From The Alpha and the Omega - Chapter Eight
by Jim A. Cornwell, Copyright © 1995, all rights reserved
"KING OF THE WEST 2020 FEBRUARY"

    This file is attached to http://www.mazzaroth.com/ChapterEight/BeastThatCameOutOfTheSea.htm from “Beast That Came Out Of The Sea” - Chapter Eight by Jim A. Cornwell, Copyright © 1995, all rights reserved.
    This link will return you to Astronomical Events To Appear Between 2014 Through 2017 A.D..
    This link will return you to King Of The West 2020 January or continue to King Of The West 2020 March.

KING OF THE WEST 2020 FEBRUARY

2/1/2020 Oil down $1.19 to $52.14, DOW down 603 to 28,256 and down definitely because of the coronavirus hitting world economies.

2/1/2020 Gun-rights rally: ‘We’re watching’ - Attendees say Second Amendment must remain intact by Jonathan Bullington, Sarah Ladd and Billy Kobin, Louisville Courier Journal USA TODAY NETWORK
    FRANKFORT – The crowd was mostly men and mostly armed. Many were wearing camouflage.
    And their rally Friday had one central theme: Kentuckians would resist any attempts to chip away at their Second Amendment right to have guns.
    “We can’t just whittle away one little piece here, one little piece there,” said Calen Studler of Frankfort.    “Then the (U.S. Constitution) doesn’t mean what it says anymore.”
    Studler, 42, also a candidate for the Kentucky Senate, was one of an estimated hundred-plus people who gathered at the state Capitol for the last of three gun-rights rallies in January, this one organized by the group We Are KY Gun Owners.
    Many made their way into the Capitol, where they complied with security as they were directed to step around metal detectors while carrying their rifles and handguns. Some then posed for photos in the Rotunda, wearing ski masks as they displayed their rifles near the Abraham Lincoln statue.
    In the cold rain outside, the gathering included speeches by U.S. Rep. Thomas Massie, R-Ky., and Dick Heller, a former Washington, D.C., special police officer whose landmark 2008 U.S. Supreme Court victory in District of Columbia v. Heller affirmed the rights of individuals to keep weapons for self-defense in their homes.    “Be vigilant,” Heller told the crowd.    “Don’t let the comrade governor turn Kentucky into Baltimore, Detroit, Venezuela ... Chicago.”
    Massie, meanwhile, told the crowd he introduced federal legislation on Thursday to lower the legal age of buying a firearm from 21 to 18.
    “If you can die for your country, you can buy a gun,” Massie said.
    Fresh in the minds of many in attendance were the events in Virginia, where Democratic lawmakers have pushed for a host of gun-control bills.
    “We see what’s happening in Virginia and we may say to ourselves, ‘That won’t be us here in Kentucky,’” said state Rep. Savannah Maddox, a Republican.    “How many years are we away from being like Virginia?    It can happen just that easily, if folks just like us are not willing to stand up and do exactly what you are doing here today.”
    Others were concerned about talks in Frankfort of a proposed extreme risk protection order, commonly called a “red flag law,” which would allow for the temporary removal of firearms from people deemed in danger of harming themselves or others.
    While so-called red flag laws have not been formally introduced this legislative session, a handful of firearms-related bills have been proposed.    One aims to repeal last year’s passage of a law allowing people to carry concealed guns without a permit; another would require background checks for private firearms sales and mandatory reporting of lost or stolen firearms to law enforcement.
    “We’re watching,” said Tony Wheatley, a leader of We Are KY Gun Owners.    “Not only for the gun issues but for all constitutional issues that come up.”
    Wheatley and others praised the Second Amendment “sanctuary” resolutions that have passed in the majority of Kentucky’s 120 counties.
    “It’s kind of like the Declaration of Independence — it was basically a letter to the king saying we’re tired of what you’re trying to feed us,” Wheatley said.    “Same thing here.    It’s symbolic.    We’re listening.    We want changes.”
    Pop-up tents lined the soggy grass outside the Capitol, under which attendees could get a free cup of coffee or hot cocoa, join a National Rifle Association mailing list, or enter a raffle to win an AR-15 courtesy of the Kentuckybased nonprofit Vets Serving Vets.
    The crowd was largely subdued as it heard from a host of political candidates and out-of-state supporters.
    In a sea of camouflage, Chris Jankoski, 34, and his friends stood out with their bright-blue Hawaiian shirts.    The group drove 10 hours from their homes in Virginia Beach, Virginia, to attend the rally in support of the Kentuckians who came to Virginia’s capital city for a Jan. 20 protest.    The shirts, they said, were meant to lighten the mood.     “You show up with a rifle, to what media claims is a crazy white supremacist rally, and you see guys with Hawaiian shirts, grilling,” said Wesley Gross, 29, also from Virginia. “The entire point was to break the narrative.”
A gun supporter holds a “red flag” sign as U.S. Rep. Thomas Massie, R-K.y., speaks during a Second Amendment rally in Frankfort
on Friday. “If you can die for your country, you can buy a gun,” Massie said. PHOTOS BY ALTON STRUPP/COURIER JOURNAL
Gun-rights advocate Dick Heller wears a “Make America Free Again” hat.
Flags and rifles were carried in the cold outside the state Capitol building.
Marcus Olmsted of Lexington tours the Capitol building Rotunda with his rifle during the gun-rights rally.
sign is held during the Second Amendment rally at the Capitol.
A scene from the rally.
Marcus Olmsted wears full military head gear on Friday morning.
From left, Cole Rankin, Jacob Lush and Bobby Burns pose for a photograph in the
Capitol Rotunda during the Second Amendment rally in Frankfort on Friday.
Gun-rights supporters pose for a photo with their rifles inside the state Capitol during a Second Amendment rally in
Frankfort on Friday. The rally was organized by the group We are KY Gun Owners. PHOTOS BY ALTON STRUPP/COURIER JOURNAL
More than 100 gun-rights supporters showed up at the Second Amendment rally at the state Capitol on Friday.
[THE NEW KENTUCKY DEMOCRAT GOVERNOR TAKE NOTICE THAT BEFORE YOU DO SOMETHING STUPID LIKE THE VIRGINIA GOVERNMENT IS TRYING TO DO AND YOU WERE ONLY DEMOCRAT ELECTED BECAUSE OF 5,000 VOTERS IN THE BIG CITIES BUT THE REST OF THE STATE ARE TELLING YOU WHAT THEY WANT AND THIS IS SERIOUS IN THAT THIS COUNTRY IS NOT GOING TO END UP LIKE VENEZUELA WITH A POPULATION THAT COULD NOT DEFEND ITSELF AGAINST THEIR SOCIALIST CONTROLLED GOVERNMENT AND I CAN GUARANTEED THAT KENTUCKIANS WILL NOT GO DOWN WITHOUT A FIGHT AND IT MAY MAKE ANYONE RUNNING FOR IT IN NOVEMBER MAY FIND THEIR SEAT IS GONE.].

2/1/2020 President Trump set to deliver ‘unifying’ State of the Union address by OAN Newsroom
FILE – In this Feb. 5, 2019, file photo, President Donald Trump delivers his State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress on Capitol Hill
in Washington, as Vice President Mike Pence and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., watch. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)
    President Trump may not mention impeachment during his State of the Union address next week.    Reports said the president’s team is preparing a unifying and optimistic message about the opportunities for all Americans.
    The president will reportedly focus on America’s working families with a message of “relentless optimism.”    On Friday, a senior administration official said the theme of the address will be ‘The Great American Comeback,’ in which President Trump will focus on continuing to build an inclusive economy.
    The speech could also be seen as a fresh start to his reelection bid.    He is expected to tout the achievements of his presidency, such as low unemployment rates and the USMCA. He has reportedly fulfilled several promises since his last annual address, including his unprecedented meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.
    The address is slated for Tuesday.    President Trump will join Presidents Clinton and Nixon by delivering a State of the Union address during impeachment proceedings and investigations.
FILE – In this Jan. 19, 1999 file photo, then President Clinton acknowledges the crowd prior
to giving his State of the Union address on Capitol Hill. (AP Photo/Win McNamee, Pool, File)
    The president said his poll numbers are the highest they’ve been since his election, despite the “constant phony witch hunts.”    On Saturday, he said tens of thousands of people are attending rallies, “which the fake news never mentions, to see ‘The Greatest Show On Earth.’
    He added, “fun because the U.S. is winning again.”

