NEWS   WEDNESDAY, MARCH  1, 2017   NEWS

In Emotional Moment, Trump Salutes Slain SEAL's Wife
The widow of a U.S. Navy SEAL killed in Yemen stood in the balcony of the House chamber, tears streaming down her face as she looked upward and appeared to whisper to her husband. Democrats and Republicans alike stood for minutes to applaud Carryn Owens, giving her the loudest cheers of the night in a rare moment of unity during President Donald Trump's first speech to a joint session of Congress. Her husband, Senior Chief William "Ryan" Owens, was killed last month in a raid approved by Trump, a decision that has been sharply criticized by some - including the slain SEAL's father - and which Trump continued to defend Tuesday night. Philadelphia Inquirer
VOA VIEW: GOD Bless America.

Trump, Pelosi Trade Barbs Over 'Incompetent' Charge
President Trump returned fire at House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi in an exclusive interview Tuesday, calling the California Democrat “incompetent” and forecasting the dissolution of the Democratic Party on her watch. Trump’s remarks, during an interview with “Fox & Friends,” came in response to Pelosi’s charge Sunday on ABC's “This Week” that the Trump administration has “done nothing except put Wall Street first, make America sick again, instill fear in our immigration population in our country and make sure Russia maintains its grip on our foreign policy.” Trump shot back with typical bravado. Fox News
VOA VIEW: Pelosi is a big mouth idiot.

Trump: Obama And Former Aides Behind Protests, Leaks
President Trump said in an exclusive interview Tuesday that he believes former President Barack Obama and his top aides are behind the protests and leaks that have tormented the new administration – and he doesn’t expect it to stop anytime soon. Trump, during an interview with “Fox & Friends,” blamed Obama acolytes and the ex-president himself for the organized demonstrations that have sprung up nationwide since the Nov. 8 election, and also for the politically embarrassing leaks that have hindered Trump’s messaging. Fox News

President Trump Goes To Congress To Make A Sale
Donald Trump needs to make a sale. The businessman-turned President has his best chance to ignite momentum behind his agenda Tuesday night when he strides into the House chamber amid the pageantry of his first address to a Joint Session of Congress. Trump will step up to the speaker's rostrum after a tumultuous five weeks in office, in which he has started making good on his election promises but also whipped up controversy and disruption with his quintessential political style. So far there is little sign that the new President's legislative agenda, which includes repealing and replacing Obamacare, a big tax overhaul, and a trillion-dollar infrastructure program, is anywhere near coming to fruition. CNN

Fraud: Another 82 Non-Citizens Have Voted In At Least 1 Ohio Election
Voter fraud is rare, but it happens, Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted said on Tuesday. Following a review of Ohio’s voter registration database, Husted announced on Monday that that his office has identified an additional 385 non-citizens who were registered to vote, and 82 of them have voted in at least one election. Those 82 non-citizens who are registered to vote and have cast ballots will be immediately referred to state and federal law enforcement officials for further investigation and possible prosecution, Husted said. CNS News

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Uber CEO Caught On Video Arguing Over Fares With Driver
Uber's CEO says he needs leadership help after a video has emerged of him arguing heatedly with a driver about fares. In the latest embarrassment to beset the ride-hailing company, CEO Travis Kalanick is seen discussing Uber's business model with the driver. In the dashcam video obtained by Bloomberg News , the driver argues that Kalanick is lowering fares and claims he lost $97,000 because of him. "I'm bankrupt because of you." Tampa Tribune

Trump Follows GQ's Fashion Advice
Goodbye, super-long Inauguration tie! When President Trump arrived for his first joint address to Congress Tuesday night, he opted for a more stylish look than we've seen in the past: tailored jacket, cuffed sleeves, tie of appropriate length, one button buttoned. It's an aesthetic upgrade from the baggy suit, too-long sleeves and giant red tie he had during the Inauguration. Makeover! It appears the president has followed some of the advice dished out by men's fashion magazine GQ, which posted a video last month offering tips for Trump to improve his look. One suggestion he he hasn't taken them up on yet? A new hairdo. And, you know, different politics. USA Today

McCain: Boost Defense Spending Even More; Retired Military Officers: Cut State Dep’t Much Less
President Trump, in his first budget, plans to ask Congress for $603 billion in discretionary defense spending, but that's not enough, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said on Monday. Trump plans to add $54 billion to the defense budget by cutting $54 billion from other areas, including the State Department (foreign aid), and the EPA. But that $54 billion is only a 3 percent increase above the defense spending level proposed by President Obama for fiscal year 2018, McCain said in a statement. President Obama proposed an $18.5 increase in defense spending for FY 2018. CNS News
VOA VIEW: McCain needs to wise up.

