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NEWS   THURSDAY, APRIL  19, 2018   NEWS

Facebook To Follow Strict European Privacy Law--Everywhere
Facebook's latest move to tighten privacy follows a month of revelations about the company's activities in recent years that enabled the misuse of personal user data by third parties, including the now-infamous Cambridge Analytica in the 2016 US presidential election. In recent weeks, Facebook updated its data policy, and CEO Mark Zuckerberg issued an apology and testified to Congress about what he acknowledged were the company's failures. CNET
VOA VIEW: A start that needs to be concluded by total regulation of Facebook.

Feisty Barbara Bush Exposed Nasty Bias From Liberal Press
While reminiscing about the life of Barbara Bush, all three networks on Wednesday noted her toughness and willingness to fight. On CBS This Morning, journalist Bob Schieffer called the former First Lady the “enforcer.” What none of the networks noted in their tributes is that Mrs. Bush wouldn’t hesitate to bluntly call out liberal media bias when she saw it. During the 2000 Republican National Convention, as the party nominated her son, the family matriarch talked to then-Good Morning America co-host Charles Gibson. On August 2, 2000, Gibson demanded, “Is the party really ready to move to the center? News Busters
VOA VIEW: Liberals have no shame.

Melania Trump Will Attend Barbara Bush's Funeral
First lady Melania Trump will attend the funeral for Barbara Bush in Texas on Saturday. "Mrs. Trump plans to pay her respects at the funeral on Saturday," her communications director Stephanie Grisham told CNN. It is common for sitting first ladies to attend the funerals of former first ladies, as Michelle Obama did in 2016 for the funeral in California of former first lady Nancy Reagan. Then-first lady Hillary Clinton attended the burial of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis in 1994. CNN

Republicans Befuddled By Trump’s Abrupt Reversal On New Russia Sanctions
President Donald Trump’s sudden decision not to impose tough new sanctions on Russia left many lawmakers dumbfounded this week and led some to question whether Trump had seriously undermined Nikki Haley, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, who had announced the sanctions just a day prior. Haley made headlines during an interview on Sunday when she announced that the Trump administration would be rolling out new sanctions against Russia as punishment for its continued support of Syrian dictator Bashar Assad. Huff Post
VOA VIEW: Liberal media wishful thinking.

Trump's Loyalty Test
Questions of loyalty – both high and low – haunt the Trump White House, in this moment where the judicial system is poised to apply the kind of pressure even a president may not be able to resist. Two allies of President Donald Trump – his attorney Michael Cohen, and his friend Sean Hannity – are now publicly linked to each other and to the president in unclear ways. What they know and what they say could be of more consequence than anything the fired FBI director reveals at this point. ABC

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Comey Questions Colbert About ‘Pee Tape’ Hotel Room In Moscow
In a disgustingly gushy interview on CBS’s The Late Show, former FBI Director James Comey admitted that no one went to investigate the Ritz-Carlton Moscow hotel room where the Steele dossier alleged President Trump paid for the services of prostitutes. But host Stephen Colbert apparently did and begged the former investigator to ask him about it. “Is it big enough for the -- a germophobe to be at a safe distance from the activity,” he obliged. News Busters
VOA VIEW: Colbert is a liberal idiot.

Comey Pushed For The Investigation That Ended McCabe’s Career
According to a source familiar with the investigation that led to McCabe’s firing, Comey—then FBI director—asked the bureau’s internal Inspection Division to look into an Oct. 30, 2016, Wall Street Journal story that included leaks from inside the bureau. The Inspection Division took on the case and started trying to determine who was responsible for the leak. When they realized McCabe, the bureau’s deputy director, was a likely culprit, they handed off the investigation to the Justice Department’s inspector general, according to an IG report released late last week. Daily Beast
VOA VIEW: A report from the DB is questionable.

