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NEWS     MONDAY,  NOVEMBER   12, 2018    NEWS

Schumer threatens adding Mueller protections to spending bill if Whitaker doesn't recuse himself
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said that if Acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker does not recuse himself from oversight of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's Russia probe, then Democrats will seek to tie protections for the investigation into the spending bill. "We Democrats, House and Senate, will attempt to add to must-pass legislation, in this case the spending bill, legislation that would prevent Mr. Whitaker from interfering with the Mueller investigation" should Whitaker not recuse, Schumer said Sunday during an appearance on CNN's "State of the Union."  Fox
VOA VIEW: Republicans must fight back firm, real firm.

California will receive federal aid for deadly wildfires
Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., pushed back against President Trump’s threat to block federal aid to California as wildfires continue to ravage large swaths of the state, arguing that the president’s tweet sent the wrong message. Speaking on CBS’ “Face the Nation,” Graham – who is one of Trump’s closest confidants in the Senate – assured California that it would receive financial assistance to help deal with a number of wildfires currently burning in the state. The longtime South Carolina lawmaker, however, defended Trump’s comment that the fires in California were caused by poor forest management. Fox

White House balances a complicated dynamic between Melania and Ivanka Trump
White House aides face a complicated dynamic in managing the activities of the first lady and first daughter, The New York Times reported Sunday. The challenge of managing that relationship -- and any potential issues -- has manifested itself in the two women's separate trips to Africa, according to the Times report. First lady Melania Trump took her first solo international trip to Africa in October, visiting Ghana, Malawi, Kenya and Egypt in a week and touting her "Be Best" initiative.
The President's daughter and senior adviser, Ivanka Trump, is planning a trip to Africa in January, intent on highlighting her interest in economic empowerment, according to the Times. CNN
VOA VIEW: The NYT, CNN and other liberal pundits are causing problems.

It is impossible to ignore the defection of women voters away from the GOP
Almost every subgroup of women in CNN's national exit polls moved towards the Democratic Party, including white women, Latinas, white college-educated women, white non-college-educated women, Democratic women and independent women. The only groups that are inconclusive or stayed the same on a national level were African-American women and Republican women. This is the first time since 1984 that Democrats have won control of the House without winning men, and the largest margin for Democrats among women in exit polling history (which dates back to 1976 for the House). All election cycle, journalists and pollsters alike have noted how pronounced the gender gap has become on the generic ballot. CNN

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'Rick Scott and Ron DeSantis have won,' Kellyanne Conway says amid mandatory recount of Senate, gubernatorial elections in Florida
A top White House adviser to President Donald Trump declared that Florida Republican candidates for the U.S. Senate and governorship “have won,” even as the margins between them and their Democratic counterparts were small enough to trigger a mandatory recount under Florida law. On Friday and Saturday, the president said in tweets that Democrats were trying to "steal" the elections. Sunday, on "This Week," ABC News Chief Anchor George Stephanopoulos asked counselor to the president Kellyanne Conway if there is any evidence. “The evidence is that Rick Scott and Ron DeSantis have won,” she said. ABC
VOA VIEW: Liberals want to change the facts and record.

Incoming House Dem committee chairs say they will investigate Trump
Two incoming Democratic congressional committee chairs say they plan on investigating President Donald Trump, but that there will be limits on how they use the power of their newfound majority. Incoming House Oversight Committee Chair Rep. Elijah Cummings and incoming House Judiciary Committee Chair Rep. Jerrold Nadler told ABC News Chief Anchor George Stephanopoulos that their committees’ powers should be used judiciously. In an exclusive interview on “This Week” Sunday, Cummings said subpoena power cannot be abused. “I'm not going to be handing out subpoenas like somebody's handing out candy on Halloween, I take this as a lawyer and as an officer of the court, ABC
VOA VIEW: Dems will lose even more in 2020.