Why Heroin And Classroom Sex Aren’t Enough To Get Teachers Fired Anymore
The city’s bad-apple teachers have a surprising new ally these days — Manhattan judges. The jurists are increasingly refusing to side with city education bigs to punish rogue educators fired for drug- and sex-related offenses, according to a review of recent cases by The Post. At the heart of the troubling trend is a legal standard that requires the courts to defer to the city’s Department of Education when it terminates a teacher — unless the judge believes that the firing “shocks the conscience” experts said. Given the growing number of overturned punishments, it is clear that the “shock” threshold is “getting easier and easier to meet,’’ a court source noted. NY Post

Jamie Dimon: Trump Won’t Get Tax Reform Done This Year
BJPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon pushed for corporate tax reform on Tuesday, one of the biggest priorities for Wall Street — even though he doesn’t think it’s likely to happen any time soon. “America needs corporate tax reform,” Dimon said during an investor conference at the company’s headquarters in New York. Dimon, 60, argued that if the Trump administration cut taxes for companies, then workers would get higher wages, citing unnamed studies. “It’s not hurting JPMorgan Chase,” Dimon said. “It’s hurting the average American — that’s why it should be done.” NY Post

Trump To Sign Measure To Bolster U.S.'s Historically Black Colleges
U.S. President Donald Trump will sign a measure on Tuesday aimed at boosting government support for the nation's historically black colleges, a senior White House official said. Trump, a Republican, has pledged to improve the lives of black Americans, who voted overwhelmingly in favor of his Democratic opponent in the 2016 presidential election. Trump's order will move the federal government's program for promoting historically black colleges and universities, known as HBCUs, back under direct oversight of the White House. Reuters
VOA VIEW: Trump is being political - not appreciated.

U.S. Attorney General Pushes To Stop Suing Local Police
U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions said on Tuesday that the federal government should stop spending money to sue local police departments, signaling a sharp departure from the previous administration's policy toward law enforcement exhibiting patterns of racism or excessive force. In his speech to the National Association of Attorneys General in Washington, Sessions said the Justice Department should instead use its resources to help police figure out the best way to fight crime. He announced the formation of a Justice Department task force to look at deficiencies in current practices to combat crime and propose new legislation. Reuters

House Speaker Paul Ryan On Trump Camp's Alleged Russia Ties
“We need to get answers. We need to make sure that nothing happened that shouldn’t have happened as we go forward,” Ryan told TODAY's Matt Lauer in an exclusive interview, ahead of President Donald Trump’s address to a joint session of Congress on Tuesday night. Ryan didn’t directly say whether a special prosecutor should investigate the alleged ties between the Russian government and members of Trump’s team, and whether the White House had tried to influence reporting about any communications. MSNBC

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Trump Invites Victims Of Illegal Immigrant Crime As Guests For Speech To Congress
First lady Melania Trump will sit with the families of three people killed by illegal immigrants as her husband, President Trump, delivers his first address to a joint session of Congress Tuesday night. The move seemed designed to counter the slew of Democrats who were hosting illegal immigrants as their guests, saying they wanted to put a human face on Mr. Trump’s deportation policies. Democrats even tapped an illegal immigrant “Dreamer” to deliver their party’s official Spanish language response to the president’s speech. The dichotomy between valedictorians and felons in the illegal immigrant community has been on display over the last two years as Mr. Trump has tried to give the victims of illegal immigrant crime the same profile as the illegal immigrants themselves. Washington Times

Donald Trump Hails Sean Spicer As ‘Fine Human Being,’ Criticizes Press Secretary’s Leak Probe
President Trump said that while his press secretary is doing a very good job, he personally would have gone about trying to root out potential White House leakers differently. “First of all, Sean Spicer is a fine human being - he’s a fine person. I would have done it differently,” Mr. Trump said in an interview that aired Tuesday on “Fox & Friends.” “I would have gone one-on-one with different people.” Recent reports have said Mr. Spicer had staffers drop off their phones as part of an effort to see how leaked stories are getting out. Washington Times