2/1/2020 Officials confirm eighth case of coronavirus in U.S. by OAN Newsroom
Employee Cynthia Bao, who is pregnant wears a protective mask to avoid getting sick, as she interacts with customers
at the Beyond Services notary in Alhambra, Calif., Friday, Jan. 31, 2020. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)
    An eighth case of the deadly coronavirus has been discovered in the United States.    On Friday, officials confirmed a man in Massachusetts contracted the virus after visiting Wuhan, China.
    The man sought care and has been quarantined since returning to the states.    Those whom he’s had contact with are also being monitored for symptoms.
    This came after officials in northern California confirmed the seventh coronavirus case in the nation.
    “Earlier today, the CDC notified us that a resident of our county is confirmed to have the novel coronavirus,” stated Dr. Sarah Cody.    “As you know, this is the first case in Santa Clara County and in the Bay Area.”
    The Santa Clara resident had also traveled to Wuhan and tested positive for the illness upon his return home.    Officials said anyone who made contact with him will be quarantined for 14 days.
Medical workers in protective suits move a coronavirus patient into an isolation ward at the Second People’s
Hospital in Fuyang in central China’s Anhui Province, Saturday, Feb. 1, 2020. (Chinatopix via AP)
    The Trump administration declared a public health emergency in the U.S. on Friday amid the rising number of coronavirus cases.    The World Health Organization has also declared the outbreak a global health emergency in the wake of its rapid spread.
    “The main reason for this declaration is not because of what is happening in China, but because of what is happening in other countries,” explained WHO Director Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.    “The greatest concern is for the virus to spread to countries with weaker health systems, which are ill prepared to deal with it.”
    So far, over 250 people have died and more than 12,000 have been infected worldwide.

2/1/2020 Chief Justice Roberts remains neutral during impeachment trial by OAN Newsroom
Chief Justice of the United States John Roberts, right, arrives on Capitol Hill in Washington, Friday, Jan. 31, 2020, for
the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. (AP Photo/ Jacquelyn Martin)
    Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts’ goal to remain neutral during the impeachment trial may have helped protect his reputation.    The presiding judge has reportedly gone through the trial virtually unscathed.
    A senior fellow at the Brookings Institution said Roberts’ success came from him not making himself the story. Democrats had called for the chief justice to play a larger role in the witness vote on Friday.    However, he refused and said the decision should be made by senators.
    “I think it would be inappropriate for me, an unelected official from a different branch of government, to assert the power to change that result so that the motion would succeed,” said Roberts.
In this image from video, presiding officer Chief Justice of the United States John Roberts speaks during the impeachment trial
against President Donald Trump in the Senate at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Friday, Jan. 31, 2020. (Senate Television via AP)
    On Twitter, Rep. Andy Biggs noted that Sen. Elizabeth Warren and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi were grasping at straws when they called into question the legitimacy of the judicial branch.    Biggs suggested this is all they have after the impeachment case fell apart.
    His tweet referred to a question Warren presented during the Senate trial.
    “At a time when large majorities of Americans have lost faith in government, does the fact that the chief justice is presiding over an impeachment trial – in which Republican senators have thus far refused to allow witnesses or evidence – contribute to the loss of legitimacy of the chief justice, the Supreme Court and the Constitution?” asked Sen. Warren.
    Her question appeared to backfire as the Senate voted to reject the motion to call further witnesses.
    However, Roberts may find himself in the political spotlight again in March, when the Supreme Court will decide whether or not to release President Trump’s financial records.

2/1/2020 Republican senators lay groundwork for bringing impeachment trial to a close by OAN Newsroom
Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., pauses as he talks to the media outside the Senate chamber during the impeachment trial
of President Donald Trump at the Capitol Friday Jan 31, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)
    Republican senators are laying the groundwork for ending the impeachment trial.    Missouri Sen. Roy Blunt said there will be no weekend session and senators will return on Monday for four more hours of closing arguments.
    Lawmakers will then be able to debate the issues into Tuesday. Blunt added the final vote on the two impeachment articles will take place no later than 4:00p.m. EST on Wednesday.
    “We decided the best thing for everyone involved is to come to that certain date, but try to eliminate any pain and suffering,” he said.     “As if this hasn’t been painful enough.”
    On Twitter, the lawmaker added the Democrats’ case used “two of the weakest articles of impeachment” to make a “half-baked case.”
    “House Democrats can’t bring a half-baked case to the Senate and expect us to make something of it,” stated Sen. Blunt.    “These are two of the weakest articles of impeachment you could possibly have.”
In this image from video, Senators cast their vote on the motion to allow additional witnesses and evidence to be
allowed in the impeachment trial against President Donald Trump in the Senate at the U.S. Capitol
in Washington, Friday, Jan. 31, 2020. The motion failed with a vote of 51-49. (Senate Television via AP)
    The announcement came after the Senate voted to block any witness testimonies on Thursday.    In a 51 to 49 vote, senators shut down all attempts to introduce more evidence in the case.
    Senators Lisa Murkowski and Lamar Alexander, among a few others, were considered key swing votes in the decision.    Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell previously predicted the outcome of the vote and has since weighed in with a new statement.
    “There is no need for the Senate to re-open the investigation, which the House Democratic majority chose to conclude and which the Managers themselves continue to describe as ‘overwhelming’ and ‘beyond any doubt.’    Never in Senate history has this body paused an impeachment trial to pursue additional witnesses with unresolved questions of executive privilege that would require protracted litigation.    We have no interest in establishing such a new precedent, particularly for individuals whom the House expressly chose not to pursue.” – Mitch McConnell, U.S. Senator

2/2/2020 Trump administration issues new travel restrictions on 6 countries by OAN Newsroom
US President Donald Trump speaks during a news conference at the World Economic
Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020.(AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
    President Trump is adding six more African, Asian and eastern European countries to the U.S.’s travel order list.    This latest move to reshape U.S. immigration policies was implemented on Friday.    It will restrict citizens of Nigeria, Sudan, Tanzania, Eritrea, Myanmar and Kyrgyzstan from obtaining certain types of visas.
    The travel order was said to be a revision of the president’s signature policies, which were previously challenged in the Supreme Court.    Unlike the travel restrictions on citizens of Iran, Somalia and other Middle Eastern countries, the new policy will not affect non-immigrant visas.    Those affected will still be able to visit the U.S. for tourism, education, business or medical purposes.
    Some viewed the move as an inconvenience, especially citizens in Nigeria.
    "Relocating to the U.S. is actually very hard, but it is somewhere I want to visit and probably relocate to if possible,” said one Nigerian resident.    “But now that sounds like something that is not even possible.”
    Homeland Security officials said the new travel order was implemented because those six countries have failed to comply with U.S. security requirements for passports and information sharing.
A police officer checks passports and vehicles at the entrance of the Channel tunnel
in Calais, northern France, Friday, Jan. 31, 2020. (Denis Charlet/Pool viaAP)
    White House spokesman Hogan Gidley has defended the administration’s stance.
    “If a country wants to fully participate in U.S. immigration programs, they should meet U.S. requirements,” he said.
    During the World Economic Forum in Davos, the president reiterated that ensuring the safety of the American people is his top priority.
    “Our country has to be safe, you see what is going on in the world,” he said.    “So we have a very strong travel ban and we’ll be adding a few countries to it.”
    The administration claimed the move will allow these six countries to have a “greater prospect” for improvement.    The proclamation will officially go into effect on February 22nd.

