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NEWS   TUESDAY, DECEMBER  12, 2017   NEWS

Wife Of Demoted DOJ Official Worked For Firm Behind Anti-Trump Dossier
A senior Justice Department official demoted last week for concealing his meetings with the men behind the anti-Trump “dossier” had even closer ties to Fusion GPS, the firm responsible for the incendiary document, than have been disclosed, Fox News has confirmed: The official’s wife worked for Fusion GPS during the 2016 election. Contacted by Fox News, investigators for the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI) confirmed that Nellie H. Ohr, wife of the demoted official, Bruce G. Ohr, worked for the opposition research firm last year. Fox
VOA VIEW: Serious bias and fraud.

Judge Jeanine: There Needs To Be A 'Cleansing' At The FBI, DOJ
In her Opening Statement Saturday night, Judge Jeanine Pirro said there needs to be a "cleansing" at the FBI and the Department of Justice. Judge Jeanine ran down a list of individuals who she said have been dedicated to protecting Hillary Clinton or destroying President Donald Trump, singling out Deputy Director of the FBI Andrew McCabe, FBI official Peter Strzok, former Associate Deputy Attorney General Bruce Ohr, former FBI Director James Comey and Special Counsel Robert Mueller. Fox
VOA VIEW: Very reasonable thought.

Are Men Really Clueless About Sexual Harassment?
Six weeks after the first stories broke alleging that Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein engaged in a decadeslong pattern of sexual harassment (he denies it), the list of men accused of similar acts keeps getting longer. Some offer denials, but others offer more nuanced "explanations": Charlie Rose, for example, apologized but added, "I always felt that I was pursuing shared feelings, even though I now realize I was mistaken." CNN

Are Men Really Clueless About Sexual Harassment?
These and the many other men against whom allegations have been made -- some quite a bit more serious than patting "women's rears" -- are all ambitious, smart, powerful men -- surely men whom one would think might know better than to behave in this way. In some instances, famous men are alleged to have forced their tongues into an unwilling woman's mouth, walked around naked, or pulled out their penises to show around. So why do they do it? And why are there so many? CNN

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Harassment Politics Grip Washington And Spur Fear In Both Parties
Chatter in Washington around the rising tally of lawmakers toppled by sexual harassment allegations has shifted from “who’s next?” to “how does this end?” While the U.S. capital has endured sex scandals since Alexander Hamilton’s affair with Maria Reynolds in the 1790s, the country has undergone a sudden shift in attitudes toward allegations of abuse, harassment or other inappropriate behavior and no historical templates exist for how it all might play out. The cultural change has been moving so fast last week that Democratic Senator Al Franken and Republican Representative Trent Franks announced their resignations on the same day.. Bloomberg

Judge Warns Manafort: Gag Order 'Applies To You'
A federal judge scolded former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort Monday for his alleged role in the crafting of a recently-published opinion piece in a Ukrainian newspaper designed to burnish his image. Judge Amy Berman Jackson warned Manafort that her prior gag order “applies to you and not just your lawyer," but took no further action on the matter. After thanking the judge, Manafort's lawyer Kevin Downing took the opportunity — in a courtroom full of reporters — to take issue with “a torrent of negative press” against his client that “keeps rolling out again and again,” asking Jackson, “What is it we do” to counter that? ABC News
VOA VIEW: The liberals reported the judge would take action against Manafort - she didn't.

Transgender Individuals Can Enlist In The Military Beginning Jan. 1
On Monday, the court denied an emergency stay issued by the Trump administration to delay that court order. While the administration continues appealing that decision, the Pentagon is preparing in the meantime to let transgender individuals join the military if they meet certain guidelines. The Pentagon’s compliance only applies to allowing transgender individuals seeking to join the military to enlist. Separate court actions have temporarily halted the implementation of the Trump administration's reinstatement of a ban on transgender service members that was to have been phased into place this spring. ABC News

Ex-Contestant: Trump Inspected Each Woman Before Pageant
A former Miss USA contestant says Donald Trump personally inspected each woman prior to the contest to the point where it was "the dirtiest I felt in my entire life." Samantha Holvey, the 2006 Miss North Carolina, told CNN that during an event in New York City in the month before the pageant, Trump personally inspected each of the contestants. "He would step in front of each girl and look you over from head to toe like we were just meat, we were just sexual objects, that we were not people," Holvey said. CNN
VOA VIEW: A loser makes fun of beauty - it's what the Miss USA contest is about.

