NEWS   MONDAY, JANUARY 16, 2017   NEWS

Kremlin Counts Days To Trump's "Inauguration, Blasts Obama
Exulted by Donald Trump's victory in the U.S., the Kremlin is counting the days to his inauguration and venting its anger at Barack Obama's outgoing administration, no holds barred. Careful not to hurt chances for a thaw in U.S.-Russia relations, President Vladimir Putin and other Russian officials have deferred questions about their plans for future contacts with Trump and any agenda for those talks until he takes office on Friday. Trump's open admiration of Putin has brought wide expectations of improved Moscow-Washington relations, but Trump has not articulated a clear Russia policy. His Cabinet nominees include both a retired general with a hawkish stance on Russia and an oil executive who has done extensive business in Russia. Fox News
VOA VIEW: The key is what will happen on January 20.

Pence Urges Americans To Unite On Inauguration Day, Says He's 'Disappointed' In Lewis' Comments
Vice President-elect Mike Pence on Sunday called for congressional Democrats, and all Americans, to unite under incoming President Donald Trump, and said he was “disappointed” in Rep. John Lewis for questioning the legitimacy of Trump’s presidency and urged him to reconsider his Inauguration Day boycott. “Donald Trump won this election fair and square,” Pence told “Fox News Sunday.” “The American people know that.” Lewis, D-Ga., a civil rights icon, said in an interview airing Sunday on NBC that he didn’t see Trump as a “legitimate president,” amid evidence Russia tried to hurt the candidacy of Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton. Fox News

German Ministers Reject Trump Remarks On Car Tariffs
Senior German officials reacted with surprise and defiance Monday to comments made by President-elect Donald Trump, who said in an interview that NATO was "obsolete" and threatened Germany's automakers with hefty import taxes. Trump said in an interview with German daily Bild and The Times of London that German car manufacturers could face tariffs of up to 35 percent if they set up plants in Mexico instead of the U.S. and try to export cars to the U.S. from there. Such tariffs would make "the American auto industry worse, weaker and more expensive," Sigmar Gabriel, Germany's economy minister, told Bild. Philadelphia Inquirer

Judge Booted Off Supreme Court After Cursing Out Prosecutor
A second-generation Manhattan judge whose dad was infamous for springing criminal defendants on low bail was demoted after repeatedly clashing with Manhattan prosecutors, even cursing one out in open court, The Post has learned. Supreme Court Justice Geoffrey Wright was shipped off to Queens — and banished to Family Court, one of the lowest rungs of the judiciary — following a testy run in Manhattan Criminal Court. The humiliating move was the result of an official complaint from Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr., sources said. NY Post
VOA VIEW: No one is above the law.

Rand Paul Previews Obamacare Replacement Plan
Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul on Sunday unveiled the broad strokes of his Obamacare replacement package, a measure he again said Republicans must pass "on the same day as we do repeal." "We've had six years to complain and we have complained -- I've been one of those complaining about Obamacare," he told CNN's Jake Tapper on "State of the Union." "The replacement bill that we put together, our goal is to insure the most amount of people, give access to the most amount of people, at least the amount of cost." Republicans have been at loggerheads over the timing and execution of their promise to repeal Obamacare and replace it with a cheaper alternative that will not disrupt the insurance market and leave millions of Americans without coverage. CNN

Mike Pence: No Contact Between Trump Campaign And Russia
Vice President-elect Mike Pence flatly denied communication had taken place between President-elect Donald Trump's campaign and Russia after repeated questions in interviews on Sunday. Asked by Fox News' Chris Wallace about contact between Trump or Trump's team and the Kremlin, and the former Indiana governor denied there had been any, writing off the whole line of questioning as a "distraction." "Of course not. Why would there be any contact between the campaign?" Pence told Wallace on "Fox News Sunday." "This is all a distraction, and it's all part of a narrative to delegitimatize the election and to question the legitimacy of (Trump's) presidency." CNN
VOA VIEW: More democrat distraction.

