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Dems Take Heat For Ramping Up Push To Repeal Tax Cuts
Top congressional Democrats used this week’s IRS filing deadline to ramp up calls to repeal GOP tax cuts -- drawing jeers from Republicans who say the package is helping working Americans, and putting some rank-and-file members in a difficult spot. Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., who is in a tough reelection race, told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that while she'd vote to nix tax cuts for the wealthy, she would “never vote to repeal the parts that help middle-class families.” Fox
VOA VIEW: Anyone campaigning to repeal the tax cuts, will lose.

Stephen Colbet Writer Slammed For Insensitive Barbara Bush Tweet
A writer for "The Late Show With Stephen Colbert" has found herself in hot water over a tweet she wrote about the death of former first lady Barbara Bush. "RIP Barbara Bush, the only woman who was 92 for 30 years," Jen Spyra tweeted shortly after news broke of Bush's passing. Spyra quickly garnered a negative reaction for the tweet from her followers. "Wow! That is incredibly insensitive and rude," one user wrote. "Quite sickening!" another one said.  Fox
VOA VIEW: A conservative would be fired.

Trump Delivered Japan A Huge Win On One Part Of The US's Coming Talks To N Korea
Pyongyang didn't admit to the kidnappings until 2002, when Kim Jong Il, in an attempt to receive aid, returned five abductees to Japan. At the time, North Korea said it abducted only 13 people and the remainder had died — a claim widely doubted in Japan. The abductions, believed to be of 17 people, have remained a hot political issue, particularly as family members of the taken youths grow older. Business Insider

GOP Complains  To The Fed About Banks Cutting Off Gun Companies
Republicans are angry about the increasing number of megabanks cutting off financing for gun manufacturers, and let those banks’ supervisor hear about it Thursday. “We don’t need red banks and blue banks,” John Kennedy, R-La., told Federal Reserve governor Randal Quarles at a Senate Banking Committee hearing. “We need banks that are safe and sound and honest, and that appreciate it when the American taxpayer puts up billions and billions of dollars of their hard-earned money to keep these banks from going belly-up,” Kennedy added. Washington Examiner
VOA VIEW: Some banks are breaking the law and they should be targeted.

Republicans Push Bill To Protect Mueller, Without McConnell's Support
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., does not support a measure that would make it harder for President Trump to fire special counsel Robert Mueller, but that isn't stopping some Republicans from forcing the debate. North Carolina Republican Thom Tillis said Wednesday that he will continue working on a bill to allow Mueller access to speedy judicial review if Trump tries to force him out of his job leading the Justice Department investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election — with or without McConnell's support. NPR


Southwest Airlines Engine Explosion Linked To Prior Accident
A similar engine fault behind a fatal mid-air engine explosion that punctured a passenger jet window was reported in 2016, it has emerged. A female passenger died after she was nearly sucked from the cabin of a Southwest Airlines flight travelling from New York to Dallas on Tuesday. Investigators say there was a fault with the engine's fan blades - the cause of the incident two years ago. BBC

Miguel Diaz-Canel Becomes Cuba's President
Cuba has a new president, and for the first time in over 40 years, his last name is not Castro. Miguel Díaz-Canel officially became president on Thursday morning after Raúl Castro stepped down and Díaz-Canel was confirmed by the National Assembly. Castro, 86, will remain head of the Communist Party, the most powerful governing body on the island, but his departure from the presidency represents a symbolic shift in an aging leadership. NBC
VOA VIEW: Very little change.