How Trump’s NASA Nominee Used A Nonprofit He Ran To Benefit Himself
Rep. James Bridenstine (R-Okla.) is a former Navy pilot with virtually no management experience in any large organization. But the Oklahoma Republican has been tapped by President Donald Trump to take over the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), a federal agency with a budget of $18.5 billion, 18,000 federal workers, and over 60,000 contract employees. Daily Beast
VOA VIEW: What management skills did Obama have to be president?

GOP Lawmakers Want Hillary And Comey Prosecuted
Eleven House Republicans are calling on Attorney General Jeff Sessions to prosecute a handful of individuals, including former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, ex-FBI Director James Comey, and former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe. In a Wednesday letter to Sessions, FBI Director Chris Wray, and U.S. Attorney John Huber — who was appointed to investigate GOP claims of FBI misconduct — the lawmakers refer Comey and McCabe for “investigation of potential violation(s) of federal statutes.” Washington Examiner
VOA VIEW: Good, good, good.

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Former Ace Navy Pilot ID'd As Hero Who Landed Southwest Flight
Tammie Jo Shults, 56, was calm as she navigated the damaged Dallas-bound jet, Flight 1380, to an emergency landing in Philadelphia, the report said. The twin-engine Boeing 737 that left New York’s LaGuardia Airport had 143 customers and five crew on board. One passenger died after she was reportedly hit with shrapnel from the explosion. Seven others were injured. Shults took the plane into a rapid descent as passengers employed oxygen masks and braced for impact. The veteran pilot managed to safely land the plane at Philadelphia International at 11:30 a.m. Fox
VOA VIEW: Shults makes all proud.

CIA Chief Pompeo And Kim Jong Un Met, Formed 'Good Relationship,' Trump Says
CIA Director Mike Pompeo made a secret visit to North Korea earlier this month and met with leader Kim Jong Un — a meeting that "went very smoothly," President Trump said on Wednesday. "A good relationship was formed," Trump said, adding that the direct contact with North Korea — a rare step for the U.S. — was intended to work out details of a possible Trump-Kim summit. In tweeting about Pompeo's trip, Trump confirmed the substance of recent reports by multiple news outlets, which had quoted unnamed White House officials. But Trump also introduced an element of potential confusion, by saying that Pompeo met with Kim "last week." NPR

Republicans Struggle To Make Tax Cuts A Winning Election Issue
Moments after the Republican tax overhaul passed in the Senate in mid-December, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said that if he and his party members couldn’t sell the cuts to the American people, they should find “another line of work.” Four months later, some GOP lawmakers who hoped the law would save them from defeat may have to start dusting off their resumes. Bloomberg

Attorney For @CNN And @NYTimes Convinced Judge To Publicly Name Hannity
Here’s a little tidbit from yesterday’s Michael Cohen hearing that’s pretty interesting… According to reports from inside the courtroom, Judge Kimba Wood was ready to allow Michael Cohen to submit the name of his 3rd client — who we now know is Sean Hannity — under seal, but an attorney for CNN and the New York Times convinced her otherwise. From Natasha Bertrand, The Atlantic: A note about this: Judge Wood was prepared to let Ryan give her the name of Cohen’s third client under seal. At that point, an attorney for the NYT and CNN approached the podium and convinced her that the press (&public) should know. She agreed. Twitchy.com
VOA VIEW: A dumb liberal judge.

ISIS Threatens Trump
A CHILLING new ISIS propaganda poster shows US President Donald Trump in chains, dressed in the same orange jumpsuit as so many of their execution victims. Other twisted videos, uploaded onto the terror group's social media channels, threaten the West with drive-by shootings. In the footage, a jihadi dressed in Western-style clothes and a baseball cap, aims a silenced automatic pistol at the driver of a pick-up truck. The extremists also posted videos of two school-aged boys, one of whom says he dreams of being a suicide bomber for the terror group while the second prays for death to America. Sun UK

The Entire Island Of Puerto Rico Just Lost All Its Power
Puerto Rico is experiencing an island-wide electricity outage, the biggest blackout since Hurricane Maria hit nearly seven months ago. The Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority, a government-owned organization, said on Wednesday it would take 24 to 36 hours for the power to be restored. The blackout comes just six days after authorities said about 840,000 people lost power when a tree fell on a line.  Buzz Feed