South Korea Seeks Arrest Of Samsung Scion In Graft Scandal
Lee Jae-yong, the 48-year-old vice chairman at Samsung Electronics, faces allegations of embezzlement, of lying under oath during a parliamentary hearing and of offering a bribe of 43 billion won ($36 million) to a long-time friend of impeached President Park Geun-hye, according to Lee Kyu-chul, a spokesman for a special prosecutors' team investigating the political scandal. It will surprise many that prosecutors requested the arrest of the man who symbolizes the future of South Korea's most important chaebol, as family-controlled conglomerates are known. Such leaders tend to be treated as vital for the national economy. Philadelphia Inquirer

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Army Band Members Fill In For Donald And Melania At Inauguration Rehearsal
Washington held a dress rehearsal for Friday’s inaugural celebration — complete with stand-ins for Donald and Melania Trump. The Sunday practice run, which included a mock swearing-in and parade, starred 53-year-old Army band member Greg Lowery as Trump and the musical arraigner for the band, Spc. Sara Correy, 28, as the next first Lady. Lowery, who said his role was to “look the part as much as possible,” said the substitutes were chosen primarily because they are the same height as the people they were playing. NY Post

Cambodia Cancels Military Exercise With US
Cambodia has informed the United States that it is canceling an annual joint military exercise this year, even though planning for the event had already begun. Defense Ministry spokesman Gen. Chhum Socheath said Monday the Angkor Sentinel exercise had to be postponed because Cambodian forces would be unable to fully participate as a result of two important events: local elections in June and a six-month campaign to eradicate drug-related crime. U.S. Embassy spokesman Jay Raman confirmed in an e-mail that the exercises for 2017 and 2018 have been canceled. He said military exchanges and training programs are not affected. Tampa Tribune

8 People Have Same Wealth As World's Poorest Half
Eight men now own the same amount of wealth as the poorest half of the world. A top corporate CEO earns as much in a year as 10,000 garment factory workers in Bangladesh. And the world's 10 biggest corporations together have revenue greater than the 180 poorest countries combined, according to a study published Sunday by Oxfam. The report, An economy for the 99%, was released as global leaders and the business elite traveled to Davos, Switzerland, for the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum, a conference partly aimed at eliminating extreme income inequality. The study found that the richest eight people on the planet have net wealth of $426 billion — equivalent to what's held by the bottom half of the world's population. USA Today

Washington Protesters Vow To Fight For Civil Rights Under Trump
U.S. civil rights activists vowed on Saturday to defend hard-fought gains in voting rights and criminal justice during the presidency of Donald Trump, kicking off a week of protests ahead of the Republican's inauguration. About 2,000 mostly black protesters ignored steady rain to march and rally near Washington's Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, as speakers urged them to fight for minority rights and President Barack Obama's signature healthcare law, which Trump has vowed to dismantle.
The Rev. Al Sharpton, the rally's organizer and a veteran civil rights leader, said Democrats in Congress needed to be sent a simple message: "Get some backbone." Reuters
VOA VIEW: A few were governing the majority.

Women Knit Pink 'Pussyhats' For Rally After Trump Inauguration
The National Mall in Washington could become a sea of bright pink the day after Donald Trump is inaugurated as U.S. president if the vision of a pair of Los Angeles women is realized. For two months, Krista Suh and Jayna Zweiman have called on people around the world to make 1.17 million pink "pussyhats" for those attending the Women's March, a rally on Jan. 21 organized with hopes of bringing attention to civil and human rights issues. Reuters

Rep. Lewis: I Would Not Invite Trump To Selma
Rep. John Lewis said he would not invite President-elect Donald Trump to visit Selma, Alabama, with him, though he also would not "do anything to prevent him from coming." On what became known as "Bloody Sunday" in 1965, Lewis was badly beaten by Alabama state troopers on Selma's Edmund Pettus Bridge during a march for voting rights. Politicians and leaders from both parties — including Vice President-elect Mike Pence — have visited Selma with Lewis over the years. In 2015, Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush went to Selma with Lewis and others to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Bloody Sunday. MSNBC
VOA VIEW: Enough is enough.