Cohen Drops Libel Suits Against Buzz Feed, Fusion GPS
Embattled attorney Michael Cohen has dropped a pair of much-touted libel suits against BuzzFeed and the private investigation firm Fusion GPS over publication of the so-called dossier detailing alleged ties between President Donald Trump and Russia. Cohen abandoned the suits late Wednesday as he continues to fight to recover documents and electronic files seized from his home, office and hotel room last week by federal authorities as part of what appears to be a broad criminal investigation into his conduct. Politico


Museum Says Missing Nazi Submarine Mystery Solved
A museum in Denmark says it has solved the seven-decade mystery of a missing Nazi submarine. The Sea War Museum Jutland, in northern Denmark, says researchers found the German U-boat U-3523 on the seafloor just north of the country earlier this month. The submarine was sunk on May 6, 1945, the day after Nazi forces surrendered in Denmark, parts of Germany and the Netherlands in World War II, according to the museum. For years there has been speculation that the sub, which was one of Nazi Germany's most advanced U-boats at the time, made it to South America carrying fleeing Nazi officers -- possibly even Adolf Hitler himself, according to some conspiracy theorists. CBS

'We All Feel We Were Simply Doing Our Jobs.'
The pilots who landed the Southwest Airlines flight after an engine blew out, leading to the death of one passenger, spoke out for the first time. Pilots Tammie Jo Shults, who has been hailed as a hero for her calm response to the mid-air calamity, and Darren Ellisor said, “we were simply doing our jobs,” when they safely brought the Boeing 737 down for an emergency landing in Philadelphia on Tuesday. Time
VOA VIEW: Truer words.

3 In National Guard Disciplined Over Us Of Dinosaur Hand Puppet
Military officials announced disciplinary actions Wednesday against three Tennessee Air National Guard airmen after filming a re-enlistment ceremony in which an officer recited her oath using a dinosaur hand puppet. An unidentified colonel in the Guard was demoted and retired after leading the disrespectful ceremony last week in which Master Sgt. Robin Brown wore the puppet as she recited her oath. Brown, a senior noncommissioned officer, was removed from her full-time position with the Tennessee Joint Public Affairs Office, with other administrative actions pending, officials said. Fox

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Queen Drafted to Charm Ex Colonies Into Post Brexit Free Trade
It's 21 years since the Commonwealth, the group of countries that used to make up the British Empire, met in Britain. Then the U.K. had an ardently Europhile leader, Tony Blair, basking in the glory of a record-breaking win, and a queen whose popularity was in crisis over her response to the death of Princess Diana. This time, it's the prime minister who's in trouble, and the monarch who could be coming to the rescue as the nation parts ways with the European Union. SF Gate

Missouri Gov. Is In Big Trouble, But Impeaching Him Will Be Hard
Missouri has never impeached a sitting governor before; lawmakers impeached one former Democratic secretary of state named Judi Moriarty in 1994. The process for a impeachment of a governor or Supreme Court justice is an entirely separate process from impeachment of other executive officials, involving a panel of seven judges to hand down a verdict. But lawmakers are struggling in the Greitens case because the governor’s sexual misconduct scandal and donor list flap both happened before he took office. Moriarty, on the other hand, was impeached for something she did while in office. Vox
VOA VIEW: Very interesting.

"Fearless Girl' Statue Moving Next To Stock Exchange
Fearless Girl is on the move. The much-beloved statue will depart her perch opposite the iconic Charging Bull to stare down some new scenery: The New York Stock Exchange, the Daily News has learned. City Hall and the financial services firm that commissioned Fearless Girl, State Street Global Advisors, will announce the move Thursday. “Our goal is to promote the power of having women in leadership, and placing her right next to the New York Stock Exchange is really the perfect metaphor,” Cyrus Taraporevala, president and CEO of State Street Global Advisors, told The News. NY Daily


More Cases In E. Coli Outbreak Tied To Romaine Lettuce
The outbreak of E. coli illness tied to tainted Arizona romaine lettuce continues to expand, federal health officials said Wednesday. "Since the last update on April 13, 2018, 18 more ill people have been added to this investigation, bringing the total number to 53," the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in a news release. The illnesses have been identified as linked to a particularly virulent strain of E. coli O157:H7. Cases have now been reported in five more states, the CDC added, bringing the total number of states involved to 16. Web MD

Opioid Prescriptions Dropped In Every State Last Year
The number of prescriptions of opioid painkillers dropped 10.2% in 2017, according to the IQVIA Institute, an arm of the clinical research giant that collects data on pharmaceutical prescriptions from retail pharmacies. Prescriptions of high-potency opiates dropped even more – 16.1%. And when a measure called morphine milligram equivalents, which measures both the number of prescriptions and the strength of the drugs provided, the resulting 12% drop is the largest in 25 years, IQVIA says. Forbes

