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NEWS     MONDAY,  DECEMBER  10, 2018    NEWS

Winter storm hits parts of Georgia, Carolinas and Virginia
A major winter storm unleashed its assault on the Southeast on Sunday, draping southern states with snow and ice as forecasters warned of treacherous travel conditions, flooding and power outages. As snow fell from northeastern Georgia into central North Carolina, winter storm warnings stretched to portions of Tennessee, Kentucky and Virginia. The National Weather Service said significant snowfall accumulations are expected across the southern Appalachians and the adjacent Piedmont of North Carolina and south-central Virginia, with a foot of snow possible through Sunday night. By Sunday afternoon, some cities in North Carolina had received more than 14 inches of snow. The governors of North Carolina and Virginia declared states of emergency and more than 1,700 flights were canceled Sunday across the United States. Nearly half a million people were reported without power in the Carolinas, Virginia. Washington Post

Wisconsin Gov.-elect Tony Evers says he may take legal action on lame-duck bills restricting executive power
Wisconsin Gov.-elect Tony Evers said Sunday that he may take legal action to block Republicans’ lame-duck measures to limit his authority upon taking office, calling their effort “a mistake. Evers said that he has urged Gov. Scott Walker (R) to veto the bills but that Walker was “noncommittal.” Walker has previously signaled support for the measures. The measures, which were passed by the Republican-led state legislature last week amid a wave of protests, would consolidate power in the legislative branch and strip it from Evers and Democratic Attorney General-elect Josh Kaul. The legislative package would also limit early voting, which has helped Democrats, and would take away from the governor the power to withdraw the state from a lawsuit, allowing lawmakers to make that decision instead. Washilngton Post
VOA VIEW: Majority rules - Dems no that.

Illinois county makes $10 million detaining illegal immigrants in 2018
A northwest Illinois county’s decades-old deal with the federal government to detain immigrants living in the country illegally will bring in $10 million this year, according to records. McHenry County entered into the bed-rental program with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement in the early 2000s after the federal government agreed to give the county about $7 million toward a jail expansion, The Chicago Sun-Times reports . The contract was originally meant to end after 10 years in 2015, but county officials renewed the contract in 2014. ICE pays $95 per inmate per day, according to the contract. The program will bring in more than $10 million by the end of 2018, up from $8.3 million last year, officials said. Washington Times


Trump cuts price tag of border wall to $15 billion
President Trump seemed to undercut the price of his own border wall Friday, saying it could be built for as little as $15 billion — far less than the $25 billion figure his administration has submitted to Congress. Mr. Trump also claimed the wall will save the country money by stopping the flow of heroin coming into the country over the southern border. “We’re talking about a wall for $20 billion, $15 billion. I could even do it cheaper if I have to,” he said at a conference in Kansas City. Just a day earlier, GOP senators introduced legislation they said would allocate $25 billion for the president’s wall request. They said they would find the money by increasing fines on illegal immigrants, and by cutting off some benefits illegal immigrant families are still able to claim. Washington Times
VOA VIEW: Trump should not have blinked.

Ex-Miss Kentucky charged with sending nude photos via Snapchat to student
A former Miss Kentucky winner has been charged with sending nude photos to a teenage student. Ramsey Bearse, 28, now lives in Charleston, West Virginia, according to the Kanawha County Sheriff's Office. She allegedly sent obscene photographs of herself to a 15-year-old former student at Andrew Jackson Middle School in Cross Lanes, West Virginia, according to the sheriff's office. She was charged Friday with four felony counts of distributing or displaying obscene matter to a minor. "She is currently suspended from her teaching position," the sheriff's office said in a release. "Mrs. Bearse was released on a $10,000 property bond following her arraignment." The student’s parent informed authorities of lewd pictures sent by Bearse that were found on the teenager’s phone, according to a criminal complaint.
USA Today

Robert De Niro's Mueller returns to 'Saturday Night Live'
As Robert Mueller's investigation of Russian influence in the 2016 election drew closer to President Donald Trump, "Saturday Night Live" stayed close to the headlines Saturday with a cold open that featured Robert De Niro as the special counsel. Eric Trump, played by Alex Moffat, was in a children's bed and Donald Trump, Jr., played by Mikey Day, was at his side preparing to read a bedtime story when his younger brother alerted to a sound coming from his closet. "That’s just the cheap steel dad uses to build his towers," Trump Jr. said. But it turned out De Niro's Mueller was hiding in the closet.  NBC
VOA VIEW: Fools and their dumb bias games.