Obama Leaves Behind A Mixed Legacy On Immigration
In March 2014, more than two years after President Barack Obama sailed to reelection in a historic sweep of the Latino vote, a powerful ally was about to call him out.
The president had been flying high on the success of his Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA, a legacy-defining executive action that opened up broad horizons for thousands of young undocumented immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as young children. But there was a major wrinkle in his record that the president could not outrun. MSNBC

CIA Director John Brennan Blasts Trump For Nazi Germany Remark
Outgoing CIA Director John Brennan on Sunday rebuked President-elect Donald Trump for comparing the intelligence community to Nazi Germany, saying those type of remarks impact national security. “What I do find outrageous is equating the intelligence community with Nazi Germany,” Mr. Brennan said on “Fox New Sunday.”
“I do take great umbrage with that and there is no basis for Mr. Trump to point fingers at the intelligence community for leaking information that was already available publicly,” he said. Washington Times
VOA VIEW: Trump blasted the heads of the intelligence agencies.

From Toothpaste To Chandeliers: Move-In Day At The White House Is A 5-Hour Sprint
When Donald Trump walks into the White House for the first time as president on Jan. 20, his suits will be hanging in his closet, his personal photos will be displayed on perfectly placed tables, and his toothbrush will be near his favorite brand of toothpaste in his bathroom. "The entire house has to be just the way the incoming family wants it," former White House chief usher Stephen Rochon said. And nothing can be touched until the Obamas pull out of the White House driveway for the inauguration ceremony that same day. "It's more like less than five hours," Rochon said. The retired rear admiral oversaw the Executive Mansion from 2007-2011, including the transition between President George W. Bush and President Obama in January 2009.  USA Today

Satirical News Report Investigates The Conditions In John Lewis’ District
Annalise Kaylor reports on the horrific devastation in John Lewis' 5th congressional district. Despite President-elect Donald Trump tweeting that Ga. Rep. John Lewis’ 5th congressional district is “falling apart” and “crime-ridden,” that part of Atlanta is fine. No, really. Just ask the people who live there. Annalise Kaylor, whose Facebook page lists her as a photojournalist and photographer, decided to take matters into her own hands and investigate the 5th district herself, tongue firmly in cheek and satire levels set to 11. The results are what you’d expect. As of this writing, the video has gone viral with more than 176,000 views and 2,700 shares. Atlanta Journal

'One China Principle' Not Negotiable, China Tells Trump
Responding to remarks by Donald Trump, China's Foreign Ministry on Monday said the country's "one-China principle" regarding Taiwan is not negotiable and any attempt to reconsider the issue would be self-defeating. Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told reporters that anyone attempting to use Taiwan's status in a negotiation would be "smashing their feet by lifting a rock." "Not everything in the world can be bargained or traded off," Hua told reporters at a daily briefing. "Whoever attempts to harm the one-China principle out of any motive or uses the principle as a bargaining chip will definitely be facing broad and strong opposition from the Chinese government and people, as well as the international community," Hua said. Houston Chronicle

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Donald Trump Plans To Keep James Comey As FBI Chief, Says Reince Priebus
Reince Priebus, the incoming White House chief of staff, said Sunday that President-elect Donald Trump does not plan to replace FBI Director James B. Comey. “There’s no plans in this moment of changing that,” Mr. Priebus said in an interview on ABC’s “This Week” program. “We’ve had a great relationship with him over the last several weeks and he’s extremely competent.” Mr. Comey, who began a 10-year-term as FBI director in 2013, weathered blistering criticism from Democrats and Republicans during the presidential race. Washington Times

Outgoing CIA Director Warns Donald Trump Over Russia Threat, Criticism Of Intel Agencies
Outgoing CIA Director John Brennan warned President-elect Donald Trump on Sunday, saying he doesn’t fully understand the threat of Russia -- and that his open criticism of the intelligence community could have effects far outside the United States’ borders. “I think he has to be mindful that he does not have a full appreciation and understanding of what the implications are of going down that road,” Brennan told “Fox News Sunday.” He also said that once Mr. Trump is inaugurated things will be different for him -- and that he’ll have responsibilities beyond just “talking and tweeting.” CBS

John Kasich, Still An Anti-Trump Holdout, Faces Fading Influence
In less than a year’s time, Ohio Gov. John Kasich has gone from an “adult in the room” alternative in a fractious Republican presidential field, to a potential convention spoiler in Cleveland, to now facing a hostile new president who reached down personally to seize control of the state GOP. The roller coaster ride has left many wondering whether Kasich’s political star and personal influence have faded. To this, Kasich had a direct answer this week: “You know (how) they talk about lame duck? They never met me.” With his characteristic defiance, Kasich has re-emerged in recent weeks after a period of retreat that followed a painful decision to concede his presidential ambitions for a second time. CBS

