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NEWS - THURSDAY, JANUARY 17, 2019 - NEWS
A grand Washington ritual became a potential casualty of the partial government shutdown Wednesday as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi asked President Donald Trump to postpone his Jan. 29 State of the Union speech. She cited concerns about whether the hobbled government can provide adequate security. Baltimore Sun
VOA VIEW: Pelosi has lost her mind.
British Prime Minister Theresa May survived a no-confidence vote in Parliament on Wednesday to remain in office — but saw more of her power ebb away as she battled to keep Brexit on track after lawmakers demolished her European Union divorce deal. May won a narrow victory, 325 votes to 306 votes. Baltimore Sun
VOA VIEW: May won because the other option would give liberals power.
"He mentioned some pretty radical things about how he perceives the border region, which are completely irrational," said U.S. Rep. Vicente Gonzalez. "One thing that I gathered when I walked out is that he really believes this. I was kind of shocked, because some of it is just so crazy. Just crazy stuff. That is not the way the border region really is." Houston Chronicle
VOA VIEW: Gonzales is an idiot.

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The White House says President Donald Trump has signed a bill that will require some 800,000 federal employees to be compensated for wages lost or work performed during the partial government shutdown. Wednesday's bill signing was closed to the media. The House and Senate had voted to give the workers back pay whenever the federal government reopens. The shutdown is in its fourth week with no end in sight. Federal employees received pay stubs with nothing but zeros on them last week. Houston Chronicle
As U.N. secretary-general Ban Ki-moon won a reputation for diplomatic blandness, he took pains not to tread on the sensitivities of all the disparate, often hostile, sometimes warring, states that make up the United Nations. Las Vegas Sun
VOA VIEW: Kim is a loser.
A suicide bombing claimed by Islamic State militants killed at least 16 people, including two U.S. service members and two American civilians. Las Vegas Sun
Andrew Wheeler, President Trump’s nominee to head the Environmental Protection Agency, told a Senate panel Wednesday that he does not believe climate change is the “greatest crisis” and vowed to continue the administration’s agenda of rolling back environmental regulations. LA Times
The suspect was arrested by FBI agents who continued their undercover sting while not being paid during the government shutdown. Hasher Jallal Taheb, 21, is accused of attempting to damage or destroy the White House by means of fire or an explosive, according to a criminal complaint filed in federal court in Atlanta. The court papers said the FBI began investigating Taheb in March, when an unidentified citizen told law enforcement officials that he had “become radicalized.” Washington Post
VOA VIEW: Fool!
Rep. Kevin McCarthy appears to have passed his first test as House Republicans’ minority leader this week — holding the party together to sanction one of its own, Iowa Rep. Steve King, for his latest racially charged comments. McCarthy, of Bakersfield, decided late Monday to bar King from membership. LA Times

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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi wrote a letter to President Trump suggesting he find another date or location. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., is formally asking President Trump to delay his State of the Union address scheduled for Jan. 29, or to submit his thoughts in writing instead. In a letter sent Wednesday morning to the White House, Pelosi cited potential security concerns given that federal agencies are stretched thin, given their furloughed or unpaid workforce. CBS
VOA VIEW: Trump so say, no thank you.
Microsoft pledged $500 million to address homelessness and develop affordable housing in response to the Seattle region’s widening affordability gap. Most of the money will be aimed at increasing housing options in the Puget Sound region for low- and middle-income workers at a time when they’re being priced out of Seattle. New York Post
The Trump administration will roll out a new strategy Thursday for a more aggressive space-based missile defense system to protect against existing threats from North Korea and Iran and counter advanced weapon systems being developed by Russia and China. New York Post
The Treasury Department has moved to ease sanctions against the Russian oligarch Oleg V. Deripaska’s companies. New York Times
VOA VIEW: Dems are in left field.

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Some 42,000 active-duty U.S. Coast Guard members — including 700 in San Diego — and 8,700 civilian employees may get some financial relief from the partial government shutdown after the Coast Guard, along with USAA, announced a $15 million donation to Coast Guard Mutual Assistance. San Diego Tribune
California’s new law abolishing the requirement to post bail for release after arrest, scheduled to take effect in October, was put on hold Wednesday when bail bond companies qualified a referendum to put the issue before voters in November 2020. San Francisco Gate
VOA VIEW: The law made no sense - but what does in CA?
Minimum wage in Fremont will rise to $15 over the next two years. San Francisco Gate

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The U.S. Embassy in Zimbabwe said Thursday it is “alarmed” by credible reports that security forces are targeting and beating activists and labor leaders after a local doctors’ rights group said it had treated 68 gunshot cases and scores of other cases of assault. Seattle Times
The vice president’s remarks came amidst growing signs that a second summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is in the works, possibly in Vietnam. North Korea has not taken “concrete steps” to dismantle its nuclear weapons program, Vice President Mike Pence told a group of U.S. diplomats on Wednesday. Speaking to about 180 U.S. ambassadors at a conference in the State Department, Pence said Pyongyang has not yet begun to fulfill its pledge for complete denuclearization made in a summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un last June in Singapore. USA Today
VOA VIEW: NK is hurting their own chance of prosperity.
The moon will be high in the sky, which makes it the best chance to watch an eclipse in years. Washington Post
Senators on Wednesday questioned acting Environmental Protection Agency chief Andrew Wheeler in his confirmation hearing to replace Scott Pruitt permanently. President Donald Trump's nominee to take over the federal agency charged with protecting human health and the environment faced questions about the impact of the government shutdown on EPA and his views on climate change in a Senate hearing on Wednesday. Andrew Wheeler took over the helm of Environmental Protection Agency in July after Scott Pruitt, the previous administrator, resigned amid increasing ethical questions and controversy. ABC
VOA VIEW: Dems are going to far.
An American was among more than a dozen killed when gunfire and explosions erupted at a high-end hotel complex in Nairobi, Kenya, on Tuesday afternoon. An American was among more than a dozen people killed when gunfire and explosions erupted at a high-end hotel complex in Nairobi, Kenya, on Tuesday afternoon, according to the U.S. State Department and those who knew him. Jason Spindler "was tragically among the fatalities," the company he founded, I-DEV International, told ABC News in an email Wednesday. ABC