2/2/2020 Robert O’Brien ‘very confident’ Bolton’s book was not leaked by National Security Council by OAN Newsroom
Robert C. O’Brien, left, United States National Security Advisor, and Richard Grenell, right, United States Ambassador
to Germany, address the media during a press conference in Berlin, Germany, Monday, Jan. 20, 2020 prior to the
signing of an agreement between Kosovo and Serbia, establishing air service between the two capitals. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)
    White House National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien is saying the transcript of John Bolton’s book was not leaked by the National Security Council (NSC).    On Sunday, O’Brien said he’s discussed Bolton’s book and its recent leak to the press with members of the council.    He assured the public he’s very confident the leak did not come from the NSC.
    Last month, leaked excerpts from the book alleged President Trump could have had an intent to pressure Ukraine, which fueled Democrats’ calls for impeachment.    O’Brien said the NSC believes Bolton’s book includes classified materials and cannot be published as is.
    “I think that’s something that’s going to be investigated, what kind of notes Ambassador Bolton has, had or didn’t have. With respect to the allegation that Ambassador Bolton made, that he told (President Trump) him to call Zelensky, the president has said that did not happen.    I believe that Bill Barr and Mike Pompeo have said that that did not happen.” – Robert O’Brien, United States National Security Adviser
    The adviser said the NSC will continue discussions with Bolton to make sure the upcoming release of his book does not compromise any national security secrets.

2/2/2020 Sen. Alexander: If you start with partisan impeachment, you’re destined to have partisan acquittal by OAN Newsroom
Republican Sen. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, talks to reporters as he arrives at the Capitol for the impeachment trial of President
Donald Trump on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, in Washington, Friday, Jan. 31, 2020. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
    Tennessee Sen. Lamar Alexander said he had a “light bulb moment” when contemplating his vote to call witnesses in the Senate impeachment trial.    During a recent interview, Alexander said he realized the Senate should not be the one to decide who does and doesn’t run for president in 2020.
    “It struck me really for the first time,” he said.    “We’re not just being asked, we’re saying, ‘Tell him he can’t run in the 2020 elections.’
    Alexander said the American people are the ones who should have the power, which is why he voted ‘no’ on Friday.
    “It’s up to the American people to say, ‘Okay, good economy, lower taxes, conservative judges, behavior that I might not like, call to Ukraine…,’” he said.    “(They can) weigh that against Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, and pick a president.”
President Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally at Drake University, Thursday, Jan. 30, 2020, in Des Moines, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
    The senator added after so many hours and so much information, he also didn’t need more evidence to make his decision.    He said he was positive the president’s actions were not impeachable.
    When asked if the Senate’s partisan vote will set a dangerous precedent, Alexander said, “If you start out with a partisan impeachment, you’re almost destined to have a partisan acquittal.”    However, he pointed out the Senate made sure to do its due diligence.
    “I helped make sure that we didn’t dismiss it, we heard it.    There were some who wanted to dismiss it.    I helped make sure that we had a right to ask for more evidence, if we needed it, which we thought we didn’t.    We saw video tapes of 192 times that witnesses testified, we sat there for 11 to 12 hour days for nine days.    So, I think we heard the case pretty well.” – Lamar Alexander, U.S. Senator (R-TN.)
    Moving forward, Alexander was confident the Senate will acquit the president in their final vote this week.    He added impeachment should only be used as an extremely rare tool for grave bipartisan concerns.

2/2/2020 Sen. Ernst: USMCA, China trade deals benefit farmers in long run by OAN Newsroom
Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, talks to the media prior to the impeachment trial of President
Donald Trump at the Capitol, Thursday, Jan. 30, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)
    Iowa Sen. Joni Ernst is saying the president’s work on trade will benefit U.S. farmers in the long run.    On Sunday, Ernst touted the USMCA and Phase One China deals, which were recently passed by Congress.    She said farmers stand to gain the most from both agreements.
    According to Ernst, the administration took the right approach by raising tariffs on China, which forced them to the negotiating table.    She also said the White House acted responsibly by offering bailouts to farmers, which offset retaliatory tariffs from Beijing.
    The senator said any negative effects from the trade war on farmers are only temporary.
    “If you ask Iowa farmers, ‘Is the president doing the right thing?’ they will say, ‘Yes.’ One farmer said, ‘You know what, I’m tightening my belt.    Things are tougher right now, but I know in the long run this is going to be better for my grandchildren.    They won’t have to struggle with China cheating us the way we have experienced in the past.’” – Jodi Ernst, U.S. Senator (R-IA)     Ernst attended the signing of the Phase One trade deal with China last month, where she praised President Trump for “delivering real results for Iowa’s farmers and manufacturers.”

2/2/2020 President Trump criticizes Mike Bloomberg, DNC by OAN Newsroom
Democratic presidential candidate and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg speaks to supporters
at a campaign office, Monday, Jan. 27, 2020, in Scarborough, Maine. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)
    President Trump said 2020 hopeful Mike Bloomberg is being used by the DNC to rig the Democrat primaries.    In a series of tweets on Saturday, President Trump noted that Bloomberg is part of the leftist media and said nobody trusts him anymore.
    Reports from last year called out his company, Bloomberg News, for being biased after they decided to not investigate the former mayor.     President Trump said this decision was made because the he is “too boring,” which is something the president has stressed since Bloomberg first announced his bid.
    “Little Michael will fail.    He’ll spend a lot of money.    He’s got some really big issues, he’s got some personal problems and he’s got a lot of other problems.    I know Michael Bloomberg fairly well.    He will not do very well, and if he did, I’d be happy.” - Donald Trump, 45th President of the United States
    In a second tweet, President Trump noted how Bloomberg is spending a ton of money on campaign advertisements even though “he’s going nowhere.”

This undated image provided by Mike Bloomberg’s campaign shows a scene from the
Bloomberg’s 2020 Super Bowl NFL football spot. (Mike Bloomberg 2020 via AP)
    Rather than trying to nab the Democrat nomination, the president said Bloomberg is “working with the DNC to rig the election against Bernie Sanders, which was something they wouldn’t do for Cory Booker and others.”
    On Friday, the DNC stated it would remove its fundraising thresholds from debate qualifications, which would give Bloomberg a second chance on stage.    He is self-funding his campaign and has failed to meet fundraising qualifications for past debates.
    In one more tweet, the president emphasized Bloomberg has been negotiating his spot in the Democrat primaries.    He joked that Bloomberg is also trying to negotiate “the right to stand on boxes during the debates” in order to appear taller.
    The 2020 presidential hopeful has since called President Trump a liar and dismissed his accusations.
    “I stand twice as tall as he does on the stage, the stage that matters,” said Bloomberg.    “This is what happens when somebody like me rises in the polls, the other candidates get scared.”
In this Jan. 20, 2020 photo, former New York City Mayor, and Democratic presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg walks with
supporters along the route of the Little Rock “marade” marking the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday in Little Rock, Ark. (AP Photo/Andrew DeMillo)
[THE GLOBALIST SENT BLOOMBERG IN TO CHANGE THE CAMPAIGN RESULTS AND AS TRUMP SAID TO DO THE SAME TO BERNIE AS THEY DID IN THE 2016 ELECTION AND IS TRYING TO DO THE SAME TO TRUMP.].