Trump Promises Health Insurance For All
President-elect Donald Trump says his plan to replace the nation's health care law will include "insurance for everybody." Trump made the comment in an interview with the Washington Post published on Sunday. The president-elect says: "We're going to have insurance for everybody. There was a philosophy in some circles that if you can't pay for it, you don't get it. That's not going to happen with us." Trump declined to reveal any details. An embrace of universal health care would mark a sharp break for most Republicans, as they plan to repeal and replace the current health care law. A full repeal without an immediate replacement would strip health care insurance from millions of Americans. Trump told the Post he expects Congress to address the issue in the coming weeks. Houston Chronicle

Thousands Rally To Resist Republican Health Law Repeal Drive
Thousands of people showed up in freezing temperatures on Sunday in Michigan to hear Sen. Bernie Sanders denounce Republican efforts to repeal President Barack Obama's health care law, one of dozens of rallies Democrats staged across the country to highlight opposition. Labor unions were a strong presence at the demonstration in a parking lot at Macomb Community College in the Detroit suburb of Warren, where some people carried signs saying "Save our Health Care."  Britt Waligorski, 31, and Mary Whitfield, 18, attend an Affordable Health Act rally on Sunday, Jan. 15, 2016, in Warren, Mich. Thousands of people showed up in freezing temperatures on Sunday in Michigan where Sen. Bernie Sanders called on Americans to resist Republican efforts to repeal President Barack Obama's health care law, one of a number of rallies Democrats staged across the country to highlight opposition. Charlotte Observer

Quick End To Cubans’ Asylum Claim; Now They’re Hoping For Trump To Act
The five Cubans who turned themselves into U.S. immigration authorities Saturday afternoon were back in Mexico Sunday after they withdrew their asylum applications out of fear they would miss out on any relief President-elect Donald Trump might provide. Agents with U.S. Customs and Border Protection advised them they were seeking something that no longer existed, faced months in detention and still likely would be deported, the Cubans said. “If I entered the asylum process now and then there is a change to help the Cubans, it wouldn’t matter,” said Alberto Rafael Ramírez, 29. “I’d have to continue in the asylum process.” The swift end to their asylum request reveals how difficult it will be for many Cubans to argue they’re political refugees who deserve special protection. Like other immigrants traveling from Mexico or El Salvador, Cuban migrants will be subject to being deported if they can’t prove a credible fear of persecution if returned. Charlotte Observer

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In Trump, Man Elected By Americans Is President They'll Get
After 10 weeks, dozens of tweets and one rollicking news conference, Donald Trump's transition into the White House has left little doubt that the man Americans elected in November is the president they'll get. The immense responsibilities of the office and the daunting decisions that await Trump when he takes office Friday have not appeared to change the confrontational, divisive Republican. Just days away from his inauguration, Trump is still litigating old campaign fights and picking new ones with intelligence agencies and Rep. John Lewis, the Georgia Democrat and civil rights movement veteran. Trump is refusing to be boxed in by the conservative ideology his party prefers and he's battling with journalists, yet still craves their attention. Kansas City Star

For Obama’s Black Appointees, A Calling That Was More Than Service To Country
Christina Cue’s supporting role in history began at a South Carolina rally where she was electrified by an upstart candidate named Barack Obama. Jason R.L. Wallace’s opportunity came from a chance encounter after his car broke down one Thanksgiving Day. Christopher Epps thought he was applying for an ordinary government job, only to learn in an interview that he’d be a White House appointee. Their paths were varied, but they all ended up in the Obama administration, among more than 400 African-Americans selected as presidential appointees over the past eight years: campaign volunteers, loyalists from Chicago, private-sector standouts, prominent scholars, public-school teachers and military veterans. Miami Herald

'Bikers For Trump' Will Form 'Wall Of Meat' To Protect Inauguration From Protestors
One of president-elect Donald Trump's biggest supporters is taking it upon himself and his group of bikers to make sure the inauguration event goes smoothly, promising to form a "wall of meat" to guard against any protestors. Chris Cox is founder of the pro-Trump organization "Bikers for Trump," and is expecting more than 5,000 bikers from his group to be in attendance at the inauguration. On Sunday, Cox spoke with news show "Fox & Friends" and said that should there be any rowdy protesters in attendance, his group will be there to back up security. "In the event that we are needed, we certainly will form a wall of meat," Cox told the show. "What does that mean?" interrupted co-host Abby Huntsman. "What does that mean, 'A wall of meat'?" SF Gate
VOA VIEW: Good!

