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NEWS   TUESDAY, FEBRUARY  20, 2018   NEWS

Trump Motorcade Driver Detained By Secret Service After Gun Discovered
The incident occurred Monday in Palm Beach, where Trump was spending Presidents Day at his resort. According to the agency, the unnamed individual was a “staff contracted driver” who was found to be “in lawful possession of a prohibited item.” It occurred outside the secure area at a Secret Service security screening checkpoint. The Secret Service said they investigated and resolved the incident with the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office. The agency said the driver was only detained briefly. Fox
VOA VIEW: Big deal.

Model Who Helped Bring Down Harvey Weinstein Will Return To Runway For Fashion Week
Ambra Battilana Gutierrez, an Italian model who helped bring down now-disgraced movie moguel Harvey Weinstein by reporting his sexual misconduct in 2015 to police, is finally getting her career back after her name was dragged through the mud. Gutierrez will take to the runway of the 2018 New York Fashion Week Wednesday after spending years being rejected by top designers following her public brush up with Weinstein. Fox

How Trump Took Advantage Of Russian Interference
Special counsel Robert Mueller's indictments on Friday focused only on the social media and grassroots components of Russia's interference campaign. But they didn't address the hacked emails from John Podesta and the DNC that WikiLeaks released — and which Donald Trump and his campaign eagerly used during the final days of the 2016 election. Here’s how Trump talked about the Wikileaks disclosures in the final week before Election Day: NBC News
VOA VIEW: Typical liberal garbage.

Trump Open To Improving Background Checks
President Donald Trump "is supportive of efforts to improve the federal background check system" for gun purchases, less than a week after the Florida school shooting that killed 17 people. Principal Deputy Press Secretary Raj Shah said in a statement on Monday that Trump spoke with Sen. John Cornyn, a Texas Republican, on Friday about a bill he introduced with Sen. Chris Murphy, a Connecticut Democrat, that aims to strengthen how state and federal governments report offenses that could prohibit people from buying a gun. CNN

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Trump To Break Bread With Reporters At Tony Gridiron Dinner
President Donald Trump will attend next month's tony Gridiron Club dinner in Washington, putting the President in the same room with many of the country's top journalists he has castigated in his first year in office. Trump opted not to attend last year's invite only white-tie dinner where dozens of Washington's top journalists dine and perform comedic musical numbers. The annual dinner typically includes both journalists and politicians and features jokes about both sides of the aisle. CNN

Trump Comes In Last In Expert Presidential Ranking Survey
Barack Obama and Ronald Reagan are up, Bill Clinton is down and Donald Trump is off to a historically bad start — and the greats, meanwhile, remain the greats. That was the finding of the 2018 Presidents & Executive Politics Presidential Greatness Survey, released Monday by professors Brandon Rottinghaus of the University of Houston and Justin S. Vaughn of Boise State University. The survey results, ranking American presidents from best to worst, were based on responses from 170 current and recent members of the Presidents and Executive Politics section of the American Political Science Association. Politico
VOA VIEW: Expected from the left.

Feds Say Trump Tweet Misstates How FBI Works
“Very sad that the FBI missed all of the many signals sent out by the Florida school shooter. This is not acceptable. They are spending too much time trying to prove Russian collusion with the Trump campaign - there is no collusion. Get back to the basics and make us all proud!” Trump tweeted Saturday. His message came just one day after special counsel Robert Mueller charged 13 Russians for their alleged roles in a complex operation to sway the 2016 presidential election. ABC

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Students Stage WH Protest As Trump Gives Nod To More Gun Control
Dozens of teenage students lay down on the pavement in front of the White House on Monday to demand presidential action on gun control after 17 people were killed in a school shooting in Florida. Parent and educators joined the gathering, where protesters held their arms crossed at their chests. Two activists covered themselves with an American flag while another held a sign asking: “Am I next?” Guardian

Busting the Russian Facebook Ad Hoax=> Russians Spent Total of $3,111 in Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania During Election
Democrats and their dishonest mainstream media want you to believe the Russians hacked the election with a well financed and organized campaign to sway opinion in favor of Donald Trump. The Russians spent a total of $100,000 during and after the campaign on Facebook ads. Hillary Clinton had a lapdog media that favored her while 91% of the media coverage on her opponent Donald Trump was negative. Facebook executive Colin Stretch told the US Senate Judiciary Committee in November that the total number of those illegitimate ads are a drop in the ocean — less than 0.004 percent of all content — or about 1 in 23,000 news feed items. Gateway Pundit
VOA VIEW: It was the so-called mainstream media that colluded to help Hillary.