Netflix Is In The Power Position Now In The War For Net Neutrality
The FCC is marching ahead with its massively unpopular plan to repeal net neutrality and free the internet service providers (ISPs) from the burden of consumer protection. When Ajit Pai is done, the ISPs will once again be free to throttle traffic from competitors, and sites or services they don’t like, or charge services like Netflix a “toll” for the privilege of being delivered to customers at the full speed the customers are paying for. It seems to me, though, that the power dynamic has shifted, and that Netflix actually holds all the cards now—at least in areas with more than one ISP to choose from. Forbes
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Thousands Still Without Power After Deep South Snowstorm
Thousands remain without electricity across the Deep South days after a winter snowstorm snapped power lines across the region. At least 18,500 homes and businesses in Georgia were still in the dark Monday, according to Georgia Power and Georgia Electric Membership Corporation. Metro Atlanta got several inches of snow Friday and Saturday, while some areas farther north saw up to a foot of snowfall. Utilities in Louisiana reported at least 1,000 customers were still waiting for power to be restored. Mississippi had about 700 outages and Alabama roughly 500. CBS News

Sanders Goes Off On The Media At White House Press Briefing
The White House ramped up its campaign against the press Monday, alleging that mistakes by reporters are the result of purposeful attempts to mislead the American public. White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, in a heated exchange with reporters, called out news organizations for having to "retract and change and rewrite and make editors' notes to a number of different stories" in recent weeks and claiming that journalists only "sometimes" own up to mistakes in their stories. Sanders said Monday that these aren't honest mistakes, as one reporter in the briefing room pointed out. NBC News
VOA VIEW: Good for Sanders.

Treasury Department Releases Analysis Of GOP Tax Plan
The Treasury Department on Monday released a brief one-page analysis of the Republican tax plan — despite Secretary Steve Mnuchin’s earlier claims that “over 100 people” within the department were working on a detailed analysis. "We are pleased to release an analysis demonstrating the revenue impact of the administration's economic agenda," Mnuchin, a former Goldman Sachs banker, said in a statement Monday.  NBC News

Apple Buys Music-Recognition App Shazam
For nearly 10 years, Shazam has been something of a one-trick pony. Its app has a single purpose: identify a song that’s playing and connect users to a service to download or stream it. But behind the nifty song-detecting technology lies something that could explain why Apple is buying Shazam for a reported sum of $400 million — its treasure trove of data. The British company got its start in 2002 by offering a phone service that helped people identify music. Users dialed 2580, held their cellphones to a source of music, and Shazam responded with a text message containing the name of the artist and the title of the song. LA Times

These Officers Stopped The New York Pipe Bomb Suspect
Four police officers are being hailed as heroes for subduing the suspect in Monday's explosion at a New York City transit hub before the situation worsened. The Port Authority Police Benevolent Association identified the officers as Sean Gallagher, Drew M. Preston, John "Jack" F. Collins and Anthony Manfredini. "Today, four courageous Port Authority police officers risked their lives confronting an armed terrorist to protect others from harm," PAPBA President Paul Nunziato said in a statement. CNN

CNN Walks Back Jeff Sessions-Russia Bombshell
CNN has quietly walked back more of their “bombshell” reporting on the Trump-Russia collusion narrative, and this time it’s a story relating to Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ security clearance forms. In May, CNN reported that Sessions had failed to disclose meetings he had with the Russian ambassador when he was a senator. Justice Department officials told CNN that Sessions had not listed those meetings on a security clearance form, even though the form says to list “any contact” with the “foreign government” or its “representatives” in the past seven years. Daily Caller
VOA VIEW: Common antics for CNN.

