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NEWS   WEDNESDAY, AUGUST  23, 2017   NEWS

H.R. McMaster Showed Trump Photo Of Afghan Women In Miniskirts To Escalate War
President Donald Trump was reluctant to send more troops to Afghanistan after years of saying the war was “wasting our money.” So national security adviser H.R. McMaster used a 1972 photo of Afghan women in miniskirts to show the president that the country had once adopted Western values and to convince him to escalate the war, according to The Washington Post. McMaster reportedly showed Trump a black-and-white snapshot of bare-legged women in Kabul to illustrate that the region might be able to embrace Western ideals again.  Huffington Post
VOA VIEW: Expected from the liberal news.

Breitbart News Wants Trump To Know His Base Is Not Happy About Afghanistan
Breitbart News had a clear message for President Donald Trump following his speech on the war in Afghanistan Monday night: His voter base is not happy. Breitbart News’ Adam Shaw wrote that the president’s “‘America First’ base was the biggest loser” after Trump announced he would keep troops in Afghanistan and promised to take a more aggressive stance toward Pakistan. Soon after the president’s speech, Breitbart News splashed headlines on its front page saying the president had “flip-flopped” on his longtime position to end the war in Afghanistan. Huffington Post
VOA VIEW: Liberal media tales of mixed news - Trump's speech was good.

Two Kennedys Arrested After Wild Party In Cape Cod
Two members of the Kennedy clan were arrested for refusing to tone down a raucous party early Sunday. Police in Barnstable, Mass., collared Matthew “Max” Kennedy, 52 — the ninth son of assassinated former New York senator Robert F. Kennedy — and his daughter Caroline, 22, at a home near the family’s famed Hyannis Port compound at 1 a.m. Cops showed up after several noise complaints about the rager, where party-goers were also lighting off fireworks. Officers asked them to keep it down, but they refused, so police cuffed them, according to CapeCod.com. NY Post

Stocks Rally Worldwide, Crude Rebounds On Supply
Global equity markets rallied on Tuesday, lifted by mining companies in Europe and surging technology shares on Wall Street, while crude oil rebounded on indications that supply is gradually tightening, especially in the United States. U.S. stocks surged, with information technology shares .SPLRCT rising 1.45 percent, while European shares snapped a three-day losing streak in a broad advance. A 2.1 percent slide in the benchmark S&P 500 index over the past two weeks led investors to step in, said Dennis Dick, a proprietary trader at Bright Trading LLC in Las Vegas. Reuters

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As Tax Debate Heats Up, Republicans Tweak Business Interest Plan
Congressional Republicans, seeking to address the complaints of small businesses, are floating changes to their controversial proposal to eliminate business tax deductions for debt interest payments, business lobbyists said on Tuesday. A top U.S. Republican on tax policy acknowledged that modifications are in the works, but did not provide details. The debt interest proposal, long seen by Republican policymakers as necessary to help drive economic growth, is backed by large companies with ready access to equity financing that they could substitute for debt if eliminating the interest deduction made issuing debt too costly.  Reuters

Sharpton: ‘Any Match Could Lead To An Explosion’
America's reality TV president has made America face its reality, on TV. Now, civil rights leaders across the country worry what will come from Donald Trump's equivocation on racism and hatred—and the country’s struggle in the week and a half since Charlottesville to deal with a problem much bigger than a few hundred wannabe Nazis with Tiki torches. Civil rights leaders talk about deep, visceral fear about where this could lead, and not in the usual political “concern” or “objections.” POLITICO
VOA VIEW: The majority of Americans are against statue removal.

Ryan Faces Heat Back Home In Wisconsin
The pride of Wisconsin got an earful back home. House Speaker Paul Ryan remains undeniably popular in his home state. He routed a Donald Trump-inspired primary challenger last year to win reelection. Yet the shortcomings of an all-Republican Washington this year have drawn disapproval from voters across the political spectrum, and it was all too evident at a nationally televised town hall here on Monday night. “I had high hopes since you're the speaker and my congressional representative. How have you not been successful up until this point as a leader to get this done like you promised? POLITICO
VOA VIEW: Republicans are weak - they talk the talk but fail to walk.

