done for the American Hotel & Lodging Association found that 6 percent of travelers who had booked a room online thought they were booking directly with the hotel, but later found out they had used an imposter site. Based on this survey, the group estimates 15 million hotel bookings were done on rogue websites last year with $1.3 billion going to these fraudsters. Prior to this survey, the group estimated the problem to be much smaller: about 2.5 million hotel bookings a year. MSNBC

Debate Podium Awaits Joe Biden, With Or Without Him
Joe Biden does not plan to participate in the first Democratic presidential debate Tuesday night, but the invitation remains open to the vice president should he make a last-minute decision to jump in the race and join his would-be Democratic rivals on the debate stage. The debate hosts have even gone so far as to set aside an extra podium for the VP. While all indications are that the reserved podium will go unused Tuesday night, the political world is watching in anticipation as the vice president continues a debate of his own, within the privacy of his Delaware home, in deliberating whether to mount a White House bid. ABC
VOA VIEW: It would be a spectacular way to enter the race if Biden joins the debate.

Trump Faces Tough Questions At Bipartisan NH Event
Independent-minded voters in politically important New Hampshire challenged Donald Trump Monday on his "divisive" style and his attitude toward women. "Prove me wrong, but I don't think you're a friend to women," said one woman in the crowd of more than 1,000. She asked whether, as president, he would support paying women and men equally. Then, apparently referring to reproductive rights, she asked, "Do I get to choose what I do with my body?" Out of his usual element of screaming supporters, Trump replied that she'd get paid the same if she does her job as well as a man, and that he is pro-life. "I respect women, and I'm going to take care of women," he said. ABC

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U.S. Army Secretary Raises Concerns About Declining Budget
U.S. Army Secretary John McHugh said that the Army was being stretched too thin and was on the “ragged edge” given a declining budget and personnel cuts. "We are in an extraordinarily rare position in American history where are our budgets are coming down but our missions are going up,” McHugh said while speaking with reporters at the annual conference of the Association of the United States Army (AUSA) in Washington. Speaking earlier in the day at the opening ceremony of the conference, McHugh said the Army budget had fallen from a peak of $144 billion to a current level of $120 billion. He added that budget uncertainty was adding to the problem. Reuters
VOA VIEW: The Army should work harder cutting down of waste, fraud and mismanagement.

Police Guarding Julian Assange At London's Ecuadorian Embassy Are Withdrawn
Police officers who have been stationed for more three years outside London's Ecuadorian Embassy to arrest WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange were withdrawn Monday, officials said. Assange took refuge in the embassy in June 2012 to avoid extradition to Sweden where he is wanted for questioning over sexual assault and rape allegations against two women. London's Metropolitan Police had stationed officers 24 hours a day outside the building, ready to arrest him if he left. On Monday, the force said it was "no longer proportionate to commit officers to a permanent presence." In a statement, it added that officers remained "committed to executing the arrest warrant and presenting Julian Assange before the court" and vowed to "deploy a number of overt and covert tactics to arrest him." MSNBC

Under Pressure From Clinton, Bernie Sanders Softens On Gun Rights
Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders on Sunday backed away from a controversial vote he cast in 2005 on legislation to grant immunity to gun manufacturers and dealers from liability if their firearms are used criminally. On NBC's Meet the Press, one week after his chief rival, Hillary Clinton, called for repealing that law, and two days before the first Democratic debate, the U.S. senator from Vermont said he's willing to see that law changed. "That was a complicated vote and I'm willing to see changes in that provision," Sanders said. "Here's the reason I voted the way I voted. If you are a gun shop owner in Vermont and you sell somebody a gun and that person flips out and then kills somebody, I don't think it's really fair to hold that person responsible, the gun shop owner. Bloomberg


Transatlantic Divide: How U.S. Pays Three Times More For Drugs
U.S. prices for the world's 20 top-selling medicines are, on average, three times higher than in Britain, according to an analysis carried out for Reuters. The finding underscores a transatlantic gulf between the price of treatments for a range of diseases and follows demands for lower drug costs in America from industry critics such as Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. The 20 medicines, which together accounted for 15 percent of global pharmaceuticals spending in 2014, are a major source of profits for companies including AbbVie (ABBV.N), AstraZeneca (AZN.L), Merck (MRK.N), Pfizer (PFE.N) and Roche (ROG.VX). Reuters

Obama Says Clinton Email Server A 'Mistake,' But Denies National Security Jeopardized
President Obama said Sunday that Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server to conduct her correspondence while secretary of state was a "mistake," but denied that U.S. national security had been jeopardized as a result. "She made a mistake. She has acknowledged it. I do think that the way it's been ginned up is in part because of politics," Obama said in an interview with CBS' "60 Minutes." "I think she'd be the first to acknowledge that maybe she could have handled the original decision better and the disclosures more quickly." Fox News
VOA VIEW: Obama is covering for himself, as he is ultimately responsible for the security breach on his watch.