Oprah's 60 Minutes Segment That President Trump Blasted Was Uplifting Story of Voters Crossing Political Divide
President Donald Trump lashed out at Oprah over Twitter on Sunday night, calling the media mogul “insecure,” and saying he hopes she runs in 2020 “so she can be exposed and defeated.” Trump was responding to a 60 Minutes segment that featured 14 voters from Michigan (a state Trump narrowly won) — seven who support the president, and seven who don’t — who sat down to talk politics – and managed to find friendship. Oprah, a 60 Minutes contributor, was the moderator. “Just watched a very insecure Oprah Winfrey, who at one point I knew very well, interview a panel of people on 60 Minutes,” Trump tweeted.  Time

Trump Focus On Mental Health After School Shooting Denounced
Frustration is mounting in the medical community as the Trump administration again points to mental illness in response to yet another mass shooting. "The concept that mental illness is a precursor to violent behavior is nonsense," said Dr. Louis Kraus, forensic psychiatry chief at Chicago's Rush University Medical College. "The vast majority of gun violence is not attributable to mental illness." ABC

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Trump’s Miss Universe Gambit
Today, the Miss Universe pageant in Moscow looks like a harbinger of the Trump campaign and Presidency, featuring some of the same themes and characters. Miss Universe represents a paradigmatic example of Trump’s business style in action—the exaggerations that teeter into lies, the willingness to embrace dubious partners, the hunger for glamour and recognition. New Yorker

Trump's Shifting Stance On Assault Weapons
Trump in 2000 said he took a middle ground, supporting a ban on assault weapons though generally opposing gun control. Trump in 2015, however, was dismissive of calls to regulate assault rifles which, he said,0 are common semi-automatic weapons popular with many Americans. Now in the wake of the Feb. 14 massacre in Florida that killed 17 high school students and teachers, the nation is again focused on the question of gun control generally and, specifically, of regulating semi-automatic rifles such as the AR-15 allegedly used by the shooter at Stoneman Douglas High School. ABC

Attention Seniors, Trump's Budget Is Coming For Your Medicare Benefits
Trump released his 2019 budget last week, and it included $266 billion in cuts to Medicare, which provides health insurance to 58 million Americans 65 and older and people with certain disabilities. Howard Gleckman, a contributor for Forbes, breaks down the proposed changes: What Trump’s Budget Would Mean For Seniors. — Medicare drug benefit would be restructured to reduce costs for some beneficiaries but raise them for others. Washington Post

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Trump's Twitter Habit Isn't Very Presidential. George Washington Would Agree.
Donald Trump tweets too much: Nearly everyone says so, both his critics and many of his supporters. The president has said that he believes it helped him win the 2016 election; perhaps he assumes that Americans continue to want to know his every impulsive thought. (He certainly understands that a steady stream of messages will dominate the daily news cycle.) But the president's over-reliance on Twitter to speak directly to the American people is a mistake, because there simply aren’t enough interesting things for Trump to say. NBC

Tools Of Trumps Fixer: Payouts, Intimidation And The Tabloids
As accounts of past sexual indiscretions threatened to surface during Donald J. Trump’s presidential campaign, the job of stifling potentially damaging stories fell to his longtime lawyer and all-around fixer, Michael D. Cohen. To protect his boss at critical junctures in his improbable political rise, the lawyer relied on intimidation tactics, hush money and the nation’s leading tabloid news business, American Media Inc., whose top executives include close Trump allies. NY Times
VOA VIEW: Expected from the untruthful NYT.

