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NEWS     FRIDAY,  OCTOBER  19, 2018    NEWS

Sen. Graham: I Never Needed Police Security Before Kavanaugh Hearings
Sen. Lindsey Graham appeared on "Hannity" Wednesday to react to the incivility he's seeing from many on the left, and what's at stake in November's midterm elections. Sean Hannity introduced the topic by noting that prominent Democrats like Hillary Clinton, Eric Holder and Maxine Waters have made comments that appeared to encourage their supporters to confront or harass political opponents. "This is what happens when you can't win at the ballot box. You take those of us who did win and you try to intimidate us into bending to your will," Graham (R-S.C.) said. He revealed that he now has officers with the Capitol Police provide security, something he never had to do until the contentious Brett Kavanaugh Supreme Court hearings. Fox
VOA VIEW: The left has gone made, or they have been mad all along.

Rush Limbaugh predicts GOP will hold House, make gains in Senate
Rush Limbaugh, in an exclusive interview with Fox News’ Sean Hannity, predicted Republicans will hold both houses of Congress next month – defying the Washington wisdom that Nancy Pelosi is in line for speaker. “We hold the House and increase the Senate,” the conservative talk radio host predicted in an interview set to air Thursday night on Fox News' "Hannity" at 9 p.m. ET. He added, “I think the Democrat Party deserves to lose in the biggest single electoral landslide defeat in my lifetime because of the actions they’ve taken just in the last month.” The party out of power in the White House historically picks up seats in the first post-presidential midterms. And polling has suggested 2018 will be no different -- showing an environment that still favors Democrats. Democrats hold an 11-point lead on Republicans on a generic congressional ballot, according to a recent Washington Post/ABC News poll. Fox
VOA VIEW: The liberal media will get it wrong again.

Trump more involved in stopping FBI HQ move than previously known
The decision could have financial benefits for the President, whose own hotel is located a block away, critics say. The documents were released Thursday by House Democrats in a letter to General Services Administrator Emily Murphy that suggests she misled Congress about the President's involvement. "New documents provided to the Oversight Committee indicate that President Trump met personally with you, the FBI, and White House officials on January 24, 2018, where he was directly involved with the decision to abandon the long-term relocation plan and instead move ahead with the more expensive proposal to construct a new building on the same site, and thereby prevent Trump Hotel competitors from acquiring the land," states the letter by Maryland Rep. Elijah Cummings, the top Democrat on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, and other senior Democrats. White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said that the "House Democrats have it all wrong." CNN
VOA VIEW: Dems not only have it wrong, they are nuts.


Michael Cohen meets with prosecutors investigating Trump's family business, charity
Michael Cohen and his attorney met Wednesday with a group of state and federal law enforcement officials investigating various aspects of President Donald Trump's family business and charitable organization, according to people familiar with the meeting. The group, which included the federal prosecutors from the US Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York who charged Cohen in August and officials from the New York Attorney General's office, met at the Midtown New York City office of Cohen's attorney, Guy Petrillo, these people said. Michael Cohen, once the ultimate Trump loyalist, now wants to campaign against him CNN observed Cohen leaving Petrillo's office building Wednesday afternoon. Assistant US Attorney Tom McKay, the lead prosecutor on the Cohen case, had entered the building earlier in the day.  CNN
VOA VIEW: Cohen is building a wall behind himself.

Gingrich: 'Two Words' Will Shape Election; One of Them Is 'Caravan'
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, now a veteran political analyst, says the upcoming election is not about "are you better off" than you were two years ago. "I think we are better off, but I don't think that's what this election is about," Gingrich told Fox News's Sean Hannity Wednesday night. "This election is a life-and-death struggle with a left-wing movement which wants to radicalize America." Gingrich made a prediction: I think two words are going to define the night of the 2018 election in the next three weeks. One is 'Kavanaugh' and the other is 'caravan'. And the combination of anger over how the left smeared, engaged in character assassination, lied, used bullying tactics with Judge Kavanaugh is going to be one part of this; and the degree to which the left is eager to have 3,000 people in a caravan cross the American border, break American law, recognizing that if that happens, the next caravan will be bigger; and the next caravan after that will be even bigger. CNS News
VOA VIEW: The thing that will shape the November elections is how dumb Americans are to believe the liberal media.