Governors Preparing Bipartisan Health Care Plan For Congress To Consider
In the wake of congressional Republicans' failure to pass a health care bill, two governors from different parties are going to bring their own ideas to Washington. Staff for Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, a Democrat, and Ohio Gov. John Kasich, a Republican, are working on a joint health care plan. Kasich told Colorado Public Radio's Colorado Matters that they expect to release it ahead of September hearings in the U.S. Senate. They also intend to get other governors from both parties to sign onto the plan, to show support at the state level. "We're getting very close. NPR

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Largest Asteroid Ever Tracked To Pass By Earth Sept. 1
The largest asteroid ever tracked by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory will pass by Earth just 11 days after the Great American Solar Eclipse. Asteroid Florence, named after nursing pioneer Florence Nightingale, will pass by Earth on Sept. 1 at a safe distance of 4.4 million miles, roughly 18 times the distance between the Earth and the moon. Florence is 2.7 miles wide, making it the largest asteroid ever tracked by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. "While many known asteroids have passed by closer to Earth than Florence will on Sept.1, all of those were estimated to be smaller," Paul Chodas, manager of NASA's Center for Near-Earth Object Studies at the agency's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, told al.com. UPI

Powerball Jackpot Soars To $700M -- The Second-Largest In U.S. History
The estimated payout in Wednesday night's Powerball drawing has soared to $700 million -- the second-largest jackpot in U.S. lottery history. The estimated amount was announced by Powerball on Tuesday. The jackpot could grow before the six balls are drawn in Tallahassee, Fla., at 10:59 p.m. Wednesday. The $700 million is what would be doled out to one winner in 30 payments over 29 years. If the lump sum option is chosen, the payout would be $443.3 million. The odds of winning are one in 292.2 million for each $2 ticket. Saturday's drawing produced no winners for the then-$535 million pot.  UPI
VOA VIEW: Only two dollars a chance to win - maybe.

Donald Trump Decided Not To Lose The War In Afghanistan
Last night, Donald Trump did the responsible thing. He reneged on a campaign promise to avoid losing a war. That’s exactly what we want presidents to do when they win elections, learn new information, and begin to fully understand the strategic, cultural, and political ramifications of promises foolishly made. We want them to do what Trump candidly did last night — admit that “decisions are much different when you sit behind the desk in the Oval Office.” In the aftermath of the Vietnam War, if there is any such thing as a bipartisan strategic commitment, it’s a commitment to never again preside over a debacle like the fall of Saigon. National Review

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Thousands Of US Paratroopers Expected To Arrive In Afghanistan Soon
Several thousand paratroopers from the 82nd Airborne Division are expected to arrive in Afghanistan in the coming weeks, a U.S. defense official told Fox News Tuesday. The official refused to be more specific about the timetable because the orders had not yet been signed. Gen. Joseph Votel, the top U.S commander for the Middle East, earlier told reporters in Saudi Arabia that the deployments could take days or a few weeks. Fox

Muslim Men In India Could Once Divorce Their Wives By Saying Three Words. Until Now.
For hundreds of years, Muslim men in India could divorce their wives by repeating the word “talaq,” Arabic for “divorce,” three times. On Tuesday, the Supreme Court declared the practice unconstitutional. A five-judge bench moved to block instant divorce for six months, pending a law banning the practice to be debated in Parliament. India is one of a handful of countries where “triple talaq” still happens. The practice is considered part of Islamic law by only some scholars and has been outlawed in many Muslim countries. Washington Post
VOA VIEW: Good!