Japanese Tapeworm Found In Alaskan-Caught Salmon
Here's the gross news first: A tapeworm found in fish from Asia has now been found in Alaskan salmon. The Centers for Disease Control recently posted an article in its Emerging Infectious Disease journal, stating that Diphyllobothrium nihonkaiense has been found in wild pink salmon from Alaska. Due to that reason, the CDC wrote that "salmon from the American and Asian Pacific coasts and elsewhere pose potential dangers for persons who eat these fish raw." (Pair that info with the nightmare fact that tapeworms can grow up to 30 feet long, according to the CDC.) The good news, however, is that this doesn't necessarily mean you need to swear off salmon sashimi completely. On the upside, the FDA really is here to protect you: As the Seattle Times points out, all raw fish served and sold in the United States is frozen — according to FDA standards — in order to kill parasites such as this new one mentioned. SF Gate

Following Sanders' Example, Dems Hold Rallies To Save 'Obamacare'
Democratic lawmakers, taking a page from Sen. Bernie Sanders' grassroots approach to campaigning, reached out beyond Washington D.C. today with a series of rallies aimed at building public pressure to save the Affordable Care Act. A page on Sanders' website listed 41 different rallies today around the country. Sanders appeared at a rally in Warren, Michigan, while Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts headlined one in Boston. Thousands braved frigid temperatures in Michigan to turn out for the rally there, The Associated Press reported. The event took place outside in the parking lot of Macomb County Community College and was live-streamed on Sanders' Facebook account. ABC
VOA VIEW: Just like the presidency - Obamacare is a lost cause.

Trump Team May Move Press Briefing Room Out Of White House
President-elect Donald Trump’s team is considering moving the press briefing room out of the White House's West Wing, according to Trump's incoming chief of staff, Reince Priebus. When asked about an Esquire magazine report that the incoming administration plans to move the press room out of the West Wing to the Old Executive Office Building next door, Priebus told ABC's George Stephanopoulos on "This Week", "The one thing that we discussed was whether or not we want to do conferences in the [Executive Office Building]." "Which, by the way, is the White House," Priebus added. "So no one is moving out of the White House. That is the White House, where you can fit four times the amount of people in the press conference, allowing more press, more press coverage from all over the country to have those press conferences. That's what we're talking about." ABC

Davos Chief Heeds Trump Win With Pledge To Tackle ‘Silent Fear’
The World Economic Forum is listening to Donald Trump. The organization will convene a special meeting in Washington this year to discuss issues raised during the president-elect’s campaign and the populist wave that swept him to victory, WEF founder Klaus Schwab told Bloomberg Television on Sunday. The gathering will explore U.S. investment and job-creation opportunities for companies that participate in the forum, he said. “It’s very natural that with the new administration we plan a major event in the U.S. to see what are the implications of the new president and how the business community could engage,” Schwab said in advance of the forum’s 47th annual meeting in the Swiss ski resort of Davos. “We have to be responsive to the call.” Bloomberg

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China's Just Getting Started With Funky Finance
China's love affair with asset-backed securities, the kind of financial product that helped spur the 2008 global credit crisis, has the intensity of a new passion. But for all the concerns about the speed at which things are moving, the market is only just getting started.After going from zero to $61.5 billion in just two years, total sales of ABS slowed last year, according to data compiled by ChinaBond. Don't expect that to continue, though.Structured notes backed by receivables, which form part of the ABS market, jumped 130 percent to 455.2 billion yuan ($66 billion) in 2016, according to official data released last week that captures a lot more issuance than Chinabond. Those sorts of notes accounted for 54 percent of all ABS issued in China, up from 33 percent in 2015, that data show. Bloomberg

World Diplomats Tell Trump, Israel: Mideast Needs Peace
Sending a forceful message to Israel's prime minister and the incoming Trump administration, dozens of countries called Sunday on Israel and the Palestinians to revive work toward long-elusive peace — including an independent Palestinian state. The closing declaration at a Mideast peace conference in Paris urged both sides to "officially restate their commitment to the two-state solution" and disassociate from voices that reject this. It also warned them against taking one-sided actions that could hurt talks, an apparent reference to Israeli settlement building. While the Palestinians welcomed Sunday's declaration, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called the conference "rigged" and cooked up behind Israel's back to force it to accept conditions against national interests. Las Vegas Sun
VOA VIEW: Israel should do what is best for Israel - Trump will back that action.