Interior contradicts Ben Carson on hiring of new watchdog
Contradicting a claim by a Cabinet secretary, the Interior Department says a political appointee at the Department of Housing and Urban Development will not be reassigned to lead an internal watchdog agency at Interior. Spokeswoman Heather Swift says in a statement Thursday that an email sent by HUD Secretary Ben Carson last week "had false information in it." Carson said in the Oct. 12 email that assistant HUD secretary Suzanne Israel Tufts would take over as acting inspector general at Interior. Tufts would've replaced Mary Kendall, who's been acting inspector general since 2009. Swift said the White House referred Tufts to Interior "as a potential candidate" for a job in the inspector general's office but she was not offered the position. Las Vegas Sun


Walmart, Whole Foods, Trader Joe's among brands hit by corn recall
Possibly contaminated corn is behind a slew of recalls involving prepared salads sold by major retailers including Walmart, Whole Foods and Trader Joe's. GHSE, a Green Cove Springs, Florida company, is recalling 738 pounds of ready-to-eat salads that contain corn that may be contaminated with salmonella and listeria monocytogenes, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service said late Wednesday. No illnesses have been reported related to the recalled corn, according to federal officials. Walmart brand Marketside's "Fiesta Salad with Steak" comes in 15.25-ounce plastic clamshells with use-by-dates of Oct. 17 through Oct. 20, and were shipped to retail locations in Florida, Georgia and South Carolina. The salad labels have the establishment number "EST. 45781" printed inside the USDA inspection mark.  CBS

Trump Threatens to 'Call Up the U.S. Military and Close Our Southern Border'
President Donald Trump is demanding that 3,000 Central Americans immediately halt their "caravan" journey to the U.S., or else he'll close the southern border, period.
In three tweets Thursday morning, Trump wrote:-- I am watching the Democrat Party led (because they want Open Borders and existing weak laws) assault on our country by Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, whose leaders are doing little to stop this large flow of people, INCLUDING MANY CRIMINALS, from entering Mexico to U.S.....-- In addition to stopping all payments to these countries, which seem to have almost no control over their population, I must, in the strongest of terms, ask Mexico to stop this onslaught - and if unable to do so I will call up the U.S. Military and CLOSE OUR SOUTHERN BORDER!.. CNS News
VOA VIEW: Close the southern border to all illegals.

For All Trump’s Talk, the Saudis Don’t Buy That Much Stuff From the U.S.
Listening to President Donald Trump, you’d think the U.S. economy has a huge amount riding on continued weapons sales to Saudi Arabia. Arguing against a rush to judgment in the case of Jamal Khashoggi, the Washington-based journalist allegedly murdered by a Saudi hit team, Trump has repeatedly cited the importance of that trade -- and rejected growing calls in Congress to cut it off. “That would be hurting us,” the president said last week. “We have jobs, we have a lot of things happening in this country.” Trump likes to tout what he describes as $110 billion in arms deals signed during his visit to Riyadh last year. The figure is inflated, according to Bruce Riedel at the Brookings Institution, who analyzed Trump’s claim and found the headline number to be a mishmash of previously signed agreements and vague wishlists.  Bloomberg

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Goldman Pulls Out of Saudi Conference After Mnuchin Withdrawal
Goldman had initially stood by plans to send two of its senior executives as representatives at the conference even as other were pulling out. Sheila Patel, the bank’s head of international asset-management operations, and Dina Powell, the ex-Trump aide with close ties to the region, were scheduled to attend. Mnuchin withdrew as the Trump administration shifted course under increasing pressure to hold Saudi Arabia’s leaders accountable for Khashoggi’s disappearance. Bloomberg

