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NEWS   MONDAY, MAY  22, 2017   NEWS

Trump, In Speech To Muslim Leaders, Calls For Shutting Down Terror Funding
President Trump Sunday in a highly-anticipated speech to Muslim leaders during his first foreign trip called for unity between the U.S. and Middle Eastern nations in the fight to “stamp out extremism.” During his second day of his first trip abroad, Trump’s speech in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia addressed the leaders of 50 Muslim-majority countries to challenge extremism by cutting off the financing of terrorist groups. Trump announced the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council, which is committed to prosecuting the financing of terrorism. Fox News
VOA VIEW: Great words - now the  deeds.

Tillerson Waits On Turkey Embassy Brawl; McCain Says 'Look At The Clip'
Top Washington Republicans expressed more dismay Sunday about a recent clash outside a Turkish Embassy between non-violent protestors and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan security team but disagreed about the next step. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told “Fox News Sunday” that the incident Tuesday outside the Turkish ambassador's residence in Washington was “outrageous” and that the Trump administration has expressed “dismay” and summoned the Turkish ambassador to State Department headquarters. Fox
VOA VIEW: McCain should become a full Democrat.

Roger Stone: Trump's Saudi Award 'Makes Me Want To Puke'
As President Donald Trump celebrated what he called a "tremendous" first day in Saudi Arabia, his onetime campaign adviser and longtime confidante Roger Stone expressed nothing but aversion for the Gulf nation and parts of the President's trip. In a litany of tweets, Stone berated Saudi Arabia as "the enemy" and slammed Trump for accepting the Order of Abdulaziz from King Salman bin Abdulaziz. "Candidly this makes me want to puke," he wrote. CNN
VOA VIEW: Just what liberal CNN wants.

Melania Trump Gets Rave Reviews In Saudi Press
First lady Melania Trump's fashion choices got rave reviews in local Saudi Arabian press Sunday, despite forgoing the customary headscarf. Both the first lady and first daughter Ivanka Trump have been closely watched in Saudi Arabia for both style and substance. On Sunday, the first lady conducted a few solo events while her husband continued bilateral meetings with the Gulf Cooperation Council. She visited the American International School in Riyadh and an all-women General Electric service center, tweeting out images from both visits, calling the visits an "honor" and praising "international perspective and education to children." CNN

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Trump's FBI Comments To Russians Were Aimed At Cooperation: Aides
U.S. President Donald Trump raised the firing of the FBI director in a meeting with Russia's foreign minister to explain why he had been unable to find areas of cooperation with Moscow, two top administration officials said on Sunday. "The gist of the conversation was that the president feels as if he is hamstrung in his ability to work with Russia to find areas of cooperation because this has been obviously so much in the news," National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster said on ABC's "This Week with George Stephanopoulos" program. Reuters

Target Sees Opening In Other Retailers' Travails
As he looks to revive Target Corp.'s faltering business, CEO Brian Cornell said last week the retailer will more aggressively pounce on opportunities to profit from the large number of store closings and retail bankruptcies that have been rocking the distressed industry. "We know there's going to be billions of dollars up for grabs," he told reporters after the Minneapolis-based retailer reported its fourth straight quarter of lower sales. In fact, Target projects there could be as much as $60 billion in sales up for the taking as weaker players exit the industry. Gordmans, HHGregg, BCBG, Payless ShoeSource, Warrendale-based rue21, American Apparel, the Limited, and Wet Seal are among those that have filed bankruptcy and closed some or all of their stores this year. "Ultimately, that's going to position us to take advantage of this market-share opportunity," Cornell said. Philadelphia Inquirer

Melania Trump Is Not Happy With Sean Spicer
First Lady Melania Trump is reportedly unhappy with the performance of White House press secretary Sean Spicer. Melania had vented over the past few weeks that the press team was “not proactive” in defending her husband and that Spicer was “not doing a good job,” a source told Politico. “The leaks bother her,” the source said. “She believes a lot of people are more interested in serving themselves than him.” NY Post
VOA VIEW: The truth is ...