2/3/2020 Calif. officials confirm 11th case of coronavirus in U.S. by OAN Newsroom
FILE – In this illustration provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
in January 2020 shows the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV). This virus was identified as the cause
of an outbreak of respiratory illness first detected in Wuhan, China. (CDC via AP, File)
    Health officials in California confirmed an 11th case of coronavirus in the U.S. On Sunday, authorities from both Santa Clara County and San Benito County confirmed three new cases of the deadly virus.
    Two of those people were husband and wife in San Benito.    Neither of them have left the house since finding out they have the virus.    In the meantime, a family in Santa Clara has been quarantined after a woman sought medical help after returning from a trip to Wuhan, China, which is where the virus was first detected.
    Authorities are still not sure how the coronavirus spreads from person-to-person.
    “There has been some question at this point whether people who are not symptomatic, but infected, can spread this even before they develop symptoms — we don’t know the answer to that,” said Dr. Marty Fenstersheib, health officer in San Benito County.    “The CDC is looking into that and trying to figure out, with the information our researchers are doing, whether indeed you can spread it.”
    This comes as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced more flights to evacuate American citizens from virus-stricken China.    He made the announcement during a news conference Sunday, while meeting with Uzbekistan’s prime minister.    The announcement comes after nearly 200 Americans were evacuated from Wuhan, China last week and placed under a 14 day federal quarantine.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks during a joint news conference with Uzbekistan’s Foreign Minister
Abdulaziz Kamilov following the talks in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, Monday, Feb. 3, 2020. (AP Photo)
    Secretary Pompeo said the flights will be scheduled within the next couple of days and the U.S. may bring back citizens from other countries as well. He made the following comments regarding the move:
    “Yes, we have a handful more flights that will be heading to China to bring Americans back home from Hubei Province.    The exact timing of those, we’re still coordinating with the Chinese government.    We anticipate that they will happen in the next handful of days and we’ll return those American citizens.    We may well end up bringing some citizens back from other countries as well.    We’re working through the details on that.”
    Moving forward, U.S. officials will continue to work closely with the Chinese government to resolve the coronavirus global epidemic.    So far, the virus has killed over 360 people and infected over 17,500 worldwide.

2/3/2020 Joe Biden loses cool after being asked about his son’s business dealings in Ukraine by OAN Newsroom
Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden speaks during a campaign
event Sunday, Feb. 2, 2020, in Dubuque, Iowa. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
    Presidential candidate Joe Biden recently snapped under questioning about his son’s business dealings in Ukraine.    On Monday, he defended his son Hunter’s former board position at Burisma Holdings, a major Ukrainian energy company, by claiming he got the job because he is a “very bright guy.”
    The former vice president went on to say, “no one’s found anything wrong with his dealings in Ukraine except it was a bad image.”    When pressed whether or not the 2020 hopeful agreed about the perception, however, Biden was quick to attack.
    Meanwhile, recently released State Department emails have suggested Biden was selling his office to pocket the proceeds of Ukrainian corruption.    A February 2016 email used Hunter Biden’s name in order to arrange a meeting between a senior State Department official and Burisma lobbyist Karen Tranmontano.
    State Department emails also showed Tranmontano wanted to lobby the U.S. government for Burisma after it faced anti-corruption scrutiny by the Ukrainian government. According to reports, several Democrat witnesses were involved in the Biden-Ukraine corruption and benefited from it.
    Republican senators, including Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), have called for a probe into the Bidens’ dealings.
    “I can promise you no one has looked at whether or not there was a conflict of interest,” he stated.    “No one has taken the time to explain how Hunter Biden got rich in the Ukraine and his father didn’t know anything about it.”

2/3/2020 Rep. Schiff refuses to say if Intel Committee would subpoena Bolton over claims of Ukraine pressure by OAN Newsroom
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., the lead Democratic manager, leaves the Senate chamber
during a break as the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump on charges of abuse of power and
obstruction of Congress stretches into the night, in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2020. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
    House Intelligence Committee chairman and lead impeachment manager Adam Schiff has continued to stir speculation of John Bolton’s possible testimony in Congress.
    In an interview Sunday, he refused to say if his committee would subpoena the former national security adviser to testify on his book after the impeachment trial ends.    The California Democrat also suggested the truth of the alleged pressure on Ukraine would eventually come out.
    The Senate voted to block additional witnesses in the trial last week, which has further paved the way to the president’s acquittal.    Nonetheless, Rep. Schiff said getting Bolton to testify may turn into a lengthy process.
    “If we continue with litigation, as we are doing at this moment with Don McGahn, and we subpoenaed him nine months ago and we’re still nowhere near a final resolution, it would probably be one to two years before we would have had a decision on John Bolton,” he explained.
    Rep. Schiff also accused Senate Republicans of denying a fair impeachment trial and vowed to continue attacks on President Trump.
FILE – In this May 1, 2019 file photo, National security adviser John Bolton talks
to reporters outside the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

2/3/2020 NRA, Democrats reject Bloomberg Super Bowl ad by OAN Newsroom
A supporter of Democratic presidential candidate former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg wears an “I Like Mike
button during a campaign event, Monday, Jan. 27, 2020, in Burlington, Vt. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
    Billionaire presidential candidate Mike Bloomberg’s Super Bowl ad campaign is facing scrutiny from both sides of the aisle.    The former New York City mayor’s ad on Sunday was meant to promote gun control and was blasted by NRA activists as well as some Democrats.
    The ad in question references a 2013 case in which 20-year-old George Kemp was fatally shot in front of a home in Fullshear, Texas.    It received backlash almost immediately after it aired with the NRA posting people’s responses to it.
    According to Breitbart News, a top DNC strategist has also spoke out against the ad by saying Bloomberg acts like he’s the only Democrat candidate working to tackle gun violence.
    All-in-all, Bloomberg spent $10 million to put his ad in the Super Bowl.

2/3/2020 Trump defense team: Acquittal is the only appropriate result of Impeachment trial by OAN Newsroom
President Donald Trump walks to a meeting in the Oval Office of the White House with Israeli Prime
Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Monday, Jan. 27, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)
    President Trump is raising questions about the so-called whistleblower as well as House impeachment manager Adam Schiff.    In a tweet Monday, the president blasted Schiff for making up details about his conversation with the president of Ukraine.
    This comes after Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C) said in an interview over the weekend that the whistleblower would be called before the Senate Intelligence Committee after the impeachment trial.
    Meanwhile, House managers and the Trump defense team delivered closing arguments on the Senate floor Monday.    Lead Democrat manager Schiff urged lawmakers in the upper chamber to convict and remove the president from office based on their weeks-long case.
    However, the president’s defense gave their rebuttal to the Democrat arguments.    They said the House majority is looking for an excuse to nullify the votes of millions of Americans.
    The closing statements came ahead of Tuesday’s last debate over the articles of impeachment before Wednesday’s vote to either convict or acquit President Trump.

2/3/2020 Trump adviser Kushner to brief U.N. leaders on Mideast plan
FILE PHOTO: White House senior advisor Jared Kushner speaks during the Wall Street Journal
CEO Council, at the Newseum in Washington, U.S., December 9, 2019. REUTERS/Al Drago
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Donald Trump’s senior adviser, Jared Kushner, will brief U.N. Security Council ambassadors on Thursday about the Middle East peace plan that Trump unveiled last week, a U.S. official said on Monday.
    The plan has had a mixed reception, with Palestinians rejecting it but Israel welcoming the president’s decision to recognize Israeli annexation of West Bank settlements.
    The plan would set forth a four-year timeline for Palestinians to develop governing institutions and rein in the Hamas militant group in order to gain statehood with a capital based in a village east of Jerusalem.
    “Jared will travel to New York on Thursday to brief UNSC ambassadors on our Vision for Peace,” the U.S. official said.
(Reporting by Steve Holland; Editing by Leslie Adler)

2/4/2020 Oil down $1.77 to $49.86, DOW up 144 to 28,399.

2/4/2020 Virginia Senate blocks another Northam-backed gun bill
    RICHMOND, Va. – The Virginia Senate blocked one of Gov. Ralph Northam’s top gun-control bills Monday, adding to the list of measures the Democratic governor supports that may not pass the legislature.    The Senate Judiciary Committee voted against a bill that would make it a felony to “recklessly leave a loaded, unsecured firearm” in a way that endangers a minor.    It’s one of eight-gun related proposals that Northam has urged lawmakers to adopt.    Virginia is ground zero in the nation’s debate over gun control and mass shootings.
[They are trying to find any way to take our Second Amendment rights away.].