Trump lawyer claims presidential immunity in Summer Zervos appeal
Donald Trump’s lawyer argued vehemently in a New York appeals court on Thursday that the president has immunity from state lawsuits – despite failure of this argument in a lower court in the case involving the one-time Apprentice contestant Summer Zervos. Summer Zervos has alleged that Trump sexually “ambushed and assaulted [her] on multiple occasions, including attacks at both his office and in a hotel room”, according to court papers. She is claiming defamation, stemming from Trump’s denials on the campaign trail of any such abuse involving the former contestant on his reality TV show. She charges that by calling her a liar, the president wrongly maligned her, a paper filed in her January 2017 Manhattan supreme court lawsuit says. Trump’s lawyer in the case, Marc Kasowitz, has repeatedly argued that the president cannot be sued in this way. The Guardian

Revealed: US moves to keep endangered species discussions secret
The Trump administration is moving to restrict the release of information about its decisions on endangered species, according to a confidential internal document obtained by the Guardian. It comes as wildlife advocates and scientists accuse the government of attempting to weaken protections for wildlife, including wolves, grizzly bears and sage grouse, while boosting domestic energy production and mining in crucial animal habitat. In a private September guidance sent to offices around the country, the US Fish and Wildlife Service, or FWS, recommended that employees with its ecological services program – which administers the Endangered Species Act – take a less transparent approach when responding to certain Freedom of Information Act requests from the public. The Guardian


Frozen star Kristen Bell speaks out over 'weird' prince's inappropriate kiss in Snow White
As Hollywood deals with the fall-out of the MeToo movement Snow White has become the latest target, amid claims the Disney version of the fairy tale encourages men to kiss women without consent. Actress Kristen Bell, who voices Princess Anna in another Disney blockbuster "Frozen" said the way the prince kisses Snow White while she is asleep is "weird," and she had warned her young daughters about the male character's behaviour. Bell, 38, said she reads every night to daughters Lincoln, five, and Delta, three, but had to have a serious conversation with them about Snow White.  Telegraph
VOA VIEW: The liberals have gone mad.

Theresa May isolated as party turns on 'chaotic' Brexit plan and EU leaders give her the cold shoulder
Theresa May was on Thursday evening increasingly isolated over her plan to keep Britain tied to the EU for longer as she was savaged by both wings of her party and left in the cold by EU leaders. Mrs May confirmed on Thursday that she was prepared to consider extending the transition period - currently due to end in December 2020 - by “a matter of months” in an attempt to break the deadlock over the Northern Ireland border issue. The move enraged Brexiteers who said it would cost billions, and angered members of the Cabinet who said they had not formally agreed the plan before she offered it up as a bargaining chip. Telegraph

US to merge Jerusalem consulate general with new embassy
Mike Pompeo said the decision was made for efficiency reasons and did not signal a change of policy on Jerusalem, the West Bank or the Gaza Strip. Palestinians condemned the move. Senior official Saeb Erekat said the Trump administration was working with Israelis to "impose 'Greater Israel' rather than a two-state solution".
Israel regards Jerusalem as its "eternal and undivided" capital, while the Palestinians claim East Jerusalem - occupied by Israel in the 1967 Middle East war - as the capital of a future Palestinian state.  BBC News

Convicts 'blackmail US soldiers in sexting scheme' from prison
Prisoners in South Carolina have been accused of extorting money from US soldiers after sending illicit photos of girls and then demanding payment. "Countless prisoners" across the state participated in the scheme, according to a search warrant submitted by US Army investigators earlier this month. The warrant seeks to access email accounts that are believed to have been used to transfer the money. Prison officials say mobile phones can be dangerous in the hands of prisoners. According to the warrant application obtained by the BBC, the prisoners met soldiers online using mobile phone dating apps, in particular one called PlentyOfFish. After communicating through text messages, the soldiers would receive an unsolicited nude image of a girl, a detective with the US Army Criminal Investigation Command described in the warrant submitted to the Charleston federal court on 3 October.  BBC News

