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NEWS     WEDNESDAY,  DECEMBER   19, 2018    NEWS

Reporter shouts at Sarah Sanders after briefing: ‘Do your job, Sarah!’
A reporter shouted "do your job" at White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders on Tuesday, as she wrapped up the briefing after roughly 15 minutes at the podium.
Breakfast Media’s Andrew Feinberg confirmed to Fox News that he was the reporter who shouted, “Do your job, Sarah!” Feinberg took to Twitter following the incident, sending a variety of messages that coincide with the message barked to Sanders. “Sarah Huckabee Sanders refuses to do the job for which she is paid money raised from US taxpayers. She delays each briefing so she can use a presidential event as an excuse to end it early. She does not respond to emails, she does not meet with (most) reporters,” Feinberg tweeted “Why is she here?”  Fox
VOA VIEW: Feinberg should be released for the WH news group.

Judge rejects request to release Trump's tax returns under freedom of information laws
A federal appellate court has rejected a non-profit organization's attempt to obtain President Donald Trump's tax records from the Internal Revenue Service by filing a Freedom of Information Act request. DC Circuit Court Judge Karen Henderson wrote that the President should be afforded the same privacy rights as any other citizen.
"This case presents the question whether a member of the public -- here, a nonprofit organization -- can use a FOIA request to obtain an unrelated individual's tax records without his consent," Henderson wrote in a opinion on behalf of herself and two other appellate judges. "With certain limited exceptions -- all inapplicable here -- the answer is no." CNN
VOA VIEW: A good ruling.

ICE in 2018: 256,085 Removals of Illegal Aliens, 42 Removals of 'Known or Suspected' Terrorists
The latest U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Removal Operations Report, covering Fiscal Year 2018, shows that ICE conducted 256,085 removals of illegal aliens and this included 42 removals of "known or suspected terrorists" and 5,872 removals of "known or suspected gang members." Fiscal Year 2018 was from Oct. 1, 2017 to Sept. 30, 2018. As ICE reports, there were 256,085 removals in FY 2018, up from 226,119 in FY 2017, a 13% increase. "Integral to the integrity of the nation’s lawful immigration system is the removal of immigration violators who are illegally present in the country and have received a final order of removal," states ICE in its report.  CNS

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Unfinished 'illicit' border tunnel discovered, CBP says
An illegal, unfinished cross-border tunnel running into the U.S. was uncovered by authorities Monday, Customs and Border Protection announced. The detection was made via a joint effort with Tucson Sector Border Patrol agents and Mexican law enforcement who were conducting a regular "bi-national tunnel sweep," the agency said in a news release Tuesday. “The entry point was found submerged underwater along the international waterway channel constructed below both cities of Nogales,” CBP said. “The tunnel was adjacent to the Port of Nogales, DeConcini Crossing and came to an abrupt stop underneath a parking lot in Nogales, Arizona.” Fox
VOA VIEW: They all need to be exposed and destroyed.

Proposed Law Would Require State Dept. to Consider Reproductive Rights Human Rights
Last Monday, Dec. 10, Rep. Katherine Clark (D-Mass.) introduced a bill into the U.S. House of Representatives that would require the State Department to include a section on “reproductive rights” in its annual human rights reports to Congress. The bill, entitled the “Reproductive Rights are Human Rights Act,” would amend the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, which requires the State Department to produce yearly reports on human rights practices around the world. The proposed amendment would require reports to include information on the status of reproductive rights in each country, including whether countries expanded or restricted access to “safe abortion” and “post-abortion care.” Rep. Clark said the bill would ensure the State Department “maintains its vital role as an international watchdog and protector of women’s rights no matter the ideology of our White House.”  CNS

Trump administration issues rule banning bump stocks
On Tuesday, 443 days since the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history was carried out at a Las Vegas music festival with the use of rifles equipped with "bump stock" devices that allowed the weapons to essentially operate as an automatic weapon, the Trump administration made good on President Donald Trump’s promise to ban the devices. The Justice Department has issued a final rule banning bump stocks, amending current regulations surrounding the devices and making clear that guns with "bump stock devices" are effectively machine guns.  A senior Justice Department official told reporters there are currently "tens of thousands" of bump stocks in the U.S., but the official said it's hard to know a specific number. ABC

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Judge delays sentencing Flynn after rebuke
 Michael Flynn's defense attorney asked a federal judge to delay sentencing after the judge unleashed a blistering attack on the former Trump adviser's conduct. Judge Emmet Sullivan, a veteran of the bench who received his judicial appointments from Presidents Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton, admonished Flynn at a hearing on Tuesday in Washington, D.C., for lying to the FBI, which he said was made worse because of where it occurred. "In the White House! In the West Wing. By a high ranking security officer who up to that point had an unblemished career of service to his country,” the judge said. “It's a very serious offense. ... Arguably, this undermines everything this flag over here stands for! Arguably, you sold your country out!" ABC

North Carolina governor vetoing bill with congressional race redo
North Carolina's governor says he's vetoing legislation directing new elections if fraud is found in a disputed U.S. House race because he says the hastily approved bill also adds new protections for lobbyists and people who violate campaign finance laws. Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper said Tuesday he'll sign the legislation if state lawmakers remove the section. Cooper objects to details like requiring that state elections officials refer apparent campaign finance crimes to a separate commission for a confidential review on whether prosecutors are notified. The bill also would require new primary elections in addition to a new general election if mishandled ballots or other problems cast doubt on the true result in the 9th Congressional District race and force a redo.  CBS

