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NEWS   TUESDAY, AUGUST  21, 2018   NEWS

Tension In Manfort Trial Courtroom As Jury Deliberates
After deliberating for more than eight hours Monday, and having considered the fate of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort for approximately 22 hours in total, the jurors entered the ninth-floor courtroom in Alexandria at 6:12 p.m. ET. Fox
VOA VIEW: The Government is a powerful liar.

McGahn Does Not Believe He Implicated Trump In Special Counsel Interviews
White House counsel Donald McGahn does not believe that he implicated President Donald Trump in any wrongdoing in extensive interviews he has given the special counsel, McGahn's attorney told Trump's legal team in recent days. Chicago Tribune
VOA VIEW: Good!

Giuliani Walks Back 'Truth Isn't Truth' Comment
President Donald Trump's lawyer Rudy Giuliani tried to walk back his statement over the weekend that "truth isn't truth," writing on Twitter that it wasn't meant to be taken as a "pontification on moral theology." Giuliani made waves on NBC's "Meet the Press" on Sunday, responding to a New York Times report that the president's outside legal team was not aware of the extent to which White House counsel Don McGahn cooperated in special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation during the 30 hours of interviews he sat for. Politico
VOA VIEW: The truth is ...

Pope Expresses 'Shame' Over Penn Report On Abuse
Pope Francis in a letter to Catholics world-wide expressed shame and repentance over the sexual abuse of children by priests, following months in which the escalating scandal in several countries has raised pressure on the Vatican. WSJ

US Moves On New Tariffs On China
The Trump administration is moving closer this week to levying tariffs on nearly half of Chinese imports despite broad opposition from U.S. business and the start of a fresh round of talks between the U.S. and China to settle the trade dispute. WSJ
VOA VIEW: China should release tariffs on the US, if they seek reciprocity.

Trump Speechwriter Fired After Link To White Nationalists Made Public
One of President Donald Trump's speechwriters and policy aides was quietly booted from the White House on Friday — after reportedly refusing to resign — once his association with prominent white nationalists was made public. Salon
VOA VIEW: It clearly shows that Trump does not support white nationalists.

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Sex, Lies And DUIs: GOP Dumps Oppo On Dem House Hopefuls
Dramatized police dispatch calls of a DUI arrest. Allegations of sexual harassment. Court filings reviewing “failed” business investments. Those are attacks leveled against Democratic congressional candidates in a new Republican ad campaign in recent days — part of a growing effort to personalize the midterm elections and disqualify individual Democratic hopefuls early in a bid to save the Republican House majority. Politico
VOA VIEW: Guilty is guilty.

The Nuns On The Bus, Going To Mar-A-Lago To Protest Republican Tax Law
The Nuns on the Bus are headed to President Donald Trump’s backyard. For the sixth time since 2012, a Catholic social justice group is sending a group of religious sisters across the country on a bus tour ? this time to protest against the GOP tax law ahead of the midterm elections. The 27-day, 54-event tour is set to hit 21 states, including a slew of competitive congressional districts. The tour will end with a “Fiesta for the Common Good” outside of the Trump-owned Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida. Huff Post

Hillary Steps Back Into The Fray To Fundraise For Dems This Fall
Hillary Clinton is stepping back into the limelight before the November midterm elections, helping to raise money for the Democratic National Committee in a series of fundraisers, NBC News has learned. The 2016 Democratic presidential nominee will headline three events — in San Francisco, Chicago and New York — for the DNC this fall to boost the party’s chances of seizing control of the U.S. House and Senate. NBC
VOA VIEW: A liberal showcase.

Kavanaugh Pressed For Graphic Questioning Of Bill Clinton
In 1998, Brett Kavanaugh, now a Supreme Court nominee, advised Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr to be tough in seeking graphic information from President Bill Clinton about his sexual relationship with Monica Lewinsky. "The President has disgraced his Office, the legal system, and the American people by having sex with a 22-year-old intern and turning her life into a shambles —callous and disgusting behavior that has somehow gotten lost in the shuffle," he wrote in a memo to Starr and the other lawyers involved. CBS

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Trump Attacks Dems 'Radical Policies' On Immigration
During an event honoring Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers at the White House Monday, President Trump attacked Democrats' "radical policies" on immigration, blaming all immigration-related crime on the party's collective "lack of knowledge, lack of understanding, or just plain stupidity." CBS
VOA VIEW: The truth hurts.

