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NEWS   SUNDAY, FEBRUARY  25, 2018   NEWS

Dems' Rebuttal To GOP FISA Memo Is Released; Trump Deems It A 'Bust'
The rebuttal, written by Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee, concluded that officials at the FBI and Justice Department “did not abuse the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) process, omit material information or subvert this vital tool to spy on the Trump campaign.” Democrats sought to counter claims made in a Republican memo released this month that the FBI and DOJ relied on a Democrat-funded anti-Trump dossier to ask the FISA court for a warrant to monitor Trump adviser Carter Page. Democrats have claimed that the Republican memo leaves out important information. Fox
VOA VIEW: Dems have no explanation for their stupidity.

CPAC's Schlapp, Ex-RNC Chairman Steele Have Tense Exchange Over Racial Comment
The exchange occurred on a Sirius XM radio show amid the annual Conservative Political Action Conference, in Washington, D.C., and one day after CPAC Communications Director Ian Walters said: “We elected Mike Steele as chairman because he was a black guy. That was the wrong thing to do.” Schlapp, chairman of the American Conservative Union, which organizes CPAC, apologized for the situation and said he loved Steele and considered him a friend. However, Steele took issue with Schlapp saying that he wasn’t going to “separate himself from Ian.” Fox
VOA VIEW: Talk is cheap and consequential.

Trump-Russia: Manafort 'Paid European Ex-Politicians'
Donald Trump's former campaign manager Paul Manafort secretly paid former senior European politicians to lobby for Ukraine's previous pro-Russia government, a new indictment says. It alleges the group was led by a former European chancellor; ex-Austrian Chancellor Alfred Gusenbauer has denied to the BBC that it was him. The indictment has been brought as part of a US investigation into claims of Russia meddling in the US election. Mr. Manafort denies all the charges. His former aide, and Mr Trump's ex-deputy campaign manager, Rick Gates, has admitted conspiracy and lying to investigators in a plea deal. BBC

Trump Is The NRA's Apprentice
When given the opportunity to stand in front of an audience of his supporters and call for real reforms that would have an effect, his answer was to double down on his call for more guns, including arming "well-trained, gun-adept teachers and coaches" with concealed weapons. If this refrain sounds familiar, it's because this is a position and an approach long called for by one of Trump's top cheerleaders, the National Rifle Association. CNN

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Trump Weighs 'Red Flag' Orders To Take Guns Away Quickly
At the White House on Thursday, Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi described to President Donald Trump similar efforts underway in her state to allow law enforcement to seize firearms from someone who is deemed to be a danger to themselves or others. "Good," Trump responded. At a Florida town hall on CNN earlier in the week, Marco Rubio, one of Florida’s two senators, said he supported restraining orders. While the concept has bipartisan support, some gun-rights groups have embraced it because it does not impose new regulations on firearms themselves. Bloomberg

After Testy Phone Call, Mexican Prez's Plan To Visit WH Shelved
Tentative plans for Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto to make his first visit to the White House to meet with President Trump were scuttled this week after a testy call between the two leaders ended in an impasse over Trump’s promised border wall, according to U.S. and Mexican officials. Peña Nieto was eyeing an official trip to Washington this month or in early March, but both countries agreed to call off the plan after Trump would not agree to publicly affirm Mexico’s position that it would not fund construction of a border wall that the Mexican people widely consider offensive, said the officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss a confidential conversation. Washington Post
VOA VIEW: Mexico's loss.

In Donald Trump, Evangelicals Have Found Their President
Office and looked me straight in the eyes. With a look of reflection and purposefulness, he discussed his upbringing and fondly recalled a vivid childhood memory from the 1950s: watching Billy Graham sermons on television with his father. “My father was a fan of Billy Graham,” the president said. He recalled how his father, Fred, attended the historic 1957 New York City Crusade. Mr. Graham, who died last week at 99, brought both evangelism and evangelicalism into the mainstream of American culture.  NY Times

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Trump Says Arming Teachers In Schools 'Up To States'
President Donald Trump appeared Saturday to begin refining his proposals for combatting school violence, tweeting that arming teachers as a deterrent against such often deadly violence — an idea he championed in recent days — is "Up to States." Trump heavily promoted the idea of putting "gun-adept" teachers and staff carrying concealed firearms in classrooms and schools to protect students following this month's shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, that killed 17 people, most of them students. ABC

Pelosi Fires Back At Trump Over Dreamers Remark
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi slammed President Donald Trump on Saturday for claiming that she "doesn't truly care" about so-called Dreamers. "I continue to tell people that the President cares about Dreamers because he has said repeatedly that he does," Pelosi (D-Calif.) wrote on Twitter. "He can prove it by supporting bipartisan proposals in the House and Senate." Pelosi added that if Trump fails to keep his word, "it will be impossible to trust him on anything else." The president, as he has before, claimed that Democrats do not care about children covered by an Obama-era immigration order that provides quasi-legal status and work permits to foreigners who entered the U.S. illegally as children. Politico
VOA VIEW: Pelosi is bad for Democrats.

