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NEWS   WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER  22, 2017   NEWS

Judge Slams Trump's `Capricious' Tweet Of Military Trans Ban
A Republican-appointed federal judge slammed U.S. President Donald Trump’s promised ban on transgender soldiers, saying in a ruling that his tweets announcing the plan were capricious and unqualified. The decision on Tuesday by U.S. District Judge Marvin Garbis in Baltimore, Maryland, temporarily bars the administration from implementing any part of Trump’s August directive that the military return to an earlier policy of barring transgender Americans from the armed forces. Bloomberg
VOA VIEW: The Court has no oversight over the Administration.

FCC Looks To Repeal Obama-Era Net Neutrality Rules
The Federal Communication Commission appears bound to repeal Obama-era net neutrality rules prohibiting internet service providers from slowing or blocking certain websites. The action is led by President Donald Trump appointee FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, a former commission official and Verizon attorney, who previously said the new Republican majority FCC leadership would "fire up the weed whacker" and dismantle industry regulations.  ABC News

Mugabe Has Resigned
Robert Mugabe has resigned as the leader of Zimbabwe after more than 30 years in power, according to a statement read by the speaker of the country's parliament. The speaker read a letter reportedly from Mugabe, in which he said he was resigning immediately and voluntarily in an effort to ensure a "smooth transfer of power," according to the Associated Press. ABC News
VOA VIEW: Will their be peace?

Congressman Bob Brady Under FBI Scrutiny
Rep. Robert Brady, D-Pennsylvania, is suspected of wrongdoing in the FBI's investigation into payments his campaign allegedly made to his opponent in 2012 to encourage him to drop out of the race, according to an approved search warrant application filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. Two political consultants have already been charged in the campaign finance probe involving Brady's reelection campaign, but the recently unsealed search warrant application appears to be the first time Brady himself is mentioned as suspected of criminal wrongdoing in the probe. Federal prosecutors last month said Kenneth Smukler and Donald Jones planned a scheme for the Brady campaign to make an illicit $90,0000 campaign donation to Jimmie Moore, intended to pay down campaign debt. CBS News

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Border Patrol Faces Deepening Mystery
The U.S. Border Patrol is investigating the mysterious circumstances surrounding the death of one agent and serious injury of another. Agent Rogelio Martinez died Sunday from injuries sustained in the line of duty. He and the second agent, who has not been publicly identified, were found late Saturday in a culvert near Van Horn, Texas, not far from the Mexico border. The surviving agent is in stable condition, but he apparently does not remember anything that happened, reports CBS News correspondent David Begnaud. According to an internal Border Patrol email, it's unclear if they were attacked or fell into the culvert. CBS News

Trump Pardons Two Thanksgiving Turkeys
President Donald Trump on Tuesday joined the ranks of presidents to pardon turkeys ahead of Thanksgiving, granting Drumstick and Wishbone the turkey mercy in the Rose Garden. Joined by first lady Melania Trump and son Barron, Trump said he was "pleased to report that unlike millions of other turkeys at this time of year, Drumstick has a very bright future ahead of him." The president, saying "Hi, Drumstick," predicted the turkey "is going to be very happy." NBC News

Additional Remains Of Sgt. Johnson In Niger
Military investigators found the additional remains of Sgt. La David Johnson at the site where he was killed in Niger last month, the Pentagon said Tuesday. Department of Defense spokeswoman Dana White issued a statement saying a joint U.S. Africa Command investigation team found the human remains Nov. 12. "Today, we can confirm that the Armed Forces Medical Examiner has positively identified these remains as those of Sgt. Johnson," she said. UPI

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Brazil Nears Constitutional Ban On Abortion
Bucking a regional trend toward more liberal abortion laws, conservative lawmakers in Brazil are one step away from enacting a constitutional ban on ending pregnancies — even if they result from rape or could endanger the mother’s health. A special committee of Brazil’s lower house voted Nov. 8 to enshrine “the inviolability of the right to life from conception” in the country’s Carta Magna, as the federal constitution is known, setting off at times raucous protests from pro-choice activists in more than 30 cities. For final approval, the amendment still needs a two-thirds majority in the full Chamber of Deputies, as well as in the Senate. Washington Times
VOA VIEW: The law is very broad.