Russia building up forces near Crimea amid tensions with Ukraine
Two weeks after Russia fired on and seized three Ukrainian vessels in the contested Kerch Strait, satellite images obtained exclusively by Fox News on Sunday show that additional forces may be headed to the region. In the images taken on Saturday, three Russian Ilyushin -76 cargo planes were spotted in the Dzhankoi airbase in Crimea. The images, captured by Imagesat International, appear to show that Russia is continuing to step up and consolidate its military forces in the Crimea, which it annexed from Ukraine in 2014. According to social media reports in Russia, Four IL-76 planes departed on December 6 from Anapa airport in Novorossiysk and landed in Dzhankoi. One of those airplanes returned Saturday to Anapa, while the three remain on base. Fox
VOA VIEW: Russia is looking for trouble.

Hezbollah tunnel dug from Lebanon is latest found by Israel
Israeli forces announced on Saturday that they discovered another Hezbollah tunnel dug from Lebanon, marking the second cross-border tunnel found since Israel began an operation to "neutralize" attack passageways dug by the Iranian-backed group. The finding comes shortly after troops fired at suspected members of the Lebanese militant group who approached the area where Israeli Army engineers were working to locate the tunnels. Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus, an Israeli Army spokesman, told reporters the new tunnel runs into Israel but "does not pose an imminent threat to Israeli communities." He said explosives were placed in the tunnel to prevent infiltration into Israel, adding that Israel holds the Lebanese government responsible "for the activities and all Hezbollah violations." Fox

Senate set to rebuke White House's handling of Saudi Arabia after Khashoggi murder
The Senate is preparing to confront the White House over its support for Saudi Arabia in the aftermath of journalist Jamal Khashoggi's killing, moving toward a floor vote next week to curtail US involvement in the Saudi-led war in Yemen, while a powerful committee prepares to deliver a swift rebuke to the kingdom's crown prince over his alleged role in the murder. But the moves may end up amounting to little more than a symbolic rebuke to Saudi Arabia and the White House. GOP leaders are navigating complicated Senate procedures and may limit next week's floor debate to focus narrowly on the Yemen resolution, a move that could punt floor action on bills to suspend arm sales with Saudi Arabia and sanction the crown prince until next year.  CNN
VOA VIEW: If true, CNN news cannot be trusted - Republicans may be shooting themselves in the political foot.

Nick Ayers, Trump’s once-likely replacement for chief of staff John Kelly, won’t take the job
President Trump’s top pick to be his next chief of staff, Nick Ayers, will not take the job and instead leave the White House at the end of the year, reopening negotiations over who will succeed the departing John F. Kelly. At least four other candidates are now believed to be in the running to direct Trump’s White House, administration officials said Sunday. Ayers, a longtime operative who is Vice President Pence’s chief of staff, said in a tweet that after departing he “will work with the #MAGA team to advance the cause.” Washington Post

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Days After Dodging UN Condemnation, Hamas Hails ‘Heroic’ Shooting Attack Seriously Wounding Pregnant Israeli
Three days after a U.S. bid to get the U.N. General Assembly to condemn Hamas for the first time ever failed, the terrorist group on Sunday night praised as “heroic” and “blessed” a drive-by shooting in which seven Israelis were wounded – one of them a pregnant 21-year-old. Hamas said in a statement the “heroic shooting of a group of Israeli soldiers [sic]” near Ramallah reaffirmed the Palestinians’ legitimate right to “resist the occupation” in the face of U.S. administration attempts to “criminalize it.” The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said the attackers opened fire from a moving vehicle at civilians waiting for transport at a junction near Ofra, an Israeli community in disputed territory. A pregnant woman was evacuated to hospital in Jerusalem with severe wounds to her upper body, while two men in their early 20s sustained wounds described as moderate. Lightly hurt were two 16-year-old girls and two 16-year-old boys. CNS
VOA VIEW: Pitiful!