Firefighter union president rips Trump for "demeaning" comments about California wildfires
The president of the California Professional Firefighters criticized President Trump on Saturday after he threatened to withhold federal payments to the state, claiming its forest management is "so poor." The president made the comments as the state is battling multiple deadly wildfires. "The president's message attacking California and threatening to withhold aid to the victims of the cataclysmic fires is ill-informed, ill-timed and demeaning to those who are suffering as well as the men and women on the front lines," Brian K. Rice said in a statement. CBS

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Westworld set, Bachelor mansions hit by Woolsey Fire as celebrities flee Southern California homes
The fast-moving Woolsey wildfire ravaging Southern California has scorched a historic movie site recently used by the HBO series "Westworld." It also prompted numerous celebrities to join thousands of others who have fled flames that have claimed homes and forced an evacuation of Malibu. Kim Kardashian West, Scott Baio, Rainn Wilson and Guillermo del Toro are among those who have evacuated their homes. Some, like del Toro and Caitlyn Jenner, did not know the fate of their homes, but the wind-driven wildfire has destroyed the home of "Dr. Strange" director Scott Derrickson.  CBS

The Trump admin sent him 'home' to a land where slavery lives on
Mauritanians in the U.S. fear they’ll share the fate of Issa Sao, who was sent back to a country where thousands of blacks are still enslaved. The agents came for Issa Sao just before midnight. For nearly five months, the 37-year-old had been moved from one detention center to another, hoping the United States would not send him back to a country that had jailed, tortured and expelled him. Behind him, in Ohio, lay his family — a wife, stepson and a young daughter who loved to smile big in photographs — and all 14 years of his life in the U.S. In front of him loomed Mauritania, a desert nation in West Africa that still tacitly permits the enslavement of black Mauritanians like Sao. NBC

Iranians fear medicine shortages as U.S. tightens sanctions
The strain was evident in Alireza Karimi’s voice as he described his struggle to obtain the diazoxide pills his father needs to lower insulin levels and fight pancreatic cancer. The medicine has to be imported, and until recently that was not a problem. But for the past three months, Karimi has not been able to find it anyplace, and there is now only one bottle left. “Now that this medicine isn’t here, we’re forced to give him only one per day,” Karimi said in an interview over Telegram, a popular messaging app for Iranians. The reduced dosage has created complications, like the threat of convulsions and the need to monitor his father 24 hours a day to make sure his insulin levels do not spike, which could send him into a coma. Seattle Times

Schiff wants to probe Trump for targeting CNN, Washington Post
A top House Democrat wants to probe President Trump’s attempts to punish media companies who give him negative news coverage. Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), the incoming chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, told “Axios on HBO” that he wants to see if Trump abused his power when he tried to meddle in the affairs of companies associated with The Washington Post and CNN. In question, Schiff said, was whether the president used “the instrument of state power to punish the press.”
For one, Trump had publicly suggested that Amazon — whose founder Jeff Bezos owns The Washington Post — was ripping off the US Postal Service. Schiff told Axios that the president “was secretly meeting with the postmaster [general] in an effort to browbeat the postmaster [general] into raising postal rates on Amazon.”
 New York Post
VOA VIEW: Schiff is an anti America idiot.

Fatal infernos: 31 dead, 228 missing, 7,000 structures destroyed as California blazes grow
At least 31 people have been killed as massive wildfires raging in Northern and Southern California have engulfed thousands of homes and were threatening to destroy more as blustery winds were dealing firefighters a menacing challenge throughout the state over the weekend and into today. "This week, California has experienced the most destructive fires we have seen in its history. There are 196,000 acres burned, thousands of homes and dozens of lives lost," Chief Scott Jalbert of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said Sunday morning. The largest and deadliest of the infernos is the Camp Fire, which as of Sunday had burned 109,000 acres, leveled 6,435 homes and another 260 commercial structures in Northern California's Butte County, according to officials.  ABC

The 'invisible primary' comes into view. Joe, Cory, Beto, Kamala — those names and more
The end of the 2018 campaign marked the start of the 2020 presidential free-for-all. The first rule of running for president is, do not talk about running for president — at least not until the last election is over. "If anyone talks 2020, they should be disqualified, because our future is on the line," former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, a potential Democratic presidential candidate himself, said on MSNBC a few days before last Tuesday's midterm elections. But now, the 2020 omerta has finally lifted, setting off a rush of activity from presidential hopefuls as they try to get the jump on the competition by snapping up support from donors, party officials and freshly unemployed political operatives coming off midterm campaigns. NBC

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Ruth Bader Ginsburg: Why half of America panics when this woman falls ill
Earlier this week, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was admitted to hospital. On Wednesday evening, Justice Ginsburg fell in her office at the US Supreme Court and went to the hospital, where doctors discovered she had fractured three ribs. The reaction from the liberal corners of social media was an instantaneous mixture of well-wishes and barely-suppressed horror.  That evening, late night television host Jimmy Kimmel introduced the "Ruth Bader Gins-bubble" on his programme, saying the 85-year-old needed to be "protected at all costs" as a Ginsburg stand-in rolled on stage encased in a gigantic plastic bubble. Although Ginsburg returdent Donald Trump would be able to cement the court's conservative majority with the appointment of his third justice, after Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh. ned home on Friday, anxiety surrounding the health of the oldest sitting justice will surely continue. If Ginsburg were to retire or become too ill to serve, PresiBBC
VOA VIEW: This week, next month or next year - like it or not, the 85 year old will be replaced by Trump.

