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NEWS   FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 17, 2017   NEWS

Roy Moore Goes On Offense
Roy Moore is going on offense against the national Republicans who have demanded he drop out of the Alabama Senate race as the state GOP announced Thursday it won’t abandon Moore as their nominee amid accusations of past sexual misconduct. “Many of you have recognized that this is an effort by Mitch McConnell and his cronies to steal this election from the people of Alabama,” Moore said in Birmingham of the Senate majority leader, who has called for him to leave the race. Fox
VOA VIEW: The truth is ...

House Passes Republican Tax Bill
The House on Thursday passed a sweeping tax bill largely along party lines that makes good on a Republican campaign promise to reform the country’s tax code. The bill passed 227-205. Thirteen Republicans voted against it. House Speaker Paul Ryan celebrated the passage, calling it “nothing short of extraordinary.” “This country has not rewritten its tax code since 1986,” Ryan said on Capitol Hill, surrounded by Republican lawmakers. Fox
VOA VIEW: Now it's up to the Senate.

New George H.W. Bush Accuser
Former President George H.W. Bush is facing new allegations from a Michigan woman who said he touched her inappropriately while he was in office at an event in April 1992. The woman, now 55, spoke exclusively with CNN and said she was attending a fundraiser for Bush's re-election campaign in Dearborn, Michigan, with her father when the president grabbed her rear end during a photo-op. CNN
VOA VIEW: CNN likes to report any possible wrong by a Republican.

Bob Menendez Trial Ends
The federal corruption trial of New Jersey Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez ended in a mistrial Thursday after the jury reported it was hopelessly deadlocked. The mistrial is a blow to the Justice Department, which has been investigating Menendez for nearly five years, and will be a sigh of relief to Democrats worried about possibly losing his Senate seat to Republicans. Menendez said he felt vindicated. "I want to thank the jury, 12 New Jerseyans who saw through the government's false claims and used their Jersey common sense to reject it," he told reporters outside the courthouse before blasting the Justice Department. CNN
VOA VIEW: A deadlocked jury is not a total win.

Trump Considers Naming Mulvaney Interim CFPB Director
Mick Mulvaney once called the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau “a sad, sick joke.” Now, he may get to oversee Elizabeth Warren’s favorite regulator. Mulvaney, President Donald Trump’s Office of Management and Budget director, is being considered for a temporary role as interim director of the consumer watchdog after Richard Cordray steps down later this month, according to two people familiar with the matter. Mulvaney would be expected to name someone else or a team of people to run the CFPB on a day-to-day-basis so he could keep his focus on OMB, said one of the people. Bloomberg

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Senators Press Kushner For More Documents In Their Russia Investigation
The top Republican and Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee are pressing Jared Kushner, a senior White House adviser and President Donald Trump’s son-in-law, to provide additional documents for its Russia investigation. Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley and Democrat Dianne Feinstein wrote a letter Thursday to Kushner’s lawyer, Abbe Lowell, saying that Kushner didn’t turn over some documents first requested on Oct. 18, nor has he agreed to a transcribed interview. Bloomberg

Baltimore police Detective Dies
A veteran Baltimore police detective died in the hospital today, one day after he was shot in the head by an unknown gunman, police said. Homicide detective Sean Suiter, an 18-year veteran with the Baltimore Police, was conducting a follow-up to a homicide investigation around 5 p.m. Wednesday when he saw a man engaging in suspicious activity, police said. Suiter approached the man and was shot in the head shortly after, police said. ABC News
VOA VIEW: Payers!

Pentagon: Retweet Was Accidental
Oops! The Pentagon says it accidentally retweeted a tweet that urged President Donald Trump to resign. Without mentioning the content of the original tweet, a Pentagon spokesman, Col. Rob Manning, said it "would not be endorsed by the Department of Defense." The tweet was posted Thursday by a person whose Twitter handle is @ProudResister. It said, "The solution is simple. Roy Moore: Step down from the race. Al Franken: Resign from congress. Donald Trump: Resign from the presidency. GOP: Stop making sexual assault a partisan issue. It's a crime as is your hypocrisy." ABC News
VOA VIEW: Liberal rhetoric.