Trump Administration Dismantles LGBT-Friendly Policies
The nation's health department is taking steps to dismantle LGBT health initiatives, as political appointees have halted or rolled back regulations intended to protect LGBT workers and patients, removed LGBT-friendly language from documents and reassigned the senior adviser dedicated to LGBT health. The sharp reversal from Obama-era policies carries implications for a population that's been historically vulnerable to discrimination in health care settings, say LGBT health advocates. Politico

Afrin Offensive: Turkey Warns Syria Against Helping Kurds
Turkey has warned the Syrian government not to help Kurds fighting against Turkish forces in northern Syria. Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdag said Turkey's operations were going ahead as planned and it would be a "disaster" if Syrian troops were to intervene. Syrian media had earlier said the army would help Kurds resist Turkish operations in the enclave of Afrin. But there has been no sign of this so far, and the Kurdish YPG militia has denied there is a deal with Damascus.  BBC

Andrew McCabe Altered Peter Strzok’s 302 Notes on General Flynn interview – Then Destroyed Evidence
According to Mike, former Deputy Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Andrew McCabe altered far left FBI investigator Peter Strzok’s notes on his interview with General Michael Flynn. And then McCabe destroyed the evidence. This comes after Byron York reported that former FBI Director James Comey told lawmakers Flynn did not lie under oath. Then Flynn was indicted by the Mueller witch hunt months later for lying. What changed? According to Cernovich Andrew McCabe altered Strzok’s 302 reports — then destroyed the evidence. In March he’ll retire with 1.8 million in pension, paid by us, the taxpayers. He needs to be fired and put in prison, not nobly retired. Gateway Pundit
VOA VIEW: McCabe should not be rewarded for this wrong doing.

Trump Now Trails Only Reagan Among Recent Presidents In GOP Esteem
Anyone who doubts Donald Trump has totally conquered the Republican Party he acquired by a hostile takeover in 2016 should look at the evidence (assembled by Perry Bacon Jr.) that his recent improvements in popularity are almost entirely attributable to rising GOP support. Gallup’s most recent weekly survey, conducted from Feb. 5 to 11, showed President Trump’s job approval rating among self-identified Republicans at 86 percent … NY Mag

Trump Jr. To Give Foreign Policy Speech While In India
The president’s eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., is making what has been dubbed an unofficial visit to India to promote his family’s real estate projects. But he’s also planning to deliver a foreign policy speech on Indo-Pacific relations at an event with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Beginning Tuesday, Trump Jr. will have a full schedule of meet-and-greets with investors and business leaders throughout India, where the Trump family has real estate projects — Mumbai, the New Delhi suburb of Gurgaon, the western city of Pune and the eastern city of Kolkata. Washington Post

Mueller's Interest In Kushner Grows To Include Foreign Financing Efforts
Special counsel Robert Mueller's interest in Jared Kushner has expanded beyond his contacts with Russia and now includes his efforts to secure financing for his company from foreign investors during the presidential transition, according to people familiar with the inquiry. CNN

Tax Overhaul Gains Public Support, Buoying Republicans
The tax overhaul that President Trump signed into law now has more supporters than opponents, buoying Republican hopes for this year’s congressional elections. The growing public support for the law coincides with an eroding Democratic lead when voters are asked which party they would like to see control Congress. And it follows an aggressive effort by Republicans, backed by millions of dollars of advertising from conservative groups, to persuade voters of the law’s benefits. NY Times

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Conservatives Urge Trump To Grant Pardons In Russia Probe
After months of criticizing special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe, President Donald Trump’s supporters are issuing increasingly bold calls for presidential pardons to limit the investigation’s impact. “I think he should be pardoning anybody who’s been indicted and make it clear that anybody else who gets indicted would be pardoned immediately,” said Frederick Fleitz, a former CIA analyst and senior vice president at the conservative Center for Security Policy. Politico

U.S. Officials Tell World Leaders To Ignore Trump’s Tweets
President Donald Trump’s tweets not only trigger worries at home. They rattle leaders around the world. But U.S. officials reportedly tried to reassure global policy representatives at an international conference in Germany over the weekend, urging them to pay no attention to the president’s Twitter rants. The U.S. actually is angry with the Kremlin over interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, despite Trump’s Twitter denials, American politicians and officials told foreign policy leaders in Munich, The Washington Post reported. Huff Post