Democrats to probe Trump actions on AT&T, Amazon
When Democrats take control of the U.S. House they plan to investigate the Trump administration’s attempt to block AT&T Inc (T.N) from acquiring Time Warner, and whether officials sought to punish Amazon.com Inc (AMZN.O) by prodding the U.S. Post Office to hike shipping prices for the world’s largest e-commerce company, a senior Democrat said on Sunday. Speaking to online publication Axios, Representative Adam Schiff, who is expected to be the incoming chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, said Democrats will review if Trump used the powers of the federal government to punish the companies.  Reuters
VOA VIEW: Dems are wasting our tax dollars and time.

Macron, Merkel defend multilaterism as Trump avoids peace forum
The leaders of Germany and France called for a unified approach to fostering world peace at a forum in Paris on Sunday that was attended by dozens of heads of state and government with one notable exception: U.S. President Donald Trump. German Chancellor Angela Merkel opened the Paris Peace Forum, which followed a ceremony in the French capital to mark the centenary of the end of World War One, with a warning that “blinkered” nationalism was gaining ground in Europe and beyond. Echoing comments made by Macron, she said there was a worrying readiness by some to promote self-interest and ignore ties that have underpinned peace since the end of World War Two.  Reuters

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Thousands gather at Ypres for last great act of remembrance
Under a light-grey sky, eight buglers in greatcoats sounded the Last Post. Silence then fell among the many thousands gathered at Ypres’ Menin Gate, as Europe remembered the 100th anniversary of the end of the first world war “at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month”. At its inauguration after the war, a long line of ashen-faced mothers, struggling to hold back their anguish, and fathers marching sternly with trembling lips, had snaked through this flattened town up to and under the gate. Blinded veterans had run their fingers over the newly carved bone-white Portland stone to feel out the names of fellow soldiers who had lost their lives, and whose bodies had never been found.  Guardian

Gun control groups outspent NRA in midterm elections
Gun control groups outspent the National Rifle Association in the midterm elections, pouring more than $11m into congressional races as NRA spending dropped dramatically. Everytown for Gun Safety and Giffords, a gun control group founded by a Congresswoman injured in a mass shooting, together spent more than $11m to influence national races, according to data compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics. The two groups spent millions to boost Lucy McBath in Georgia and Jason Crow in Colorado, gun control advocates who beat Republicans with A-ratings from the NRA. Guardian
VOA VIEW: Money talks.

UN chief appoints Luis Alfonso de Alba as Special Envoy for the 2019 Climate Summit
United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres announced on Friday the appointment of Luis Alfonso de Alba of Mexico as his Special Envoy for the 2019 Climate Summit. Mr. de Alba will be the task of providing “leadership, guidance and strategic direction” towards Summit and will be engaging key strategic climate change leaders, including governments, and coalitions, to galvanize climate action ahead of the event. The 2019 Climate Summit will be held with the objective of building momentum, enhancing national ambition, as set out in the 2015 Paris Agreement. UN

House Democrats plan to review Trump's role in hush money payments in next Congress
The House Oversight Committee plans to investigate Donald Trump's involvement in hush payments made to women during the 2016 presidential campaign, a senior Democratic aide on the committee told ABC News. When the Democrats take control of the House in January and gain subpoena power, they plan to probe the president's role in payments to two women who alleged during the 2016 campaign that they had affairs with Trump, according to the aide. Democratic members on the committee have already begun digging into the president's involvement, according to the aide. In September, the committee requested documents from the Trump organization, the aide added. Trump has long denied that he knew of the payments, and has denied having affairs with the women. ABC

U.S. Navy F/A 18 fighter jet crashes into Philippine Sea
A U.S. Navy fighter jet operating off the aircraft career USS Ronald Reagan crashed into the sea northeast of the Philippines Monday but both of its pilots ejected, were rescued and were in good condition, the 7th Fleet said in a statement. It said the F/A-18 Hornet had a mechanical problem during routine operations in the Philippine Sea. The cause of the crash is under investigation. The Navy said the pilots were immediately plucked from the water by rescue aircraft from the Ronald Reagan brought back to the carrier. It was the second crash involving USS Ronald Reagan in less than a month.  In mid-October, a MH-60 Seahawk crashed shortly after takeoff, causing non-fatal injuries to a dozen sailors. CBS