How The Thomas Fire Became A Monster
On Friday, an army of firefighters in Ventura County hoped it was finally beginning to turn the tide on the Thomas fire. After burning hundreds of homes, the fire was slowing as Santa Ana winds calmed down. But over the weekend, the fire reemerged with a vengeance, pushing into Santa Barbara County and destroying more homes. Here’s a look at the fire that has refused to die.  LA Times

Obama Tells Alabama Voters To Reject Roy Moore
Former President Barack Obama is adding his voice to the Alabama Senate race, imploring voters to go to the polls Tuesday to reject the candidacy of Roy Moore as part of an aggressive effort by Democrats to try and counter President Donald Trump's full-throated endorsement of the controversial Republican candidate. "This one's serious," Obama says in the call. "You can't sit it out." Two Democratic officials familiar with the Alabama race tell CNN that Obama recorded the phone message in recent days, at the very time Trump stepped up his own involvement in the campaign with a recorded message. Obama does not mention Moore by name. CNN

Roy Moore, Doug Jones Are Set To Face Off In Alabama Senate Election
Alabama voters head to the polls Tuesday to elect a U.S. Senator in a race thrust into the national spotlight after allegations of sexual misconduct against the Republican nominee, former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore. The state has not elected a Democrat to the U.S. Senate since 1992, but Moore is locked in a tight race with his Democratic opponent, Doug Jones, a former U.S. attorney. Moore faces allegations from eight women who have accused him of sexual misconduct toward them when he was in his 30s and, in some cases, when the women were in their teens. Moore has denied the allegations. ABC News

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Democrats Rally Behind Roy Moore Opponent Doug Jones
Voters in Alabama go to the polls Tuesday in the most closely watched U.S. Senate race in recent memory. "This race is about Alabama. We've made it clear, our race is about everyone in the state regardless about who they are," Democrat Doug Jones recently told reporters. The final push for Jones includes a small army of volunteers who said they knocked on 80,000 doors this past weekend trying to get out the vote. Also helping Jones: former President Barack Obama, who recorded a robocall to help lure crucial young and African-American voters to the polls.  CBS News

Trump Tells NASA To Send Astronauts Back To The Moon
As he signed a policy directive Monday intended to "refocus the space program on human exploration and discovery," President Donald Trump instructed NASA to return American astronauts to the moon, alluded to an "eventual mission to Mars" and promised to "restore American leadership in space." Flanked by NASA leadership and three astronauts, including former Sen. Jack Schmitt, one of the most recent men to have walked on the moon, Trump described the directive, portraying space exploration as an encapsulation of America's "pioneering spirit."ge're dreaming big." ABC News

6 Things To Watch In The Alabama Senate Election Tuesday
Alabama is a heavily Republican state — Donald Trump beat Hillary Clinton there last year by a 63%-35% margin — but Huntsville and surrounding Madison County, on the state's northern border, is more like pink than red. In 2016, Trump took 56% of the vote in Madison County, but 80% of the vote in neighboring Jackson County. "Huntsville is Republican territory but not Roy Moore territory," said Joseph Smith, chair of the Department of Political Science at the University of Alabama. "That's a place where you might see a drop off in Republican voting." Madison County is also one of the most populous in the state, so both candidates need to perform well there. USA Today
VOA VIEW: Time will tell.

