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NEWS - FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 15, 2019 - NEWS
The 1,169-page, $333 billion spending bill that President Donald Trump plans to sign into law removes the threat of any further government shutdowns - at least until October. But only a few pages of the legislation deals with the U.S.-Mexico border wall that Trump has demanded. Baltimore Sun
VOA VIEW: The bill is a mess.
Former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz said Thursday that he would be willing to abandon his presidential ambitions midstream if Democrats nominate a centrist who makes it too difficult for him to win as an independent candidate. Schultz, who made the comments while visiting The Washington Post. Baltimore Sun
VOA VIEW: Schultz is proving he is not serious.
In an interview with the Houston Chronicle, Al Mohler said for the first time publicly that he regrets his embrace of C.J. Mahaney who was accused of concealing sexual abuses. Houston Chronicle
VOA VIEW: As he should.

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During an El Niño, water temperatures in the central and eastern tropical Pacific Ocean get a few degrees warmer than average for an extended time. After months of indications that it was coming, infamous climate agitator El Niño formed this week, climate scientists announced Thursday. "Weak El Niño conditions are present and are expected to continue through the spring," the Climate Prediction Center said. El Niño is a periodic natural warming of seawater in the tropical Pacific. IndyStar
In the U.S., there’s 4,400 unidentified bodies recovered and logged annually, according to National Missing and Unidentified Persons System. Of those, 1,000 stay nameless after a year and small counties near the border account for a large portion of those. Las Vegas Sun
When Democrats unveiled their “Green New Deal” to fight climate change, the Republican response was swift and strikingly uniform. “A socialist wish list,” said a spokesman for the national party. “The socialist Democrats are off to a great start!” exclaimed a spokesman for the GOP’s congressional... LA Times
VOA VIEW: Socialism is a serious problem.
The Trump administration is quietly moving to replace BioWatch, the nation’s problem-plagued system for detecting an airborne attack of anthrax spores or other infectious agents, with technology that also has severe shortcomings, a Times investigation has found. LA Times
The flu vaccine is doing a relatively good job this season, protecting about half the people who got it, U.S. health officials said Thursday. Preliminary figures suggest the vaccine is 47 percent effective in preventing flu illness severe enough to send someone to the doctor’s office. Health officials are generally pleased if a flu vaccine works in 40 to 60 percent of people. New York Post
Chinese President Xi Jinping met U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Friday, following high-level negotiations aimed at striking a trade deal ahead of a March 1 deadline. Rueters
VOA VIEW: China better wake up and play right.

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As the United Kingdom's Brexit crisis deepens, two of the titans of Wall Street have starkly differing views of the ultimate outcome: Goldman Sachs sees a 50 percent probability of a ratified deal while JPMorgan sees a delay. Rueters
The American Civil Liberties Union sued the Trump administration Thursday over its recent policy that returns asylum seekers to Mexico while they wait for their cases in U.S. immigration court. The ACLU has sued over — and successfully blocked — a number of immigration policies put forth. San Diego Tribune
VOA VIEW: Liberal stupidity.
There may be more in the sewage-tainted water that regularly spills over the border from Tijuana than many San Diegans realize. The cross-border pollution also contains potentially dangerous industrial and agricultural chemicals, according to a draft report compiled by U.S. Customs and Border Protection. San Diego Tribune
A veteran U.S. investment fund manager has been detained in Moscow and faces fraud charges. A Moscow court said on Friday that Michael Calvey, founder and senior partner at Baring Vostok equity firm, was detained alongside two other fund managers. Calvey, who founded Baring Vostok in 1994, has long worked in Russia. Seattle Times

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Two women were detained by a Border Patrol agent in Montana after he heard them speaking Spanish. A lawsuit accuses CBP of violating their rights.         USA Today
VOA VIEW: Sounds like probable cause.
The president had urged the Tennessee Valley Authority to keep open a plant that buys much of its coal from a mining company chaired by one of his major donors. Washington Post
VOA VIEW: Liberal propaganda.
The agency's inspector general accused the Federal Student Aid office of wasting taxpayer dollars by failing to hold student loan servicing companies accountable for complying with the law. Washington Post

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William Barr, confirmed by the Senate Thursday, is set to become attorney general and oversee the Mueller investigation. His swearing-in came just hours after the Senate confirmed Barr, President Donald Trump's nominee, by a 54-45 vote. Barr now will head the Justice Department during a pivotal time, overseeing special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian interference of the 2016 presidential election. The Senate vote fell roughly along party lines, with a majority of Democrats opposing his confirmation. ABC
VOA VIEW: Hopefully, Barr will make Dems unset.
Andrew McCabe described details of the FBI’s inquiry into President Trump’s ties to Russia and the genesis of the appointment of special counsel Robert Mueller in 2017. Top Justice Department officials discussed the possibility of recruiting cabinet members to push President Donald Trump out of office in the wake of James Comey’s dismissal from the FBI, according to Andrew McCabe, the former acting FBI director, in an interview that aired Thursday. ABC
VOA VIEW: McCabe is a lying loser.
The internet giant hit local opposition over the roughly $3bn in subsidies it had been promised. The dramatic turnabout comes just months after the firm named New York City one of two sites selected for major expansion over the next decades. City and state leaders had agreed to provide about $3bn (£2.3bn) in incentives to secure that investment. Those subsidies had prompted fierce backlash in some quarters. BBC
VOA VIEW: Amazon makes their enemies, losers.
He will declare a national emergency to fund his major campaign promise of a US-Mexico border wall. He is to sign a border security bill to avert a government shutdown - but also act to bypass Congress and use military funds for the wall, a statement said. Senior Democrats have responded by accusing him of committing a "gross abuse of power" and a "lawless act". Congress must first pass the bill before it is signed by the president. BBC
VOA VIEW: Dems will ultimately lose in the long run - the voters.
Candidates in the most diverse Democratic primary field in U.S. history will face off in two debates in June and July. The first two debates of the 2020 presidential campaign will take place in June and July and could include up to 20 candidates, the Democratic National Committee (DNC) announced Thursday. The DNC said the first debate will be hosted by NBC News, MSNBC and Telemundo in June 2019, with a specific time and place to be determined in the future. CNN will host the second debate the following month. CBS
VOA VIEW: Dems will have a chance to trash each other.

