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President Donald Trump's estranged former lawyer is acknowledging paying a technology company to artificially boost Trump's standing in two online polls, saying Trump directed him to do it. Technology company owner John Gauger told The Wall Street Journal that Cohen promised him $50,000 for work including using computers to enter fake votes for Trump in a 2014 CNBC poll asking people to identify top business leaders and a 2015 poll of potential presidential candidates. Gauger says Cohen paid him about a quarter of the money in cash, then stiffed him on the rest. ABC
VOA VIEW: Foolish talk by a known liar.
The Duke of Edinburgh, 97, was helped from his overturned Land Rover near the Queen's Sandringham estate. Prince Philip, 97, was not injured in the accident, which happened as he drove a Land Rover out of a driveway onto the A149 shortly before 15:00 GMT. BBC
The PM says she wants to discuss the Labour leader's Brexit plans, but he dismisses her talks as a "stunt". In a letter to the Labour leader, the PM wrote that ruling out no deal was an "impossible condition" as it was not within the government's power to do it. She has been meeting other leaders to try to find a compromise on Brexit after her deal was rejected by MPs. Earlier, Mr Corbyn dismissed the talks as a "stunt". BBC
VOA VIEW: May is not trusted.


The White House will not be sending a delegation to Davos, Switzerland, for the World Economic Forum next week, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders announced Thursday night. The announcement came hours after Mr. Trump announced he was postponing a trip House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other Democrats were scheduled to take Thursday afternoon to Afghanistan and Brussels to visit U.S. Troops. CBS
VOA VIEW: Good move.
For the third straight year, the Women's March will take place in several cities on Saturday. Organizers say they are resisting the Trump administration and building power. But this year will be different. Alex Wagner explains. CBS
VOA VIEW: A worthless group that nothing better to do.
The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday that U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin proposed lifting all or some of the tariffs on Chinese imports to give Beijing a reason to make deeper concessions in ongoing trade talks between the two countries. A senior administration official told CNBC's Eamon Javersthat "there's no discussion of lifting tariffs now." CNBC
Sears' unsecured creditors filed an objection Thursday morning to Chairman Eddie Lampert's deal to save the company through his hedge fund, ESL Investments. In documents filed with the Southern District of New York Bankruptcy Court, the committee said it has uncovered facts that demonstrate Sears' downfall as "precipitated by years of misconduct by Lampert, ESL, and others against Sears and its creditors," in addition to the broader challenges facing the retail industry. CNBC
VOA VIEW: A valid view.
President Donald Trump responded Thursday to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's letter suggesting they reschedule his State of the Union address by informing Pelosi that an apparent trip she had planned to "Brussels, Egypt, and Afghanistan has been postponed" while the government shutdown continues. CNN
VOA VIEW: Wasting taxpayer money while there is a shutdown is foolish - Trump made a wise decision.
In the "El Chapo" trial, where the role of mistresses – the defendant’s and even his lawyer’s – has at times fascinated as much as the glimpses into one of the world’s most powerful drug cartels, Lucero Guadalupe Sanchez Lopez did not disappoint on Thursday. Sanchez Lopez said she first met Guzman in 2010, and became his lover in 2011, when she was just 22. FOX News


Iraq's Prime Minister expressed his fear about the possible move and told Secretary Mike Pompeo that if this were to happen, it will have dire and dangerous consequences for the region. Jerusalem Post
VOA VIEW: Good US position.
American Express Co missed Wall Street's fourth-quarter profit estimates on Thursday, as the rate of customer spending slowed despite a strong U.S. holiday sales season. Reuters
North Korea's top envoy, Kim Yong Chol, arrived at Washington D.C.'s Dulles International Airport to discuss a second summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, the South Korean news agency Yonhap reported on Friday. Reuters
Space is the new arena for war, Donald Trump said on Thursday as he announced a major drive to update America’s missile defence system and touted his “Space Force” proposal. The US president said that he wants a “layer” of sensors placed among the stars that can detect missile launches and will demand that the technology is funded in his next budget. The item was one of a host of improvements the Pentagon is attempting to make to its decades-old missile system, outlined in its new Missile Defence Review. Telegraph

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The government shutdown is stalling plans to block fraudulent imports of organic produce into the United States. The 2018 farm bill instructed the U.S. Department of Agriculture to develop and implement regulations to reduce the amount of fake organic food being imported. The decision came after The Washington Post reported that millions of pounds of imported grains were being marked and sold as organic last year -- though they appeared to not be organic. UPI
The House voted to disapprove of a plan to ease sanctions against companies with ties to a Russian oligarch who is an ally to Russian President Vladimir Putin. UPI
VOA VIEW: Not a smart move by the WH.
President Donald Trump withdrew House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's access to the military plane for a weekend trip to visit troops in Afghanistan. UPI
VOA VIEW: Good and wise decision.


The FDA has resumed inspections of some high-risk foods, like cheese and milk, with inspectors returning to work without pay during the government shutdown. UPI
Number of furloughed federal workers seeking US jobless aid doubled in week of Jan. 5. The Labor Department said Thursday that is double the number of federal workers who sought aid in the previous week. Typically fewer than a thousand former federal employees apply for jobless benefits each week. Federal employees who aren't working during the partial government shutdown are eligible to claim unemployment aid, while those working without pay are not, the Labor Department has said. Yet even those sent home will have to repay the unemployment aid if they receive back pay once the shutdown ends. ABC

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January 18, 2019

     Pelosi has lost her mind.  A grand Washington ritual became a potential casualty of the partial government shutdown Wednesday as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi asked President Donald Trump to postpone his Jan. 29 State of the Union speech. She cited concerns about whether the hobbled government can provide adequate security.

     The main problem, other than Pelosi is a lying idiot, there was and is no security problem, as verified by DHS, Secret Service and the Capitol Police.

     Trump should state, thanks, but no thanks.  If he is not allowed to use the House, he can pack fill any large stadium.  This should send Pelosi a negative message.