Sudan helicopter crash kills officials
A helicopter has crashed in eastern Sudan, killing a state governor and at least four other officials. The helicopter exploded in flames after it hit a communications tower as it tried to land in the remote Al-Qadarif state, witnesses are quoted by AFP news agency as saying. No official reason has yet been given for the crash. A number of people were taken to hospital for treatment, state media reported, without giving more details. Among the dead are Al-Qadarif governor Mirghani Saleh, his cabinet chief, the local police chief a agriculture minister, the reports added. Sudan's military fleet includes many aircraft bought from the former Soviet Union. BBC

Yemen peace talks in Sweden focus on prisoner swap deal
Yemen's warring parties met Sunday for the fourth day of U.N.-sponsored peace talks in Sweden to try to hammer out details of a prisoner exchange, which could eventually include all prisoners held by both sides in the four-year civil war. The parties focused on the swap amid optimism on first steps toward a political dialogue. Yemen's conflict pits the Iran-backed Shiite rebels, known as Houthis, against the internationally recognized government supported by a U.S.-sponsored Saudi-led coalition. "We are progressing toward implementation, how to swiftly group together the prisoners," said Askar Zouail, from the government delegation. "The atmosphere is positive. And we are optimistic. ABC


Qatar emir skips Saudi-hosted Gulf summit amid boycott
Leaders of Gulf Arab countries, including those boycotting Qatar, met on Sunday in Saudi Arabia's capital for a regional summit, a gathering that Qatar's ruling emir choose not to attend amid the dispute. The absence of Qatar's Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, as well as Qatar's recent decision to withdraw from the Saudi-dominated OPEC oil cartel, underlined the simmering crisis facing the Gulf Cooperation Council. Despite mediation efforts by Kuwait, the gap remains between others in the six-nation GCC, an alliance formed in 1981 in part to offer a counterbalance to Iran, and Qatar — countries that are all American allies. ABC

Schiff says Trump faces "real prospect of jail time" after leaving office
Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff of California, who is poised to become chairman of the House Intelligence Committee in January, said President Trump faces the "real prospect of jail time" after leaving the White House. "My takeaway is there's a very real prospect that on the day Donald Trump leaves office, the Justice Department may indict him — that he may be the first president in quite some time to face the real prospect of jail time," Schiff said on "Face the Nation" Sunday. Schiff referenced a court filing by the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York on Friday which recommended a "substantial" prison sentence for Mr. Trump's former attorney Michael Cohen, who prosecutors said violated campaign finance law "in coordination with and at the direction" of the president. CBS
VOA VIEW: No president has ever gone to jail - Schiff is an idiot.

March 1 a "hard deadline" for reaching trade deal with China, Lighthizer says
U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said March 1 marks a "hard deadline" for the U.S. and China to reach a firm trade agreement.  Mr. Trump claimed China had agreed to "reduce and remove" tariffs at a meeting at the G-20 summit in Argentina, but China has been less reluctant to say so — and U.S. administration officials had different takes on how firm any agreement with China was. The two countries are continuing talks for 90 days. "As far as I'm concerned, it's a hard deadline," Lighthizer said on "Face the Nation" Sunday. "When I talked to the president of the United States, he's not talking about going beyond March. He's talk ing about getting a deal. If there is a deal to be gotten, we want to get it in the next 90 days." CBS

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Trump commits to $750 billion defense budget
President Donald Trump has agreed to a request from Defense Secretary James Mattis to propose a defense budget of $750 billion for the coming year, marking a reversal from plans to shrink defense spending, an administration official confirmed to CNN. Last week, Trump appeared to call the Defense Department budget of $716 billion "crazy" in a tweet. The next day Mattis and key Republican lawmakers who oppose any defense budget cuts met with the President for lunch to discuss military funding. The agreement on the $750 billion budget came out of the meeting last Tuesday, which was attended by Trump, Mattis and the chairmen of the House and Senate Armed Services committees, Rep. Mac Thornberry, R-Texas, and Sen. James Inhofe, R-Oklahoma. CNN