Trump's Evolution From Relief To Fury Over The Russia Indictment
President Trump began the weekend believing that something good had just happened to him. An indictment leveled against 13 Russians for interfering with the 2016 election had not accused him or anyone around him of wrongdoing. “No collusion” was his refrain. But once ensconced at his Florida estate on Friday, Mr. Trump, facing long hours indoors as he avoided breezy rounds of golf after last week’s school shooting a few miles away, began watching TV. NY Times

Uber Eats Driver Charged With Murder
An Uber Eats driver has been charged with murder in the shooting death of a customer Saturday in Atlanta. Authorities said Robert Bivines, 36, opened fire on 30-year-old Ryan Thornton late Saturday night in the city’s Buckhead neighborhood.m the scene. Bivines turned himself in Monday and was booked into the Fulton County Jail on a murder charge, his attorney, Jackie Patterson, said. Washington Post
VOA VIEW: Dangerous!

Netanyahu Confidants Named As Bribery Suspects In Telecom-giant Case
The two confidants of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who were arrested on suspicion of involvement in the telecommunication corruption investigation known as Case 4000 are Nir Hefetz, Netanyahu’s former spokesman, and Shlomo Filber, director general of the Communications Ministry. Netanyahu held the communications portfolio for two years, from 2015 to 2017. Haaretz

Trump India 'Dinner And Chat' Property Offer Criticised
Investors in a luxury property development in India are being offered the chance to have "conversation and dinner" with Donald Trump Jr. The eldest son of the US president is visiting India this week and will promote the Trump Towers development near Delhi. Critics say the Trump family is cashing in on the president's name. But Mr Trump Jr has said he has been building relationships in India for years. BBC

Trump's Slow-Moving Sex Scandal
Lost in Russia, and internal intrigue, and FBI trashing and mean tweets: Donald Trump is confronting a slow-moving sex scandal that would easily sink most politicians and presidents. It includes porn stars, hush money, caught-on-tape crudeness and tawdry tabloids. And Bill Clinton would blush at how easily Trump seems to duck consequences for it all: Axios

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Calls Mount From Dems To Give Larger Platform To Trump Accusers
Eyeing big gains in November’s midterms, House Democrats say they’d like to give a national platform to President Trump’s sexual harassment accusers if they win back the lower chamber. More than a dozen women have accused the president of sexual harassment abuses dating back decades, claims Trump has fervently denied. But as the #MeToo movement continues to sweep the country — toppling titans of business, Hollywood, the media and a handful of lawmakers on Capitol Hill — a growing number of Democrats think Congress should lend a voice to Trump’s accusers if their party controls the House next year. Hill

L.A. County's Homeless Problem Is Worsening Despite Billions From Tax Measures
Los Angeles County's homeless population is increasing faster than the supply of new housing, even with the addition of thousands of beds in the last two years and millions of dollars beginning to flow in from two ballot measures targeting the crisis, according to a long-awaited report by the region's homelessness agency. The report showed that officials two years ago far underestimated how much new housing would be needed when they asked city and county voters to approve the tax measures. LA Times

Elon Musk Back To Digging Tunnels, This Time Under DC
Per the Post report, Musk’s Boring Company has been granted “an early, and vague, building permit” to begin some extremely preliminary work on a section of an underground Hyperloop tunnel that could one day, in theory, stretch from DC to Baltimore, Philadelphia, and New York. It’s not really super clear how much work Musk has a permit to begin, but a Boring Company spokesperson said the New York Avenue location could serve as a “station” in the intercity transportation network. According to the paper, city officials don’t appear to be committed to the project long-term yet, though the DC Department of Transportation is examining what kinds of further permissions the Boring Company would need to send its massive tunnel-digging drills under city roads and publicly owned land. Gizmodo

CNN Reporter Literally Goes Dumpster Diving For Collusion Evidence In St. Petersburg
Special Counsel Robert Mueller indicted 13 Russian nationals on Friday for attempting to influence the outcome of the 2016 presidential election, so naturally, CNN is doubling down on its coverage of possible collusion between the Kremlin and the Trump campaign. In fact, the network sent chief international correspondent Matthew Chance to St. Petersburg, Russia to literally dig through the garbage of an office building housing the alleged “troll farm” in order to try and find some clues. Daily Caller
VOA VIEW: Liberal CNN is grasping at anything to gain its lost reputation.