Cruz says Congress shouldn't pass legislation to protect special counsel
Republican Sen. Ted Cruz said he doesn't think Congress should pass legislation to protect special counsel Robert Mueller, telling "Face the Nation" on Sunday an earlier bill to shield Mueller from removal was "unconstitutional." Some of Cruz' Republican colleagues are pushing legislation to protect Mueller and his investigation after President Trump ousted former Attorney General Jeff Sessions and replaced him with Matt Whitaker as acting attorney general. Republican Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona has introduced legislation along with Democratic Sen. Chris Coons of Connecticut to keep the president from firing Mueller. Asked by moderator Margaret Brennan whether there should be legislation to protect the special counsel, Cruz responded, "No, I don't believe there should."  CBS
VOA VIEW: Congress does not have the authority to protect what they can't control.

What are 5,200 troops going to do at the border
For the most part, they are laying barbed wire barriers and erecting tent facilities for themselves and the Border Patrol. In anticipation of the Honduran migrant caravan crossing the U.S.-Mexico border, President Donald Trump ordered 5,200 troops to the border. But now that the troops have been deployed, they may find themselves with very little to do, according to officials familiar with the plans. Troops are not allowed to apprehend immigrants like border agents do. For the most part, they are laying barbed wire barriers and erecting tent facilities for themselves and the Border Patrol. The only armed troops are military police, who are there to protect the encampments where troops are staying.  NBC

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Democratic Rep. Kyrsten Sinema has expanded her lead over GOP Rep.
Martha McSally in Arizona after another day of ballot-counting in the state’s Senate race. Sinema stretched her lead to 28,688 votes on Saturday evening as officials in the two most-populous counties, Maricopa and Pima, counted tens of thousands more absentee ballots, though that margin could shrink slightly if smaller counties where McSally has an edge report new totals later Saturday evening. Sinema now has 49.5 percent of the vote to McSally’s 48.2 percent, with hundreds of thousands more votes still left to count. Sinema and McSally are vying to succeed Republican Sen. Jeff Flake, who announced last year that he would retire instead of running for reelection after clashing with President Donald Trump.  Politico
VOA VIEW: Time will tell the real winner.

Macron wants Europe to buy its own military hardware
The French president said Europe needs to be ‘a more sovereign, a more united and democratic power.’ Europe must increase military spending, but the money should go to European, not American companies, French President Emmanuel Macron said in an interview in which he delivered a rebuke to Donald Trump’s self-proclaimed nationalism. Responding to a question in an interview about the political differences between himself and the American president, he said: “I’m not a nationalist, which is very different, for me, from being a patriot.” interview, on CNN’s “Fareed Zakaria Global Public Square,” was taped before Sunday morning’s event at the Arc de Triomphe to commemorate the centennial of the armistice that ended World War I. Politico
VOA VIEW: Macron is an idiot.

Climate change, not overfishing, is devastating shellfish environments
Valuable species of shellfish have become harder to find on the East Coast because of degraded habitats caused by a warming environment, according to a pair of scientists that sought to find out whether environmental factors or overfishing was the source of the decline. The scientists reached the conclusion in studying the decline in the harvest of four commercially important species of shellfish in coastal areas from Maine to North Carolina — eastern oysters, northern quahogs, softshell clams and northern bay scallops. They reported that their findings came down squarely on the side of a warming ocean environment and a changing climate, and not excessive harvest by fishermen. One of the ways warming has negatively impacted shellfish is by making them more susceptible to predators, said the lead author of the study, NBC

Planned Parenthood's new president warns of 'state of emergency' for women's health
Dr. Leana Wen, who takes over as president of the US’s biggest reproductive healthcare institution this week, says she plans to expand services despite attacks. Last week, Alabama voters passed a fetal rights law; the Trump administration finalized rules to allow employers to opt out of health insurance requirements to provide birth control; and liberal women collectively held their breath as one of their champions – 85-year-old supreme court justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, leader of the court’s liberal wing – was hospitalized with three cracked ribs. To all this, Wen’s answer is to play offense. Guardian