Right-Wing Commentators Say YouTube Is Censoring Them, So They’re Starting to Move To Other Video Platforms
In late February, David Seaman published an angry video rant in which he complained about getting banned by YouTube for pushing conspiracies about the Parkland high school shooting. “This is obscene, being censored in my own country,” Seaman said. “Who am I? I'm the journalist who helped break Pizzagate.” Seaman certainly played a major part in popularizing the bizarre right-wing conspiracy theory that prominent Democratic politicians ran a child exploitation ring out of the basement of a Washington, DC, pizza shop. Buzz Feed
VOA VIEW: Crazy - all social media should be regulated.

Cleveland Indians Donate $37,000 To Puerto Rico Relief
The Cleveland Indians, a team that took first place in the AL Central with 102 wins last season, showed some charity on Monday as they tried to do their part to provide aid for Puerto Rico, an island still suffering from the effects of Hurricane Maria. Maria ravaged Dominica and Puerto Rico for the second half of September last year, and pockets of the island still don't have power. CBS

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Nearly Half Of Americans Breath Dirty Air
Ozone levels spiked in the United States in 2016, which was the nation's second-hottest year on record, according to the American Lung Association's annual State of the Air report, released Wednesday. "As heat increases, ozone forms more rapidly, so we had more cities with more ozone days," said report author Janice Nolen, assistant vice president of national policy for the lung association. CBS

Pompeo Hunts For Dem Votes In His Floor Confirmation Strategy
President Donald Trump's nominee to be the next secretary of state may not get a favorable committee vote, but that won't stop his nomination, according to GOP lawmakers and aides. The plan is for Mike Pompeo, the current CIA director, to have his nomination moved to the Senate floor regardless of the looming committee vote. All eyes will be on a handful of moderate Democrats facing tough re-election campaigns. CNN

BBC Host Tells Former Navy Chief Not To Question Syria Narrative
In an extraordinary exchange, a BBC News host told a former Navy Admiral that he shouldn’t question the motivation behind military intervention in Syria because “we’re in an information war with Russia”. Admiral Lord West expressed doubt that the alleged chemical weapons attack which led to air strikes on Syria was actually carried out by Bashar Al-Assad’s regime, asserting it “doesn’t ring true” and asking “what benefit is there for his military?” InfoWars
VOA VIEW: Crazy!

Trump Retweets Photo Comparing Stormy's Sketch With Her Husband
We’re NOT suggesting that her husband, Brendon Miller, is the suspect, but we’re reporting on the fact that Stormy was accused by social media users of recreating Miller, a man whose facial features she’s likely most familiar with, when she gave a description of the alleged suspect she claimed intimidated her. “…She might have gotten a little confused while talking to the sketch artist,” TMZ suggested. “Fact is, the suspect sketch IS a dead ringer for Brendon … the porn actor who married Stormy in 2010, mind you.” InfoWars
VOA VIEW: Daniels is a publicity seeking liar.

Cuba, Just Hours Before A New President
What do Cubans think might happen on April 19th? Are they worried about Raul Castro leaving office? Do they feel a new president will be able to make any real changes on the island? I’ve had these questions going around my mind for quite some time now. Every time I go outside and run into somebody, I ask them to hear their response. Until a few days ago, I was very disappointed because nearly noone would answer my questions; not out of fear of reprisals like one might think, but because there were more pressing matters they had to deal with. Havana Times

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Sanctions Flap Erupts Into Open Conflict Between Haley And WH
President Donald Trump was watching television Sunday when he saw Nikki Haley, his ambassador to the United Nations, announce that he would impose fresh sanctions on Russia. The president grew angry, according to an official informed about the moment. As far as he was concerned, he had decided no such thing. It was not the first time Trump has yelled at the television over something he saw Haley saying. This time, however, the divergence has spilled into public in a remarkable display of discord that stems not just from competing views of Russia but from larger questions of political ambition, jealousy, resentment and loyalty. Atlanta Journal