Here's Why Goldman Economists Expect Even Lower U.S. Unemployment
It's all about labor-force participation. Goldman Sachs economists have turned more pessimistic on the outlook for the U.S. labor-force participation rate, which is already at its lowest level since 1977.  Just 62.4 percent of civilian, noninstitutionalized Americans ages 16 and older worked or looked for work in September, compared with 66 percent in December 2007, the start of the last recession. Economists, commentators, and even Federal Reserve researchers have spilled a lot of ink debating whether the participation decline is a short-term, "cyclical" aftershock of the economic downturn, or if it signals a more permanent, "structural" shift in the economy. Goldman economists are coming around to the latter idea. Workforce participation among older workers is picking up more slowly than the economists had initially projected, and discouraged workers entering the workforce are providing less of a boost, according to an Oct. 10 research note. Bloomberg

Nevada A Reminder Of Why Hillary Clinton Is The Democratic Front-Runner
When the Democratic candidates for president take the stage for their first debate this week in Nevada, they'll do so in a state that serves as a reminder of why Hillary Rodham Clinton is the front-runner for the nomination. One of the first four states to cast ballots in the presidential contest, Nevada is home to large communities of immigrant families, including many who have only recently arrived in the state. When combined with the state's baroque caucus system, which is so complex that the rules surrounding it run 51 pages, that means winning the state and the largest share of delegates requires a higher degree of organization and effort to get-out-the-vote than in most others. Las Vegas Sun

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Outrage As Pork Chopped From Federal Prison Menus
Inmates will no longer be pigging out on ham or bacon after the Obama administration removed pig products from federal prison menus, in a sudden move being decried by the pork industry. The federal Bureau of Prisons, responsible for over 200,000 inmates, reportedly imposed the ham ban at the beginning of the month and said it was in response to surveys of prisoners' food preferences. According to the government, pork just wasn't a popular menu item. “Why keep pushing food that people don’t want to eat?” Edmond Ross, a spokesman for the prison bureau, told The Washington Post. “Pork has been the lowest-rated food by inmates for several years.” Fox
VOA VIEW: Obama is showing his Islamic prefreference.

Iran Finds Jason Rezaian Guilty. Washington Post Calls It 'Injustice'
Washington Post correspondent Jason Rezaian has been convicted by a Revolutionary Court in Iran, according to state-run media. Rezaian was reportedly facing up to 20 years, but the sentence was not specified on Monday. He has already been behind bars for more than a year. Rezaian was taken into custody in July 2014 and later charged with espionage. The Post has denied all the claims against him. On Monday, the newspaper's executive editor Marty Baron said the "guilty verdict" announcement "represents an outrageous injustice." "We are working with Jason's family and Iranian counsel to pursue an immediate appeal, and we expect Jason's lawyer, Leila Ahsan, also to petition for Jason to be released on bail pending a final resolution of the case," Baron said. CNN

Farrakhan On Columbus Day: ‘No Indigenous People’ Want To Celebrate ‘The Wicked One’ Who ‘Dislodged Them’
Nation of Islam leader Minister Louis Farrakhan called Christopher Columbus “the wicked one” during an event on Saturday marking the 20th anniversary of the Million Man March. “Haiti and the Dominican Republic used to be called Hispanolia, and it’s the first place that the wicked one, Columbus, set his feet. Tomorrow, they say it’s his birthday. I think it’s tomorrow, or the day after, Monday,” said Farrakhan. The Anti-Defamation League has been an outspoken opponent of Farrakhan for anti-semetic remarks he has made. CNS News
VOA VIEW: Farrakhan is a loud mouth fool.

Zimbabwe Official: U.S. Dentist Not Wanted For Killing Lion
Zimbabwe is no longer pressing for the extradition of James Walter Palmer, an American dentist who killed a well-known lion called Cecil, a Cabinet minister said Monday. Palmer can now safely return to Zimbabwe as a "tourist" because he had not broken the southern African country's hunting laws, Environment, Water and Climate Minister Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri told reporters in Harare on Monday. Zimbabwe's police and the National Prosecuting Authority had cleared Palmer of wrongdoing, she said. Palmer was identified as the man who killed Cecil in a bow hunt. Cecil, a resident of Hwange National park in western Zimbabwe, was well-known to tourists and researchers for his distinctive black mane. Las Vegas Sun

Blood Sugar Rate During Pregnancy Linked To Baby's Heart Defect Risk
Pregnant women with elevated blood sugar levels have an increased risk of giving birth to babies with congenital heart defects, researchers found in a new study.
During pregnancy, metabolic changes in women's bodies make glucose more available to the fetus than the mother, which can result in the development of gestational diabetes. Even when the mother's blood sugar levels are below those considered diabetic, however, the risk for defects increases, according to the study. "Diabetes is the tail end of a spectrum of metabolic abnormalities," said Dr. James Priest, a researcher in pediatric cardiology at the Stanford University School of Medicine, in a press release. "We already knew that women with diabetes were at significantly increased risk for having children with congenital heart disease. UPI