Innovations Make America’s Cars Faster Yet More Efficient
Sometime in the next couple of months, the Dodge Challenger SRT Demon and its 808 horsepower will show up in dealership windows like some kind of tiny, red, tire-melting factory. Yes, 808 horsepower. There’s no typo. Teenage boys will lose their minds. Some older ones, too. But beyond the Vin Diesel fan club, it’s actually not such a big deal anymore. Last year, U.S. drivers on the hunt for more than 600 horsepower had 18 models to choose from, including a Cadillac sedan that looks more swanky than angry. Meanwhile, even boring commuter sedans are posting power specifications that would have been unheard of during the Ford administration.
The horses in the auto industry are running free. Seattle Times

Texas Lawmakers Clear Way For Uber, Lyft Return To Major Cities
Texas governor Greg Abbott will sign in the next few days a bill that would shield ride-hailing firms Uber and Lyft from bruising battles over fingerprint background checks that led them to leave some of the state's most important markets. Lawmakers last week approved the legislation known as House Bill 100 that sets up statewide regulations for the companies. It clears the way for Lyft Inc to reenter Houston, where Uber Technologies Inc currently dominates, and for both to reenter Austin, Corpus Christi and Galveston. More than 40 states have set up statewide regulatory systems for ride-hailing companies such as Uber and Lyft that can be used to override local regulations in most places, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Reuters

6 Common Summer Health Issues And What To Do About Them
A large part of the American population experiences travelers' constipation. Dr. Lynn O’Connor, a colorectal surgeon in New York, said that's because when people travel, they experience a change in lifestyle, schedule, diet, fluid intake and activity, which can result in constipation. “Humans have an inner biological clock and daily routines, which allow for regulation of sleep wake cycles and urges to defecate,” O'Connor explained. Further, the stress of packing or having to use bathrooms in airports, hotels or other peoples’ homes can disrupt bowel functions. To combat this (and avoid a stomachache), O’Connor suggests packing healthy snacks for the road, eating at the same time that you normally would and limiting caffeine intake. Reuters

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North Korea Launches Medium Range Ballistic Missile: White House
North Korea has launched a medium-range ballistic missile, U.S. officials said on Sunday, the latest in a series of tests carried out since President Donald Trump came to office. The Saturday launch came a week after the isolated nation test-fired another missile, which experts said marked a step forward in North Korea's missile program. "We are aware that North Korea launched a [medium-range ballistic missile]. This system, last tested in February, has a shorter range than the missiles launched in North Korea's three most recent tests," a White House official told NBC News. MSNBC

Trump’s Speech To Muslim World Earns Praise And Condemnation
President Donald Trump tempered his rhetoric on the Muslim world in a speech given in Saudi Arabia on Sunday, earning praise from some corners and condemnation from others. His remarks in Riyadh tamped down the incendiary tenor Trump maintained during the 2016 campaign, which were pleasing to his base, but inflamed the opposition. The relatively even keel stayed on target as the president read carefully from his teleprompter and avoided off-the-cuff remarks that got him into trouble in the past. MSNBC
VOA VIEW: Typical liberal MSNBC take out.

McCain, Rubio Blast Trump For Not Confronting Saudi Arabia On Human Rights
Two leading Republican senators on Sunday said President Trump is making a mistake by failing to more forcefully confront Saudi Arabia over the country’s treatment of women and other human rights issues in the Middle Eastern nation. Mr. Trump’s highly anticipated address in Saudi Arabia on Sunday will focus heavily on the fight against terrorism but will include little in terms of human rights. While administration officials say the topic has been discussed in private settings, critics say that’s simply not enough. “America is the unique nation in history, with all of our errors and failings and mistakes we’ve made … We have stood up for people,” Sen. John McCain told “Fox News Sunday.” Washington Times

John McCain ‘Speechless’ Over Trump’s Behavior, ‘Cannot Explain A Lot Of The President’s Actions’
Sen. John McCain said Sunday he is “speechless” over President Trump’s recent decision to allow top Russian officials into the Oval Office and is struggling to explain many of the commander in chief’s actions. Appearing on “Fox News Sunday,” the Arizona Republican and frequent critic of the administration said he’s perplexed by Mr. Trump’s decision to fire FBI director James Comey and by the approach the White House has taken to questions about its involvement with Russia.
“Honestly, I cannot explain a lot of the president’s actions,” Mr. McCain said. “Mr. Comey was highly respected and highly regarded, so I can’t explain it. I don’t think it was a smart thing to do.” Washington Times
VOA VIEW: McCain is a presidential loser.

