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NEWS   MONDAY, FEBRUARY  27, 2017   NEWS

Veterans Group Blasts Sen. Warren For Support Of Undocumented Immigrants
 Members of the group Veterans Assisting Veterans joined "Fox & Friends Weekend" to discuss their opposition to the immigration policies of Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and other lawmakers. The Massachusetts-based group is demanding that the interests of veterans are placed before those of undocumented immigrants. "There's hundreds of veterans dying every day. ... Why don't we address those problems first, and then we'll worry about other people coming into our country," said Dennis Moschella, the group's president. The group would like to see the veterans be supported first, since they are the ones providing the lawmakers the opportunity to speak on these immigration issues by serving their country. Fox News
VOA VIEW: Undocumented is another word for illegal.

Republicans Divided On Russia Probe, Calls For Special Prosecutor Over AG Sessions
Republicans are increasingly divided over whether members of Donald Trump's presidential campaign made illegal contact with Russia and if a special prosecutor should be appointed over Attorney General Jeff Sessions to investigate allegations. Former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski told “Fox News Sunday” that he has confidence in Sessions, a Trump campaign supporter and former Alabama senator, and his judgment. Fox News

Christie To Lawmakers Avoiding Town Halls: Go Do Your Job
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie says Republican lawmakers should hold town halls even if that means confronting hundreds of angry progressive constituents. "Welcome to the real world of responsibility," Christie told CNN's Jake Tapper on "State of the Union" Sunday. The governor's comments come after a week in which massive crowds turned up at GOP town halls to protest President Donald Trump and Republicans' efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Christie said some of the attendees are "professional protesters," which he defined as those wearing the same shirts and carrying pre-made signs, comparing them to teachers' unions that criticized him in New Jersey. CNN
VOA VIEW: Expected from CNN - left of left.

Sanders: Not 'Impressed' With DNC Election Process
Bernie Sanders said on "State of the Union" Sunday that he doesn't believe his candidate for Democratic National Committee chairman, Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison, was defeated Saturday because the election was rigged, but the system could use some retooling. The Vermont senator was responding to a question from CNN's Jake Tapper about whether President Donald Trump had a point when he tweeted early Sunday: "Bernie's guy, like Bernie himself, never had a chance. CNN

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Trump Might Support Probe Into Yemen Raid, White House Says
President Donald Trump might support an investigation into last month's U.S. raid in Yemen that killed several al Qaeda militants but also left a Navy SEAL and several civilians dead, the White House said on Sunday. "I haven't had the chance to speak with him directly about that, but I would imagine that he would be supportive of that," White House deputy press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said on ABC's "This Week" television program. Navy SEAL William "Ryan" Owens, 36, was killed in the raid on a branch of al Qaeda, also known as AQAP, in al Bayda province on Jan. 29, the first operation authorized by Trump as commander in chief. Reuters

White House Does Not Rule Out Sessions Recusal On Russia Probes
The White House on Sunday did not rule out that Attorney General Jeff Sessions may recuse himself from Justice Department investigations into allegations of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. Sarah Huckabee Sanders, a deputy White House press secretary, said congressional investigations into possible Russian hacking of Democratic groups would have to run their course before Sessions needed to decide whether to step aside from the FBI probes. Sessions was a top adviser to President Donald Trump, a Republican, during the 2016 presidential campaign. Reuters

Samsung Unveils New Tablets Before The Start Of Mobile World Congress
Samsung unveiled two new tablets on Sunday before the start of the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, where the company, as expected, broke from tradition and did not release a flagship smartphone. The Sunday press conference is an annual event for Samsung, with the time slot usually reserved for introducing the latest Galaxy smartphones. However, after two Samsung Galaxy Note7 recalls, resulting in the smartphone being pulled from the market, the company appears to be taking their time before releasing the next generation of smartphones. Patrick Moorhead, principal analyst at Moor Insights & Strategy, told NBC News this decision could be based on two big reasons. "First, Samsung expended many resources to find the root cause of the Note7 issues and change their processes to assure it won't happen again. Secondly, the expectation is that Apple will really extend themselves to make the next iPhone dramatically different, so Samsung benefits from the extra time," Moorhead said. MSNBC