President Trump Grades His First Month In Office
As President Donald Trump prepares to deliver an address to a joint session of Congress Tuesday night on his goals for the year, the new president thinks he’s done pretty well so far. In an interview with Fox News’ “Fox and Friends” Tuesday morning, Mr. Trump said he would give himself an “A plus” for effort, an “A” for achievement -- though he conceded that he would grade himself lower on messaging, giving himself a “C or a C plus.” He also shares that lower grade with his communications staff, “my people,” however. CBS

A Tale Of Two Speeches: The Contradictions Of Donald Trump’s Presidency
The President Trump who spoke to a joint session of Congress on Tuesday night bore only passing resemblance to the President Trump who spoke from the Capitol’s West Front on Inauguration Day. Some of the words were the same, but the tone was utterly different. Therein lies the contradiction — and — challenge of his presidency. In his inaugural address, Trump spoke of American carnage and as the tribune of the forgotten American. To the assembled members of Congress seated behind him that January day, he offered a rebuke and the back of his hand. On Tuesday, he made repeated appeals for national unity and cross-party cooperation. Looking out across the House chamber, he seemed to offer an open hand to the same political establishment he had pilloried just weeks ago. Washington Post
VOA VIEW: No one can can find fault in the speech.

Hasbro Will Start Making Play-Doh In Massachusetts
Hasbro will begin churning out Play-Doh in Massachusetts starting in late 2018, marking the first time the company has manufactured its iconic clay product in the U.S. since 2004. The company will produce Play-Doh at a facility in East Longmeadow, according to The Wall Street Journal. Around 20 new employees will be hired as a result of the move, the WSJ reports. “Given the growth of our North American business and the Play-Doh brand, we are creating plans to bring some of the production of Play-Doh to the U.S. by the second half of 2018,” said Julie Duffy, senior vice president of global communications for Hasbro, in a statement to Boston.com. The $25 billion U.S. toy industry is known for its overseas production. According to Fox Business, nearly 99 percent of all toys are manufactured outside of the United States. Boston Globe

Trump Doubles Down On Campaign Pledges In Maiden Speech To Congress
President Donald Trump revived the populist rhetoric that helped propel his rise to the top of the Republican ticket and later the White House while urging lawmakers to cast aside partisanship to work with him to overhaul the tax code and rebuild the nation’s health care system in his first address before a joint session of Congress.
Forty days into his presidency, Trump indicated in his hourlong speech that he was not softening on key campaign pledges to build a wall on the southern border and take a more hard-edged approach to immigration and terrorism. “We cannot allow a beachhead of terrorism to form inside America — we cannot allow our nation to become a sanctuary for extremists,” Trump said. Atlanta Journal

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Officials: New Trump Travel Ban Removes Iraq From List
President Donald Trump's new immigration order will remove Iraq from the list of countries whose citizens face a temporary U.S. travel ban, U.S. officials say, citing the latest draft in circulation. Trump is expected to sign the executive order in the coming days. Four officials told The Associated Press that the decision followed pressure from the Pentagon and State Department, which had urged the White House to reconsider Iraq's inclusion on the list given its key role in fighting the Islamic State group. Citizens of six other predominantly Muslim countries — Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen — will remain on the travel ban list, said the officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren't authorized to discuss the order before it is signed. Those bans are effective for 90 days. Houston Chronicle

China Rejects Trump Claim It Took US Jobs Away
China says its participation in the World Trade Organization has not only benefited Beijing but global economic growth as well, implicitly rejecting President Donald Trump's claim that it took factories away from the U.S. Trump, in his speech to Congress, said the U.S. has "lost 60,000 factories" since China joined the multilateral trading system. Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang says China sees its economic ties with the U.S. as being mutually beneficial and said China is "willing to get along with the U.S. to jointly expand and deepen bilateral trade." U.S., European and other foreign companies complain of unfair competition in China, where they are barred from or sharply restricted in telecoms, information technology, finance and other promising industries in violation of Beijing's free-trading pledges. Charlotte Observer

More Than 100 Generals Sign Letter Warning Against Budget Cuts
More than 120 retired generals are making what may seem like a surprising defense of government spending on diplomacy. Their unified perspective is expressed in letter to congressional leadership and was prompted by an announcement of major cuts to the non-defense budget and a corresponding increase of $54 billion to defense spending. The generals quoted Defense Secretary James Mattis to illustrate their point that foreign policy is not monolithic, and that diplomacy and defense are equal partners in U.S. policy. CBS
VOA VIEW: The Pentagon has too much fraud, waste and ineptness.