France To Back Greek Debt Relief At Finance Ministers Talks
French President Emmanuel Macron says his new administration will push for an international debt relief deal for austerity-weary Greece. Macron's office says that he spoke Monday with Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and stressed "his determination to find an accord soon to lighten the burden of Greek debt over the long term." The phone conversation was the first contact between the two since Macron's election earlier this month. French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire, named last week, is joining EU finance ministers for talks Monday and Tuesday expected to focus on Greece's debt problems. Athens hopes that the ministers will agree this week on a deal on easing Greece's debt repayment terms. Tampa Tribune

Trump Avoids Pointing To Saudis' Human Rights Failings
As President Donald Trump opened his keynote address in Saudi Arabia, he lavished praise on the "magnificent" kingdom and "the grandeur of this remarkable place."
Then he made clear there would be no public lecture from America on Saudi Arabia's abysmal human rights record. "We are not here to tell other people how to live, what to do, who to be, or how to worship," Trump declared Sunday. Trump's willingness to set aside human rights as a principal foreign policy has been one constant in his chaotic administration. Yet the absence of any public reference to the kingdom's treatment of women and political opponents during his two-day visit was still jarring, particularly when contrasted with his affectionate embrace of the royal family. Tampa Tribune

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Pot Covictions Go Up In Smoke With California Legalization
Jay Schlauch's conviction for peddling pot haunted him for nearly a quarter century. Attorney Bruce Margolin has crusaded for marijuana legalization for decades and is now helping convicts get their felony convictions reduced to misdemeanors under a lesser-known provision of the voter-approved ballot measure that legalized recreational marijuana in California.  The felony prevented him from landing jobs, gave his wife doubts about tying the knot and cast a shadow over his typically sunny outlook on life.So when an opportunity arose to reduce his record to a misdemeanor under the voter-approved law that legalized recreational marijuana last year, Schlauch wasted little time getting to court. Philadelphia Inquirer

Nation Tracker Poll: Core Trump Supporters Dig In, While Others Grow Nervous
The ranks of President Trump's strongest backers are a bit smaller today than when we last checked in with the Nation Tracker, as the weight of the FBI investigation appears to be taking a toll, and Americans' optimism and confidence in his presidency have slipped. Meanwhile, the ranks of his most ardent detractors have grown, as some who once said they were willing to give him a chance, or supported him conditionally, count themselves as opponents today. Those who do remain firmly behind the president today say it's partly because he is under fire, believing that Mr. Trump needs their support fighting "the establishment" now more than ever, and agreeing that he is indeed the subject of a political witch hunt and unfair coverage. The vast majority of these supporters take this recent round of controversy very personally. When people criticize Mr. Trump, they say, critics are also knocking "people like me" who support him, too. CBS
VOA VIEW: According to liberal media Trump can  do no right.

Rubio On White House Drama: "People Got What They Voted For"
Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Florida, said Sunday that "people got what they voted for" with the Trump presidency. "I don't understand why people are that shocked," Rubio said on CBS News' "Face the Nation," following a tumultuous period for the Trump White House. "This president ran a very unconventional campaign. I was there for a big part of it at the beginning alongside being one of his competitors. And that's what the American people voted for. And in essence, you know, this White House is not much different from the campaign." Rubio's comments come after two weeks of White House blunders for the Trump administration, leaving many in Congress questioning the future of the investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election. CBS