2/4/2020 EU rejects Trump Middle East peace plan, annexation
FILE PHOTO: Josep Borrell, High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the European
Commission holds a news conference in Brussels, Belgium, January 10, 2020. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir/File Photo
    BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Union rejected parts of U.S. President Donald Trump’s peace plan for the Middle East on Tuesday, prompting an angry response from Israel which has strongly backed the U.S. proposal.
    The plan, announced by Trump last week with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at his side, was rejected outright by the Palestinians.    It would give Israel most of what it has sought during decades of conflict, including nearly all Palestinian land on which it has built settlements.
    The EU, which often takes time to respond to international developments because of a need for unanimity among its 27 members, had said last week that it needed to study the Trump plan before it would give its verdict.
    It made its conclusions public on Tuesday in a statement from EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell, who said Trump’s plan departs from “internationally agreed parameters
    “To build a just and lasting peace, the unresolved final status issues must be decided through direct negotiations between both parties,” Borrell said, noting the issues of the borders of a Palestinian state and the final status of Jerusalem were among those still in dispute.
    Steps by Israel to annex Palestinian territory, “if implemented, could not pass unchallenged,” Borrell said.
    Israel responded sharply to the remarks by Borrell, a Spaniard in office since the start of December.
    “The fact that the High Rep of the EU, Josep Borrell, chose to use threatening language towards Israel, so shortly after he assumed office & only hours after his meetings in Iran, is regrettable &, to say the least, odd,” tweeted Israeli Foreign ministry Spokesman Lior Haiat.
    “Pursuing such policies & conduct is the best way to ensure that the EU’s role in any process will be minimized.”
    EU policy in the Middle East tends to be cautious, as the bloc includes members with varying degrees of sympathy towards the Palestinians and Israel.    Some EU members have already recognized a Palestinian state, although the bloc as a whole says this is a matter to be resolved in peace talks.
    The EU condemned Trump’s decision in 2017 to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, saying Washington had compromised its position as a mediator for peace.
(Reporting by Robin Emmott; Additional reporting by Maayan Lubell in Jerusalem; Editing by Alison Williams and Peter Graff)

2/4/2020 EU to overhaul process for admitting new members in bid to lift French veto by Robin Emmott and Gabriela Baczynska
FILE PHOTO: European Union flags fly outside the European Commission
headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, April 10, 2019. REUTERS/Yves Herman/File Photo
    BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Commission will propose changes to the system for letting new countries into the EU to give existing members more say, in a bid to mollify France which has vetoed expansion of the bloc to six countries in the Balkans.
    In October, President Emmanuel Macron halted the process of admitting Serbia, Kosovo, Montenegro, Albania, Bosnia and North Macedonia. The Commission hopes to persuade France to lift its objections before a Zagreb summit with the Balkan states in May.
    Macron has become the most outspoken figure among European politicians who say the last big expansion, when Romania and Bulgaria joined in 2007, was too hasty, and caution is needed in adding more members from a region beset by corruption and crime.
    In November, France submitted a proposal for changes that would give leaders of member states more say over enlargement.    Paris says it supports accession for the Balkans in the long term.
    The changes the Commission is expected to unveil on Wednesday would give existing members the power to pause the process of admitting new countries, or even force countries to restart entry talks in some policy areas from the beginning.    More summits would be held in the Balkan region to give politicians more say over the process.
    “Macron wants to be seen as the kingmaker and we can accommodate that, because the EU’s credibility is at stake,” said a senior EU official involved in the reform.    “This is political and its personal, so let’s take out the drama.”
    But the Commission’s proposals would stop short of meeting some French demands, including that funds for new members should come out of money set aside for poor countries already in the EU. EU officials say such a move would jeopardize support for expansion among existing poor members.
    One EU diplomat said it was still not clear whether France would be satisfied by the new proposals: “With Macron, we have a 60% chance of success.”    All other EU governments must also agree to the new method.
    French officials in Paris told Reuters they had not seen the Commission proposals yet, but had held talks with European Commissioner for enlargement Oliver Varhelyi.
    Other countries, including the Netherlands and Denmark, have also been skeptical of expansion, but EU officials say if they can persuade France to lift its objections, those countries would probably not hold out.
    “Without Macron, neither the Dutch nor the Danes would alone bloc this; certainly not for North Macedonia, possibly not even for Albania,” a senior EU diplomat said.
(Additional reporting by Michel Rose in Paris; Editing by Peter Graff)

2/4/2020 McConnell: Senate to acquit President Trump by OAN Newsroom
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., leaves after the Senate heard closing arguments in the impeachment trial of President
Donald Trump on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, at the Capitol in Washington, Monday, Feb. 3, 2020. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
    Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he’s voting to acquit President Trump on charges levied against him by House Democrats. He confirmed his intentions while speaking on the Senate floor Tuesday.    At least 34 Republicans have reportedly said they will acquit the president, which would make a conviction mathematically impossible.
    The Kentucky lawmaker said House Democrats think President Trump committed a crime by beating Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election.    McConnell chastised the House on the impeachment process by calling it rushed and unfair.    He claimed Democrats are the ones who abused their power.
    “We’ve watched a major American political party adopt the following absurd proposition: ‘We think this president is a bull in a China shop, so we’re going to drive a bulldozer through the China shop to get rid of it.’    This fever led to the most rushed, least fair and least thorough presidential impeachment inquiry in American history.” — Mitch McConnell, Senate Majority Leader
    McConnell said elections are the ultimate tool to assess a president’s character and policies, and added that Democrats are afraid they will lose again.

President Donald Trump, accompanied by first lady Melania Trump, waves as he walks on the South Lawn as they depart the White House,
Friday, Jan. 31, 2020, in Washington. Trump is en route to his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Fla. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
    Meanwhile, has President Trump took to Twitter ahead of Wednesday’s impeachment vote to highlight his support among Republicans as well as tout what he called “a new high” in regards to overall approval.
    The president pointed to the surging U.S. economy and other major success as contributing factors to high approval.    He went on to blast Democrats for their continued “witch hunts” and attempts to remove him from office.

2/4/2020 Sen. Paul reads question about whistleblower on Senate floor after Justice Roberts refused to recite it by OAN Newsroom
Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 30, 2020, during the
impeachment trial of President Donald Trump on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. (AP Photo/ Jacquelyn Martin)
    Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) took to the Senate floor to read the question Supreme Court Justice John Roberts refused to recite during the impeachment trial.
    On Tuesday, he stated that the Constitution protects debate and said he thinks the chief justice made a big mistake by not allowing his question about the whistleblower.
    The Kentucky Republican also pointed out the law does not preserve the anonymity of whistleblower’s.    Sen. Paul specifically named the suspected whistleblower while delivering question.
    Sen. Paul said he does not support jailing or firing the whistleblower, however, he continued to point out that lawmaker as well as the American people should know if they and others had biases going into impeachment proceedings.
[I was glad to hear Rand Paul speak out again as he has been the one telling everyone what was going on as it went on death ears in the past.].