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Opposition Parties Not Joining Coalition Despite Terror
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's governing coalition will not be expanded beyond its 61 MKs, despite the terror raging across the country, the heads of opposition factions indicated in the Knesset Monday night. There were hopes in Likud that the terror attacks could be used as a catalyst to widen the razor thin majority the coalition has in the parliament. Netanyahu even invited the Zionist Union to enter the government at a press conference last Thursday. But on the first day of the Knesset's winter session following its extended summer recess, opposition party heads firmly ruled out entering the government. Jerusalem Post

Israel To World Leaders: Urge Palestinian Authority To Stop Incitement
Israel is urging various leaders around the world to impress upon Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas the need to stop incitement and try to rein in the raging terrorism, Israeli government officials said Monday. The comments came after  EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini called both Abbas and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday evening in an effort – her office said in a statement Monday – to “promote calm, encourage restraint and avoid actions which would fuel tensions even further.” According to the statement, Mogherini said, “Too many people have died already and too many families were left bereaved.” She condemned terrorism against civilians, and “stressed that any reaction should be proportionate.” Jerusalem Post

Alaska Mulls Extra Oil Drilling To Cope With Climate Change
Expanding the search for oil is necessary to pay for the damage caused by climate change, the Governor of Alaska has told the BBC. The state is suffering significant climate impacts from rising seas forcing the relocation of remote villages. Governor Bill Walker says that coping with these changes is hugely expensive.
He wants to "urgently" drill in the protected lands of the Arctic National Wilderness Refuge to fund them. Alaska has been severely hit by the dramatic drop in the price of oil over the past two years. BBC

Aerosmith Protest Over Trump Campaign Using Their Hit Dream On
Aerosmith star Steven Tyler has asked Donald Trump to stop using his band's song Dream On on the campaign trail. The singer's lawyers have sent a cease-and-desist letter, saying the use of the song "gives a false impression" he endorses Mr Trump's presidential bid. The politician has been playing the power ballad all summer, even air-drumming to it at a rally in Las Vegas. Tyler, who is a registered Republican, says it is not a "personal" issue but one of permission and copyright. BBC

US Government Deporting Central American Migrants To Their Deaths
The US government is deporting undocumented immigrants back to Central America to face the imminent threat of violence, with several individuals being murdered just days or months after their return, a Guardian investigation has found. The Guardian has confirmed three separate cases of Honduran men who have been gunned down shortly after being deported by the US government. Each was murdered in their hometowns, soon after their return – one just a few days after he was expelled from the US. Guardian
VOA VIEW: The United States must protect its borders and deport illegals.

Texas Gun Lobby: Bring Your Children To The Zoo – And Your Firearms Too
Visitors to the Houston zoo can now pack a little something extra besides a camera and picnic basket. The nearly century-old institution recently lifted its longtime firearms ban amid a broader push by gun-rights advocates who are pressuring zoos in Texas and elsewhere to do the same. Gun rights supporters say publicly owned zoos have misinterpreted laws and are illegally posting signs that ban firearms. Some zoos have countered calls for policy changes by claiming they are considered amusement parks, day cares or educational institutions – venues that legally can enforce gun bans in many states. Guardian

Russia Summons Britain's Military Attache Over 'RAF Permission To Shoot Down War Planes'
Russia summoned Britain's military attache to explain reports that RAF pilots had been given the green light to shoot down Russian war planes in the Middle East, the Foreign Office has said. It was reported that RAF Tornado fighters homing in on Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil) targets in Iraq had been equipped with missiles designed for aerial combat - reports the Foreign Office described as "inaccurate". Alexander Yakovenko, the Russian ambassador in London, said he "urgently requested explanations" from the Foreign Office, The Times said. Telegraph

Top UN Refugee Official Thanks Greece And Frontline Islands For Improved Response To Continued Arrivals
During a two-day mission to Greece – the main European Union entry point for nearly 450,000 refugees and migrants so far this year – the United Nations’ most senior refugee official said he had witnessed the improved humanitarian response mounted by Greek local authorities and civil society while lamenting the continued lack of a large-scale and effective European response. “It is amazing that on a small island, you are managing, whereas in a big Europe, with half a billion people, they are finding it so difficult,” the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, António Guterres, told Lesbos Mayor Spyros Galinos and other Greek officials. UN News

Peace Endures When Women Can Participate Meaningfully In Peace Talks, Says New UN Report
A new report on women, peace and security, launched today to coincide with the 15th anniversary of the landmark United Nations Security Council resolution on the issue, highlights the important gains to be made by the greater empowerment of women in peacebuilding efforts. UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka and Ms. Radhika Coomaraswamy, the lead author of the global study, introduced it at a press conference at UN Headquarters. “Since 2000, when resolution 1325 was adopted, the UN has recognized that women’s leadership and equality are key to international peace and security,” said Ms. Mlambo-Ngcuka. UN News

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