Washington's Thanksgiving Proclamation Made 16 References To God; Trump's, 6; Obama's, 1
In the first proclmation declaring a national day of Thanksgiving, in 1789, President George Washington referenced God 16 times. For comparison, President Donald Trump referenced God 6 times in his recent proclamation, and back in 2016, his last year in office, then-President Barack Obama referenced God once. In his Oct. 3, 1789 proclamation, President Washington declared November 26, 1789 "to be devoted by the People of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being, who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be...." CNS News
VOA VIEW: Liberal don't like to mention GOD unless it helps their cause.

FS1's Sharpe: 'I Wish' LaVar Ball's Son Had Been 'In Saudi Arabia, I Know What They Do There' to Thieves
Commenting on the help President Donald Trump provided in getting three UCLA basketball players released from a jail in Communist China for shoplifting -- and the ingratitude of one of the player's fathers, LaVar Ball, for Trump's help -- three-time Super Bowl winner and NFL Hall-of-Famer Shannon Sharpe said Ball was "wrong" and that this wouldn't be an issue if his son "had kept his sticky-ass fingers in his pockets." Sharpe, co-host of Fox Sports' Skip and Shannon Undisputed, added that he wished the son, LiAngelo Ball, hypothetically had "been in Saudi Arabia," where they cut off a hand sometimes in cases of theft. CNS News

Trump Administration Scrambles Media Signals
President Donald Trump’s administration is scrambling media signals. The Department of Justice on Monday sued to block AT&T’s merger with Time Warner over concerns the two will use content to stiff rivals. But another agency intends to scrap rules that force internet providers to treat web traffic equally. Trying to stop AT&T’s $85 billion offer for HBO’s parent is an unusual move in itself. The success of M&A transactions based on a similar vertical structure, such as Comcast’s acquisition of NBC Universal, certainly left executives at the two companies convinced that their deal would sail through. A Republican-led White House and Congress ought to have bolstered their chances too, as the GOP usually champions looser rules that favor business. Reuters

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John Conyers Investigation Has Begun
The leaders of the House Ethics Committee say the panel has begun an investigation into allegations of sexual harassment by Michigan Rep. John Conyers. A statement from Reps. Susan Brooks and Ted Deutch says the committee is aware of public allegations that Conyers may have engaged in sexual harassment of members of his staff and used official resources for impermissible personal purposes. Newsday
VOA VIEW: Conyers has a serious problem and more coming.

Parasite From Vietnam May Be Killing Vets
A half a century after serving in Vietnam, hundreds of veterans have a new reason to believe they may be dying from a silent bullet — test results show some men may have been infected by a slow-killing parasite while fighting in the jungles of Southeast Asia. The Department of Veterans Affairs this spring commissioned a small pilot study to look into the link between liver flukes ingested through raw or undercooked fish and a rare bile duct cancer. Newsday

Russian Nuclear Facility Denies It Is Source Of High Radioactivity Levels
A secretive Russian nuclear facility has denied it was behind high atmospheric concentrations of the radioactive isotope ruthenium-106, after Russia’s meteorological service confirmed levels several hundred times the norm were found in several locations in the country during tests in late September. Guardian

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US Justice Department Threatens To Sue Harvard
The U.S. Justice Department has threatened to sue Harvard University to obtain a trove of records as part of an investigation into the university’s admissions practices following a lawsuit from a group of Asian-American students. A Nov. 17 letter from the department gives Harvard until Dec. 1 to turn over a variety of records that Justice officials requested in September, including applications for admission and evaluations of students. Telegraph

Bob Weinstein Paid £250,000 Settlement To Harvey Weinstein's Accusers
Harvey Weinstein’s brother wrote a £250,000 cheque from his own bank account to pay for a settlement with two British assistants who accused him of sexual harassment. Bob Weinstein insists that he was unaware of the series of settlements signed by his older brother, and that he had no idea of the decades of abuse he perpetrated. His claim not to know about Harvey Weinstein’s actions is significant, because it shields him from the financial fallout of any possible lawsuits. Telegraph