Betsy DeVos Statement On Black Colleges Sparks Uproar
Angry social media users flew into an uproar Monday evening after Education Secretary Betsy DeVos issued a statement that some said ignored the context under which historically black universities were created. The statement called historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) “real pioneers when it comes to school choice,” and came shortly after President Donald Trump held a meeting with several HBCU leaders on Monday. Some social media users said DeVos ignored the history of how black Americans were denied access to higher education. Meanwhile, others said the statement applauded the segregated Jim Crow education system for giving black students “more options.” The hashtag “HBCUs” trended on Monday evening and was briefly the most-mentioned hashtag on the social networking platform. ABC

Trader Joe's Recalls 3 Applesauce Varieties Over Possible Glass Shards In Product
Trader Joe's is voluntarily recalling three kinds of unsweetened applesauce because of "the potential presence of glass pieces" in the food. On Sunday, the company listed the three products as: Trader Joe's First Crush Unsweetened Gravenstein Apple Sauce, barcode 00015905; Trader Joe's Organic Unsweetened Apple Sauce, barcode 00194877; and Trader Joe's All Natural Unsweetened Apple Sauce, barcode 00014359. It said the recall affected all codes of Trader Joe's First Crush Unsweetened Gravenstein Apple Sauce through "best before Aug. 8, 2018" in all Trader Joe's stores. ABC

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Mom and Pop Investors Are Behind This Historic Market Rally
You can thank the little guy for Dow 20,000. That’s the takeaway from data tracking money flows into and out of stocks, according to an analysis by JPMorgan Chase & Co. The telltale sign retail investors are behind the longest string of U.S. stock highs in decades? An $83 billion surge of cash into passive strategies so far this year amid a $15 billion withdrawal from actively managed funds. That’s on top of evidence that institutional traders have backed away, the bank says. “Investors are normalizing their equity fund buying; this is a return to normal,” Nikolaos Panigirtzoglou, global market strategist at the U.S. bank, said in a phone interview. Bloomberg

More Americans Live In Fear Of Retiring Poor
A few weeks after the Republican-controlled U.S. House of Representatives moved to kill rules allowing states to create portable retirement savings accounts, a new survey found that 75 percent of Americans support just such an option. The response was a common refrain in a report that echoed the growing dread of living out one’s golden years in poverty. Politicians in Washington just don’t get how hard it is to prepare for retirement, according to 85 percent of those polled by Greenwald & Associates for the National Institute on Retirement Security (NIRS). Bloomberg

Trump Says U.S. Will Be ‘Empowered By Pure Aspirations, Not Burdened By Our Fears’
Donald Trump used the grandest stage of the presidency Tuesday night to rally the public around a series of policy priorities that focused on the economy and security instead of the strife that has hovered around his young administration. In his debut address to a joint session of Congress, the new president struck an optimistic and ambitious tone as he touted the steps he’s taken to fulfill campaign promises to protect Americans, remove dangerous immigrants and improve health care. It was Trump’s most “presidential” speech of his short political career, with several uplifting messages. Not once did he mention his election victory or attack real or perceived opponents, such as the media. Instead, he offered a forward-looking vision in a far more positive light than the unusually dark narrative about “American carnage” that characterized his inaugural address. Charlotte Observer

Democrats Exercise The Art Of Dissent In Subtle Ways
They didn't heckle. There were no in-your-face pink "pussyhats." There were just a few no-shows. At President Donald Trump's first address to Congress on Tuesday, Democrats stuck with more muted ways of exercising the art of the dis. They turned their thumbs down. They maintained stone faces. They sat on their hands. They laughed out loud when Trump declared it was time to "drain the swamp." There were audible groans when he announced a new office for victims of crimes committed by immigrants. As Trump strode down the center aisle of the House chamber to make his big entrance, some drew back to avoid shaking his hand. There were even a few empty seats on the Democratic side of the aisle. Rep. Eliot Engel, a New York Democrat who's hugged the center aisle seat for 29 years of speechmaking by presidents of both parties, took a pass on an aisle seat this year — and made a point of announcing it. San Diego Union
VOA VIEW: Democrats have egg on their face.