Father Of Navy SEAL Killed In Yemen Raid Refused To Meet Trump At Ceremony
The younger Owens, a 36-year-old married father of three originally from Peoria, Illinois, was the lone U.S. fatality in the Jan. 27 raid on a suspected al-Qaida compound. Approximately 16 civilians and 14 militants died in the raid, which the Pentagon said was aimed at capturing information on potential al-Qaida attacks against the U.S. and its allies. The elder Owens, a retired Fort Lauderdale police detective and veteran, told the Herald he refused to meet with the president because the family had requested a private ceremony. "I'm sorry, I don't want to see him,'' Owens recalled telling the chaplain who informed him that Trump was on his way from Washington. "I told them I don't want to meet the president.'' He said he was also troubled by the attack Trump leveled at Khizr and Ghazala Kahn, an American Muslim family whose Army officer son died in Iraq in 2004. The couple had criticized him at the Democratic National Convention last summer. He also questioned why the president approved the raid a week after taking office. MSNBC

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Tom Perez, New DNC Chairman, Suggests Trump ‘Rigged’ General Election
Newly elected Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez is suggesting President Trump may have “rigged” the general election with the help of the Russians. “Frankly, what we need to be looking at is whether this election was rigged by Donald Trump and his buddy, [Russian President] Vladimir Putin,” Mr. Perez said Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “We need an independent investigation, because that is a serious, serious issue,” said Mr. Perez, former labor secretary for President Barack Obama. “And the American people need to understand whether the Russians, in cahoots with the Trump folks and others, rigged the election.” Washington Times
VOA VIEW: Perez is a liberal idiot.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi: Republicans Won’t Repeal Obamacare
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi says congressional Republicans won’t repeal Obamacare because they don’t have the votes and have not come up with a sufficient replacement plan. “They won’t be able to do that,” the California Democrat said Sunday on ABC’s “This Week.” “How can they do it? They don’t have the votes.” Ms. Pelosi said Republicans have been “baying at the moon for seven years” about repealing the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, but have failed to put forward a substitute since taking power. “They’ve been baying at the moon that they had a better idea,” she said. “They’ve come up with nothing.” Washington Times
VOA VIEW: Pelosi will be proven wrong, again
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Ohio Gov. Kasich Says House Conservatives May Cause "Problem" Passing Obamacare Replacement
As Republicans try to figure out how to repeal the Affordable Care Act, Ohio Gov. John Kasich says they’ll encounter “a problem” passing replacement legislation with some House conservatives if it still includes any vestiges of the original law. Because of that, he said, the GOP will need to reach out to Democrats to be successful. Kasich was asked whether he agreed with former House Speaker John Boehner’s recent characterization of the issue: “Most of the Affordable Care Act, in the framework, is going to stay there,” Boehner said, adding that Republicans are “basically going to fix the flaws and put a more conservative box around it.” CBS

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Ex-CIA Director John Brennan Says Trump Travel Ban Won't "Help In Any Wignificant Way"
Qith President Donald Trump expected to release his revised travel ban this week, former CIA Director John Brennan said Sunday that he doesn’t believe it will make the country significantly safer. “I don’t think the travel ban is going to help in any significant way,” Brennan told CBS’ “Face the Nation” in his first media interview since leaving the CIA. Referring to the Department of Homeland Security’s report released last week, which found that citizens of the seven countries included in the travel ban are “rarely implicated” in U.S.-based terrorism, Brennan said the White House needs to consider more than just a person’s country of origin when crafting plans to prevent terrorists from entering the U.S. CBS

Pelosi: President Trump 'Has Nothing To Show' For 1St Month In Office Except 'Fear'
House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi said that President Trump will have no positive achievements to point to when he gives his first address to a joint session of Congress Tuesday night. "He has nothing to show for it but fear in every way," Pelosi told ABC News chief anchor George Stephanopoulos Sunday on "This Week." "To people who are sick -- fear, to people who are immigrants -- fear, to people who are concerned about the greed on Wall Street -- taking us back to where we were." ABC
VOA VIEW: Pelosi has lost her mind.