Alabama Foes Make Final Push Before Big Senate Vote
Facing voters at last after the year's most bitter U.S. campaign, Alabama Republican Roy Moore cast himself Monday as the victim of a national barrage of unjust allegations of sexual misconduct with teenagers. Rival Doug Jones, hoping to become the state's first Democratic senator in two decades, declared their race was Alabama's referendum on "who we are and what we're going to tell our daughters." Senate. Tampa Bay Observer

NYC Terror Suspect Rode Subway
The explosion occurred in an underground passageway near the Port Authority Bus Terminal, sending commuters scrambling to evacuate a major transit hub just blocks from Times Square. Despite the rush-hour crowds, only five people suffered minor injuries, officials said. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo called the underground explosion “one of our worst nightmares.” New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio called it an "attempted terrorist attack." ABC News

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Amid The Rrush To Finish GOP Tax Bill, A Sudden Slowdown
The rush to finish the GOP tax overhaul has hit a snag as Republicans grapple with substantial differences between the House and Senate bills, and pause to consider unintended consequences of the most massive rewrite of the tax code in a generation. Lawmakers are eager to pass the bill, President Trump’s top domestic priority, by Christmas. But they are also increasingly wary of political fallout from the hurried process and want to prevent embarrassing moments, such as the scribbled text hastily added to the margin of the final Senate bill. LA Times

Former Facebook Exec: Social Media Is Ripping Apart Society
Facebook’s former vice president for user growth Chamath Palihapitiya recently gave a talk at the Stanford Graduate School of Business that’ll probably make you think twice about your social media use (via the Verge). The entire talk is well worth a watch, but some of his most prominent remarks included: That he feels “tremendous guilt” about Facebook. “I think we have created tools that are ripping apart the social fabric of how society works.” Google News

Generic Forms Of Viagra Due To Hit Market Today
In news that will delight men who've had difficulties in the bedroom, two generic versions of the erectile dysfunction drug Viagra are scheduled to hit the market Monday. One of the new generics is made by Teva Pharmaceuticals, and the other by Greenstone, a subsidiary of Pfizer, the company that manufactures Viagra. The generic versions of the little blue pill (sildenafil) will likely be cheaper than brand-name Viagra for most men. And more generic versions are expected next year, which could drive prices even lower. UPI
VOA VIEW: The present price for Viagra is too high.

Jury Rules Against Fired FAU Professor
A federal jury ruled that Florida Atlantic University didn't violate the rights of a professor who wrote blogs saying the Sandy Hook shooting was a hoax when it fired him. After deliberating for 3 hours Monday, jurors in West Palm Beach, Fla., determined James Tracy's blogs about the 2012 mass shooting at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn., that left 26 dead were not a "motivating factor" in FAU's decision to fire the communications professor in January 2016. UPI

Putin Is Outplaying Trump In The Middle East
Russian President Vladimir Putin made a surprise visit to Syria on Monday as part of a whirlwind Middle Eastern tour. Putin, who also stopped in Egypt and Turkey, met leaders, posed for photo-ops, inked a huge energy deal and, all in all, played the part of an influential international statesman. While President Trump has sparked outrage across the region, Putin played the role of sober and dependable partner. Washington Post
VOA VIEW: Liberal media critic.

GOP Lawmakers Struggle To Close Gaps In Tax Plan
Top congressional Republicans, racing to hammer out a final tax agreement by the end of the week, have yet to make any breakthroughs on a range of key issues. House and Senate negotiators bounced proposals back and forth over the weekend, but said Monday that they still had to find compromises on where to set the corporate tax rate, how to treat millions of businesses that aren’t set up as corporations and how much of a deduction to allow for state and local taxes. “We speak of little else these days,” said Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-Texas).  Politico

Rep. Comstock: If Moore Is Elected, 'He'll Be Facing The Ethics Committee'
With a special election looming tomorrow, President Trump is making in-person and robocall pitches for Judge Roy Moore, the Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate seat vacated by Jeff Sessions. Following Trump's lead, the Republican National Committee last week resumed its financial support for the judge. And if Moore is elected tomorrow, "he'll be facing the Ethics Committee," Republican Rep. Barbara Comstock (Va.) told "Fox News Sunday." Host Chris Wallace asked Comstock if it bothers her, as a Republican, to see Trump and the RNC supporting a man who faces several allegations of sexual misconduct with teenage girls, including one as young as 14.  CNS News