Colon, Rectal Cancer Rise Sharply In Young People But Are Less Likely To Be Diagnosed
Cancers of the colon and rectum have been declining in older adults in recent decades and have always been considered rare in young people. But scientists are reporting a sharp rise in colorectal cancers in adults as young as their 20s and 30s, an ominous trend. The vast majority of colorectal cancers are still found in older people, with nearly 90 percent of all cases diagnosed in people over 50. But a new study from the American Cancer Society that analyzed cancer incidence by birth year found that colorectal cancer rates, which had dropped steadily for people born between 1890 and 1950, have been increasing for every generation born since 1950. Experts aren’t sure why. Kansas City Star

Trump’s Soft Spot For Dreamers Alienates Immigration Hard-Liners
President Donald Trump’s sympathetic remarks about the young undocumented immigrants known as Dreamers — “these incredible kids,” he has called them — were a surprising turn for a man who had vowed during the campaign to “immediately terminate” their protections from deportation. But they are unlikely to be the last word. Trump has not ruled out ending the Obama-era program that shields the young immigrants, who have taken little comfort in his comments. And the president is already coming under intense pressure from the immigration hard-liners in his Republican base to keep his promise. Las Vegas Sun

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Sessions: Law Enforcement Must ‘Put Bad Men Behind Bars’
The Justice Department is creating a multi-agency task force to combat violent crime. Attorney General Jeff Sessions made the announcement Tuesday in his first major policy speech. He said the task force will include the heads of Justice Department agencies such as the FBI, Drug Enforcement Administration and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Sessions told a gathering of state attorneys general he's concerned an uptick in violent crime in some large American cities was the "start of a dangerous new trend," according to prepared remarks. He said law enforcement should "put bad men behind bars." Las Vegas Sun

Gas Prices Steady Before Seasonal Spike
U.S. retail gasoline prices are following oil markets by staying more or less even, but that will change mid-March with a new blend of gas, analysis finds. Motor club AAA reports a national average retail price for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline at $2.28 for Tuesday morning, a price point that's fluctuated by fractions of a percentage point for most of February. UPI News

Facebook Uses Old Tech And New To Combat Live-Streamed Suicide
A month after a Miami-Dade teen took her own life in front of a Facebook live audience — one of at least three people to do so in recent months — the social media giant is introducing new tools and harnessing artificial intelligence in hopes of detecting cries for help in time to do something. The option to “report” suicidal or self-harm content on a status or in a video isn’t new to the site, but starting this month the live-streaming service will push support options front-and-center. Miami Herald

President Rolls Back Obama-Era Gun Regulations
President Trump signed a bill Tuesday repealing an Obama-era regulation that made it more difficult for people with certain mental health issues, including schizophrenia and psychotic disorders, to purchase guns. The bill wipes out a rule that mandated the Social Security Administration to report people who receive disability benefits for mental-health conditions to the FBI’s background check system — which would ultimately determine whether someone was eligible to buy a gun.
The regulation would have added 75,000 people who get Social Security benefits for mental health issues to the national background check database. SF Gate

Pence Says Trump Showed 'Big Heart' In Speech
Vice President Mike Pence is giving President Donald Trump high marks for his speech to a joint session of Congress, saying he showed his "broad shoulders, big heart, reaching out, focusing on the future." Pence, who sat behind Trump in the House chamber Tuesday evening with House Speaker Paul Ryan, said the president was directly involved in crafting the hourlong talk. Appearing on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" Wednesday, Pence said Trump "was literally rewriting the speech on the afternoon" of his appearance on Capitol Hill. Asked which White House aides played major roles in writing the speech, Pence replied, "This was all him. The president stepped up and told America where he wants to go and many Americans said yes." SF Gate
VOA VIEW: The President.

Trump Transition Adviser Condemns North Korea, Stresses Alliances
A U.S. think tank founder who advised President Donald Trump during his transition condemned the recent assassination of Kim Jong Nam as the act of an "outlaw regime." Edwin Feulner, co-founder of The Heritage Foundation, also stressed the importance of U.S. alliances in Asia during the opening session of the annual conference of the Global Peace Foundation, a nonprofit organization that seeks to establish peace-building dialogue and support economic development around the world. UPI News