2/4/2020 U.S. deploys ‘more survivable’ submarine-launched low-yield nuclear weapon by Idrees Ali
FILE PHOTO: U.S. submarine New Mexico is seen during NATO's Dynamic Manta 2017 anti-submarine warfare
exercise, in Catania's harbour, southern Italy March 13, 2017. REUTERS/Antonio Parrinello/File Photo
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Defense Department said on Tuesday the Navy had fielded a low-yield, submarine-launched ballistic missile warhead, something the Pentagon believes is needed to deter adversaries like Russia but which critics say lowers the threshold for using nuclear weapons.
    Low-yield nuclear weapons, while still devastating, have a strength of less than 20 kilotons.    The atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima, in August 1945, had about the same explosive power.
    “This supplemental capability strengthens deterrence and provides the United States a prompt, more survivable low-yield strategic weapon,” John Rood, the under secretary of defense for policy, said in a statement.
    “(It) supports our commitment to extended deterrence; and demonstrates to potential adversaries that there is no advantage to limited nuclear employment because the United States can credibly and decisively respond to any threat scenario,” Rood added.
    A 2018 Pentagon document called for the military to expand its low-yield nuclear capability, saying the United States would modify a small number of submarine-launched ballistic missile warheads with low-yield options.
    “The administration’s decision to deploy the W76-2 warhead remains a misguided and dangerous one.    The deployment of this warhead does nothing to make Americans safer,” Democratic Representative Adam Smith, chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, said in a statement.
    Arms control advocates and some lawmakers have argued that such low-yield weapons reduce the threshold for potentially using nuclear weapons and could make a nuclear conflict more likely.    The United States already has air-launched, low-yield nuclear weapons and critics say that should be sufficient.
    “President Trump now has a more usable nuclear weapon that is a dangerous solution in search of a problem,” said Kingston Reif, director for disarmament and threat reduction policy at the Arms Control Association advocacy group.
    The argument for these weapons is that larger nuclear bombs are so catastrophic that they would never be used, meaning they are not an effective deterrent.    With less power and destruction, the low-yield option would potentially be more likely to be used, serving as an effective deterrent, military officials have said.
    The Federation of American Scientists said last week that the Navy was scheduled to deploy the low-yield warhead on the USS Tennessee in the Atlantic Ocean.
(Reporting by Idrees Ali. Additional reporting by Phil Stewart; Editing by Leslie Adler and Tom Brown)

2/4/2020 U.S. condemns Idlib assaults, stands by Turkey: Secretary of State Pompeo
FILE PHOTO: U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks during a joint press conference with Uzbekistan Foreign
Minister Kamilov Abdulaziz Khafizovich in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, February 3, 2020. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque/Pool
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Tuesday condemned the Syrian government’s attacks on Idlib province, and stated his country’s support for Turkey in light of Syria’s mortar attacks on a Turkish observation post on Monday.
    “The United States once again condemns the continued, unjustifiable, and ruthless assaults on the people of Idlib,” Pompeo said in a statement.    “We stand by our NATO ally Turkey in the aftermath of the attack, which resulted in the death of multiple Turkish personnel serving at an observation post used for coordination and de-escalation, and fully support Turkey’s justified self-defense actions in response.”
(This story corrects day of attacks to Monday from Tuesday in first paragraph).
(Reporting by Lisa Lambert; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)

2/5/2020 Oil down $0.50 to $49.61, DOW up 408 to 28,807 as no Impeachment is going to happen and Trump will be aquitted forever.
2/5/2020 Trump touts stock market’s record run, but who benefits? by Jonnelle Marte
U.S. President Donald Trump delivers his State of the Union address to a joint session of the U.S. Congress in
the House Chamber of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S. February 4, 2020. REUTERS/Leah Millis/POOL
    (Reuters) – Donald Trump loves to trumpet the hot U.S. stock market as a key achievement of his presidency, and he was in full self-congratulatory mode on that front during Tuesday night’s State of the Union address.
    “All of those millions of people with 401(k)s and pensions are doing far better than they have ever done before with increases of 60, 70, 80, 90 and 100 percent and even more,” Trump said in his address to a joint session of Congress.
    While pensions and retirement funds were lifted by the rise in stock markets, the president has avoided talking about one key point about who really benefits when the market rallies: Most of the gains go to the small portion of Americans who are already rich.
    That’s because 84% of stocks owned by U.S. households are held by the wealthiest 10% of Americans, according to an analysis of 2016 Federal Reserve data by Edward Wolff, an economics professor at New York University.    So when the stock market has a blockbuster year – such as the nearly 30% rise in the S&P 500 benchmark index in 2019 – the payoff primarily goes to people who are already rich.
    “For most Americans, a stock price increase is pretty immaterial to their well-being,” said Wolff, who published a paper about wealth inequality in the National Bureau of Economic Research in 2017.
    Roughly half of Americans own some stocks through a brokerage account or a pension or retirement fund.    But for most people, the exposure is too small for market gains to be life-changing or leave them feeling much better about their finances, Wolff said.    “They’ll see a small increase in their wealth, but it’s not going to be anything to write home about,” he said.
Graphic: The stock boom’s unequal gains png, https://fingfx.thomsonreuters.com/gfx/editorcharts/USA-TRUMP-SPEECH-STOCKS/0H001R898BRM/eikon.png
    What’s more, nearly 90% of families who own stock do so through a tax-deferred retirement account, meaning they can’t access the money until they reach retirement age, unless they pay a penalty, Wolff said.
    So who owns most of the stock market? The majority of corporate equities and mutual fund shares are held by investors who are white, college educated and above the age of 54, according to an analysis from the Center for Household Financial Stability at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
    The typical middle-class family gets the bulk of its wealth from the housing market.    Households in the middle three quintiles of wealth held 61.9% of their assets in their principal residence in 2016, according to Wolff’s analysis.    That compares to households in the top 1%, who held 7.6% of their wealth in their homes.
    Because most consumers accumulate the majority of their wealth through their homes, a rise in property values can provide a more substantial boost to household wealth than a stock market rally, said William Emmons, lead economist at the St. Louis Fed’s Center for Household Financial Stability.
    Still, the recent revival in the housing market, spurred in part by the Federal Reserve’s interest rate cuts, is not helping all Americans equally.    Rising property values benefit homeowners but make it harder for aspiring home buyers to break into the market, said Eugene Steuerle, co-founder of the Tax Policy Center, a joint venture between the Urban Institute and the Brookings Institution.
    And some people who bought homes immediately before the recession hit may still be trying to recover their losses, Steuerle said.    Their wealth may have been wiped out by foreclosure, meaning they then struggled to qualify for a new mortgage during the recovery, he said.
    That’s in sharp contrast to well-off investors, whose overall wealth surged after the crisis thanks to strong returns on stocks, property and other investments.    Some 72% of wealth accumulated between the third quarter of 2009 and the third quarter of 2019 went to the richest 10% of households, according to an analysis by Oxford Economics.    Over that same time period, the poorest 50% of households reaped only 2% of wealth gains.
    “There are a lot of families that have not yet recovered from the financial crisis,” Emmons said.
    Some more evidence that the recent stock market boom is not making everyone feel richer: There has been little evidence of the “wealth effect,” which says that people tend to spend more when stock markets are up, said Lydia Boussour, a senior economist for Oxford Economics.
    Since the recession, people have mostly continued to increase their savings even as the stock market rose.    “Consumers are a lot more cautious,” she said.
(Reporting by Jonnelle Marte; Editing by Dan Burns and Leslie Adler)