What will New Orleans Do With The Confederate Statues?
Now that New Orleans has removed three prominent Confederate statues and a monument heralding white supremacy, what should it do with them? The city will receive proposals from groups that want to take three of the monuments — the last is tied up in legal issues — and display them. Plans are also being made to fill the spaces they leave behind. The city wants to finish the work during its tricentennial year in 2018. Across the world, cities have wrestled with what statues should be allowed to stand watch over parks and buildings. Here's a look at what other places have done: ABC

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Chaffetz Hopes Trump Didn't Call Comey 'Nut Job' To Russians
House Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz, who is leading one of the congressional investigations of Russia’s election interference and its possible ties to the Trump campaign, said he's concerned by a report in The New York Times that President Trump called fired FBI Director James Comey a “nut job” at a meeting with Russian government officials. “I hope that’s not true, I don’t know if that’s what was said or not,” the Utah Republican told ABC News Chief Anchor George Stephanopoulos of the report about the president's May 10 meeting. Chaffetz added that he would prefer that Trump had confronted the Russians over their interference with the election. “You would like the president to beat them over the head over that,” he said on "This Week" Sunday. ABC

Services Required To Report Plans To Accept New Transgender Troops
A top Pentagon official has called on the civilian and uniformed leaders of the armed services to report on their plans to begin accepting new transgender troops by July 1, according to a memo obtained by USA TODAY. Last year, the Pentagon rescinded its ban on transgender troops, allowing those in uniform to serve openly. The policy, established under then-Defense Secretary Ash Carter in the Obama administration, also called for the services to develop plans to educate troops about transgender issues and to accept enlisted recruits and officer candidates by this summer. The May 8 memo from Deputy Defense Secretary Robert Work instructs the service secretaries and chiefs of the armed services to assess the military’s “readiness to begin accepting transgender applicants on July 1, 2017.” Their assessments are due May 31. USA Today
VOA VIEW: How do you change faith?

Donald Trump To America: Please Impeach Me
Donald Trump is doing an excellent impression of a president who desperately wishes to be impeached. Congress should grant that wish, or figure out an even quicker way to bring this tragicomedy to its inevitable end. If there aren’t enough smoking guns quite yet, just wait a day or two. They're coming at us faster than rounds from a Kalashnikov on full auto. Could Trump's signals be any more clear? He's not even having fun. "No politician in history, and I say this with great surety, has been treated worse or more unfairly," Trump said at the Coast Guard Academy commencement. That was just a few hours before Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein named former FBI director Robert Mueller as a special counsel to oversee the FBI's Russia investigation, and a day before Trump tweeted that "this is the single greatest witch hunt of a politician in American history!" Suffice it to say the job is only going to get less fun. USA Today

Trump To Propose Big Cuts To Safety-Net In New Budget, Slashing Medicaid And Opening Door To Other Limits
President Trump’s first major budget proposal on Tuesday will include massive cuts to Medicaid and call for changes to anti-poverty programs that would give states new power to limit a range of benefits, people familiar with the planning said, despite growing unease in Congress about cutting the safety net. For Medicaid, the state-federal program that provides health care to low-income Americans, Trump’s budget plan would follow through on a bill passed by House Republicans to cut more than $800 billion over 10 years. The Congressional Budget Office has estimated that this could cut off Medicaid benefits for about 10 million people over the next decade. Washingtom Post
VOA VIEW: The free rides must end.

Saudi King, Trump Take Turns To Attack Iran As Terror Backer
Saudi Arabia’s King Salman and U.S. President Donald Trump took turns to launch a scathing attack on Iran, which the Sunni monarch called the “spearhead of global terrorism,” underscoring a common goal in undercutting the Islamic Republic’s regional influence. The king said Saudi Arabia had not witnessed terrorism until the 1979 Islamic Revolution in Iran. Instead of accepting good-faith initiatives, Iran has “pursued expansionary ambitions, and criminal practices and the meddling of other countries’ internal affairs,” he said. The kingdom, however, respects the Iranian people and won’t judge them “by the crimes of their regime,” he said. Bloomberg