Inside ICE's Controversial Crackdown On MS-13
First on "CBS This Morning," we're getting rare access to Operation Matador, a joint law enforcement effort led by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations team, to crackdown on MS-13, or Mara Salvatrucha, and other trans-national gangs. Federal officials will announce Thursday a breakthrough in the fight against MS-13, a gang from El Salvador. Hundreds of accused gang members and associates are under arrest, but its violence is spreading in American neighborhoods. CBS News

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Shooting Rampage In California Highlights "Ghost Guns"
The gunman who killed his wife and four others in a rampage in Northern California this week found an easy way around a court order prohibiting him from having guns: He built his own at home. Kevin Janson Neal, 44, was armed with what authorities believe were two high-powered rifles that he made himself when he opened fire Tuesday on homes, cars and an elementary school around his tiny hometown of Rancho Tehama Reserve. A deputy finally shot and killed him. California shooting gunman's neighbor lived in fear of him. Workers at California elementary school averted "horrific bloodbath".  CBS News

Al Franken Accused Of Forcibly Kissing, Groping Leeann Tweeden
A radio news anchor on Thursday accused Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., of forcibly kissing and groping her a decade ago when they were overseas entertaining U.S. troops. Leeann Tweeden, a radio news anchor with KABC in Los Angeles, said she met Franken in December 2006, before he became a lawmaker, at a USO show for service members that included a skit he wrote that featured a kiss between the two. She said Franken, a former "Saturday Night Live" cast member and liberal activist who was elected to the Senate in 2008 and won a second term in 2014, insisted on rehearsing the scene backstage. NBC News
VOA VIEW: Big mouth Al has very little to blame or say.

The Confederacy Still Haunts The Campus Of Ole Miss
When a drunken driver accidentally plowed into the Confederate statue on the University of Mississippi’s campus in September, the school had a choice: get rid of the statue and join the national movement erasing Confederate heritage, or pay to repair it. The school administration chose the latter option, although the state attorney general’s office gave it permission to move the monument. The university shelled out more than $10,000 in private funds from the school’s foundation to fix the base that holds the figure of a nameless Confederate soldier, erected in 1906 by the United Daughters of the Confederacy. And it replaced a plaque that explains why the statue was first built, including these words: “It must also remind us that the defeat of the Confederacy actually meant freedom for millions of people.” NBC News

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Pope Warns Of 'Overzealous' Medical Treatment, Healthcare Inequality
Pope Francis on Thursday encouraged European physicians to refrain from treating terminally-ill patients with excessive measures. In a lengthy message, the pontiff called for a cessation of "overzealous treatment," noting that doctors must acknowledge the limits of a patient's case once it becomes clear that medical technologies might not help. UPI

Hillary Voters Turn On Bill Clinton
A majority of Hillary Clinton voters say the sexual misconduct accusations against Bill Clinton are “credible,” according to a new poll. The Huffington Post/YouGov survey released on Wednesday found 53 percent of those who voted for the former first lady believe the allegations against her husband have merit. Eleven percent say the accusations are “not credible,” and 36 percent are not sure or need more information. Among President Trump’s base, 84 percent say the accusations against Mr. Clinton are valid, while 4 percent say they are not. Washington Times
VOA VIEW: The truth hurts.

NFL Steps Into Politics
The NFL has come out against House Republicans’ tax cut bill, putting the league out on a political limb even as it deals with the fallout from national anthem protests. Other big pro sports leagues are staying out of the fight, but a spokesman for the National Football League said teams don’t want to lose a special tax break that allows them to use tax-free bonds to build stadiums. The NFL says it deserves the break because new stadiums create jobs. Washnigton Times
VOA VIEW: The NFL has lost fans and reveunes.