Trump Tax Reform Gives Buffet $29BN Boost
US billionaire Warren Buffet says his conglomerate has received a profit boost of $29bn (£20bn) as a result of President Donald Trump's tax reforms, he says. Berkshire Hathaway reported a record quarterly and annual profit on Saturday. The Republican law reform, approved in December, cut the corporate tax rate to 21% from 35%. Mr. Buffett, one of the richest men in the world, opposed the plan. BBC
VOA VIEW: Buffet can always give the tax benefits to his employees or back to the government.

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'Yes, Russia Likely Did Swing Votes For Donald Trump'-Huff Post Findly Catching On?
As John Bentley waited in line to see President Barack Obama campaign for Hillary Clinton just days before the 2016 election, he worried that he’d been unable to persuade his son to cast a ballot for Clinton, too. The 24-year-old believed Clinton was untrustworthy, with new emails released by WikiLeaks providing fresh proof on a daily basis. “Can you believe it?” wondered Bentley, a 70-year-old African-American man and a lifelong Democrat. Fifteen months later, special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation has found that the skepticism that afflicted people like Bentley’s son was no fluke. It was the result of deliberate efforts by the Russian government to hurt Clinton and help Donald Trump win the presidency efforts that included the targeting of young African-Americans like Bentley’s son. Huffington
VOA VIEW: More liberal stupidity.

Attorney General Expand Foreign Gifts Lawsuit Against Trump
Attorneys general of Maryland and the District of Columbia on Friday expanded their lawsuit accusing President Trump of accepting gifts from foreign and state governments, suing him not only as president but in his personal capacity as a businessman. Legal experts say the move takes the "emoluments" clause of the Constitution into uncharted legal waters, since it has been interpreted as only applying to presidents in their official capacity. "The conventional understanding is that once the president is sworn in ... everything he does is official, so he doesn't have a personal capacity any longer. . CBS

RNC Paying Trump's Rent At Trump Tower
Soon after the Republican National Committee came under pressure for paying legal bills for President Donald Trump and his eldest son in the special counsel's Russia probe, it started covering expenses for the president's re-election campaign. The RNC is using campaign funds to pay Trump's company more than $37,000 a month in rent, and to pay thousands of dollars in monthly salary to Vice President Mike Pence's nephew, John Pence, party officials confirmedcutive director. Campaign finance experts who spoke to CNBC said this type of spending by a party committee on behalf of a campaign is highly unusual but legal this week. The rent pays for office space in the Trump Tower in New York for the staff of Trump's re-election campaign. John Pence is the Trump campaign's deputy exe, and it appears the RNC disclosed it correctly. CNBC

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If Newsweek Dies, So Does A Vivid Chapter In American Journalism
When Bruce Springsteen received cover-story treatment in both Time and Newsweek on the same day, Oct. 27, 1975—“Rock’s New Sensation,” claimed Time, while Newsweek’s cover blazoned: “Making of a Rock Star”—it was a seismic event in the popular culture and a tad awkward for both newsmagazines. It was especially jarring for Newsweek, whose editors had believed they were alone on the Springsteen story, something of a conceptual scoop, until Time’s Jay Cocks got wind of Newsweek writer Maureen Orth’s reporting the week before publication and persuaded his bosses to pounce. Daily Beast
VOA VIEW: Only a rag tabloid would care.

Olympic Games: Did Anyone Really Watch Them?
In 2011, NBC paid a total of $4.38 billion for the rights to the next four Olympics. Three years later it bought another six for $7.7 billion. At the time, the deals looked to many like a sure thing. Now, they have started looking like they could end up being more of a burden than a boon. For years, the conventional wisdom in TV had been that even as younger viewers turned away from TV, live sports were invulnerable -- after all, the thinking went, people wanted to watch live sports, well, live. In 2012, viewership of the London Games was up even though many viewers had already seen the results on social media. An average of 31.1 million people tuned in to watch the Games when they aired during prime time on a tape delay. CNN

InfoWars' Main YouTube Channel Is Two Strikes Away From Being Banned
The Alex Jones Channel, Infowar's biggest YouTube account, received one strike for that video, a source with knowledge of the account told CNN. YouTube's community guidelines say if an account receives three strikes in three months, the account is terminated. That video focused on David Hogg, a strong voice among survivors of the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. The attention has given him a powerful platform -- but it has also made him the subject of demonstrably false conspiracy theories that claim he's so skilled as a public speaker that he must be a paid actor. CNN

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'The Snake': Is Trump Describing Himself?
A theory has emerged among some commentators that Trump’s love affair with the poem represents a subconscious confession: The president identifies with the snake. “Historians will view it as obvious that Trump was describing himself in ‘The Snake,’ ” Dan Lavoie, an aide to Democratic New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, wrote on Friday. “His over-the-top recitation will be the narrative device for the first big post-Trump documentary. And they’ll think we’re all so dumb for not recognizing it in real-time.” Washington Post
VOA VIEW: Liberal propaganda.