Stormy Daniels' Legal Team Swamped With Tips On Sketch
Everyone thinks they know Stormy’s mystery man. More than 1,500 tips have flooded Stormy Daniels’ legal team since her lawyer, Michael Avenatti, released a sketch Tuesday of the “thug” the porn star says threatened her to stay quiet about her alleged fling with President Trump, Avenatti told TMZ. Only a couple hundred tips were deemed credible enough to pursue and investigators for Daniels have spent 40 to 60 man hours so far running them down, Avenatti said. NY Post

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'Big Bitcoin Heist' Mastermind Escapes Prison In Iceland
A man suspected of masterminding the theft of about 600 computers used to mine bitcoins and other virtual currencies has likely fled to Sweden after breaking out of a prison in Iceland, officials said Wednesday. Swedish police spokesman Stefan Dangardt says no arrest has been made in Sweden but Icelandic police have briefed them on the situation and issued an international arrest warrant.  NY Post

What Happened To The Plan To Put Harriet Tubman On The $20 Bill?
When a Harriet Tubman scholar found out in 2016 that the abolitionist she studied for decades was going to be the new face of the $20 bill, she cried. “Here you have an African American woman, formerly enslaved who fought and struggled her whole life for freedom and equality.” Kate Larson said. But Larson and others eager to withdraw Tubmans from the bank may have to wait longer than expected. Two years ago this week, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew announced redesigns for the $20, $10, and $5 bills that would honor civil rights and women’s rights icons: Tubman, Alice Paul, and Marian Anderson. Daily Beast
VOA VIEW: Tubman does not deserve to be on any bill.

Dozens Of Homes Have Been Destroyed In Deadly Wildfires That Are Now Larger Than New York City
The largest of the blazes, the Rhea Fire, had burned 283,095 acres in western Oklahoma and was only 3% contained as of Wednesday. Several other wildfires in the state have collectively burned tens of thousands of additional acres, and in total flames have raced across more than 500 square miles — an area that is more expansive than most major US cities including New York and Los Angeles.  Buzz Feed

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Samantha Bee Slams 'F--king Horrible' 'F--king Coward' Paul Ryan
On Wednesday's Full Frontal show on TBS, liberal comedian Samantha Bee tore into House Speaker Paul Ryan during the show's opening monologue, calling him "f---ing horrible," a "f---ing coward," and declaring that "he has always been a bad person" in response to the Wisconsin Republican announcing his retirement. Alluding to President Donald Trump's election, Bee began: In the shadow of Trumpism, it's more important than ever to distinguish between honorable people we disagree with and actual bad people, so I want to be clear. Paul Ryan is a bad person -- he has always been a bad person. News Busters
VOA VIEW: Bee is an idiot.

Stormy Daniels Plans Donation To Planned Parenthood In Donald Trump's Name
Anti-Trump It Girl Stormy Daniels is enjoying an obscene amount of publicity these days. The porn star, who has been the subject of a defamation lawsuit with President Donald Trump and his “fixer,” Michael Cohen, is making the media rounds to share her story and case against the president. Liberals across the country have been all but obsessed with Daniel’s coverage, with many seeing her as some feminist hero. In the latest development, Daniels has promised that, if she wins her lawsuit, she will donate $130,000 to America’s largest abortion provider, Planned Parenthood. News Busters

Pelosi Calls Trump 'One Of The Best Organizers In The Country' For Dems
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said Thursday President Trump is "one of the best organizers" for Democrats ahead of the 2018 elections with less than seven months until Election Day. The California Democrat told reporters Thursday that she is not worried about November despite seeing the Democratic lead in the generic ballot cut significantly in recent months. According to the latest RealClearPolitics average, Democrats hold a 5.5 percent advantage in the generic ballot, down from the 13-point lead they held in late December. Washington Examiner
VOA VIEW: Pelosi will look real bad after the 2018 elections, more than she looks and sounds now.

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