President Trump To UCLA Basketball Players: 'You're Welcome' And 'Be Careful'
In his first tweets on Thursday, President Trump had some  advice to the three UCLA basketball players who were arrested in China for shoplifting. On Wednesday, Trump wondered if he'd get a thank-you for his intervention in getting the three freshmen home from China. And at a news conference later that day, the three freshmen did thank the president and they also apologized for their behavior, admitting that they embarassed their families, their team, their school and their country. CNS

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Killer Charles Manson Alive
For nearly 50 years Charles Manson has been the living personification of evil, a demonic presence captured in scores of photos, each of them marked by his piercing dark eyes and the crude Nazi swastika he carved into his forehead. That personification returned to the public consciousness again this week, complete with a prison mug shot of a now-elderly but still evil-looking Manson, after a report by TMZ.com that the killer of glamorous actress Sharon Tate and six others is seriously ill and hospitalized in Bakersfield, California. Las Vegas Sun

1st GOP Senator Opposes Tax Bill
Wisconsin's Ron Johnson on Wednesday became the first Republican senator to say he opposes his party's tax bill, signaling potential problems for GOP leaders. Passage of a similar package seemed certain Thursday in the House, where a handful of dissidents conceded they expected to be steamrolled by a GOP frantic to claim its first major legislative victory of the year. Eager to act before opposition groups could sow doubts among the rank-and-file, Republican leaders were anxious to hand Donald Trump the first crowning bill of his presidency by Christmas.  Las Vegas Sun
VOA VIEW: Fool!

Senate's New Background-Check Gun Bill
Ten years ago, after a mass shooting that could have been prevented, Congress passed a bipartisan law to fix America’s gun background check system. A decade later, a bipartisan group of senators is introducing new legislation to try to fix it again. The gun legislation the senators announced on Thursday morning would not require a background check on every single gun sale, despite new polling data showing that 95% of Americans – a record high – support these universal background checks. Guardian

Trump’s Penchant For Deception Is Infecting His Team
“There are three kinds of lies,” Mark Twain once wrote: “lies, damned lies and statistics." The Trump administration has employed them all. From the exaggerated estimates of his inaugural crowd to the unraveling of claims that his campaign never dealt with Russia, Donald Trump’s presidency has been a mosaic of untruths, half-truths and distortions. And they are not just his own, which are legion. Many belong to people inside his political orbit. From Cabinet secretaries to White House aides to campaign advisers — even family members — they are all knitted together by the common thread of deception. The fog is so thick inside the Trump White House that it could be cited for violating clean air standards. Miami Herald
VOA VIEW: Liberal media hype and deception.

Damning Al Franken Groping Photo Ignites A Social Media Melee
People on social media slammed U.S. Sen. Al Franken on Thursday after a 2006 photo showing him groping a sleeping woman was published online. Leeann Tweeden, a radio anchorwoman for KABC in Los Angeles, accused Franken of touching her inappropriately and kissing her against her will while the two were together on a USO Tour in the Middle East. The trip happened three years before the comedian took office as a senator from Minnesota. She included a photo of Franken standing over her as she dozed in a chair, his hands cupped close over her breasts. His head is turned toward the photographer, and he’s grinning. Kansas City Star

White House On Roy Moore: 'The People Of Alabama Should Decide' His Fate
President Trump believes that the people of Alabama should decide whether to elect Roy Moore, despite mounting allegations of sexual assault and harassment of girls as young as 14 years old, the White House said. "Look, the president believes these allegations are very troubling and should be taken seriously, and he thinks the people of Alabama should make the decision on who their senator should be," White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Thursday. Indy Star

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Russia Casts 10th U.N. Veto On Syria
Russia cast its 10th veto on Thursday of United Nations Security Council action on Syria since the war began in 2011, blocking a U.S.-drafted resolution to renew an international inquiry into who is to blame for chemical weapons attacks in Syria. The mandate for the joint inquiry by the U.N. and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), which found the Syrian government used the banned nerve agent sarin in an April 4 attack, expires at midnight Thursday. Reuters

Keystone Pipeline Leaks 210K Gallons Of Oil
TransCanada Corp.'s Keystone pipeline leaked an estimated 210,000 gallons of oil in northeastern South Dakota, the company and state regulators reported Thursday. Crews shut down the pipeline Thursday morning and activated emergency response procedures after a drop in pressure was detected resulting from the leak south of a pump station in Marshall County, TransCanada said in a statement. Newsday

Trump Tweets Broadside Against Al Franken: 'Where Do His HandsGo?'
President Trump let loose with an attack on Sen. Al Franken late Thursday night, attacking the senator for a recently unearthed photograph showing him appearing to fondle the breasts of a fellow entertainer on a military tour. "The Al Frankenstien picture is really bad, speaks a thousand words," Trump tweeted. "Where do his hands go in pictures 2, 3, 4, 5 & 6 while she sleeps?" Leeann Tweeden, a Los Angeles television host and sportscaster, revealed Thursday that Franken had taken the photo of her while they were on a 2006 USO tour to entertain U.S. troops. She also wrote that Franken — who would be elected Senator from Minnesota two years later — "put his hand on the back of my head, mashed his lips against mine and aggressively stuck his tongue in my mouth" during a rehearsal. USA Today
VOA VIEW: The liberal media has one of their own in a picture - no way to deny.