Naming Airport After Clintons Doesn't Fly With GOP Lawmaker
With his party now holding all of the levers of power in Arkansas politics, a Republican state lawmaker is pushing to remove the names of the state's most famous Democrats — Bill and Hillary Clinton — from Little Rock's airport. Sen. Jason Rapert says pilots have complained to him about flying into Bill and Hillary Clinton National Airport and that Arkansas shouldn't honor a former president who was impeached over his affair with a White House intern. "The bill is to prevent any further embarrassment by the airport's name," Rapert said Friday. Other women have accused the ex-president and ex-governor of sexual harassment, and they shouldn't have to be reminded when they travel through Arkansas' busiest hub, he said. ABC

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Past CIA Director Brennan Says Russia Probe Must Be Bipartisan
The comment came a day after Senator Mark Warner of Virginia, top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, said he may pull his support from the panel’s investigation. Warner spoke following reports in the Washington Post that committee chair Richard Burr, a North Carolina Republican, had challenged media reports about contacts between Russia and associates of President Donald Trump at the request of the White House. “It’s very important that the investigation be done in a bipartisan fashion,” Brennan, who left the government in January, said on CBS’ “Face the Nation” on Sunday. “If it’s only one party that’s going to be leading this, it is not going to deliver the results that the American people need and deserve.” Bloomberg

Takata, U.S. Said To Nominate Feinberg To Oversee Air Bag Fund
Takata Corp. and the U.S. Justice Department have nominated Kenneth Feinberg to design and run a settlement fund of almost $1 billion to compensate consumers over the deadly risks of its air bags and automakers for the cost to replace them, according to two people familiar with the matter. A federal judge will consider Feinberg’s appointment during a hearing Monday in Detroit, where the Tokyo-based company is expected to plead guilty to hiding the deadly risks of its air bags for about 15 years, said the people, who weren’t authorized to discuss the matter publicly. U.S. prosecutors charged three former Takata executives for their alleged roles. The faulty air bags have been linked to at least 17 deaths around the globe. Bloomberg

New Dem Party Chairman Perez Pledges To Repair, Unite Party
Newly elected Democratic national chairman Tom Perez pledged on Sunday to unite a fractured party, rebuild at all levels from "school board to the Senate" and reach out to chunks of rural America left feeling forgotten in the 2016 election. Speaking in television interviews, Perez indicated that an important first step was joining with vanquished rival Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison, who agreed at Perez's invitation to serve as the Democratic National Committee's deputy chairman. Perez said the two would work hard to put out an affirmative party message while opposing President Donald Trump's policies, adding that he and Ellison were already getting a "good kick" that Trump was stirred to tweet that the DNC election was "rigged." "We lead with our values and we lead with our actions," Perez said, describing a party focus that will emphasize protecting Social Security, Medicare and "growing good jobs in this economy." Las Vegas Sun
VOA VIEW: The Party is broken and Perez is part of the problem.

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Francis Becomes First Pope To Visit An Anglican Church In Rome
Pope Francis on Sunday became the first Catholic pontiff to visit an Anglican parish in Rome, using the historic occasion to press for greater closeness after centuries of mistrust, prejudices and hostility between the two churches. Francis and the Anglican bishop in Europe, Robert Innes, prayed side-by-side in the All Saints Church not far from the Spanish Steps. Innes welcomed Francis by praising the Roman Catholic leader for his solidarity with refugees and migrants. Anglicans split from Catholicism in 1534, after England's King Henry VIII was denied a marriage annulment. Las Vegas Sun

U.S. Supreme Court Weighs N.C. Law Banning Sex Offenders From Social Media
The U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments Monday on whether a North Carolina law banning registered sex offenders from "accessing" social media sites, including Facebook, violates the First Amendment. In 2010, Lester Packingham Jr. was convicted of violating a North Carolina law that makes it a crime for a registered sex offender to "access" a commercial social networking website open to those under 18. Packingham was designated a sex offender in 2002 when he pleaded guilty at 21 of having consensual sex with a 13-year-old girl he said he was dating. He received a suspended sentence and he was required to register as a sex offender -- a designation that lasts 30 years. UPI

White House: Wait To See If Special Prosecutor Needed In Russian Probe
A White House spokeswoman said Sunday it's too early to decide whether the attorney general should recuse himself and appoint a special prosecutor to examine Russia's role in the 2016 election. Jeff Sessions, while serving as a U.S. senator, was an adviser during Donald Trump's presidential campaign and was appointed to run the Justice Department, which includes the FBI. Democrats say he can't be impartial in the investigation. "I don't think we're there yet," Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the White House deputy press secretary, told ABC's George Stephanopoulos on This Week. Then she clarified her comments: "I wasn't saying that he shouldn't recuse himself or that he should. My point is I don't think we're there yet. Let's work through this process. You guys want to jump to the very end of the line. That's not how this works. Typically, you go through a congressional oversight review. We're doing that. Let's not go to the very end of the extreme. Let's let this play out the way it should." UPI