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Facebook and the Federal Trade Commission are reportedly negotiating what could be a multibillion-dollar fine related to the Cambridge Analytica data scandal, according to the Washington Post. The two sides are still negotiating details, the paper reported, but a settlement penalty in the billions of dollars would be by far the largest fine ever imposed by the FTC against a technology company. CNBC
VOA VIEW: Facebook should be sanctioned and regulated.
Large withholdings may yield large refunds, but one Florida man took this to the extreme. Here's how he managed to scoop up a large check from the IRS — and why you shouldn't try this. There are big tax refunds, and then there are $980,000 tax refunds. Ramon Christopher Blanchett, of Tampa, Florida, and self-described freelancer, managed to scoop up a $980,000 tax refund after submitting his self-prepared 2016 tax return. CNBC
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says she may mount a legal challenge if President Donald Trump decides to declare a national emergency to get funding for a border wall and warned the president about the precedent he would be setting by declaring an emergency. CNN
VOA VIEW: Pelosi will look like the idiot she is.

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President Donald Trump intends to declare a national emergency -- a move that could allow the administration to circumvent Congress and unlock money to build his signature border wall, the White House said Thursday. Trump has been teasing the possibility of a national emergency for several weeks, considering it as a way to pay for his border wall. The spending deal reached by lawmakers this week fell well short of the $5.7 billion he had requested. A national emergency could help make up the difference, though it largely depends on which statutes he invokes. CNN
The Chicago archbishop helping to organize next week's summit of the world's bishops at the Vatican says he expects it to make "significant progress" in responding to the sex abuse scandal that's riven the church. FOX News
A New York judge says there's no proof President Donald Trump's words led to a death penalty prosecution against a man in a New York City bike path attack that killed eight people. FOX News
Bahrani Foreign Minister Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifa said in a closed-door meeting at the Warsaw summit that Iran funding violence in the Middle East was the key challenge to overcome for peace. Jerusalem Post
VOA VIEW: Iran should be censored.
"The time has come for our European partners to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal and join with us," U.S. Vice President Mike Pence told the Warsaw summit on security in the Middle East. Jerusalem Post
VOA VIEW: Europe will lose if they side with Iran against the US.
President Donald Trump vowed on Thursday to declare a national emergency in an attempt to fund his U.S.-Mexico border wall without congressional approval, a step likely to plunge him into a court battle with Congress over constitutional powers. Reuters
There is a one-in-four chance of a U.S. recession in the next 12 months, a scenario that should keep the Federal Reserve from raising interest rates next month, according to a Reuters poll of economists who now expect only one rate hike this year. Reuters
VOA VIEW: Reuters fake news.
An estimated 24 million people – close to 80 per cent of the population – need assistance and protection in Yemen, the UN warned on Thursday. With famine threatening hundreds of thousands of lives, humanitarian aid is increasingly becoming the only lifeline for millions across the country. UN News
A projected near-doubling of measles infections has been identified amid rising severe and protracted outbreaks all over the planet, in poor and rich countries alike, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Thursday. UN News
For the second year in a row, first lady Melania Trump spent Valentine's Day crafting with young patients at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Md. UPI
General Electric announced it scrapped plans to build a new headquarters in Boston and it will reimburse Massachusetts some $87.4 million in incentives. UPI

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COMMENTARY OF THE DAY
By
Robert Namer
Voice Of America
©2018 All rights reserved
February 15, 2019

     Waters is an idiot.  Rep. Maxine Waters had toiled 28 years in Congress for the moment last month when she presided over the powerful House Financial Services Committee for the first time as its chairwoman — and she wanted to make sure everything was perfect. So the Los Angeles Democrat cleared her throat, prepared her notes and adjusted a thin microphone before declaring, “the committee will come to order.”

     But after quickly promising a “new agenda” under her leadership, Waters made a subtle move to defuse a potential obstacle to her success — a crop of high-profile, freshmen panel members intent on shaking up the Washington establishment that Waters has navigated to reach her important committee chair.

     Waters took a few minutes at the Jan. 30 meeting to specifically single out the new Democratic committee members, introducing each one by highlighting their backgrounds. She expressed her desire to work with “members on both sides of the aisle on commonsense solutions to benefit hardworking Americans and protect vulnerable families.”