Canada Calls Boeing's Trade Challenge ‘Lousy Customer Relations’
Boeing Co.’s pursuit of a trade complaint against Canadian rival Bombardier Inc. at a time it’s negotiating with the government on a major sale of military aircraft is “lousy customer relations,” Canada’s ambassador to the U.S. said. Canada had one hour’s notice before Boeing petitioned the U.S. to probe whether Bombardier’s C Series aircraft is being sold at unfairly low prices, Ambassador David MacNaughton said Sunday on CTV’s “Question Period,” calling the action “strange.” Bloomberg

Gingrich Spreads Conspiracy Theory About Slain DNC Staffer
Former House speaker Newt Gingrich, a stalwart supporter of President Trump, used a Sunday morning appearance on "Fox and Friends" to spread the conspiracy theory that former Democratic National Committee staffer Seth Rich was killed last year to cover up the true story of how WikiLeaks obtained tens of thousands of hacked Democratic Party emails. "We have this very strange story now of this young man who worked for the Democratic National Committee, who apparently was assassinated at four in the morning, having given WikiLeaks something like 53,000 emails and 17,000 attachments," Gingrich said. "Nobody's investigating that, and what does that tell you about what's going on? Because it turns out, it wasn't the Russians. It was this young guy who, I suspect, was disgusted by the corruption of the Democratic National Committee. He's been killed, and apparently nothing serious has been done to investigative his murder. So I'd like to see how [Robert] Mueller is going to define what his assignment is." Atlanta Journal

Trump Trip To Israel Possibly First Flight From Saudi Arabia
Even before President Donald Trump began his trip to Israel, he already may have made history. The president's flight from Riyadh to Tel Aviv on Monday was believed to be the first direct flight between Saudi Arabia and Israel. Trump landed at Ben-Gurion International Airport for a two-day visit to Israel and the Palestinian territories as part of his first trip abroad since taking office. An Israel Airport Authority spokesman said he was not aware of any direct flights ever having landed in Israel from the kingdom. Saudi Arabia doesn't recognize Israel and the two states don't have diplomatic relations. There are no direct flights between the two countries and flights from either country bypass the other's airspace. Houston Chronicle

EU Urges Members To Address Inequality As Economy Recovers
The European Union is urging member states to take advantage of the bloc's recovering economy to strengthen public finances and push through reforms that tackle social inequality. The advice came in economic policy guidance for the bloc's 28 member states that was published Monday by the European Commission. It recommends "boosting investment, pursuing structural reforms and ensuring responsible fiscal policies." The advice aims to address social pressures that are seen as fueling a wave of nationalist populism throughout Europe that is tearing at the fabric of the bloc. Miami Herald

Mark Zuckerberg: I'm Not Running For Public Office
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg says his quest this year to visit every state he hadn't before is about building relationships, not politics. The 33-year-old billionaire says in a Facebook post that some users have asked if the trip means he's running for public office. Zuckerberg says he's not running for anything. Instead, he says the visits around the country are in order "to get a broader perspective." He says Facebook is looking to connect users beyond people they already know. He writes that it may be important that the platform connects users to "people you should know." He describes those as people outside a user's social circle that as he says "provide a new source of support and inspiration." SF Gate

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Trump’s Panel On Voter Fraud Poses Threat To Access To Polls
When President Donald Trump announced in February that he planned to put together a commission to investigate voter fraud, it was cause for concern but not necessarily for alarm. Yes, Trump appeared to be acting out of hubris — showing he was willing to burn taxpayer dollars to prove his wacko claim that 3 million to 5 million illegal votes had been cast against him in 2016 — but then again there had been legitimate questions in Nevada and elsewhere as to whether voter fraud was occurring and, if so, to what extent. Las Vegas Sun

Trump Says Assad Committed ‘Unspeakable Crimes’
President Donald Trump says Syrian President Bashar Assad has committed "unspeakable crimes" bolstered by Iran. In an address to Muslim leaders gathered in Saudi Arabia Sunday, Trump called upon countries around the world to work together to end the humanitarian crisis in Syria. Trump denounced Iranian aggression in the region, and said that the "longest-suffering victims" are the Iranian people. He says the Iranian people have "endured hardship and despair under their leaders' reckless pursuit of conflict and terror." President Donald Trump says that every nation must shoulder the burden of rooting our terrorism from their countries. In an address to the leaders of Muslim-majority countries in Riyadh Sunday, Trump said, "Every nation has an absolute duty to ensure that terrorists find no quarter on their soil." Trump said terrorist groups "do nothing to inspire but kill." Las Vegas Sun