Texas Sheriff Who Allows Teachers To Carry Firearms Leaves MSNBC’s Jaw On The Floor
The debate over guns in America has surged again to the forefront of conversation in the wake of the horrific school shooting in Florida last week. A deranged gunman went on a rampage through the Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, killing 17. Many are calling for stricter gun laws in the wake of the shooting.  One of the students of Stoneman Douglas said this weekend that his coach, who died in the shooting, would have then able to confront the gunman had he been able to carry his firearm to school. Daily Caller

America No. 1 Enemy At World Government Summit
Yes, globalism is not a conspiracy theory, except for those who practice it. And that fact was on public display in Dubai this weekend featuring experts like Robert DeNiro on climate change, Goldie Hawn on making kids happy, actor Forest Whitaker on how women and youth are keys to solving global challenges, Grammy winner Will.i.am of the Black Eyed Peas on technology and development, Malcolm Gladwell on government’s role in shaping prosperous societies and Ariana Huffington on the Third Women’s Revolution. WND

Former Child Bride Determined To Destroy Warren Jeff's Cult
Elissa Wall can still vividly remember when she was forced to marry her 19-year-old first cousin Allen Steed at the age of 14 by a false religious prophet. The former child bride has come forward with her story as part of A&E’s documentary “Warren Jeffs: Prophet of Evil.” The special explores how the now-imprisoned cult leader ruled over an estimated 15,000 followers of the polygamous Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (FLDS). The 62-year-old is said to have had 78 wives, more than 50 children and controlled millions of dollars of the church before he was sentenced to life in prison in 2011 for sexually assaulting his 12-year-old and 15-year-old child brides. NY Post

America Just Got A Lot Closer To Seeing A Speaker Nancy Pelosi
Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court released a new congressional map for the Keystone state on Monday afternoon and in the process gave Democrats a likely major boost in their efforts to win back control of the House of Representatives this fall. The redrawn map—which was offered as a legally-mandated fix to the heavily gerrymandered prior lines—reshapes the state such that, according to Cook Political Report’s Dave Wasserman, there are now eight Hillary Clinton districts and ten Donald Trump districts.  Daily Beast
VOA VIEW: False propaganda  - Democrats are not close to winning back Congress.

The Mom Who Let Cruz Stay Confronted Him, Wanted To Strangle Him, After School Attack
The family who let the Florida shooter stay in their home after his adopted mother died last year have spoken out about what he was like to live with—and how they wanted to "strangle" him when they saw him after he shot 17 of his schoolmates dead last week. James and Kimberly Snead invited Nikolas Cruz—a friend of their son— to live their home after his adopted mother, Lynda Cruz, died of pneumonia in November of last year. Daily Beast

China Wants 'Severe Punishment' For American Charged With Stealing Statue's Thumb
They declare a thumb war! Chinese authorities are furious that the thumb of a $4.5 million warrior statue was pilfered by a Philadelphia partygoer — and now they’re calling for “severe punishment” for the sticky-fingered perpetrator. Wu Haiyun, director of the government-run Shaanxi Cultural Heritage Promotion Center, which loaned the 2,000-year-old terracotta statue to the Franklin Institute, called on the US to crack down on accused thief Michael Rohana. NY Post

Woman Charged With Abuse For Leaving 'S-ty' Note On Ambulance
A UK woman who left a nasty note telling paramedics to “move your van” because she didn’t “give a s–t” during an emergency call was arrested for verbal abuse, according to police. The foul-mouthed missive was left on a West Midlands ambulance that was parked in a residential lot in Stoke-on-Trent in Staffordshire, England, Metro UK reported.  NY Post

To Protect Second Amendment, Conservatives Dump On Fourth And Fifth
In response to the school shooting in Parkland, Florida, last Wednesday that killed 17 people, some conservatives are suggesting that state governments and the federal government take radical action. They don’t mean restoring the Federal Assault Weapons Ban of 1994 (which banned guns resembling the Colt AR-15, similar to the gun used in Parkland and one of the most popular rifles in America) or challenging the National Rifle Association’s grip on the conversation about guns and their place in American life. They mean putting armed drones in schools. Or using Homeland Security technology in schools to create barriers against potential shooters. Vox

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