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Trump: 'Sanctuaries For Americans - Not Criminal Aliens'
Bemoaning the death of “a precious young American woman killed in the prime of her life” by a illegal alien who had seven felony convictions – and the verdict that set him free – President Donald Trump blasted the Sanctuary City policies that protected Kate Steinle’s killer from deportation. In his latest weekly address, Trump blamed San Francisco’s Sanctuary City policy for Steinle’s death: CNS News

Women Accusing Trump Of Sexual Misconduct Seek Congressional Probe
Three women who have accused U.S. President Donald Trump of sexual misconduct called on Monday for a congressional investigation into his behavior amid a wave of similar accusations against prominent men in Hollywood, the media and politics. Over the past two years, more than a dozen women have accused Trump of making unwanted sexual advances against them years before he entered politics. Three of his accusers, Jessica Leeds, Rachel Crooks, and Samantha Holvey said at a news conference on Monday that the accusations warranted new consideration given the broader discussion of sexual harassment in U.S. society. Reuters
VOA VIEW: Idiots!

Brent Crude Prices Near 2015 High
Brent crude oil prices were near 2015 highs on Tuesday after the unplanned closure of a major North Sea pipeline for repairs, knocking out significant supplies from a market that was already tightening due to OPEC-led production cuts. Brent crude futures LCOc1, the international benchmark for oil prices, were at $64.73 a barrel at 0105 GMT, up 4 cents from their last close. Brent hit a peak of $64.93 a barrel in the previous session, its highest level since June, 2015. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures CLc1 were at $57.98 a barrel, close to their last settlement. Reuters

Sarah Sanders Shuts Down CNN Star Jim Acosta's Grandstanding
White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders shut down CNN’s Senior White House Correspondent Jim Acosta on Monday when the liberal reporter tried to hijack a press briefing during a conversation about fake news. “When journalists make honest mistakes, they should own up to them. Sometimes, and a lot of times, you don’t,” Sanders said as Acosta tried to interrupt. “I’m sorry, I’m not finished,” she said. “There is a very big difference between making honest mistakes and purposefully misleading the American people... you cannot say it’s an honest mistake when you’re purposely putting out information you know is false.” Fox
VOA VIEW: Sanders did well.

'New Yorker' Fires Reporter Ryan Lizza
The New Yorker has fired Ryan Lizza in what the magazine describes as an incident of "improper sexual conduct." The magazine's Washington correspondent for a decade, Lizza most recently gained attention for his story about a July profanity-laced interview with Anthony Scaramucci, soon after the Wall Street financier had been named White House communications director. Scaramucci, who vilified other White House officials in the interview, abruptly left just 11 days after he was hired by President Trump. USA Today

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Trump: U.S. Must Fix Lax Immigration System
President Donald Trump says a bomb blast in Manhattan highlights the need for an immigration overhaul. Trump said Monday that the U.S. "must fix its lax immigration system, which allows far too many dangerous, inadequately vetted people" into the country. The Republican president points to his controversial travel ban as an example of the kind of policy that needs to be put in place. And he's calling on Congress to end "chain migration," in which family members are permitted to join relatives who have immigrated. Newsday
VOA VIEW: Chain migration must be stopped.

3 Trump Accusers Speak Out
Three women who have previously accused President Donald Trump of sexual harassment shared their stories on NBC's "Megyn Kelly Today." Jessica Leeds, Samantha Holvey and Rachel Crooks on Monday told of alleged harassment by Trump spanning decades. The White House called the claims false and "totally disputed in most cases." It said "the timing and absurdity of these false claims speak volumes." One of the accusers, Rachel Crooks, called the White House statement "laughable." Crooks said of sexual misconduct: "I think politicians seem to be immune to this." Newsday
VOA VIEW: 4 idiots, including Kelly.