Tucker Carlson's show loses advertisers over immigration comments
Some advertisers say they're leaving conservative host Tucker Carlson's show following his remarks that immigrants make the U.S. "poorer and dirtier." It's the latest example of sponsors leaving a Fox News Channel show after controversy, but experts say the flap is likely to blow over. So far, the biggest advertisers are sticking with him and his prime-time show, "Tucker Carlson Tonight." Carlson said last Thursday there's pressure from "our leaders" to accept immigrants "even if it makes our own country poorer and dirtier and more divided." He added Monday that in the Southwest, "thanks to illegal immigration, huge swaths of the region are covered with garbage and waste that degrade the soil and kill wildlife." CBS

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While Sears executives get $25 million in bonuses, laid-off workers struggle during Christmastime
On Friday, a U.S. bankruptcy court judge allowed Sears Holdings to hand out the bonuses after the company successfully argued that it would lose its top people if there’s nothing in their stockings this Christmas. “Under these circumstances, it would be understandable if many key employees are asking themselves whether they should be seeking other opportunities,” Sears said in a court filing last month. Sears Holdings “cannot afford this uncertainty,” it said. But the decision was blasted by critics like Carrie Gleason, policy director for Organization United for Respect (OUR) and the Rise Up Retail campaign that is helping the laid-off workers. NBC
VOA VIEW: The court was hoodwinked into believe this nonsense.

White House softens position on border wall funding days before shutdown deadline
White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said on Tuesday that President Donald Trump might be willing to accept less than $5 billion for his promised border wall in a year-end spending bill, provided that other funds could be used to close the gap. "At the end of the day we don't want to shut down the government," Sanders told Fox News' Bill Hemmer. "We want to shut down the border." Her remarks represent a new tack from the White House since Trump proclaimed in an Oval Office meeting with top congressional Democratic leaders last week that he would be "proud" to shut down part of the government in service of forcing Congress to give him the full $5 billion he wants for the border wall.  NBC
VOA VIEW: Trump should not blink.

Brexit: Cabinet 'ramps up' no-deal planning
The cabinet has decided to "ramp up" preparations for a no-deal Brexit amid uncertainty over the fate of Theresa May's proposed EU exit deal. It allocated to ministries £2bn set aside in case the UK leaves on 29 March without MPs having accepted any deal. Letters will be sent to 140,000 firms updating them on what they should do while 3,500 troops will be put on standby to help government departments. Lib Dem leader Sir Vince Cable said it amounted to "psychological warfare". With 101 days left until Brexit and many MPs still opposed to the government's withdrawal agreement, which MPs will vote on in mid-January, ministers met for a longer-than-normal two and a half hour meeting. BBC

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Trump Foundation to shut down after lawsuit exposes ‘pattern of illegality’
Donald Trump presents a mock check representing $100,000 to members of the Puppy Jake Foundation in Davenport, Iowa, on 30 January 2016. Donald Trump has agreed to shut down his personal charity, the Trump Foundation, in the wake of a succession of scandals and a looming lawsuit which exposed a “shocking pattern of illegality”. Trump had used the charity to pay off legal settlements within his business and even to buy a painting of himself to hang in one of his golf clubs. The news that the charity will shut down was announced by New York’s attorney general, Barbara Underwood, who said the Trump Foundation had signed a stipulation agreeing to dissolve the foundation under judicial supervision.  Guardian

Human rights body calls on US school to ban electric shocks on children
An international body entrusted with upholding human rights across the Americas has called for an immediate ban on the controversial use of electric shocks on severely disabled children in a school outside Boston. The Judge Rotenberg Center in Canton, Massachusetts, is believed to be the only school in the world that routinely inflicts high-powered electric shocks as a form of punishment on vulnerable children and adults. About 47 of its students are currently subjected to the “treatment”, which involves individuals being zapped with electric currents far more powerful than those discharged by stun guns.  Guardian

Trump urges Kosovo to seize chance for peace with Serbia
U.S. President Donald Trump urged his Kosovan counterpart Hashim Thaçi to seize the chance to seal a permanent peace deal with Serbia. In a surprise intervention in faltering talks between the Balkan states, Trump held out the prospect in a letter of a White House meeting with Thaçi and Serbian President Aleksandar Vu?i? if they reach a deal. Vu?i? received a similar letter from Trump, his media adviser said. "I urge you and the leaders of Kosovo to seize this unique moment, speak with a unified voice during the peace talks, and refrain from actions that would make an agreement more difficult to achieve," Trump wrote in his letter to Thaçi dated December 14, which the Kosovan president published on his Facebook page on Tuesday. Politico

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Arizona governor to appoint Martha McSally to Senate
Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey has appointed GOP Rep. Martha McSally to the Senate seat being vacated by GOP Sen. Jon Kyl — tapping McSally as the Republican contender in a 2020 special election that will be among the most competitive Senate races in the country that year. McSally, who lost a race for Arizona’s other Senate seat to Democratic Rep. Kyrsten Sinema in 2018, will be competing to serve out the rest of the term won by the late Sen. John McCain, who passed away earlier this year. Kyl was originally appointed to fill McCain’s seat, but he will be stepping down at the end of the year to return to the private sector. Politico

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