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The General Services Administration ignored concerns that President Trump's lease on a federal building could violate the emoluments clause. A new report from the General Services Administration (GSA) Office of the Inspector General found that the GSA "improperly ignored" concerns that President Trump's lease on the government-owned Old Post Office, which houses the Trump International Hotel in Washington D.C., might violate the Emoluments Clause of the Constitution when it allowed him to keep the lease after taking office. CBS
VOA VIEW: A waste of time.
As the U.S. and China negotiate on trade, Beijing is working overtime, pulling multiple levers to steady its lagging economy and boost markets.As the U.S. and China negotiate on trade, Beijing is working overtime, pulling multiple levers to steady its lagging economy and boost markets. China's central bank on Wednesday injected a record $83 billion into the financial system, seeking to avoid a cash crunch. The move is the latest in a series of stimulus efforts by Chinese officials, who have been working to assure investors that more spending and other types of policy support would be forthcoming. CNBC
The wealthiest Americans are still the hardest hit by stocks – but now, more than ever, the rest of the country feels the pinch of a decline in the market. "Household equity holdings have more than tripled as a share of disposable income at the aggregate level since the late 80s," Goldman Sachs senior economist Daan Struyven said in a study Tuesday. "A 1 percent move in stock prices now has a much larger impact on wealth levels for most groups." CNBC

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The White House sent invitations to a bipartisan group of lawmakers for a meeting aimed at finding a solution to ending the government shutdown -- now in its 25th day as the longest in US history -- but no Democrats are expected to attend. CNN's Kaitlan Collins reports. CNN
VOA VIEW: Fools!
During the longest government shutdown in US history, President Donald Trump has been losing support among those who may be his strongest supporters -- white Americans who don't have college degrees. CNN
VOA VIEW: CNN's liberal view.
Air Force veteran and triple amputee Brian Kolfage, 37, who started the GoFundMe page in December to raise money for President Trump’s border wall, said Wednesday that donors have given $7 million to his new idea: privately building the wall, according to reports. CBS News reported that Kolfage would use contributions from his new nonprofit, We Build the Wall, Inc. to build the barrier on private land. The news outlet reported that $7 million had been redirected to We Build the Wall, and more than 120,000 donors have chosen this option. FOX News
Two US soldiers, a defence department civilian official and contractor were killed, US Central Command confirmsA suicide bombing claimed by the Islamic State has killed four Americans in north-eastern Syria, just weeks after Donald Trump said the terrorist group had been defeated and announced he was withdrawing American forces.The bomber struck on Wednesday inside a restaurant in the town of Manbij, where US troops had regularly gathered. . Guardian
Shaked and has a relatively clean image, and hoped to attract right-of-center voters who were deterred to voting Likud because of corruption allegations against Netanyahu. Jerusalem Post
The report, based on a source who took part in a briefing in Washington on the plan, said it calls for the annexation of the large settlements and the evacuation of some settlement outposts. Jerusalem Post
VOA VIEW: The plan is not workable.
Lockheed Martin Corp. was awarded a $69 million contract for programming and reprogramming on all operational F-35s for the Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps. Lockheed Martin Corp. has been awarded a $69 million contract for programming upgrades for operational F-35 Lightning II, as well as associated training aircraft. UPI
China has rapidly modernized its military and increased defense spending for two decades, posing a security threat to Asia, a U.S. defense report said. The report released Tuesday by the Defense Intelligence Agency said China saw a nearly threefold increase in defense spending from 2002 to 2018. Last year, the DIA estimated Beijing spent more than $200 billion. UPI
A bipartisan group of U.S. lawmakers introduced bills on Wednesday that would ban the sale of U.S. chips or other components to Huawei Technologies Co Ltd [HWT.UL], ZTE Corp or other Chinese telecommunications companies that violate U.S. sanctions or export control laws. Reuters
VOA VIEW: Makes sense.

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COMMENTARY OF THE DAY
By
Robert Namer
Voice Of America
©2018 All rights reserved
January 17, 2019

     CNN legal analyst Areva Martin thought she was talking to a white man Tuesday while appearing as a guest on David Webb’s SiriusXM radio show. When Webb, a Fox Nation host and frequent Fox News contributor, said he considered his qualifications more important than his skin color when applying to media jobs, Martin accused him of exercising white privilege.

     But there was a problem with that, as Webb quickly pointed out: “Areva, I hate to break it to you, but you should’ve been better prepped,” he responded. “I’m black.”

     The exchange was posted to Twitter by Webb on Tuesday afternoon. He is heard in the interview saying, “I’ve chosen to cross different parts of the media world, done the work so that I’m qualified to be in each one; I never considered my color the issue; I considered my qualifications the issue.”

     Martin responds: “Well, David, that’s a whole other long conversation about white privilege, the things that you have the privilege of doing, that people of color don’t have the privilege of.” “How do I have the privilege of white privilege?” Webb asks.

     “David, by virtue of being a white male you have white privilege. This whole long conversation, I don’t have time to get into — ” Webb then interrupts her to let her know he’s a black man, causing Martin to take a pause.