Senior Chinese Envoy In North Korea
The highest-level Chinese envoy to North Korea in two years arrived in the country's capital on Friday to try to improve relations that have soured over Beijing's tightening of sanctions and expressions of support for U.S. President Donald Trump's calls for more pressure on the North to abandon its nuclear weapons program. Song Tao's official mission is to brief North Korean officials on the outcome of China's ruling Communist Party congress held last month. Tampa Bay Observer

Lions Next In Line Of Fire
Hunting interests have scored a major victory with the Trump administration’s decision to allow Americans to bring home body parts of elephants shot for sport in Africa. Another totemic species now looks set to follow suit – lions. As the US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) was announcing it was lifting a ban on the import of elephant “trophies” from Zimbabwe and Zambia, it also quietly published new guidelines that showed lions shot in the two African countries will also be eligible to adorn American homes. Guardian

US 'Developing Ground-Based Cruise Missile
The United States is researching the development of a ground-based cruise missile, banned by a Cold War-era treaty, because it believes Russia has already violated the agreement, it was reported on Thursday. The aim of developing the banned weapon is to force Russia to comply with the arms control agreement, unnamed US officials told the Wall Street Journal. The US believes that Russia has already deployed a banned cruise missile that threatens US and Nato facilities in Europe. By developing its own missile, the US hopes to demonstrate to Russia its military prowess and to force Moscow to back-down. Telegraph

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High Attrition Rates, Application Hurdles Leave Border Patrol Short Of Agents
The U.S. Border Patrol is short 1,900 agents in the field due to a high rate of vacancies and the difficulties applicants have passing a mandatory polygraph test, according to officials and a recent government study. Earlier this year President Trump ordered the agency to hire an additional 5,000 agents, but as of May, the Border Patrol had “about 1,900 fewer agents than authorized,” according to a GAO study released this month.  CNS

Fate Of Zimbabwe's Mugabe Hangs In The Balance
Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe’s fate hung in the balance on Friday as he apparently resisted efforts to step down in the wake of an audacious seizure of power by the army, until this week a key pillar of his 37-year-rule. The unfolding drama in the capital Harare was thrown into confusion when a smiling Mugabe was pictured shaking hands with Zimbabwe’s military chief, the man behind the coup, raising questions about whether or not the end of an era was nigh. Reuters

Norway’s $1 Trillion Oil Fund
The world’s largest sovereign wealth fund may turn its back on the oil and gas investments in and attempt to cut its exposure to what it thinks may be a permanent decline in commodity prices. The Norge Bank was set up to manage the profits that Norway made from its huge oil resources. However, it has now made a recommendation to the government that it should call time on investments in global oil and gas companies totalling almost £28bn. Telegraph

Ex-United Pilot Who Ran Houston Brothels Gets Probation And $2000 Fine
A former United Airlines pilot who admitted operating a string of brothels throughout Houston pleaded guilty Thursday as part of a controversial deal that allows him to avoid jail time or even a criminal conviction. The sentence by state District Judge Jim Wallace drew sharp criticism from civil rights groups, who said black and Hispanic pimps and madams are routinely sentenced to decades of prison time while Bruce Wayne Wallis, who is white, was not. Wallace, a Republican, is also white. Houston Chronicle
VOA VIEW: Expected report from the liberal media.