China summons US, Canadian ambassadors in 'strong protest ' over Huawei CFO's arrest
The Chinese Foreign Ministry is summoning the US and Canadian ambassadors in protest over the detention of a Huawei executive in Vancouver, describing it as "lawless" and "extremely vicious." The tech giant's chief financial officer, Meng Wanzhou, was arrested December 1 and faces extradition to the United States, where she is accused of helping Huawei circumvent US sanctions on Iran. In a statement on Sunday, China's vice minister of foreign affairs, Le Yucheng, said the US ambassador to China, Terry Branstad, is being summoned over Beijing's "strong protest against the US's unreasonable direction to Canada of detaining the Huawei executive." Le said China would like the United States to revoke the arrest warrant against Meng and allow her to be freed. CNN
VOA VIEW: This is a strong case of espionage.

Massive winter storm hits the Southeast, killing 4 and leaving thousands without power
 Almost two thousand departing flights were canceled and hundreds of thousands of households and businesses lost power as a winter storm brought freezing rain and up to about 18 inches of snow to parts of the Southeast. The wintry blast had covered the North Carolina cities of Saluda, in Polk and Henderson counties, and Sparta, in Alleghany County, in more than 18½ inches by late Sunday afternoon, the National Weather Service said. Snowfall reached 18 inches in Fries, Virginia; 13 inches in Lawn, West Virginia; 12 inches in Kingsport, Tennessee; and 11.9 inches in Inman, South Carolina, the weather service said. NBC

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Dozens of nations agree United Nations migration accord in Morocco
More than 160 countries have agreed on a nonbinding U.N. migration accord that seeks to ensure the safe, orderly and humane movement of people around the world, over the outspoken disapproval of the United States and several other countries. High-level government delegates including German Chancellor Angela Merkel have given their backing to the U.N.’s Global Compact for Migration approved by acclamation by 164 countries Monday, culminating years of efforts supported by U.S. President Barack Obama but rejected by the Trump administration. USA Today

Costco, Google and T-Mobile ranked as best large companies to work for this year
Company culture can make or break your experience at work. Workplace atmosphere can mean the difference between an energized, productive work day and a stressed out, ineffectual 8-hour shift. So what workplaces have the best overall work environment? Costco, Google and T-Mobile, according to a study conducted by the compensation, culture and career monitoring website Comparably. "When you look at Costco, they overwhelm employees with benefits and employees feel like they're part of a family," said Jason Nazar, CEO and Founder of Comparably. USA Today

Eight-month-old boy pushed under hole in US-Mexico border wall as attempts to cross illegally prove perilous
Eight-month-old Daniel Mendez was dressed in a gray hooded sweatshirt. The bottoms of his white-footed onesie were caked in dirt and grime and he was holding his bottle. He smiled at his father, Joel Mendez, one last time before being pushed under a crudely dug hole at the border wall separating Mexico and the United States.
Honduran migrant Mendez, 22, handed off baby Daniel to his 24-year-old girlfriend Yesenia Martinez, who had climbed under moments earlier, ready to cross onto American soil this past Friday. Mendez didn’t make the risky journey.  Fox

Trump admin looks to counter China, Russia's growing power in Africa with new strategy
The Trump administration plans to unveil a new strategy for Africa this week focusing on countering China's growing influence on the continent, as well as Russia's attempts to gain footholds in resource-rich, unstable countries, two senior U.S. officials told NBC News. The strategy will call for bolstering U.S. ties with countries deemed potentially vulnerable to overtures from China and Russia, as well as seeking to fend off attempts by North Korea and Iran to make inroads through economic investments or arms sales, said the senior administration officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity.  NBC