Trump Ready To Ease Rules On Coal Fired Power Plants
The Trump administration is set to roll back the centerpiece of President Barack Obama's efforts to slow global warming, the Clean Power Plan that restricts greenhouse gas emissions from coal-fired power plants. A plan to be announced in coming days would give states broad authority to determine how to restrict carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to global warming. ABC

ACLU Moves To Oppose California Bail Overhaul Bill It Once Supported
Another major supporter behind a sweeping bill to end money bail in California has moved to oppose the effort after amendments unveiled last week granted greater power to judges to decide who should remain incarcerated while awaiting trial. LA Times
VOA VIEW: Total madness.

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Fox News Guest: AOC 'Harboring Illegal Immigrants'
A Fox News guest speculated Monday that Democratic congressional candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez may have barred the media from a recent event because she was “harboring” undocumented immigrants. Ocasio-Cortez has come under fierce criticism after barring the press from two town hall events in New York that were open to the public. Newsweek
VOA VIEW: Cortez is an idiot and so is anyone who votes for her.

Trump Urges Senate To Pass Bill Cracking Down On Fentanyl Shipments
President Donald Trump on Monday urged the Republican-led Senate to pass legislation intended to crack down on shipments of illicit fentanyl through the international postal system, writing on Twitter: "No more delay!" Chicago Tribune

First Lady Says Kids Understand Pitfalls Of Social Media Better Than Adults
Melania Trump spoke out about the “harmful” aspects of social media on Monday — all while her husband furiously tweeted from his own platform a barrage of insults at numerous political operatives. Yahoo
VOA VIEW: Social media is dangerous.

Trump Elevates Brennan In Proxy Fight Over Mueller Probe
With tweets and taunts, President Donald Trump is attempting to turn one of his most outspoken critics into the public face of the Russia probe that he has long worked to discredit. In John Brennan, the blunt former CIA director, Trump believes he has found an unsympathetic foil — one with whom he can spar publicly as he seeks to bolster his public-relations campaign against special counsel Robert Mueller and a team of federal investigators. US News

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Pressure Builds On Schumer Before Kavanaugh Meeting
The goal: figuring out how to derail President Donald Trump's Supreme Court pick, conservative appellate judge Brett Kavanaugh. Up to now, participants say the strategy sessions have been cordial. Yet with Senate Judiciary Committee hearings just two weeks off, cracks in the alliance are showing. SF Gate

In 4 Swing States, Republican Governors Sound Unenthused About Their Party Nominees
Four term-limited Republican governors in swing states have kept a surprising distance between themselves and the nominees picked by their party to replace them, an unusual dissonance that could have long-lasting effects on their states. SF Gate
VOA VIEW: Foolish!

Ex New Mexico Senator Pleads Guilty To Embezzlement
Former New Mexico state Sen. Phil Griego pleaded guilty Monday to embezzlement and perjury charges for misspending and falsely reporting campaign account activity, lengthening his ongoing stay in prison. Attorney General Hector Balderas announced Monday that Griego was sentenced to an additional year based on two felony counts of perjury and two felony counts of embezzlement. US News

Paul Seeks To Cut Off Planned Parenthood Funds
Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) wants to tie a fight over funding for Planned Parenthood to a massive government spending bill currently being debated by the Senate. Paul has filed an amendment that would prevent federal funding from going to the organization and others that perform abortions. Hill

Kavanaugh Faces Key Test With Susan Collins
Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh faces a crucial test Tuesday when he sits down for a meeting with Republican Senator Susan Collins, who plans to ask him about abortion and other topics. Collins said she intended to talk to Kavanaugh about his praise for the then-Justice William Rehnquist’s dissent in Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 abortion-rights case. Bloomberg
VOA VIEW: A candidate should not make any decisions that might go before the court.

NY Times Reporter Shares Voicemail From Man Threatening Him With AK-47
New York Times reporter Kenneth P. Vogel on Monday shared a voicemail of a man threatening him and calling him an "enemy of the people." The voicemail, which Vogel posted on Twitter, began by sarcastically praising Vogel as a “genius,” then changed tones. Hill

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The GOPs Pollyanna Problem
As Cook Political Report’s Dave Wasserman recently pointed out, more than one out of every six Republican-controlled House districts doesn’t have an incumbent running this year. Having 43 incumbents not running is not just high, it’s historic – a record for at least the past century. Fox
VOA VIEW: Dems will look real bad when they lose in November.