UNICEF Warns Use Of Children As 'Human Bombs' Is On The Rise In North-East Nigeria
The United Nations children agency today expressed extreme concern at the appalling increase in the cruel and calculated use of children, especially girls, as “human bombs” in north-east Nigeria. “Since the beginning of January 2017, 83 children had been used as so-called human bombs, 55 being girls, most of them often under 15 years old,” UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) spokesperson Marixie Mercado told reporters at today's regular press briefing in Geneva.
“The 27 other children were boys and one was an infant strapped to a girl,” she continued. United Nations News

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Pay Up, Europe: What Trump Gets Right About NATO
Donald Trump, the 45th president of the United States, has a point about Europe and NATO. In May, in a speech at the alliance’s headquarters, in Brussels, he told his fellow leaders that “NATO members must finally contribute their fair share.” In July, he repeated the warning in Warsaw. “Europe must do more,” he said. European leaders may find these demands grating, especially given Trump’s unpopularity among their constituents, but they should heed them. In recent years, Europe has become a dangerous place. In search of domestic support, Russian President Vladimir Putin has turned to aggression abroad, invading Ukraine and intervening in Syria. Since any one military adventure can provide only a temporary popularity boost, Putin will always need new victims. Foreign Affairs

Missouri Governor Stays Execution Of Convicted Killer Amid New DNA Evidence
A Missouri man convicted of murder will not be put to death on Tuesday night after Gov. Eric Greitens issued a stay of execution and ordered a review of his case amid new DNA evidence. "A sentence of death is the ultimate, permanent punishment," Greitens said in a statement. "To carry out the death penalty, the people of Missouri must have confidence in the judgment of guilt. CNN

Protests Turn Unruly After Trump's Phoenix Speech
A day of noisy but largely peaceful protests of President Donald Trump's speech in Phoenix turned unruly as police fired pepper spray at crowds after someone apparently lobbed rocks and bottles at officers. A cloudy haze enveloped the night sky Tuesday outside the convention center where Trump had just wrapped up his speech as protesters and police clashed. People fled the scene coughing as the disturbance unfolded. "People in the crowd have begun throwing rocks and bottles at police. They also dispersed some gas in the area," Phoenix police spokesman Jonathan Howard said, adding that officers responded with pepper spray to "disperse the crowd."  POLITICO
VOA VIEW: No major problem is Phoenix.

Treasury Secretary's Wife Apologizes For Instagram Post, Reply
Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin's wife Louise Linton apologized Tuesday after sustained backlash for a now-deleted Instagram post touting her wealth and her subsequent reply belittling a commenter. "I apologize for my post on social media yesterday as well as my response. It was inappropriate and highly insensitive," Linton said in a statement from her publicist. Monday's post began with a glamorous photo of Linton stepping off an official government plane on a trip to Kentucky with her husband, who was there to discuss tax reform with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and visit Fort Knox. Dressed in all white and carrying a handbag and silk scarf, the Scottish-born actress and producer tagged a series of luxury designers, including Hermes, Roland Mouret, Tom Ford and Valentino. "CNN
VOA VIEW: Mnuchin married way above his looks.

Upside Down: Trump’s Kid Gets Grief From The Daily Caller And Defense From Chelsea Clinton
A recurring story line in the conservative Daily Caller goes something like this: President Trump's 11-year-old son, Barron, gets bullied online by some jerk, proving that liberals and the media (which are basically the same thing) have no class. Washington Post

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Why I Refuse To Avoid White People
In the days since the white supremacists marched into Charlottesville, Va., my Twitter feed has lit up with advice from black pundits, activists and even friends: “It’s time to stop talking about racism with white people.” “Whiteness is always protected, even at its worst.” “Non-racist white people simply don’t exist.” Lines like these advise black Americans like me to respond to racism largely by avoiding white people. The assumption is that they are racist, even evil, unless they explicitly state and repeatedly prove otherwise. I found myself thinking about this advice as I walked down Franklin Avenue in Brooklyn this past weekend. NY Times
VOA VIEW: Blacks are more racist that whites.