Trump claims Comey ‘set a record’ for lying to Congress
President Trump went after former FBI Director James Comey in a Sunday morning tweet. “On 245 occasions, former FBI Director James Comey told House investigators he didn’t know, didn’t recall, or couldn’t remember things when asked. Opened investigations on 4 Americans (not 2) – didn’t know who signed off and didn’t know Christopher Steele. All lies!” Trump wrote. “Leakin’ James Comey must have set a record for who lied the most to Congress in one day,” Trump continued. “His Friday testimony was so untruthful! This whole deal is a Rigged Fraud headed up by dishonest people who would do anything so that I could not become President. They are now exposed!”
New York Post

Chris Christie: President Trump 'not totally clear' until special counsel Robert Mueller 'hands in the keys'
President Donald Trump tweeted Friday that new filings in federal investigations into Russian interference and campaign finance crimes in the 2016 election "totally" cleared him. But Chris Christie said, on "This Week," that the president is "not totally clear." "My view would be that you're not totally clear, nor is anyone, until Bob Mueller shuts down his office and hands in the keys,” the ABC News contributor, former New Jersey governor and U.S. attorney told "This Week" co-anchor Martha Raddatz.  ABC

Sen. Chris Murphy: Mueller probe now 'beyond the stage' of Clinton impeachment
Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Connecticut, said the publicly available facts from special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe indicate President Donald Trump’s actions are “beyond the stage” of what led to the impeachment of former President Bill Clinton. On “This Week” Sunday, Murphy left the question of whether or not to move to impeach the president to the House and cautioned against drawing too many conclusions without all the facts of the investigation, but told "This Week" co-anchor Martha Raddatz that Mueller’s investigation has reached a “new level.” “I think you are beyond the stage that led to the impeachment proceedings against President Clinton, whether or not you think that that was worthy of impeachment,” Murphy said. ABC News

Trump administration resists global climate efforts at home and overseas
The United States joined a controversial proposal by Saudi Arabia and Russia this weekend to weaken a reference to a key report on the severity of global warming, sharpening battle lines at the global climate summit in Poland aimed at gaining consensus over how to combat rising temperatures. Arguments erupted Saturday night before a United Nations working group focused on science and technology, where the United States teamed with Russia, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait to challenge language that would have welcomed the findings of the landmark report, which said that the world has barely 10 years to cut carbon emissions by nearly half to avoid catastrophic warming. Washington Post
VOA VIEW: The US has done more than its share.

Rand Paul 'disturbed' by William Barr's positions: 'I haven't made a decision yet on him'
Sen. Rand Paul on Sunday said that while he hasn’t decided whether to support William Barr, President Trump’s pick to be the next attorney general, he’s troubled by Mr. Barr’s positions on privacy issues. “I’m concerned that he’s been a big supporter of the Patriot Act, which lowered the standard for spying on Americans, and he even went so far as to say the Patriot Act was pretty good — we should go much further,” Mr. Paul, Kentucky Republican, said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” Mr. Paul said he’s “disturbed” that Mr. Barr, who served as attorney general during the George H.W. Bush administration, has been a “big fan” of seizing people’s property through civil asset forfeiture “without a conviction.” Washington Times

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DECEMBER 10, 2018

     Pitiful liberal tought. The deputy Labour leader, Tom Watson, has demanded that Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg never again allows far-right activists to fundraise on the network, criticising him for having a “contempt for social responsibility”. A bias liberal Guardian investigation on Friday found that a hidden global network of US thinktanks, rightwing Australians and Russian trolls were providing financial, political and moral support to Tommy Robinson, who has more than 1 million followers on Facebook – his main social network after Twitter suspended him for claiming “Islam promotes killing people” in March.

     Robinson, whose real name is Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, raised hundreds of thousands of pounds through online donations, some via the social network, until the Guardian alerted Facebook. It promptly disabled the function, which was meant to be reserved for charities alone. However, supporters visiting Robinson’s Facebook profile continued to be directed towards his website where they could make donations through a form.

     Facebook has suffered sustained criticism over its handling of a series of crises in recent years including interference during the US presidential election and the Brexit vote, allowing dissemination of hate speech and a data breach affecting millions of users.  The company faces little regulation, but with trust in social media companies weakening, calls have been growing for Facebook to be regulated in the same way as the mobile phone and broadband industry.

     Evidence has shown that Facebook is anti conservative and should be sanctioned for its bias position.