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NEWS     THURSDAY,  NOVEMBER  15, 2018    NEWS

U.S. edge has eroded to 'a dangerous degree' study for Congress finds
The National Defense Strategy Commission, made up of former top Republican and Democratic officials selected by Congress, evaluated the Trump administration’s 2018 National Defense Strategy, which ordered a vast reshaping of the U.S. military to compete with Beijing and Moscow. The commission warned that Washington isn’t moving fast enough or investing sufficiently to put the vision into practice, risking a further erosion of American military dominance that could become a national security emergency. At the same time, according to the commission, China and Russia are seeking dominance in their regions and the ability to project military power globally, as their authoritarian governments pursue defense buildups aimed squarely at the United States. Washington Post
VOA VIEW: Has-beens should not dictate.

Fake Instagram accounts used Trump, Kanye and social issues to target voters
Facebook on Tuesday revealed more details about the fake Russian-linked Instagram accounts that posted politically divisive content on race and gender and on public figures such as President Donald Trump and Kanye West in a bid to influence voters in the midterm elections. More than 1 million people – 600,000 in the U.S. – followed at least one of the 99 Instagram accounts right up until the day before the U.S. midterm elections when the social media giant, acting on a tip from the FBI, took them down. The accounts are suspected to have been the work of Russia's Internet Research Agency, the group that tried to sway the 2016 presidential election by spreading politically divisive messages.  USA Today
VOA VIEW: Facebook is a danger to freedom and civil liberties.

Judiciary Committee processes Trump nominees over Democrats' objections
Senators returned to Washington Tuesday and immediately picked up where they left off — processing President Trump’s judicial nominees, over the objections of Democrats. The Judiciary Committee held a hearing for Paul B. Matey, nominated to the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, and for four district court picks. Mr. Matey’s nomination is particularly controversial because it marks another round in the fight over Senate traditions and courtesies and their abuse in the era of Mr. Trump. Mr. Matey is slated to fill a seat on the appeals court that’s traditionally ascribed to New Jersey. But that state’s senators, both Democrats, object to the president’s pick, and have withheld their “blue slips” to signify their opposition. Washington Times
VOA VIEW: Resistance is all the Dems know.

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Sheriff: California wildfire’s death toll rises to 48
Ernest Foss was a musician who gave lessons out of his home when he lived in San Francisco, where an amplifier that ran the length of a wall served as the family’s living room couch. Carl Wiley refurbished tires for Michelin. Jesus Fernandez, known as “Zeus,” was described as a loving father and loyal friend. They were among the first victims identified in the aftermath of the deadliest, most destructive wildfire in California history, an inferno blamed for at least 48 deaths, with authorities ramping up the search Tuesday for still more souls. The flames all but obliterated the Northern California town of Paradise, population 27,000, and ravaged surrounding areas last Thursday. About 7,700 homes were destroyed.  Seattle Times

'Never Nancy': Democrats ramp up efforts to sideline Pelosi, without offering an alternative
A band of House Democrats determined to oppose House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi's speaker bid are planning to release a signed letter as soon as this week indicating that they have gathered enough support to deny her the 218 votes needed to win the gavel on the House floor in January, a move they say would complicate her path to a second term as speaker and force renewed discussion about her stepping aside. "This is a simple letter saying we want new leadership, which is what a vast majority of Democrats and the American people want." ABC
VOA VIEW: Pelosi would be good for Republicans in 2020.

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FBI sees 17 percent increase in hate crimes compared to 2016
Two weeks after the deadly Pittsburgh synagogue shooting, the FBI released it's 2017 hate crimes statistics which revealed a 17 percent increase in incidents since 2016. In 2017 there were 8,493 victims and 6,307 known offenders. By comparison there were 7,509 victims and 5,727 known offenders in 2016, according to the data. It's also worth noting that more law enforcement agencies participated in reporting hate crime statistics in 2017. "This report is a call to action -- and we will heed that call," Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker said in a statement. ABC

"Precarious" Gaza truce holds, but puts huge pressure on Israeli leader
Children in Israel's south were heading to school early Wednesday as an Egyptian-brokered ceasefire took effect, putting an end to a brief yet intense flare-up with Gaza. The truce, announced Tuesday by Palestinian militant groups in the Gaza Strip, came after nearly two days of heavy shelling from both sides that had threatened to descend into full-blown war. CBS

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Key 'resistance' group plots how newly elected reps can take on Trump
Indivisible, the grassroots movement at the center of opposition to President Donald Trump, taught its activists how to influence lawmakers from outside of power with an online guide in late 2016 based on the tea party's tactics under Barack Obama. Now the "resistance" group is looking to prepare its members for life under divided government. Indivisible's approach two years ago went viral, local chapters popped up around the country and its members helped fuel a Democratic takeover of the House in the midterms. The updated sequel, a guide to "Indivisible On Offense," looks to instruct progressive members on the power that comes with Democratic control of the House and how they can maximize it. NBC
VOA VIEW: Idiots will prove wasteful and foolish.

