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NEWS     FRIDAY,  NOVEMBER   16, 2018    NEWS

Scot Peterson, Parkland deputy who didn't enter school during shooting, doesn't show for investigative panel
Scot Peterson, the disgraced Broward County sheriff's deputy who did not confront Nikolas Cruz as he opened fire at Marjory Stoneman Douglas in February, declined on Thursday to testify before a public safety commission investigating the massacre. Peterson, 55, would've been asked why he didn't enter the Parkland, Florida school building where 17 people were killed in one of the largest mass shootings in modern U.S. history. The school resource officer's attorney, Joseph DiRuzzo, instead appeared before the commission. He told them that earlier Thursday he filed a lawsuit to stop the 14-member panel's subpoena. Nikolas Cruz, the confessed Parkland shooter, registered to vote while in jail. The news enraged one victim’s father.  Fox

Trump Jr.'s India business trip cost US government nearly $100K
A family business trip to India by President Donald Trump's eldest son cost taxpayers nearly $100,000, The Washington Post reported Thursday. The Post report, citing government documents, showed Donald Trump Jr.'s Secret Service protection racked up $97,805 in bills for the February trip to New Dehli, Mumbai, Pune and Kolkata, where there are Trump-licensed luxury high-rises. The report also noted a review last year had pegged the government's price tag for a trip by son Eric Trump to Uruguay at $97,830. As noted in the report, Trump Jr. had previously requested to scale back Secret Service protection, which he is authorized, but not required, to have as a member of the President's family. CNN
VOA VIEW: What about the President not receiving his $400K salary?

Facebook goes on defensive over New York Times investigation
Facebook and its CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, have spent much of Thursday swinging back after a New York Times investigation published Wednesday suggested that the company had not been forthcoming enough about Russian interference on its platform and reported that it had hired a firm that dug up dirt on its competitors. Participating in a conference call with reporters Thursday that was meant to be about rules regarding how Facebook polices its platform, Zuckerberg instead had to focus mainly on the Times' story and reporters' questions about it. CNN
VOA VIEW: Facebook needs to be split up.


Palm Beach misses election recount deadline after machines stop working
Florida's already farcical recount was dealt yet another blow Thursday when Palm Beach County failed to meet a 3 p.m. deadline, with the election supervisor blaming faulty equipment. As a result of the county failing to make the deadline, the only one of Florida's 67, the numbers from the initial count, which were completed Saturday, will stand. The announcement came soon after a federal judge ruled that 5,000 voters whose mail-in ballots were rejected because of signature issues be given an additional two days to fix the problem. As the 3 p.m. deadline passed, Palm Beach Elections Supervisor Susan Bucher said her county “got stuck with some mechanical issues.” “It was a heroic effort and we just completed uploading our Saturday results, as was required by law,” Bucher said. “If we had three or four more hours, we might have made the time.”A manual recount of 5,900 over-votes and under-votes was will begin at 4 p.m. U.S. District Judge Mark Warner slammed state lawmakers and Palm Beach County officials for failing to anticipate election problems and said the state law on recounts appears to violate the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that decided the presidency in 2000. Fox
VOA VIEW: The Dems won't concede.

Trump Fury: Mueller's 'Angry People'...'Don't Care How Many Lives (They) Ruin'
As speculation mounts about what Robert Mueller and his investigators are up to -almost two years into the Trump-Russia investigation -President Trump is drawing his own conclusions.  In two tweets on Thursday, he wrote: The inner workings of the Mueller investigation are a total mess. They have found no collusion and have gone absolutely nuts. They are screaming and shouting at people, horribly threatening them to come up with the answers they want. They are a disgrace to our Nation and don’t care how many lives the (sic) ruin. These are Angry People, including the highly conflicted Bob Mueller, who worked for Obama for 8 years. They won’t even look at all of the bad acts and crimes on the other side. A TOTAL WITCH HUNT LIKE NO OTHER IN AMERICAN HISTORY!  CNS