7th Fleet Commander To Be Relieved After Deadly Ship Collisions
The commander of the U.S. Navy’s 7th Fleet will be relieved of command following the deadly collision of two warships in separate incidents in a little more than two months, two officials said Tuesday. Navy Vice Admiral Joseph P. Aucoin will be relieved of command by Pacific Fleet Admiral Scott Swift, the officials said. The Wall Street Journal first reported the planned move Tuesday. Swift announced he is traveling to Yokosuka Japan at a press conference in Singapore Tuesday and he is expected to meet with Aucoin there. NBC News
VOA VIEW: A scape goat.

‘My Actions Were Despicable’: Catholic Priest Steps Down After Revealing He Was A Ku Klux Klan Member Decades Ago
A Catholic priest in Arlington, Va., is temporarily stepping down after revealing he was a member of the Ku Klux Klan and burned crosses more than 40 years ago before joining the clergy. In an editorial published Monday in the Arlington Catholic Herald, the Rev. William Aitcheson described himself as “an impressionable young man” when he became a member of the hate group. He wrote that images from the deadly white-supremacist and white-nationalist rally in Charlottesville “brought back memories of a bleak period in my life that I would have preferred to forget.”  Google News

Houston-Area Boy Banned From School Because Of Long Hair
A 4-year-old boy in the Houston area was forced out of his school because of his long hair. Jessica Oates, 25, of Baytown, and her son Jabez were told Friday afternoon by administrators at Barber's Hill kindergarten center that he could not return to school unless his long locks were chopped. On Monday, Oates put Jabez's hair in a bun using a black hair tie and tried to take him to school. The pair were turned away and not let out of the car because his hair still violated the school's dress code, Oates told Chron.com Tuesday morning. Despite having to call out of her job at a restaurant Tuesday because Jabez couldn't go to school, Oates has no intention of cutting his hair. A 4-year-old boy in the Houston area was forced out of his school because of his long hair. Houston Chronicle

Chevron CEO Watson Plans To Step Down
John Watson, who has led Chevron Corp. since 2010, is planning to step down as the oil major seeks a new chief executive officer, the Wall Street Journal said, citing people familiar with the matter. While the San Ramon, California-based producer has not made a final decision on a successor, Michael Wirth, a 56-year-old Chevron lifer whose elevation was telegraphed in January when the company announced his promotion to vice chairman, has been seen as a leading candidate. An announcement will likely be made next month, the Journal said. Watson, 60, was named CEO after he oversaw the integration of Texaco Inc. and Unocal Corp. into Chevron. Bloomberg

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Why Did Verizon Kill The Unlimited Plan That Everyone Loved?
For the last six months, Verizon was doing well. It introduced an excellent Unlimited data plan with minimal restrictions and an affordable price, and subscribers fell over themselves to sign up. Well, that’s all out the window. This morning, Verizon made some significant changes to its Unlimited plan that makes it more expensive and worse, and it’s started throttling all smartphone video — on any plan, regardless of price — to 720p. We’ll come back to the plans and Verizon’s need for a new dictionary in a moment, but first, let’s talk about why Verizon had to make these changes in the first place. Simply put, I don’t think Verizon’s network can keep up.
According to data put out by two testing companies — OpenSignal and Ookla (the company behind Speedtest.net) — Verizon’s average network speed has slowed since the introduction of unlimited data plans. BGR

Jury Awards $417M To Woman Who Says She Got Cancer From Talc In Baby Powder
A Los Angeles jury awarded a woman a $417 million verdict yesterday. The jury found that Johnson & Johnson failed to adequately warn users of the cancer risks of the talc in its baby powder. The jury's 9-3 vote to hold J&J liable for not warning Eva Echeverria about cancer risks is a huge blow to the company, which is facing thousands of such claims across the country. The verdict consists of $70 million in compensatory damages and $347 million in punitive damages, according to Reuters. No clear link connects talcum powder to ovarian cancer.  Arstechnica