Trump's Budget Proposal Includes Huge Cuts To Food Stamps
President Donald Trump's budget would drive millions of people off of food stamps, part of a new wave of spending cut proposals that already are getting panned by lawmakers in both parties on Capitol Hill. Trump's blueprint for the 2018 budget year comes out Tuesday. It includes a wave of cuts to benefit programs such as Medicaid, federal employee pensions, welfare benefits and farm subsidies. All told, according to people familiar with the plan, Trump's budget includes $1.7 trillion over 10 years in cuts from such so-called mandatory programs. That includes cuts to pensions for federal workers and higher contributions toward those pension benefits, as well as cuts to refundable tax credits paid to the working poor. People familiar with the plan were not authorized to discuss it by name and requested anonymity. Houston Chronicle

Israelis Worry Trump’s Changing Stands Look More And More Like Obama’s
The Israeli love affair with President Donald Trump is souring as promises have gone unfulfilled. The Israeli public was very excited when Trump took office. They anticipated a fresh start after a fraught relationship with Barack Obama, who many thought was overly sympathetic to the Palestinians. But reality has set in as all Trump’s earlier talk – of moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, of not worrying about Jewish settlements in Arab land and of dropping insistence on the pesky two-state solution – appears to have been just that: talk.  “He’s like any politician,” said Shlamit Lev-ran, 24, an art student at Hebrew University in Jerusalem. “They say one thing and then after they’re elected they do another. I see no difference.” Charlotte Observer
VOA VIEW: A Trump mistake.

Trump Checks Out Toby Keith’s All-Male Concert In A Golf Cart With Saudi King Salman
President Donald Trump’s visit to Saudi Arabia took on a decidedly American flavor on Saturday as he rolled through the National Museum in Riyadh in a luxury golf cart with his wife, Melania, and King Salman past a jumbo television screen showing country singer Toby Keith’s concert. The president’s daughter, Ivanka Trump, and his son-in-law Jared Kushner followed in another golf cart, according to a report by The Hill. All night, the museum live-streamed Keith’s high-profile concert in Riyadh, open only to men, in which he performed alongside a lute player, Bloomberg reported. Keith performed during Trump’s inauguration festivities earlier this year. Riyadh seemed a less obvious venue, considering that some of his best known hits are about drinking or celebrating the U.S. military. His song “Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue” glorifies the U.S. “war on terror” begun after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Kansas City Star

TPP Trade Deal Moving Forward Without U.S.
Asia-Pacific trade ministers on Sunday settled to move forward with the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement despite U.S. President Donald Trump abandoning the deal. The ministers from Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Malaysia, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam met as part of a Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, or APEC, event. After Trump scrapped the deal in January, Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull suggested China could be a replacement. UPI

Turkey's Erdogan Returns As Ruling Party's Leader
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Sunday resumed leadership of the ruling party, one month after a referendum gave him additional powers. Until the April 17 vote, Turkish presidents had to cut ties with their parties to show their neutrality. Erdogan relinquished the role three years ago when he assumed the presidency. But the Justice and Development Party, or AKP, returned the leadership to Erdogan in an extraordinary convention in Ankara. He received the votes of 1,414 party delegates. UPI

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POLLARD TO NETANYAHU: DON’T FORGET ME IN TALKS WITH TRUMP
Jonathan Pollard appealed on Sunday to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu: Don’t forget me during your meeting with US President Donald Trump on Monday. Pollard made the comments during conversations he held with close friends over the weekend. His wife, Esther, recounted them to The Jerusalem Post. “As much as Trump needs to be held to his promise to move the embassy, it is just as important that the prime minister keep his promise to bring an agent home,” Pollard reportedly said to the friends during the weekend. Last week, Pollard appealed US District Judge Katherine Forrest’s decision to keep in place restrictive parole conditions that were imposed when he was released from prison in November, 2015, after serving 30 years of a life sentence for spying for Israel. Jerasalem Post