Gay Parade Permit Sparks Major Debate In Mississippi
At first, the plan to hold a gay-pride parade here didn't seem like such a big deal. Such festivals aren't that unusual even in the traditionally conservative Deep South, and Starkville, "Mississippi's College Town," made a name for itself as the first community in the state to pass a resolution denouncing discrimination against people for sexual orientation. But when organizers applied for a permit, they ran into a roadblock: A majority of Starkville's aldermen voted it down, transforming what had been envisioned as a relatively small-scale event into a constitutional confrontation over free speech and equal rights. Yahoo News

So What Was Obama's Secret Speech For The Sports Conference All About?
But seriously, a sports conference?  Obama?  Who can barely ride a bicycle, let alone play sports?  He's not exactly the guy who'd know all that much about the topic enough to keep a secret on, except for the fact that major-league sports is getting increasingly politicized by the left, and Obama is the left. That raises questions about the real secret here: why they wanted such an unimportant conference to keep Obama's remarks secret.  Was it Obama's doing?  Or the conference that paid him for the speech?  Could be either, actually. American Thinker

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Trump Officials Fight Eviction From Panama Hotel They Manage
One of President Donald Trump’s family businesses is battling an effort to physically evict its team of executives from a luxury hotel in Panama where they manage operations, and police have been called to keep the peace, The Associated Press has learned. Witnesses told the AP they saw Trump’s executives carrying files to a room for shredding. Representatives of the hotel owners’ association formally sought to fire Trump’s management team Thursday by hand-delivering termination notices to them at the Trump International Hotel and Tower, according to a Panamanian legal complaint filed by Orestes Fintiklis, who controls 202 of the property’s 369 hotel units. Politico
VOA VIEW: Follow the money.

Google 'Bro Culture' Led To Violence, Sexual Harassment Against Female Engineer
As a young, female software engineer at male-dominated Google, Loretta Lee was slapped, groped and even had a co-worker pop up from beneath her desk one night and tell her she’d never know what he’d been doing under there, according to a lawsuit filed against the Mountain View tech giant. The lawsuit comes as Silicon Valley’s tech industry, dominated by white men, has been roiled by a series of sexual-misconduct scandals and gender-related upheavals as the MeToo movement against sexual assault of women has prompted a nationwide cultural reckoning. Mercury News

CPAC Speaker Calls Conservatives "Hypocrites" For Ingnoring Trump's Sexual Harassment Allegations
Mona Charen, a longtime conservative writer and a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, appeared as a panelist for a discussion called “#UsToo: Left out by the Left.” And, when asked what gets her “riled up” about modern feminism, she criticized conservatives for being willing to look the other way about allegations about both Roy Moore — and President Donald Trump.  Vox

All Of West Virginia's Public School Teachers Are On Strike
Thousands of public school teachers across West Virginia went on strike this week in protest over their pay and benefits, affecting more than 277,000 students. It began on Thursday, a day after West Virginia Governor Jim Justice, a Republican, signed legislation providing teachers, school service personnel, and state police with a 2 percent pay increase starting in July and scheduling 1 percent pay hikes for teachers in 2020 and 2021. The strike is poised to extend into Monday. Vox

Russian Mercenaries On US Strikes In Syria: ‘They Beat Our A**** Like We Were Little Pieces Of S***’
The Russian government has downplayed the recent strikes on Russian mercenaries in Syria, however, recordings from fighters on the ground reveal just how hard U.S. forces hit them. “One squadron fucking lost 200 people … right away, another one lost 10 people … and I don’t know about the third squadron but it got torn up pretty badly, too … So three squadrons took a beating,” a man believed to be a Russian contract soldier said in the first of three audio recordings obtained from a source close to the Kremlin by Polygraph.info, a fact-checking website affiliated with Voice of America. Daily Caller

Here’s Why Schools Are REQUIRED To Teach Illegal Alien Children
Taxpayers have spent billions of dollars educating illegal aliens and their citizen children. Much of this education is required by law. A 1982 Supreme Court case citing the 14th Amendment requires public K-12 schools to teach illegal alien children. The federal government has spent over $1 billion and states have spent over $44 billion educating approximately 12.5 million illegal aliens and 4.2 citizen children of illegal aliens, according to the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR). Daily Caller

US Will Open Embassy In Jerusalem Earlier Than Expected
The US will open its new Israeli embassy in Jerusalem in May, officials said Friday — marking a move from Tel Aviv that reverses decades of American policy and infuriates Palestinians. The move comes earlier than expected after Vice President Mike Pence told the Israeli Parliament last month the relocation would take place by the end of 2019. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Thursday signed off on the security plan for the new embassy. “In May, the United States plans to open a new US Embassy in Jerusalem,” State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said. “The opening will coincide with Israel’s 70 anniversary.” New York Post

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