There’s No ‘Nazi’ Exception To The First Amendment
Under the doctrine laid out by a unanimous Supreme Court in the seminal Brandenburg v. Ohio decision, incitement to imminent lawless action may in some circumstances be prosecuted. But this rule is universal and narrow, and, crucially, is in no way akin to the sort of “hate speech” exceptions that obtain in every other country, and that so many Americans seem to believe exist here too. National Review

Democrats Warn Bannon Against Publishing Classified Information
Democrats have a warning for Donald Trump’s former chief strategist Steve Bannon: Don’t use your position at Breitbart to share classified and sensitive information you collected while at the White House. "Steve Bannon has an ongoing obligation to safeguard our nation’s secrets, and he does not gain some kind of extra Constitutional protection just because he is now returning to a position in the media,” said Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., the senior Democrat on the House Oversight Committee.  McClatchy

Jerry Jones Feels ‘Very Strongly’ Players Shouldn’t Protest National Anthem
Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has previously made it known how he feels about players protesting the national anthem. During his appearance with Shan and RJ Tuesday on 105.3 The Fan, Jones reiterated his feelings on the matter when asked about the growing number of protests this preseason. “I just feel so strongly that the act of recognizing the flag is a salute to our country and all of the people that have sacrificed so that we can have the liberties we have,” Jones said. “I feel very strongly that everyone should save that moment for the recognition of the flag in a positive way, so I like the way the Cowboys do it.” In 2016, after Colin Kaepernick and others protested the anthem by taking a knee, Jones voiced his displeasure with the protests. CBS Dallas/Ft. Worth
VOA VIEW: Jones will lose like Kaepernich has.

Progressives Prepare To Serve Bernie Sanders Petition To Start New Party
Even though Sen. Bernie Sanders has embraced his role of outreach chair for the Democratic Party since the 2016 election, many of his supporters have joined a movement to draft him to lead a new political party. Led by Sanders’ former national political director, Nick Brana, who experienced how entrenched the Democratic Party is in corporate money and influence while lobbying superdelegates as part of Sanders’ campaign, developed an organization called Draft Bernie in February 2017.  Observer

Paranoid Android
DID you know that Google has been recording you without your knowledge? The technology giant has effectively turned millions of its users' smartphones into listening devices that can capture intimate conversations - even when they aren't in the room. If you own an Android phone, it's likely that you've used Google's Assistant, which is similar to Apple's Siri. Google says it only turns on and begins recording when you utter the words "OK Google". But a Sun investigation has found that the virtual assistant is a little hard of hearing. In some cases, just saying "OK" in conversation prompted it to switch on your phone and record around 20 seconds of audio. It regularly switches on the microphone as you go about your day-to-day activities, none the wiser. The Sun UK

New Orleans Is Now Planning To Evacuate The City If A Heavy Rainstorm Comes
That’s worrisome, especially for communities still struggling to recover from the damage of Hurricane Katrina — which was 12 years ago this week. Since Aug. 10, New Orleans has been operating under a state of emergency in the aftermath of a freak storm earlier this month. To make things worse, city officials lied about the state of the below-sea-level city’s pumping infrastructure, which the mayor said has “never been fully operational.” As of Monday, 15 of the city’s 120 pumps were offline for repairs, and fixing the system is expected to take weeks. Grist

The Guy Who Gave Us Netscape Is At It Again
Jim Clark is looking for a six-peat. Five times before, the legendary entrepreneur started a successful tech company. Silicon Graphics. Netscape. WebMD. MyCFO. Shutterfly. And he's convinced No. 6, CommandScape, is another winner. The Delray Beach, Fla.-based venture, which launched today, is a digital building-management system for commercial and residential properties. Its products and services control air conditioning, anti-burglary security, video surveillance, lighting, fire alarms and other functions — from a highly secure online platform.  USA Today

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