Former CIA Director Regrets How Intel Agencies Treated Trump
Former Acting CIA Director Michael Morell thinks that intelligence agencies were too harsh to Trump during the campaign and presidential transition, according to an interview released Monday. Morell, who left the CIA in 2013 after serving as its acting director twice, endorsed Hillary Clinton in an August 2016 New York Times op-ed. Politico’s Susan Glassner asked Morell if getting involved was a mistake and the former CIA official said that it wasn’t, but that “there were downsides to it that I didn’t think about at the time.” Daily Caller

As Russia Probes Progress, One Name Is Missing: Bannon's
As special Russia counsel Robert Mueller wraps up interviews with senior current and former White House staff, one name has been conspicuously absent from public chatter surrounding the probe: Steve Bannon. President Donald Trump’s former White House chief strategist and campaign chief executive played critical roles in episodes that have become central to Mueller’s probe as well as to multiple Hill investigations. Politico

Ex-wife Of Crooner Eddie Fisher Claims Larry King Groped Her Twice
Terry Richard, an ex-wife of singer Eddie Fisher, claims that former CNN talk show host Larry King groped her at a public event on two separate occasions, she told DailyMailTV in an exclusive interview. Richard says the groping incidents took place in 2005 and again in 2006, both at a baseball awards dinner at Universal Studios, in Los Angeles. The 63-year-old Richard said in the first incident, while posing together for a photo, King slid his hand down her backless dress and rested his fingers in between her butt cheeks. Daily Mail

Celebrity Chef Mario Batali Accused Of Sexual Harassment
Four women made sexual misconduct allegations against 'The Chew' host.
Celebrity chef Mario Batali has been accused of sexual harassment by multiple women. In an Eater New York exposé published Monday, four women accused the chef of "inappropriate touching in a pattern of behavior that spans at least two decades." Three of the women worked for Batali at one point in their careers. One former employee alleged Batali repeatedly grabbed her from behind and held her tightly against his body. Another claimed he groped her and, in one incident, "compelled her to straddle him." The third claimed he grabbed her breasts at a party, though she no longer worked for him at the time of the alleged act. Hollywood Reporter

Promising To ‘Make Our Planet Great Again,’ Macron Lures 13 U.S. Climate Scientists To France
What initially looked like an impish dig at President Trump by French President Emmanuel Macron over climate policy has turned into a concrete plan. First, when the Trump administration proposed slashing federal science budgets and then, on June 1, when Trump pulled the United States out of the Paris climate accord, Macron took to social media to offer (in perfect English) to greet with open arms — and research dollars — American scientists worried about the political climate as well as global warming. Washington Post
VOA VIEW: Foolish!

Polls Can’t Agree On If Roy Moore Is Going To Win Special Election
Three polls released on the eve of Tuesday’s special election for Alabama’s open Senate seat predicted wildly different outcomes, reflecting the volatility of a race that has riveted the nation. A Fox News survey showed Democrat Doug Jones with a double-digit lead over Republican Roy Moore, 50 to 40 percent. But an Emerson College poll released a few hours later gave the race to Moore, 53 to 44 percent. The third poll, by Monmouth College, called the race a dead heat with each at 46 percent.  NY Post

Moore Holds Final Ala. Rally
Alabama Republican Roy Moore rallied supporters in his final appearance before Tuesday’s special Senate election, defending himself from allegations of sexual misconduct at the end of a race that has gripped the nation's attention. On Monday night, Moore and his supporters packed into a refurbished wooden barn in the state’s southeast corner, where the former state supreme court chief justice saw huge margins while winning September’s GOP primary runoff against Sen. Luther Strange.  It’s here he hopes strong turnout will help push him over the edge in his race against Democrat Doug Jones. The Hill

CNN Pivots To Coverage On Trump's Diet Coke Consumption Minutes After NYC Attack
On Monday, Americans awoke to news of an attempted terrorist attack in New York City. Thankfully, nobody was seriously injured in the attack, which was believed to be a failed suicide bombing carried out by someone inspired by ISIS. But beyond that, CNN had some really pressing news to report: President Donald Trump sure does drink a whole lot of Diet Cokes, eh? Apparently, a New York Times report suggests that Trump drinks a dozen cans of Diet Coke a day. Townhall.com

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