Diaz-Canel Tapped To Steer Cuba Through Post Castro Uncertainty
Cuba turns to a model Communist Party official, Miguel Diaz-Canel, to steer it through a period of uncertainty when it finally turns the page on the Castro era in a vote on Thursday. The 57-year-old First Vice President is the pre-ordained choice of Raul Castro as he steps down, ensuring that the vote in the National Assembly to appoint him will be little more than a formality. The successor to Fidel and Raul Castro has spent three decades climbing to the summit of the Communist Party. He is ideally placed to continue to implement the economic reforms initiated by his 86-year-old mentor. Yahoo News
VOA VIEW: Time will tell if there is any change - don't count on any.

Approval Rating Holds At 50%
The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Wednesday shows that 50% of Likely U.S. Voters approve of President Trump’s job performance. Forty-nine percent (49%) disapprove. President Obama earned 47% approval, 52% disapproval on this date eight years ago – in the second year of his presidency. Rasmussen

Meghan Markle Made History This Morning
As Vanity Fair’s Katie Nicholl has reported, Markle’s attendance at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting is unprecedented in royal history. Royal fiancées don’t usually take part in this particular week, but Markle has been asked to participate in royal engagements often, seemingly a sign of how warmly she has been welcomed into the royal firm. Vanity Fair
VOA VIEW: A short lived hitch.

Olympian McKayla Maroney Says Larry Nassar Sexually Abused Her "Hundreds" Of Times
Olympic gymnast McKayla Maroney said disgraced gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar abused her "hundreds" of times — and made her question if her gymnastics career was "really even worth it" — in her first public comments since his January court hearing. Nassar was found guilty on multiple counts of sexual abuse and sentenced to 40 to 175 years in prison in January, and an additional 40 to 125 years in February. Maroney also said Nassar told her that his abusive treatment was part of her "sacrifice" to get to the Olympics, and to keep it secret as others wouldn't understand. Buzz Feed

Sean Hannity Linked To Other Trump-Connected Attorneys, Besides Cohen
Days after it was revealed that Fox News host Sean Hannity was a client of President Trump's personal attorney, Michael Cohen, The Atlantic reports that the political commentator has employed at least two other lawyers with links to the president and who are also frequent guests on his show. According to the magazine, attorneys Jay Sekulow and Victoria Toensing sent a cease-and-desist letter on behalf of Hannity to an Oklahoma radio station responding to an accusation against the host made on air by conservative activist Debbie Schlussel, who said Hannity had been "creepy" toward her and invited her to his hotel room. NPR
VOA VIEW: The truth will prevail.

A Parkland Student Who Was Shot Five Times Is The First Victim To Sue Over The Massacre
About two weeks after he was released from the hospital, 15-year-old Anthony Borges, who was shot protecting his classmates, became the first Parkland victim to file a lawsuit against an array of parties for negligence. Borges was shot five times — three times in the leg and twice in the torso — barricading the door of his classroom, where 20 other students were hiding, when gunman Nikolas Cruz opened fire in Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Valentine's Day, killing 17 people, the complaint states. Buzz Feed

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Top Energy Aide Dumps Trump To Lobby For K Street
After an administrative gap year, Mike Catanzaro has returned to K Street from the White House. Special assistant to the president for domestic energy and environmental policy since February 2017, the presidential aide will head back to his earlier corporate home at the CGCN lobbying group. Those lobbyists, no doubt, will welcome back Catanzaro with a fatter paycheck and better perks. His time with Trump makes him invaluable to industry. Washington Examiner

Savannah Guthrie Holds Comey’s Feet To The Fire: ‘You’re Shorter In Person’
“Terrifying,” Comey told Guthrie when she asked how it feels to have his new book, “A Higher Loyalty,” out in the public eye. “Just because of all the attention. I don’t crave that. It’s hard for me to hide because I’m a giraffe.” “Yeah, you are shorter in person,” Guthrie answered with a smile on her face. “I just had to say.” “It still seems raw. It seems like you have some scores to settle,” she continued. “A little bit of anger left over, a little bit of bitterness.” Daily Caller
VOA VIEW: Guthrie made Comey look bad.