Climate change may be dissolving the ocean floor
"Even at places on our planet where we have never set foot... there is a trace of human activity." From heat waves to severe storms and wildfires, the effects of climate change are visible all around us — and new research suggests that the impact of a warming world extends all the way to the bottom of the ocean. A study published Oct. 29 in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences shows that high levels of carbon dioxide — the heat-trapping greenhouse gas that is a key contributor to Earth's warming climate — have made parts of the North Atlantic Ocean and the Southern Ocean so acidic that the chalky white mineral that makes up the seafloor is dissolving. NBC

Michael Avenatti speaks out after his arrest on suspicion of domestic violence
Michael Avenatti, the brash lawyer and cable news fixture who came to prominence after he sued President Trump on behalf of an adult-film star, was arrested Wednesday in Los Angeles on suspicion of domestic violence, police said. The Los Angeles Police Department said he was booked on a felony domestic violence charge, with a $50,000 bail. “This is an ongoing investigation and we will provide more details as they become available,” the department wrote on Twitter. The incident happened Tuesday, department spokesman Jeff Lee said. Avenatti has made himself a virtual household name through his relentless media appearances as he represents adult-film star Stormy Daniels in two lawsuits against Trump.  Washington Post
VOA VIEW: It could not happen to a biggerr fool.

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. 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. The Supreme Court ultimately could find a way to rule in favor of Trump, but there is wide agreement among legal scholars that Trump’s plan is unconstitutional: Washington Post
VOA VIEW: Under present ignorant law the bad guys can obtain birthright citizenship for their  children.

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. Vulnerability is hard-wired into the human experience. But the attack on the dance floor of a California nightclub late Wednesday that left 13 dead, the 11 worshipers killed by a gunman Oct. 27 at a Pittsburgh synagogue and the Oct. 26 pipe bomb suspect’s arrest for targeting prominent Democrats – raise profound questions about what if anything can be learned from other countries used to dealing with radical domestic terror and violence. In Israel, it's hard to enter a supermarket or a bus station without passing through a metal detector. Britain responded to years of politically motivated bombing campaigns by Northern Ireland's paramilitaries by installing closed-circuit television cameras on every street corner. USA Today
VOA VIEW: A nation must protect their security.

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'Stop lying' about Florida recounts, Democrats warn Trump
Democratic leaders have demanded that Donald Trump “stop bullying, harassing and lying” about election recounts in Florida before American democracy is put at risk. Chuck Schumer, the top Democrat in the Senate, called on Republican governor Rick Scott to recuse himself from overseeing his US Senate race against incumbent Democrat Bill Nelson. The Senate minority leader’s stand came as Trump, Scott and Republicans pursue a scorched earth strategy in Florida, deploying battalions of lawyers and throwing out baseless claims of fraud. Troubled recounts in Senate and gubernatorial elections in Florida are now barreling towards a Thursday deadline amid an increasingly acrimonious fight that has echoes of the famous 2000 presidential recount. The Guardian

FDA imposes severe restrictions
Alarmed by a huge increase in vaping among minors, is expected to impose severe restrictions on the sale of most e-cigarettes products throughout the United States – actions that will likely have a significant impact on an industry that has grown exponentially in recent years with little government oversight. As soon as next week, FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb is expected to announce a ban on the sale of flavored e-cigarettes – the majority of vaping products sold – in tens of thousands of convenience stores and gas stations across the country, according to senior agency officials. Seattle Times

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'A disgrace to democracy': Brian Kemp pushes Stacey Abrams to concede
Republican Brian Kemp is pressing Democrat Stacey Abrams to concede Georgia’s tight gubernatorial race as civil rights groups urge her to stay and fight. Kemp’s campaign issued a statement Saturday that said it was mathematically impossible for Abrams to even force a runoff, much less win outright. It called Abrams‘ refusals to concede “a disgrace to democracy” that “completely ignore the will of the people.” But members of civil rights groups including the Atlanta-based Southern Christian Leadership Conference and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People held a small rally urging Abrams to keep fighting until every vote is counted. Washington Times
VOA VIEW: Dems are wasteful fools.

'Sanctuary' refuses to take blame after triple homicide
An illegal immigrant released by a “sanctuary 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 wrong.

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

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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 idiot.

Trump complains about allies' spending after France trip
Fresh from a trip to France where his brand of "nationalism" drew rebuke from his hosts, President Donald Trump says "much was accomplished" in his meetings. But he's raising a familiar complaint about American allies' spending on defense. Trump says Monday on Twitter that the U.S. pays billions "protecting other countries, and we get nothing but Trade Deficits and Losses." He adds: "It is time that these very rich countries either pay the United States for its great military protection, or protect themselves." Trump returned late Sunday from ceremonies marking the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I. Houston Chronicle

‘The loss is bitter,’ says Beto O’Rourke in email to supporters
Defeated U.S. Senate candidate Beto O’Rourke didn’t offer any concrete steps about what his next move will be, but told supporters that he intends to be “be part of the best way forward for this country.” O’Rourke made clear he is certain, though, about one immediate goal: “For the time being, I am going to focus on being a better dad to our kids who have not had much of one for the last 22 months,” O’Rourke said. O’Rourke used much of his nearly 1,000-word email to thank supporters for their efforts. “I am grateful that you gave me a chance to be part of this,” O’Rourke said. Houston Chronicle

Florida recounts, Democrats won recall against Trump"s wishes
Democratic leaders have demanded that Donald Trump “stop bullying, harassing and lying” about election recounts in Florida before American democracy is put at risk. Chuck Schumer, the top Democrat in the Senate, called on Republican governor Rick Scott to recuse himself from overseeing his US Senate race against incumbent Democrat Bill Nelson. The Senate minority leader’s stand came as Trump, Scott and Republicans pursue a scorched earth strategy in Florida, deploying battalions of lawyers and throwing out baseless claims of fraud. Troubled recounts in Senate and gubernatorial elections in Florida are now barreling towards a Thursday deadline amid an increasingly acrimonious fight that has echoes of the famous 2000 presidential recount. The White House – in the form of Trump’s Twitter feed and public comments – has also plunged into the fray. For Trump, Florida is personal. The Guardian

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