Ikea US Relaunches Furniture Recall After Child Dies
Ikea has re-launched a recall of millions of chests and dressers in the US and Canada following the death of an eighth child. It said items in its Malm range and other chests and dressers pose a "serious tip-over and entrapment hazard" if not secured to a wall. Ikea first recalled the furniture in 2016 after four children had died. It has no plans for a UK recall, stating that the chest of drawers "meet all mandatory stability requirements". Josef Dudek, a 2-year-old boy in California, died when he became trapped beneath a three-drawer Malm chest after he had been put down for a nap by his father. BBC

Trump Transgender And Immigration Policies Meet Legal Defeat
The Trump administration has suffered twin legal defeats on its immigration and transgender policies. A California judge permanently blocked a presidential order to cut funding from US cities that refuse to co-operate with immigration officials. And a Maryland judge blocked the administration's ban on transgender people from serving in the military. President Donald Trump's proposed travel ban has also been hit by courtroom setbacks. California US District Judge William Orrick ruled that the immigration order was "unconstitutional on its face". BBC

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Most Of U.S. To Enjoy Nice Weather For Thanksgiving
Forecasters are projecting favorable weather for most of the United States during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. As nearly 51 million Americans gear up to travel around the holiday, the Pacific Northwest will be one problematic spot for those in transit. Coastal rain and mountain snow are forecast as a Pineapple Express storm generates moisture. Airports in Portland, Ore., and Seattle, Wash., should expect flight delays, AccuWeather said. UPI

Single U.S. Airstrike Wipes Out 100 Terrorists In Somalia
A single American military airstrike killed an estimated 100 or more fighters allied with the Somali-based terror group al-Shabab, the Pentagon revealed Tuesday, adding to an an escalating body count as the Trump administration ramps up the counterterrorism campaign in the East African nation. U.S. forces working with the Somalian government on Tuesday confirmed an American sortie against a suspected al-Shabab camp ended with more than 100 fighters dead. Washington Times

Inside Trump's Decision To Embrace Moore
President Donald Trump's decision to embrace Roy Moore on Tuesday was rooted in several factors, but one of the biggest: the noise and confusion from a recent tidal wave of sexual harassment and misconduct allegations from Hollywood to media to politics. "(It) made it easier and easier to stick with Moore," a Republican source close to the White House said. Several women have come forward and accused Moore of pursuing romantic relationships with them when they were teenagers and he was in his 30s, a couple others have accused him of assault. CNN

N. Korean Soldier Defector will live: doctor
The North Korean soldier who sustained multiple gunshot wounds as he crossed the border to defect to the South last week has regained consciousness and will survive, his doctor said on Wednesday. “The patient will not die,” surgeon Lee Cook-jong at Ajou University Hospital in Suwon said in a press briefing. Lee said that it will take about a month for the soldier to recover enough to be interrogated by the authorities.  Korea Herald

Euphoric Zimbabwe Awaits Arrival Of Former Mugabe Deputy
The morning after ecstatic celebrations over the resignation of the long-ruling President Robert Mugabe, the people of Zimbabwe awaited Wednesday the arrival of his former vice president, expected now to become the interim leader. Emmerson Mnangagwa, believed to be in South Africa, will arrive in the afternoon and then be sworn in Friday having been nominated by the ruling party to be the new president, according to the speaker of the parliament. Washington Post

De Blasio And His Administration Had A Warm Relationship With Kushner
Long before Mayor Bill de Blasio started to define New York City as the nexus of anti-Donald Trump sentiment, the mayor and other senior officials in his administration maintained friendly relations with the president's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, and his daughter, Ivanka Trump, emails obtained through a Freedom of Information request show. The emails, spanning from de Blasio’s first year in office in 2014 through the spring of 2017, show de Blasio’s occasionally fawning overtures to Kushner and others in the Trump Organization in the weeks after the 2016 election. They also show Kushner’s intense involvement in local and state politics, before his father-in-law’s surprise election catapulted him to becoming one of the most powerful political figures in the United States. POLITICO