For Democrats, a midterm election that keeps on giving
In the early hours of election night on Tuesday, a consensus began to take hold that the vaunted Democratic blue wave that had been talked about all year was failing to materialize. Now, with a handful of races still to be called, it's clear that an anti-President Donald Trump force hit the country with considerable, if uneven, strength.
Democrats appear poised to pick up 35 to 40 seats in the House once the last races are tallied, according to strategists in both parties. That would represent the biggest Democratic gain in the House since the post-Watergate election of 1974, when the party picked up 49 seats three months after Richard M. Nixon resigned the presidency. Republicans will gain seats in the Senate, but with races in Florida and Arizona still to be called, their pre-election majority of 51 seats will end up as low as 52 or as high as 54. San Francisco Gate

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A senator from Mississippi joked about ‘public hanging.’ Her black opponent called it ‘reprehensible.’
Drawing cheers from a gaggle of supporters, the line appeared to be a throwaway one. “If he invited me to a public hanging, I’d be on the front row,” Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss) is heard saying in a video posted to Twitter on Sunday morning. The full context of her comment was not immediately clear, but she faced swift backlash. Lamar White Jr., a journalist and blogger who tweeted the video, said in his tweet that Hyde-Smith made the remark while campaigning with a cattle rancher in Tupelo, Miss. Hyde-Smith became the first woman to represent Mississippi in Congress after she was appointed in April to replace Thad Cochran, a Republican senator who was forced to step down because of health problems. She faces Democrat Mike Espy in a Nov. 27 runoff to determine who will serve the remaining two years of Cochran’s term, as neither candidate was able to win more than 50 percent of the vote in the Nov. 6 special election, according to the Clarion Ledger. Washington Post
VOA VIEW: Dems and liberals can say anything with impunity.

Can dictators and enemy generals obtain birthright citizenship for their children?
“Think of it this way: A general who’s on an opposing army, and we’re at war, comes into the United States. They have a baby. He’s not here. They have a baby. The baby’s a citizen of the United States, and yet the father is the enemy of our country? It’s ridiculous.” President Trump, in an interview with WTVJ NBC6 Miami, Oct. 31, 2018. Trump could have picked literally any other imaginary threat during these riffs on birthright citizenship. But he somehow landed on enemy generals and foreign rulers, whose children are some of the rare exceptions to birthright citizenship under a 120-year-old decision by the Supreme Court. Trump announced in an interview with Axios that he wants to end by executive order the constitutional right to birthright citizenship.Washington Post
VOA VIEW: Crazy!

Trump gets cold welcome from residents in Paris
Trump received a cold welcome this week from Parisians who don't like his views on immigration and climate change, and aren't crazy about his boisterous style, either. Before Sunday's World War I commemoration at the Arc de Triomphe, a topless woman ran toward Trump's motorcade before being caught by police. The nude woman had something written on her body; it appeared to say, "Fake peacemakers." The French version of the "Never Trump" movement organized a demonstration on the Place de la Republique. A blimp of "Baby Trump," swathed in a diaper, hovered overhead. USA Today

What other nations do when security threats are everywhere
 It can be the person you stood next to in line while getting your morning coffee. It can be your neighbor or co-worker. It can be your friend. Security threats are everywhere and nowhere – in America and around the world. Security experts agree that the menace from terrorism, hate crimes and other forms of extreme violence can’t be fully eradicated any more than the threat from, say, armed robbery.  USA Today

'Sanctuary' refuses to take blame after triple homicide
An illegal immigrant released by a “ansctuary city” county in New Jersey was charged last week with a triple homicide halfway across the country in Missouri, authorities said Friday. Luis Rodrigo Perez stands accused of being the gunman in a shooting rampage last week that claimed the lives of two men and one woman at two homes. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said it had tried to deport Perez after he was arrested on domestic violence charges in Middlesex County, New Jersey, last year. But the county, which has a noncooperation policy with ICE, refused to alert federal agents when it released Perez in February, ICE said.  Washington Times
VOA VIEW: Sanctuary for illegals is dumb.

Saudis close to crown prince discussed assassinating enemies a year before Khashoggi killing
Top Saudi intelligence officials close to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman asked a small group of businessmen last year about using private companies to assassinate Iranian enemies of the kingdom, according to three people familiar with the discussions. The Saudis inquired at a time when Mohammed, then the deputy crown prince and defense minister, was consolidating power and directing his advisers to escalate military and intelligence operations outside the kingdom. Their discussions, more than a year before the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, indicate that top Saudi officials have considered assassinations since the beginning of Mohammed’s ascent.  Seattle Times

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