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CLEAR UPTICK IN US ANTISEMITISM SINCE ELECTION, SAYS ADL
The desecration of a Jewish cemetery in Missouri last week prompted outcry from Jewish groups nationwide: The problem of antisemitism in the United States appears to be rapidly worsening. They can see it, and they can feel it. And the rest of the country is beginning to sense it as well. But who is measuring it? That would be the Federal Bureau of Investigation, which records hate crimes nationwide, and the Anti-Defamation League, the non-governmental organization which tracks and verifies antisemitic incidents on an annual basis. Jerusalem Post

TRUMP MAY PULL US OUT OF UN HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL DUE TO ISRAEL BIAS
The Trump admistration may soon back Israel on its claim of UN bias and pull out of the organization's Human Rights Council, Politico reported on Saturday. According to the report, the administration is not expected to withdraw ahead of the council’s next session that begins on Monday,  but discussion of the option has already begun and is expected to include input from Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley and President Donald Trump. Jerusalem Post

Nigel Farage Has Dinner With Donald Trump
Nigel Farage had dinner with US President Donald Trump and some of his senior advisers on Saturday. It comes days after the former UKIP leader addressed American conservatives at a conference. He joined Mr Trump for a meal at the Trump International Hotel, which is owned by the US president and close to the White House. He posted a photograph of himself with the president on Twitter, captioning it: "Dinner with The Donald." Also in the picture are the president's daughter Ivanka, her senior White House adviser husband Jared Kushner, and Florida governor Rick Scott. BBC

Germany Hate Crime: Nearly 10 Attacks A Day On Migrants In 2016
A total of 560 people were injured in the violence, including 43 children. Three-quarters of the attacks targeted migrants outside of their accommodation, while nearly 1,000 attacks were on housing. Chancellor Angela Merkel's decision to open up Germany to people fleeing conflict and persecution has polarised the country and boosted hate crime. Germany is struggling with a backlog of asylum applications and there are fears about security following a series of terrorist attacks across Europe. BBC

Mnuchin: Trump Will Not Cut Social Security And Medicare 'Entitlements'
Donald Trump’s first budget proposal will spare big social welfare programs such as social security and Medicare from cuts, the treasury secretary, Steven Mnuchin, said in an interview broadcast on Sunday. Mnuchin said Trump would use his first address to Congress on Tuesday night to preview some elements of his sweeping plans to cut taxes for the middle class, simplify the tax system and make American companies more globally competitive with lower rates and changes to encourage manufacturing. Guardian

Solidarity Is Key To Resisting Trump, Says Oscar-Nominated Iranian Director
The Iranian director behind Oscar-nominated film The Salesman told about 10,000 protesters in London that solidarity against Donald Trump’s travel ban holds the power to “stand up to fascism, be victorious in the face of extremism”. Speaking hours before the Oscars ceremony in Hollywood, Asghar Farhadi said the movement against the US president empowered people to “say no to oppressive political powers everywhere”. “I am extremely happy that the scattered reactions from people and art communities across the globe shown to the oppressive travel ban of immigrants has developed into a powerful and unified movement,” he told the protest on Sunday night. Guardian

'Swedish National Security Adviser' Who Appeared On Fox News Unknown To Government, Experts
Sweden's defence ministry and foreign office have denied that a man introduced in a recent Fox News segment as a “Swedish national defence and security adviser” works for the government. Appearing on the prime time “O’Reilly Factor” programme, Nils Bildt suggested there was a migration-driven crime wave in the country that was being suppressed by political leaders. Swedes were already on the alert for negative characterisations of their country in the US after President Donald Trump appeared to suggest, inaccurately, that the country had been hit with a terrorist attack during a rally earlier this month. Telegraph

Why Secretive North Korea Is Edging Towards A New Crisis
The assassination of Kim Jong-nam is a tale that has all the ingredients of the perfect spy novel, and just as many twists. Secretive killers, an outlandish murder weapon, ongoing mystery over the culprits and even a high-stakes family feud all come together to create one of the most captivating stories of the year. Engrossed by the drama, the world has once again turned its attention to the most relentlessly fascinating place on earth: North Korea. Telegraph

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