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Military Personnel Reassigned Over Alleged Contact With Women During Trump’s Asia Trip
Three service members were reassigned from their White House jobs for allegedly having inappropriate contact with women in Vietnam during President Trump’s visit this month, according to a published report Tuesday. Three Army noncommissioned officers broke curfew from their detail in the southeast Asian nation, sources told the Washington Post. “We are aware of the incident, and it is currently under investigation,” Department of Defense spokesman Mark Wright said. NY Post

Your Favorite Websites Are Tracking Your Keystrokes
Hundreds of the world’s most popular websites capture user information via keylogging software, and that information – everything mouse click; every word typed – is being shared, according to research from Princeton’s Center for Information Technology Policy. The fact that websites use so-called analytics scripts is nothing new (remember Facebook a la 2013). It’s the reason for those targeted ads that seem to be reading your mind. But the study found that more sites now use “session replay” scripts. These bits of code record keystrokes, mouse movements and scrolling, along with the entire contents of the pages you visit – as if someone is looking over your shoulder, according to Motherboard. Kansas City Star

UN Envoy For Syria Urges Opposition To Unite Before Talks
The United Nations envoy for Syria urged disparate Syrian opposition groups at a meeting hosted in the Saudi capital Wednesday to come up with a united front ahead of another round of peace talks in Geneva later this month. Staffan de Mistura spoke at the opening of the three-day meeting for the Syrian opposition in Riyadh, where they are expected to come up with a unified delegation and vision ahead of the Geneva talks on Nov.28. He also called for humanitarian assistance to reach besieged areas of Syria. Houston Chronicle

They Didn’t Want A Flu Shot. It Cost Them Their Jobs.
The health system headquartered in Duluth, Minn., fired about 50 workers who refused to comply with the system-wide requirement that they get a flu shot, or who failed to meet the company’s criteria for receiving a medical or religious exemption. Monday was the deadline for Essentia’s nearly 15,000 employees in Minnesota, Wisconsin, North Dakota and Idaho to either get vaccinated or get an exemption, Minnesota Public Radio reports. Ultimately, 99 percent of its workforce got the vaccination. Charlotte Observer

U.S. Navy Plane Carrying 11 Crashes
Eight people have been rescued and are in “good condition” after a U.S. Navy transporter plane carrying 11 crew and passengers crashed into the Pacific Ocean off Japan, the U.S. Navy’s 7th Fleet said Wednesday. The search for the remaining three is continuing. This is the latest accident to befall the 7th Fleet, which is based in the Japanese port of Yokosuka, south of Tokyo, and has endured multiple collisions at sea this year, including two involving guided-missile destroyers that left 17 sailors dead. Washington Post
VOA VIEW: Prayers!

North Korea's Latest Jab At Trump
Perhaps it's because President Trump took particular offense at being called "old" that North Korea has unleashed a new insult against him. It called him — no surprise — "an old lunatic, mean trickster and human reject." It is the latest jab in North Korea media since Sunday, continuing a personal slugfest between world leaders that has no precedent. Since he became president, Trump has lashed out at North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un, referring to him as "little rocket man," "short and fat," a "madman" and threatened to wipe Kim and his country off the face of the earth if they attack the United States or its allies. USA Today
VOA VIEW: Trump's account is accurate.

Lebanese PM Puts Resignation On Hold
Lebanon's Prime Minister Saad Hariri announced Wednesday he was putting his resignation on hold to give way for more consultations nearly three weeks after he unexpectedly announced he was stepping down — a stunning reversal and embarrassment to Saudi Arabia, which was widely seen as having orchestrated his resignation. In surprise conciliatory comments from the presidential palace, Hariri said he is putting Lebanon's interest first and is looking forward to a "real partnership" with Lebanese President Michel Aoun. Tampa Bay

Bombing At Nigeria Mosque Kills At Least 50
A teenage suicide bomber attacked worshippers as they gathered for morning prayers Tuesday at a mosque in northeastern Nigeria, killing at least 50 people, police said, in one of the region's deadliest assaults in years. Bloody debris covered the floor inside the mosque in Mubi town in Adamawa state where worshippers had arrived around 5 a.m. Outside, people gathered around the dead.  SF Gate

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