Pentagon Says It's Staying In Syria, Even Though ISIS Appears Defeated
Raqqa, the de facto capital of the Islamic State, is taken and in ruins. U.S. troops and civilian aid workers are in the Syrian city, helping local officials restore basic services such as food, water and electricity. But the recapture of ISIS-held territory in Iraq and Syria is only a partial win for U.S. policy. After seven years of civil war, the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad remains in power.  NPR

North Korean Soldier Stable, But Riddled With Parasites
A North Korean soldier shot multiple times while defecting to the South is in a stable condition but riddled with parasites that could complicate his chances of survival, his doctor said Thursday. The soldier dashed across the border at the Panmunjom truce village on Monday, as former comrades from the North opened fire on him, hitting him at least four times. He was pulled to safety by three South Korean soldiers who crawled to reach him, just south of the dividing line. The young man was rushed to hospital in South Korea by helicopter where he has undergone two rounds of emergency surgery. Japan Times

UN Envoy Urges Greater Support For Rohingya Victims
Following a visit to Bangladesh’s Cox’s Bazar, where hundreds of thousands of Rohingya refugees from Myanmar have settled in makeshift camps, a United Nations envoy has called for enhanced measures to protect and assist victims of sexual violence among the displaced population. “My observations point to a pattern of widespread atrocities, including rape, gang-rape by multiple soldiers, forced public nudity and humiliation, and sexual slavery in military captivity directed against Rohingya women and girls,” UN Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict Pramila Patten said Thursday. United Nations

'F--- TRUMP' Truck Driver Has Been Arrested
The woman responsible for the "F--Trump" bumper sticker has been arrested for a previous outstanding warrant, according to Fort Bend County jail records. Karen Fonseca was booked into the jail shortly after 2 p.m. on Thursday for a fraud charge. Her bail is set at $1500. Her arrest comes after Fort Bend County Sheriff Troy Nehls on Wednesday created a social media firestorm with a Facebook post threatening to bring disorderly conduct charges against the driver of a truck displaying a profane anti-Trump message on its rear window. SF Gate

Clinton Ally Gillibrand Says Bill Should’ve Resigned
New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, a long-time political ally of Bill and Hillary Clinton, said Thursday the former president should have resigned after his affair with intern Monica Lewinsky was disclosed, according to a report. Asked if the 42nd president needed to step down nearly 20 years ago, Gillibrand told the New York Times: “Yes, I think that is the appropriate response.” The comments by Gillibrand, who holds the senate seat vacated by Hillary, make her the highest profile elected Democrat to make such a statement about the former President. She did say, however, that social mores were different in the 1990s than today, when Bill Clinton’s conduct looks particularly bad. NY Post
VOA VIEW: Liberalism is the operative word, not social.

Brexit Bulletin: In Time For The Deadline?
Brexit Secretary David Davis hinted at clarity in a “few more weeks” on the bill the U.K. will have to pay to leave the European Union, adding to the sense that the British are getting closer to making a concession aimed at unblocking negotiations. It’s a close call whether that would be soon enough to make the agenda for a crunch EU summit in December. That’s when the U.K. has been hoping national leaders will give the green light for Brexit talks to move on from thorny separation issues to the key matters of a transition deal and future relationship. Bloomberg

Walmart Gives Amazon Run For Its Money
Unseating Amazon as the biggest player in e-commerce is a tall, maybe even impossible task. But Walmart is giving the online titan a run for its money. "It won't become Amazon, but it doesn't have to,'' Clement Thibault, an analyst with Investing.com, wrote in a note on Thursday after Walmart reported its latest earnings. "It has to make sure it remains a viable alternative to Amazon," he added. "The pie is big enough to sustain multiple players.'' Walmart, which has been challenging Amazon by adding products, partners and perks, saw online sales soar in its most recent quarter.  USA Today

'Unity, Solidarity And Collaboration' Can Turn tide On Terrorism
Noting that at least 11,000 terrorist attacks occurred in more than 100 countries last year, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres stressed on Thursday that “terrorism is fundamentally the denial and destruction of human rights.” “Terrorism has been unfortunately with us in various forms across ages and continents,” Mr. Guterres said in a lecture on counter-terrorism and human rights at the School of Oriental and African Studies of the University of London. United Nations

Kaspersky Defends Role In NSA Breach
The Russian-headquartered anti-virus company Kaspersky Lab has hit back at reports it deliberately extracted sensitive files from a US National Security Agency worker's computer. The allegations stem from a Wall Street Journal report in early October. Russian hackers had used Kaspersky software to identify classified files on the NSA contractor's home computer, which they then stole, it said. It later emerged Kaspersky had also copied files off the PC itself. BBC

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