TPP Trade Deal Will Continue Without Trump
Asia-Pacific trade ministers have agreed to resuscitate the controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal, despite US President Donald Trump abandoning it.
Mr Trump signalled in January he would block the passage of the 12-nation pact in order to protect American jobs. Trade ministers from the 11 remaining countries have met in Vietnam to get the deal back on track. The representatives also agreed to help the US rejoin the deal at any time. The bid to revive the TPP, which would have covered 40% of the global economy, was led by trade ministers from Japan, Australia and New Zealand. BBC

Hassan Minhaj: Comedy's Golden Opportunity In Trump Era
Comedians have a new-found energy in the era of Donald Trump, says a rising US comedy star. Hassan Minhaj hosted the the White House Correspondents' Dinner in April - an event President Trump snubbed. Speaking to the BBC, Minhaj said there was "something cool" happening in response to Mr Trump's policies. He said the political atmosphere was such that it gave him an unexpected opportunity to host the correspondents' dinner. BBC

HR McMaster Refuses To Say If Trump Pressed Russia On Election Interference
Donald Trump’s national security adviser refused to say on Sunday whether the president used his recent Oval Office meeting with Russian officials to confront them about interference in the 2016 election. “Well you know, there already was too much that’s been leaked from those meetings,” HR McMaster said, in an appearance on ABC’s The Week. Trump reportedly did use the meeting to disparage the FBI director he fired the day before, James Comey, as a “nutjob”. According to the New York Times, citing a document from the meeting provided by an unnamed White House source, Trump told the Russians that the “great pressure” he faced because of Russia had been “taken off” by the firing of Comey. Guardian

More Bernie, Less Trump: Is This How Democrats Will Win Montana's Special Election?
Rob Quist, the Democratic candidate in the special election in Montana, is passionate about public lands and protecting the Affordable Care Act. But when it comes to the Republican president whose national approval rating is under 40%, he doesn’t have anything to say. At a raucous Sunday morning rally at Montana State University, both special guest Bernie Sanders and Quist, a folk singer turned first-time candidate in the race to fill the House of Representatives seat left open by interior secretary Ryan Zinke, avoided mention of Donald Trump. Only once, in passing, was the president named, as Sanders made a simple attack on the Republican party. Guardian

Donald Trump And Barack Obama On The Arab World - How Do They Differ?
Barack Obama made four visits to Saudi Arabia; in June 2009, March 2014, January 2015 and April 2016. On May 21 President Donald Trump delivered a 36 minute address in Riyadh; his first speech of his first foreign trip. Both visits marked the chance to make their views on Saudi Arabia and the wider Arab world very clear.
But it's important to note that both Mr Obama and Mr Trump moderated their campaign trail views once they entered the White House. Telegraph

North Korea's Secret Cyber Warfare Cell Unit 180 'Likely' To Have Been Behind Ransomware Attacks
North Korea's main spy agency has a special cell called Unit 180 that is likely to have launched some of its most daring and successful cyber attacks, according to defectors, officials and internet security experts. North Korea has been blamed in recent years for a series of online attacks, mostly on financial networks, in the United States, South Korea and over a dozen other countries. Cyber security researchers have also said they have found technical evidence that could link North Korea with the global WannaCry "ransomware" cyber attack that infected more than 300,000 computers in 150 countries this month. Pyongyang has called the allegation "ridiculous". Telegraph

On World Day, UN Agencies Urge Countering Threats To Cultural Diversity
Cultural diversity – the driving force of change and development – is increasingly under threat, United Nations agencies today said, reaffirming support for the cultural diversity that stems from migration. “Across the world, violent extremists have targeted cultural minorities and destroyed our shared heritage, to weaken the essential links between people and their history,” said Irina Bokova, the Director-General of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). Marking the World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development, Ms. Bokova called for a new humanism for the 21st century, to renew the fundamental aspirations to justice, mutual understanding and dignity that guide all women and men. UN News

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