Trump Mocks 'Phony Blue Wave', Says Immigration Will Carry GOP To Midterms Wins
President Donald Trump argued Republicans will win in the midterms because Democrats "don't mind crime" during an event on border control and immigration enforcement in the East Room of the White House Monday. NBC

Trump Says He Would Welcome Lawsuit From Brennan
President Donald Trump said Monday that he would welcome a lawsuit that former CIA director John Brennan threatened in response to the withdrawal of his security clearance, amid a rare groundswell of opposition to the president from hundreds of ex-national security officials who normally steer clear of political disputes. SF Gate
VOA VIEW: Brennan would look more dumb and a bigger loud mouth.

An Elizabeth Warren Endorsement Would Be A Boon For Galvin Or Zakim
It would be the golden goose of endorsements in a Mass. Democratic primary, in the thick of a heated campaign: A signature of approval from US Senator Elizabeth Warren. After all, she supports same-day voter registration — just like Boston City Councilor Josh Zakim does. She also praised Secretary of State William Galvin’s prosecution of a financial institution for misleading clients. “We’re in this fight together,” reads a quote from Warren that Galvin highlighted on a campaign flyer. Boston Globe

Ex-Trump Lawyer Warned For Second Time Over Excessive Campaign Contributions
President Trump's former personal lawyer in the Russia probe has been warned by the Federal Election Commission (FEC) after he exceeded donation limits to the president's campaign for a second time, The Washington Post reported Monday. Hill

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Republican House Candidate Who Says She Was Abducted By Aliens Wins Big Endorsement
When I was seven, I was positive that Bigfoot not only existed but that he also lived in the very woods behind my childhood home (and that I would be the one to befriend him). So who am I to judge Republican House candidate Bettina Rodriguez Aguilera, who believes she was abducted by aliens at that very same age? Yahoo

Trump Floats Possibility Of Taking Over Mueller Probe
President Trump asserted on Monday that he would be "totally allowed" to take over Special Counsel Robert Mueller's probe if he wanted to, in another thinly veiled broadside against an investigation he has repeatedly derided as a partisan "witch hunt." Fox
VOA VIEW: What probe - a joke.

Environmental Malpractice Washes Onto The Beach
It's true that red tide -- an evil-smelling algae bloom now fouling the precious beaches along Florida's southwestern coast -- is an oft-repeated natural phenomenon. Thousands of dead tarpons, manatees, sea turtles and other large creatures' floating offshore and onto beaches, though a jarring sight, has happened before. RCP

Trump Decries 'Coalition Of Open Borders Extremists'
U.S. President Donald Trump is referring to opposition lawmakers, as well as local and state officials who oppose his immigration control agenda, as "a coalition of open borders extremists." Trump at the White House on Monday afternoon accused opponents of waging "an unprecedented assault on American law enforcement — our greatest people," saying they are threatening Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the Customs and Border Patrol (CBP). VOA
VOA VIEW: A good fight.

Trial Begins Over Renewable Energy Proposal In Arizona
Hundreds of witnesses came to court Monday in downtown Phoenix for a trial over whether a proposal requiring the use of more renewable energy in Arizona should be barred from appearing on the November ballot. AZ Central

Trump Calls Mueller's Russia Probe A 'National Disgrace'
Trump described Mueller as "disgraced and discredited" and said "his whole group of Angry Democrat Thugs" had interviewed White House counsel Donald McGahn for 30 hours "only with my approval, for purposes of transparency." News outlets reported that Trump and his lawyers do not know the full scope of what McGahn told Mueller's team of investigators. VOA
VOA VIEW: No question a disgrace.

South, North Korea Families Reunite Decades After War
South and North Korean families who were separated during the Korean War have reunited after more than six decades. The reunions began on Monday at North Korea's scenic Mount Kumgang resort between 89 South Koreans and their family members from the North, according to South Korea's unification. UPI

Corruption Currents: Pakistan Seeks Flexible Deadline For Anti Money Laundering Legal Changes
Israeli police questioned Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for the 11th time as they pursue corruption allegations. Mr. Netanyahu has denied wrongdoing. (AP, TOI, TOI, Reuters) Separately, an Israeli firm disclosed that investigators in Guatemala visited its local subsidiary regarding allegations the firm paid bribes to win infrastructure contracts. WSJ

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