Thousands Rally To Resist Republican Health Law Repeal Drive
Thousands of people showed up in freezing temperatures on Sunday in Michigan to hear Sen. Bernie Sanders denounce Republican efforts to repeal President Barack Obama's health care law, one of dozens of rallies Democrats staged across the country to highlight opposition. Labor unions were a strong presence at the demonstration in a parking lot at Macomb Community College in the Detroit suburb of Warren, where some people carried signs saying "Save our Health Care." Lisa Bible, 55, of Bancroft, Michigan, said she has an autoimmune disease and high cholesterol. She said the existing law has been an answer to her and her husband's prayers, but she worries that if it's repealed her family may get stuck with her medical bills. Las Vegas Sun

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Mexico Warns Trump Border Tariff Would Trigger 'Global Recession'
Mexico's economy minister warned that U.S. President-elect Donald Trump's threat of a massive border tariff to build a wall would trigger a "global recession." Ildefonso Guajardo said on a news show on the Spanish-language Noticieros Televisa Mexican network on Friday that Trump's proposed 35 percent tariff would "be a problem for the entire world." A Trump tariff "will have a wave of impacts that can take us into a global recession," Guajardo said. During a news conference Wednesday in New York, Trump repeated his intentions. "There will be a major border tax on these companies that are leaving and getting away with murder," Trump said. UPI

USDA Report Shows 10 Percent Of Food Stamps Go To Buying Soda
Aside from meat, Americans on food stamps spend the largest portion of their grocery budget buying sugary soft drinks, according to a new report by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The study, which was completed using data from an unnamed grocery chain, included 26 million U.S. families, including 3 million enrolled in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, more commonly called food stamps or SNAP. It found the average person on food stamps spends 9.3 percent of their total grocery budget on soda and other sugary drinks, the highest percentage for any broad product group other than meat/poultry/seafood. UPI

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REPORT: NETANYAHU BROKERED BILLIONAIRES TO INVEST IN YEDIOT NEWSPAPER
Another addition to  the seemingly endless drip of leaks regarding Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s ongoing corruption investigation materialized on Sunday night, this time with reports that Netanyahu attempted to broker billionaire investors to help his supposed arch rival, Yediot Aharonot publisher Arnon “Noni” Mozes, cope with his paper’s financial difficulties – in exchange for skewing the newspaper coverage in favor of the prime minister. According to the report on Channel 2, Netanyahu set up meetings between Mozes and Israeli billionaire Arnon Milchan and Australian billionaire James Packer, both of whom are already suspects in a separate case of having given Netanyahu gifts that constitute breach of trust. The report also named Oracle CEO Larry Ellison and German media conglomerate Axel Springer as potential investors. Jerusalem Post

PARIS CONFERENCE ENDS WITH ENDORSEMENT OF TWO-STATE SOLUTION
The much-discussed Paris Middle East Conference ended Sunday with a rather bland statement reaffirming support for a two-state solution, and a call to stop violence and “ongoing settlement activity.” Some 70 countries and international organizations, including the foreign ministers of more than 30 states, attended the conference, which included neither Israeli nor Palestinian participants. Israel adamantly opposed the conference, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu repeating on Sunday that he felt it was “futile” and a relic of an approach to the Middle East that will end on Friday with the inauguration of US President-elect Donald Trump. Jerusalem Post

Bahrain Executes Three Shia Men Over 2014 Police Killing
Bahrain has executed three Shia men who were convicted of killing three police officers in a bomb attack in March 2014, the authorities say. They were killed by a firing squad on Sunday, state news agency BNA reports. Human rights officials say there are serious concerns that evidence may have been obtained under torture.
But the Bahraini government, which rarely carries out executions, has said the decision was taken "in accordance with international law". The executions of the three men, who Bahraini officials say were part of the listed terrorist group Saraya al-Ashtar, are the first since a 2011 uprising, led by the Shia majority, calling for greater political rights. BBC