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IDF: ROCKET SIRENS IN SOUTHERN ISRAEL SOUNDED AS FALSE ALARM
The IDF confirmed that rocket alert sirens that sounded in southern Israeli communities near the Gaza border on Tuesday evening were activated as false alarms. Rocket alert sirens sounded in southern Israel's Sha'ar Hanegev Regional Council and the Sdot Negev Regional Council during the incident. Residents in the area reported of hearing explosions, and it remained unclear if blasts had occurred in the Palestinian territory. Shortly before the sirens sounded, the State Comptroller issued his long-awaited report on the 2014 Gaza war, in which over 4,000 rockets were fired on the home front – paralyzing the South and briefly halting flights at Ben-Gurion Airport. Jerusalem Post

Wikipedia Goes Data-Free In Iraq
It is part of the Wikipedia Zero scheme that has operated in 59 countries around the world since 2012. The Wikimedia Foundation says it wants to "bring the sum of human knowledge" to as many people as possible. However some argue that projects such as this go against the principles of net neutrality. "Net neutrality is the principle that all data are treated equally in the network," said Joe McNamee, executive director of the European Digital Rights group. BBC

Red Cross Appeals For Access To Key Port
Aid workers say fighting in Yemen has made it virtually impossible to ship humanitarian supplies to a key harbour when the country is at risk of famine. The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has had to halt deliveries to the Red Sea port of Hudaydah. It said this was partly because it had not received security guarantees. The port has also been targeted by warplanes from a Saudi-led coalition which is backing Yemen's government in its war with the rebel Houthi movement. BBC

‘Shell Knew’: Oil Giant's 1991 Film Warned Of Climate Change Danger
The oil giant Shell issued a stark warning of the catastrophic risks of climate change more than a quarter of century ago in a prescient 1991 film that has been rediscovered. However, since then the company has invested heavily in highly polluting oil reserves and helped lobby against climate action, leading to accusations that Shell knew the grave risks of global warming but did not act accordingly. Guardian

US Tourism Experiences A 'Trump Slump'
Interest in travel to the US has “fallen off a cliff” since Donald Trump’s election, according to travel companies who have reported a significant drop in flight searches and bookings since his inauguration and controversial travel ban. Data released this week by travel search engine Kayak reported a 58% decline in searches for flights to Tampa and Orlando from the UK, and a 52% decline in searches for Miami. Searches for San Diego were also down 43%, Las Vegas by 36% and Los Angeles 32%. Guardian

German Mocks Donald Trump And Theresa May With Controversial Floats
World leaders including Donald Trump and Theresa May have been mercilessly mocked at an annual carnival in Germany. Political satire dominated the Düsseldorf parade, with the carnival floats taking aim at Trump’s controversial politics and Brexit. One featured the US President attacking the Statue of Liberty and another display had Mrs May with a Brexit gun in her mouth. Another controversial float grouped together Trump, Marine Le Pen of Front National, Dutch politician Geert Wilders of Partij voor de Vrijheid and Adolf Hitler. Telegraph

President Trump Tells Reporters 'He Hasn't Called Russia In 10 Years'
Donald Trump told reporters on Monday that he had not called Russia in 10 years as he brushed off demands for a special prosecutor to investigate alleged links between his presidential campaign and Moscow. He made the comments as journalists were leaving the Roosevelt Room where the president was meeting healthcare executives. A pool reporter wrote that Mr Trump mouthed the word “no” in response to a question about a special prosecutor. “I haven’t called Russia in 10 years,” he added. Telegraph

Refugees And Migrants Taking 'Enormous Risks' To Reach Europe
Increased border restrictions and lack of accessible legal ways to reach Europe have caused refugees and migrants to take more “diversified and dangerous journeys,” such as relying on people-smugglers or using flimsy boats to cross rough seas, a new report by the United Nations refugee agency has revealed. “This report clearly shows that the lack of accessible and safe pathways leads refugees and migrants to take enormous risks while attempting to reach Europe, including those simply trying to join family members.” said Vincent Cochetel, the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Director of Europe Bureau, in a news release announcing the report. UN News

South Sudan: UN Official Calls For Unfettered Relief Access To Avert Further Catastrophe
With hundreds of thousands in need of assistance in famine-struck parts of South Sudan and rising insecurity hampering relief work, a senior United Nations relief official in the country has called on all parties to ensure that humanitarians have immediate, safe and unhindered access across the nation. “The people of South Sudan are suffering beyond measure. [The famine] represents only the most extreme tip of the iceberg of needs in this country,” said Eugene Owusu, the Humanitarian Coordinator in the country, in a news release issued by the UN Office of the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). UN News

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