Trump: 'Did I hear the Word Bipartisan?...That's a Nice Word'
President Trump, meeting with lawmakers and members of various  law enforcement groups at the White House on Wednesday, expressed support for a bipartisan criminal justice legislation. He stressed the word "bipartisan." Working together with my administration over the last two years, these members have reached a bipartisan agreement. Did I heard the word “bipartisan”? Did I hear — did I hear that word? That’s a nice word. President Trump, meeting with lawmakers and members of various  law enforcement groups at the White House on Wednesday, expressed support for a bipartisan criminal justice legislation. CNS


US sanctions 17 Saudis allegedly implicated in Khashoggi murder
The Trump administration has sanctioned 17 Saudi officials for their alleged involvement in the killing of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi, the first economic penalties from the U.S. over the brutal murder that has spawned a diplomatic crisis. The 17 individuals, the U.S said, are the 15-man hit squad that traveled to Turkey to carry out the operation, the Saudi consul general in Istanbul, Turkey, where the killing took place, and a senior adviser to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. It's the same list of people that the Saudis have blamed and arrested for the killing, which the Saudi government at first denied, then called an accident, before labeling it a rogue operation. The 17 were also among the 21 Saudi officials that the U.S. already revoked or banned U.S. visas for. ABC

Michael Avenatti speaks out after domestic violence arrest
Michael Avenatti, the attorney for adult film star Stormy Daniels, was arrested in Los Angeles on suspicion of domestic violence, police said, but the lawyer maintains "I have never struck a woman." The incident took place Tuesday and Avenatti was arrested Wednesday, police said. Avenatti was booked at 3:44 p.m. local time Wednesday on suspicion of domestic violence with injuries, according to booking records obtained by ABC Station KABC. His bail was set at $50,000, the Los Angeles Police Department said. The case will be "presented to the Los Angeles County District Attorney for prosecution," the LAPD said in a press release. Avenatti tweeted Thursday that he has "NOT been charged with anything, let alone a felony." ABC
VOA VIEW: Fake news - according to Avenatti.

Nancy Pelosi has a math problem in her race to be House speaker
Seventeen House Democrats and newly elected members have signed a letter vowing to vote against Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi as Speaker of the House, which could leave the Democratic leader short of 218 votes she needs. Pelosi needs the support of 218 Democrats on the floor of the House when members elect a new speaker on January 3. Democrats currently control 228 seats with eight races still outstanding, according to the latest CBS News tally. The group opposing Pelosi has not yet released their letter, but the signers include 16 Democratic House lawmakers and representatives-elect. CBS
VOA VIEW: Pelosi may need some Republicans.

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Pro-Trump company selling Lego-like "Build the Wall" toy ahead of Christmas
The conservative lifestyle brand Keep and Bear is selling Lego-like "Build the wall" toy ahead of Christmas. A conservative website is selling a Lego-like toy set called "Build the Wall," which includes small building blocks meant to signify President's Trump's proposed border wall. The controversial toy is part of Keep and Bear's "MAGA" toy line that promotes pro-Trump messages. The company provided a politically-loaded description of the 101-piece toy set, starting off with the exaggerated claim that "A mob of 10,000 Central American migrants is marching through Mexico and heading toward El Paso, Texas."  CBS
VOA VIEW: A wall needs to be built.

After hurling criticism, Trump will visit California to assess wildfire damage
President Donald Trump is slated to visit California on Saturday to assess the damage of the deadly wildfires that have ravaged the state, the White House announced Thursday. The president's visit comes after he was excoriated for publicly scolding state officials on Twitter last Saturday and then blamed and threatened Californians, tweeting in part, "so many lives lost, all because of gross mismanagement of the forests." He added: "Billions of dollars are given each year, with so many lives lost, all because of gross mismanagement of the forests. Remedy now, or no more Fed payments!" NBC