Trump: Stormy Daniels Sketch Is A ‘Total Con Job’
President Donald Trump expressed skepticism at porn star Stormy Daniels’ release of a sketch of a man who supposedly threatened her to keep silent about her alleged affair with the President. “A sketch years later about a nonexistent man,” Trump tweeted. “A total con job, playing the Fake News Media for Fools (but they know it)!” Daniels has repeatedly claimed that a man approached her and her daughter at a Las Vegas casino in 2011 and threatened her to not discuss her alleged 2006 affair with Trump. Daily Caller
VOA VIEW: Only fools believe Daniels.

Trump Changed His Mind On Joining The TPP......Again
President Donald Trump shocked Washington on Thursday when he told lawmakers he was looking into rejoining the Trans-Pacific Partnership. In his first week in office, Trump withdrew the US from the huge free trade pact after criticizing it sharply as a bad deal for American workers on the campaign trail. But now it appears he’s changing his mind yet again — back to his original stance. “While Japan and South Korea would like us to go back into TPP, I don’t like the deal for the United States,” Trump tweeted Tuesday night. “Too many contingencies and no way to get out if it doesn’t work. Bilateral deals are far more efficient, profitable and better for OUR workers.” Vox

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Israel Warns Iran On Military Buildup In Syria
Israel has reportedly canceled plans to send warplanes to a joint military exercise with the U.S. amid concern over the buildup of Iranian forces across the border in Syria. The decision not to send F-15 jets to the drill in Alaska was widely reported by the Israeli media to be linked to worries over a possible Iranian attack, potentially involving an armed drone. NBC

Fresno State Professor Calls Barbara Bush An 'Amazing Racist'
A Fresno State English professor didn't mince words in a series of tweets she posted Tuesday night an hour after the passing of the former first lady Barbara Bush. Randa Jarrar said Bush was smart and generous but also called her an "amazing racist" who raised a "war criminal." "F--- outta here with your nice words," Jarrar added. Jarrar, whose Twitter page is now private, sparked controversy with her provocative message, and in the comments she received both praise and scorn. SF Gate
VOA VIEW: Sick liberal.

Tennessee Strips $250,000 From Memphis As Payback For Removing Confederate Statues
The city of Memphis could lose a quarter-million dollars as punishment for removing statues of Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest and Confederate President Jefferson Davis last year. The Tennessee House of Representatives voted Tuesday to strip the money from next year's state budget. The sum had been earmarked to go toward planning for Memphis' bicentennial celebrations next year. NPR
VOA VIEW: Good start.

House Panel Considers Ban On Killing Dogs And Cats For Meals
Making a meal out of a dog or a cat may soon land you in jail. An amendment being considered Wednesday by the House Agriculture Committee would change the Animal Welfare Act to bar people from "knowingly slaughtering a dog or cat for human consumption," as well as transporting or participating in other commercial activity related to eating pet meat. Bloomberg
VOA VIEW: A sensible law.

Cuomo Grants Parolees The Right To Vote
Appealing to his left flank, Gov. Cuomo announced Wednesday that he’s signed an executive order to give convicted felons on parole the right to vote. “In this state, when you’re released from prison and you’re on parole, you still don’t have the right to vote,” Cuomo said at the National Action Network’s conference in midtown. “Now how can that be? You did your time. You paid your debt. You’re released, but you still don’t have a right to vote.” NY Post

Iran Unveils Devastating New Missile System In Army Day Parade
In a huge military parade to mark National Army Day, Iranian troops showed off the "Kamin-2" missile system as it was driven on the back of a truck through the streets of Tehran. A low-altitude missile system, the "Kamin-2" is designed to confront military drones, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and low-flying planes. This latest military system is an upgraded version of the Mersad missile system. Daily Star UK

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