2/5/2020 Highlights from 2020 State of the Union address by OAN Newsroom
President Donald Trump delivers his State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress in the House Chamber on Capitol Hill
in Washington, Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2020, as Vice President Mike Pence and Speaker Nancy Pelosi look on. (Leah Millis/Pool via AP)
    “America’s enemies are on the run, America’s fortunes are on the rise, and America’s future is blazing bright.    The years of economic decay are over.” — President Trump, 2020 State of the Union address
    President Trump delivered his third State of the Union address to Congress.    While speaking at the Capitol Tuesday night, he presented his legislative agenda for the coming year and used the platform to tout his administration’s accomplishments.
    The president praised the strength of the U.S. economy and touched on his recently passed trade deals, including the USMCA and the ‘Phase One’ deal with China.
    “I am thrilled to report to you tonight (Tuesday) that our economy is the best it has ever been, our military is completely rebuilt with its power being unmatched anywhere in the world, and it’s not even close, our borders are secure, our families are flourishing, our values are renewed, our pride is restored and for all of these reasons I say to the people of our great country and to the members of Congress; the state of our union is stronger than ever before,” he stated.
    The president continued by pointing out the unemployment rate is the lowest in over half a century, and the average unemployment rate under his administration is lower than any administration in the history of the U.S.
    President Trump also took aim at Democrats on the campaign trail by slamming their health care plans and socialist policies, which he said destroys nations.
    “132 lawmakers in this room have endorsed legislation to impose a socialist takeover of our health care system, wiping out the private health insurance plans of 180 million very happy Americans,” he stated.    “To those watching at home tonight, I want you to know we will never let socialism destroy American health care.”
    The president also discussed his efforts to crack down on illegal immigration, which has been the focal point of his 2020 reelection campaign.
    “The United States of America should be a sanctuary for law abiding Americans, not criminal aliens,” he explained.    “My administration has undertaken an unprecedented effort to secure the southern border of the United States.”
    There were many guests present during the speech, all with special invitations from President Trump and First Lady Melania.
    The president did not touch on the impeachment proceedings.    Despite the partisanship between Republicans and Democrats, he emphasized the country is better off now than it was four years ago.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif., tears her copy of President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address after he
delivered it to a joint session of Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2020. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
    Meanwhile, tensions were clear between President Trump and Nancy Pelosi as the House Speaker could be seen ripping up a copy of the State of the Union speech right after the president delivered his closing remarks.    It was in those final remarks, however, that the president said the best is still yet to come.
    “This nation is our canvas and this country is our masterpiece.    We look at tomorrow and see unlimited frontiers just waiting to be explored.    Our brightest discoveries are not yet known.    Our most thrilling stories are not yet told.    Our grandest journeys are not yet made.    The American age, the American epic, the American adventure has only just begun.    Our spirit is still young.    The sun is still rising.    God’s grace is still shining.    And my fellow Americans, the best is yet to come.    Thank you.” — President Trump, 2020 State of the Union address
[DEMOCRATS ARE OBVIOUSLY SORE LOSERS AND WE WILL JUST HAVE TO OVERLOOK THE CHILDREN IN THE CONGRESS AS I WAS SURPRISED THAT PELOSI DID NOT WAG HER FINGER AT HIM AND RUN OUT TO TALK TO THE PRESS.]

2/5/2020 Democrats respond to President Trump’s State of the Union address by OAN Newsroom
Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer delivers her State of the State address to a joint session of the
House and Senate, Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2020, at the state Capitol in Lansing, Mich. (AP Photo/Al Goldis)
    The governor of Michigan delivered the Democrat Party’s official response to President Trump’s 2020 State of the Union address.    House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer revealed that Gov. Gretchen Whitmer would be giving the response late last month.
    While speaking Tuesday night, Gov. Whitmer rebuked many of the president’s claims, including his statements on Democrat health care plans and the U.S. economy.    She said Democrats are trying to make health care better and accused Republicans in Washington of trying to take it away.    The Michigan governor also claimed the economy under the Trump administrations doesn’t work for the American people.
    “Doesn’t matter what the president says about the stock market,” she stated.    “What matters is that millions of people struggle to get by or don’t have enough money at the end of the month after paying for transportation, student loans or prescription drugs — American workers are hurting.”
    However, the president’s recently approved USMCA and China trade deals directly help American workers.    Additionally, the average unemployment rate under the administration is lower than any other in history.
    Immediately following her speech, Gov. Whitmer prompted a wave of backlash from the Republican Governors Association.    She’s now facing heat from the association in a new digital ad campaign called “Broken Roads, Broken Promises.”
    The group looks to put a spotlight on what they claim are failures to get anything done when it comes to infrastructure.    It also touches on her vetoing of hundreds of millions of dollars in infrastructure funding.    The ads will reportedly air on both Facebook and Instagram, and are targeted toward those in the Lansing area.
    President Trump has previously called out Gov. Whitmer by suggesting she was failing the residents of Michigan.
    “I understand she’s not fixing those potholes, that’s what the word,” he stated.    “It was all about roads and they want to raise those gasoline taxes — we don’t want to do that, but she’s not fixing the potholes.”
    Polls show Gov. Whitmer’s approval ratings falling in recent months with a seven point dip in her job approval since the passage of an auto insurance reform last year.

2/5/2020 Senate acquits President Trump on both articles of impeachment by OAN Newsroom
President Donald Trump departs following a Christmas Eve video teleconference with members of the military
at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Fla., Tuesday, Dec. 24, 2019. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
    History was made on Wednesday following the Senate’s final vote in the impeachment trial of President Trump. Lawmakers formally struck down both articles of impeachment, acquitting the president on both charges.
    The Senate voted 52 to 48 against Article One: Abuse of Power.
    Sen. Mitt Romney was the sole Republican to side with Democrats, voting against the president on the first article.
    However, Republicans stood united on Article Two: Obstruction of Congress. Lawmakers voted 53 to 47 to acquit the president on this charge.    “It is therefore ordered and adjudged that the said Donald John Trump be, and he is hereby, acquitted of the charges in said articles,” stated Chief Justice Roberts.
    Wednesday’s vote marked the end of a historic period in our nation’s history.    It began last year with a whistleblower complaint, which was followed by House hearings, an impeachment vote and the Senate trial.
    Following the final vote, President Trump said he would be delivering a public statement on Thursday to “discuss our country’s victory on the impeachment hoax.”

President Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally at the CenturyLink Center,
Thursday, Nov. 14, 2019, in Bossier City, La. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)
    Vice President Mike Pence celebrated the outcome of the vote on Twitter, where he stated, “It’s over!
    Meanwhile, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell urged the public and his fellow congress members to move on.
    “This decision has been made, as far as I’m concerned,” stated McConnell.    “It’s in the rear view mirror and the consequences of it, in terms of future, are up to the voters of the country to decide who they want to lead the government for the next four years.”
    A statement from the White House reaffirmed President Trump’s exoneration and encouraged lawmakers to remain focused on the “issues that matter to Americans.”
    “President Trump’s State of the Union address made his priorities clear: It’s time to put the partisanship in Congress behind us,” read the statement.    “We must never forget that the only victories that matter in Washington are victories that deliver for the American people.”

2/5/2020 82 percent of Independents, 30 percent of Democrats approve of President Trump’s address by OAN Newsroom
President Donald Trump delivers his State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress in the House Chamber on Capitol Hill
in Washington, Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2020, as Vice President Mike Pence and Speaker Nancy Pelosi look on. (Leah Millis/Pool via AP)
    A new poll found an overwhelming majority of Independent voters approved of President Trump’s latest State of the Union address.    According to a survey released on Wednesday, 82 percent of Independents said they liked the president’s speech.
    97 percent of Republican voters approved of his address while 30 percent of Democrats said they agreed with the president’s points.    Overall, 76 percent of registered voters said they supported President Trump’s message.
    According to experts, the president’s speech was aimed at easing partisan tensions, both on Capitol Hill and nationwide.
    “He didn’t mention impeachment, which was wise (because) he didn’t need to,” said former speechwriter Paul Glastris.    “It (was) really a standard issue State of the Union.”
    The poll also found the majority of respondents endorsed the president’s view of immigration and foreign policies.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif., tears her copy of President Donald Trump’s s State of the Union address after he delivered
it to a joint session of Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2020. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
    Meanwhile, many longtime Democrats are reportedly quitting their party after Nancy Pelosi’s inflammatory behavior during the president’s speech.
    “What I’ve seen tonight at the Democrat Party, I am changing my mind,” stated one Democrat.     On Tuesday, the House speaker gave President Trump a very brief introduction, ripped up her copy of his speech, and declared his remarks a “manifesto of mistruths.”     A number of Democrats reportedly called Pelosi’s behavior “despicable” and said they will never vote Democrat again.     “Nancy Pelosi, the whole time, she’s sitting up there with a disgusting look on her face,” said another Democrat. “It’s outrageous, I will never vote Democrat again.”
    They praised the tone and the message of the president’s address, saying there are a lot of good things happening in the country.    They added the speaker’s actions pushed them towards the Republican Party and added she made the case for President Trump’s reelection.