Text messages show Roger Stone and friend discussing WikiLeaks plans
Six days before WikiLeaks began releasing Hillary Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta’s emails, Roger Stone had a text message conversation with a friend about WikiLeaks, according to copies of phone records obtained exclusively by NBC News. “Big news Wednesday,” the Stone pal, radio host Randy Credico, wrote on Oct. 1, 2016, according to the text messages provided by Stone. “Now pretend u don’t know me.” “U died 5 years ago,” Stone replied. “Great,” Credico wrote back. “Hillary’s campaign will die this week.” Credico turned out to be wrong on one count — nothing incriminating about Clinton came out that Wednesday.  NBC


US mid-term election set record voter turnout
If Donald Trump has one undisputable achievement during the first two years of his presidency, it's that he has succeeded in increasing the political engagement of a large share of the American public. Preliminary figures for nationwide turnout in the 2018 mid-term elections are in, and they've reached a mark not seen in more than a century. Across the US, 49.2% of the voting age public cast ballots. In 2014 that number was 37%, and the average over the last few decades has hovered around 40%.
The last time turnout for a mid-term topped 50% was 1914 - before women had the vote in the US. In some states, the numbers were even higher. According to the United States Elections Project, 64.3% of eligible Minnesotans voted. BBC

Pentagon fails its first-ever audit, official says
The Pentagon has failed what is being called its first-ever comprehensive audit, a senior official said on Thursday, finding U.S. Defense Department accounting discrepancies that could take years to resolve. Results of the inspection - conducted by some 1,200 auditors and examining financial accounting on a wide range of spending including on weapons systems, military personnel and property - were expected to be completed later in the day. “We failed the audit, but we never expected to pass it,” Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan told reporters, adding that the findings showed the need for greater discipline in financial matters within the Pentagon. Reuters
VOA VIEW: Pitiful!

North Korea state media says Kim inspects testing of 'tactical' weapon
North Korea’s state media said on Friday that leader Kim Jong Un had inspected a site testing a “high-tech tactical weapon”, South Korean Yonhap news service reported, the first mention by state media of a new development in weapons in months. North Korea’s Korea Central Broadcasting Station (KCBS) did not say exactly what kind of weapon Kim inspected, but noted that the test was successful, Yonhap said. Reuters

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John Kerry: US 'cannot afford truculent child president'
America cannot afford “a truculent child president” if it is to fulfil its global leadership role, the former US secretary of state John Kerry said on Thursday as he lambasted Donald Trump for failing to attend a key Armistice Day commemoration ceremony in Paris at the weekend. Kerry is visiting the UK to promote his book and will be speaking at a Guardian Live event in London on Thursday night. Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, Kerry spoke of “a dearth of a leadership on a global basis” adding: “Every country is feeling the pressure of this nationalistic populist and in some cases very frightening rightwing advance.” He said: “I was appalled that rain drops prevented the president from going to pay honour to those that died in rain, gas, snow and mud. That was the reason he came to Paris.”Guardian

US civil rights agency decries Trump administration’s lax approach to police violence
America’s lead governmental civil rights body on Thursday issued a sharp rebuke to the Trump administration’s lax approach to police violence, recommending that the government “return to vigorous enforcement of constitutional policing”. The recommendations, from the US Commission on Civil Rights (CCR), came just a day after members of the American Public Health Association (APHA) took the unprecedented step of officially recognizing police violence as a “critical” public health issue. The national organization’s membership includes more than 25,000 public health professionals. Both bodies relied heavily on findings from the Guardian’s 2015-2016 special project The Counted, which tracked US fatalities at the hands of law enforcement, to reach their conclusions. Guardian

‘Make healthy choices’ urges UN agency, to prevent and manage chronic diabetes
Diabetes is a chronic disease that occurs when the pancreas does not produce enough insulin, or when the body cannot effectively use the insulin it produces, which leads to an increased concentration of glucose in the blood. Around 1.6 million deaths can be directly attributed to diabetes each year. “Diabetes is a major cause of blindness, kidney failure, heart attack, stroke and lower limb amputation,” said WHO, noting that about 422 million adults have the disease – a number that has been increasing steadily over the last three decades.  UN

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