John Kerry Finds Vietnam War Site Where He Killed A Man
The outgoing US Secretary of State John Kerry has visited the place in the Mekong Delta where he was ambushed during the Vietnam war. The former Navy lieutenant met a 70-year-old former member of the Viet Cong, who remembers the 1969 attack. The pair warmly shook hands. Mr Kerry, who is in Vietnam as part of his last trip before leaving office, won a medal for bravery for his actions but became an anti-war campaigner after returning home. Mr Kerry told his former enemy, Vo Ban Tam, he was glad they were both alive. Mr Vo, now a shrimp farmer, said he knew a man whom Mr Kerry shot and killed and remembered the plan of attack when they first spotted the US patrol boat. BBC

Paul Outlines Obamacare Replacement As Sanders Rallies Democratic Supporters
Under pressure from President-elect Donald Trump, six years of expectations and more than 20 million Americans who could lose their health insurance, a Republican senator has offered first hints at what a replacement of the Affordable Care Act might look like. Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky described details of his plan on Sunday, but did not say whether the 400,000 people in his state who have gained insurance under the existing law, often called Obamacare, would keep it under his own legislation. Guardian

As WhatsApp Becomes Latest Victim, Are Any Messaging Apps Truly Secure?
While some are more secure than others, there always seems to be another flaw waiting to be discovered – so should security be prioritized over convenience? Attackers could exploit a security vulnerability in WhatsApp in order to snoop on its users. Is there a truly secure messaging app? One could spend hours examining all the encrypted communications tools available, from popular services such as WhatsApp and Facebook’s Messenger to newcomers such as Signal and Wire. But while experts agree that some of these options are more secure than others, there always seems to be another flaw waiting to be discovered. This makes the search for a perfect app resemble the hunt for the goose that laid the golden egg. Guardian

Donald Trump Says Britain Was Right To Vote Brexit And He Will Offer A 'Quick' And 'Fair' Trade Deal
Donald Trump said on Sunday that Britain was right to vote to leave the EU as he pledged to help make Brexit "a great thing". The President Elect pledged to offer a Britain a "very quick" and "fair" trade deal as he revealed he had invited Theresa May to visit him "right after" he moves in to the White House later this week. The comments came in an interview with Michael Gove, the former minister who led the Brexit campaign then was sacked by Mrs May. Telegraph

Painting Portraying Police Officers As Pigs To Be Removed From Capitol Building In Washington DC
A painting showing police officers as pigs which was hung in the Capitol building in Washington DC last year is to be removed. The picture which was painted by David Pulphus, a high school pupil, was placed in a hallway connecting the Capitol building and offices used by the members of the House of Representatives last year.
It was the winner of a competition run  by W. Lacy Clay, a Democratic congressman from St Louis, Missouri., a city where riots erupted  following the shooting by police of Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager. in the summer of 2014. Telegraph
VOA VIEW: Good!

UN Mission In South Sudan Confirms Discussions On Regional Protection Force Continuing
The United Nations peacekeeping mission in South Sudan has confirmed that it continues its discussions with the transitional national unity Government on a 4,000-strong regional protection force, which was authorized by the Security Council last August but has yet to be deployed. The UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) “confirms that in preparation for the arrival of the Regional Protection Force, it continues to be engaged in discussions with the Transitional Government of National Unity as to the various modalities for the new Force, including where they will be deployed in Juba,” said a statement issued by the Mission's Office of the Spokesperson. UN News

UN Data Forum Opens In South Africa To Harness Power Of Data For Sustainable Development
The inaugural United Nations World Data Forum kicked off today in the South African city of Cape Town, bringing together more than 1,500 data experts from more than 100 countries, with the aim of building broad consensus on how to harness the power of data for sustainable development. Organized by the UN in cooperation with the South African government, the four-day gathering also aims to rally support behind a new global action plan. “The Forum comes at a crucial time for strengthening data and statistical capacity globally. Countries all around the world are mobilizing to carry out the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which they adopted at a UN summit two years ago,” Wu Hongbo, the UN Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, told a press conference at the opening of the Forum. UN News

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