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China's third-quarter GDP growth set to hit weakest since 2009 amid trade war strain
China’s third-quarter GDP data on Friday is expected to show growth slipped to its weakest pace since the global financial crisis, as domestic demand faltered and exporters started to feel the pinch from a bitter Sino-U.S. trade dispute. In a warning this week, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said the Asian economic powerhouse faces increasing downward pressure, and pledged the government will take targeted measures to prevent large fluctuations in growth. A Reuters poll of analysts underscored the dimming outlook for the world’s second biggest economy, with forecasts centering on growth at 6.6 percent in the June-Sept quarter from a year earlier - the weakest pace since the first quarter of 2009. Reuters
VOA VIEW: China would be smart to deal with Trump before midterms.

U.S. asks for WTO panel over metals tariffs retaliation
The United States is requesting that a World Trade Organization dispute resolution panel get involved in a clash over international retaliation over U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminum, according to a U.S. official familiar with the matter. The request, filed on Thursday, covers tariffs by China, the European Union, Canada and Mexico, which followed the United States imposing a 25 percent duty on steel imports and a 10 percent tariff on aluminum imports. Canada, Mexico and China had also planned to ask for a WTO panel examining those tariffs, according to another government official familiar with the matter. Earlier on Thursday, Norway said that it, the EU and other countries would seek the WTO dispute group's help. Reuters

Navy veteran charged for sending toxin to White House, Pentagon
A former Navy Veteran from Utah was charged Thursday for mailing threatening letters in envelopes containing castor seeds to the White House and the Pentagon, the U.S. Department of Justice said. William Clyde Allen III, 39, was charged with one count of threatening to use a biological agent and toxin as a weapon, one count of mailing a threat against the president and five counts of mailing threatening communications to an officer or an employee of the United States. United Press International

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2 top Afghan officials killed in insider attack claimed by Taliban
Two top Afghan government security officials in Kandahar Province, Afghanistan, were killed and the governor of Kandahar was wounded in an attack Thursday by a man wearing an Afghan military uniform. Two Americans were also wounded in the attack that occurred in the governor's compound in Afghanistan's second largest city. Killed in the attack on Thursday was Gen. Abdul Raziq, the well-known police chief in Kandahar; and its intelligence chief, Abdul Mohmin.  Kandahar's governor, Zalmai Wessa, was wounded in the attack and is receiving treatment at a NATO coalition medical facility, said a spokesman for Resolute Support, the name of the NATO-led training mission in Afghanistan. Earlier there had been conflicting reports that Wessa had been killed in the attack. Two Americans were also wounded in the crossfire, a military service member and a civilian. ABC

President Trump on whether Jamal Khashoggi is dead: 'certainly looks that way'
President Donald Trump told reporters Thursday that he is concerned Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi might be dead. "It certainly looks that way to me," Trump said as he departed from Joint Base Andrews. "It's very sad. Certainly looks that way." While U.S. officials are awaiting the results of three investigations, the president said he feels confident "we should be able to get to the bottom fairly soon." He added that he would consider "severe" consequences if oil-rich ally Saudi Arabia was involved. Vice President Mike Pence went a step further during a stop in Denver earlier in the day and vowed: "the world deserves answers." "If what has been alleged has occurred. If an innocent person lost their life at the hands of violence, that's to be condemned," Pence said.  ABC

These countries may soon have the highest life expectancies
New research forecasts future life expectancies in 195 countries and territories around the world, and the results for the United States are pretty grim.  In 2016, the U.S. ranked 43rd in the world, with an average lifespan of 78.7 years. By 2040, Americans' life expectancy is forecast to increase, but only by 1.1 years to 79.8. This causes the U.S. to plummet in rank to 64th. The study, published in the international medical journal The Lancet, offers unique new insights into the health statuses of nations worldwide. "The future of the world's health is not pre-ordained, and there is a wide range of plausible trajectories," Dr. Kyle Foreman, the lead author of the study, said in a statement. "But whether we see significant progress or stagnation depends on how well or poorly health systems address key health drivers." Foreman is director of Data Science at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington.  CBS News

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