2/5/2020 Rep. Sherrill admits colleagues are blocking legislation because they ‘don’t want to give the president a win’ by OAN Newsroom
FILE- In this Oct. 9, 2018 file photo, Democratic congressional candidate Mikie Sherrill speaks during
a candidate forum at the UJC of MetroWest New Jersey in Whippany, N.J. Sherrill is running for the
House of Representatives in New Jersey’s 11th Congressional District. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, File)
    A New Jersey Democrat congresswoman recently confirmed what some Republicans have accused the party of doing for years.    While speaking to constituents at Thursday’s town hall, Rep. Mikie Sherrill admitted her colleagues in the House have held up sending President Trump a number of bills to sign. She said they “don’t want to give the president a win.”
    “I’ve gone up to people and said, ‘I need to get this piece of legislation passed (in the Senate), then I need the president to sign it,’” stated Rep. Sherrill.    “They say, ‘Well, you don’t want to give the president a win.’
    The newly released footage left Democrat leadership at increased odds with congressional Republicans, who they’ve accused of participating in partisan politics on Capitol Hill.    Those allegations have frequently targeted Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
    In June, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi presented the press with a graphic titled ‘McConnell’s Graveyard.’    It was a play on critics’ nickname for him as the “grim reaper of socialism.”
    “Leader McConnell seems to take great pride in calling himself the grim reaper.    It’s part of his political campaign, it’s part of the pride he takes as leader of the Senate.    As you see, none of these things are going to pass, they won’t even be voted on.” – Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House
    Sen. McConnell, once again, bucked Pelosi’s comments in November.    The majority leader said he thought he and Democrat lawmakers found a way to push past politics and get back to working for the American people.    He also criticized House impeachment efforts for further delaying any legislative action by the upper chamber.
    “There are things that we have to do that are not making any progress because of the impeachment obsession over in the House.    We have to reach a deal on spending on defense appropriations.    I thought we had a deal this summer and they reneged on that.” – Mitch McConnell, Senate Majority Leader
    In 2018, Rep. Sherrill became the first Democrat to be elected in her heavily conservative district in more than 30 years.    President Trump carried the district in 2016, which could signal the region’s possible return to its Republican roots during this year’s elections.
    This time around, Sherrill will be facing off with tax policy attorney Rosemary Becchi, who has already found support from House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy.    It will be up to her party’s leadership to decide to take action on her admission or continue pressing the brakes on passing any meaningful legislation.

2/5/2020 House Speaker Pelosi under fire for behavior during the president’s State of the Union address by OAN Newsroom
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif., tears her copy of President Donald Trump’s s State of the Union address after he delivered
it to a joint session of Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2020. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
    House Speaker Nancy Pelosi added fuel to the partisan fire during the president’s State of the Union address. Both Senate and House Republicans are criticizing Pelosi for her actions on Tuesday.
    At the start of the night, President Trump gave copies of his speech to Vice President Pence and the House speaker.    While doing so, the president seemingly overlooked the speaker’s attempt to shake his hand.    Many claimed this move was unintentional because he didn’t shake the vice president’s hand either.
    However, Pelosi may have taken offense and went on to cut the president’s introduction short.    She left out customary language, including the speaker’s tradition of saying he or she has the “high honor and distinct privilege” of presenting the president.
    Pelosi has stated she did not intend the omission as a snub.    However, as the president finished his remarks, the senator made it a point to tear up her copy of the speech. She later waved the pieces at those left in the chamber.    When asked why, she said it was the only courteous thing to do considering the alternatives.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif., holds the copy of President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address
she tore up after he delivered it to a joint session of Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington,
Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2020. At left is Rep. Val Demings, D-Fla. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
    The White House later blasted Pelosi and said she will be remembered for disrespecting every single special guest invited by the president.
    Her actions during the speech have attracted attention from both sides of the aisle.    Some on the right called for her to be censured and stripped of her gavel.
    “I can say the dark cloud is hanging over the Democratic Party in the House, who are sitting on their hands when the president’s talking about American exceptionalism,” said Rep. Chip Roy.    “I think it was made very clear when you saw the Speaker of the House tearing up the speech at the dais here afterwards.”
    Despite Pelosi’s actions, the president is likely to be acquitted by the Senate in the impeachment trial.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif., waits before President Donald Trump arrives to deliver his State of the Union address
to a joint session of Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2020. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

2/5/2020 McCabe reportedly told investigators Rosenstein wanted Comey’s advice on appointing special counsel by OAN Newsroom
FILE – In this May 11, 2017 file photo, then-acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe listens during
a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington. AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
    New documents have exposed a former Department of Justice official’s alleged involvement in the firing of former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe.
    According to newly released notes from a 2017 interview, former Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein sought out James Comey’s advice about appointing a special counsel.    These notes, in addition to 300 pages of witness interviews, suggest McCabe told investigators Rosenstein asked him to get Comey’s opinion on whether a special counsel should be appointed.
    Comey was stripped of his role as leader of the Russia investigation after the president determined he was unfit to lead the bureau.     Rosenstein then appointed Robert Mueller to take on the Russia probe, who’s investigation did not establish a criminal conspiracy between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin.
    “You notice this with the Ukraine argument, they don’t want the President to investigate what went on.    It’s now expanded from Ukraine to the President wasn’t allowed to make entrees to his attorney general, who is investigating this spying operation on candidate Trump…it’s incredible.    They want to criminalize investigations of this activity.” — Tom Fitton, President – Judicial Watch
    President Trump is now slamming the FISA court’s decision to appoint Obama-era official David Kris to oversee changes deemed necessary by the Horowitz report.    The president argued the appointee has “no credibility.”
"..But these were dirty people, these were bad people, these were evil people and I hope that someday I’m going to consider it my greatest or one of my greatest achievements — getting rid of them,” said President Trump.

2/6/2020 Oil up $1.82 to $51.27, DOW up 483 to 29,291 as Trump’s State of the Union speech is showing strength.

2/6/2020 PRESIDENTIAL IMPEACHMENT TRIAL - TRUMP ACQUITTED - Led by Mitch McConnell, Senate declines to remove the president by Lisa Mascaro and Mary Clare Jalonick, ASSOCIATED PRESS
    WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump won impeachment acquittal Wednesday in the U.S. Senate, bringing to a close only the third presidential trial in American history with votes that split the country, tested civic norms and fed the tumultuous 2020 race for the White House.
    With Chief Justice John Roberts presiding, senators sworn to do “impartial justice” stood at their desks to state their votes for the roll call – “guilty” or “not guilty” – in a swift tally almost exclusively along party lines.    Visitors, including the president’s allies, watched from the crowded gallery.    Roberts read the declaration that Trump “be, and is hereby, acquitted of the charges.”
    The outcome Wednesday followed months of remarkable impeachment proceedings, from Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s House to Mitch McConnell’s Senate, reflecting the nation’s unrelenting partisan divide three years into the Trump presidency.
    What started as Trump’s request for Ukraine to “do us a favor” spun into a far-reaching, 28,000-page report compiled by House investigators accusing an American president of engaging in shadow diplomacy that threatened U.S. foreign relations for personal, political gain as he pressured the ally to investigate Democratic rival Joe Biden ahead of the next election.
    No president has ever been removed by the Senate.
    A politically emboldened Trump had eagerly predicted vindication, deploying the verdict as a political anthem in his reelection bid.    The president contends he did nothing wrong, decrying the “witch hunt” and “hoax” as extensions of special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into Russian 2016 campaign interference by those out to get him from the start of his presidency.
    Trump’s political campaign tweeted videos, statements and a cartoon dance celebrating that he was “vindicated.”    Trump himself tweeted that he would speak from the White House on Thursday about “our Country’s VICTORY on the Impeachment Hoax.”
    Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer said there will always be “a giant asterisk next to the president’s acquittal” because of the Senate’s quick trial and the Republicans’ rejection of witnesses.
    A majority of senators expressed unease with Trump’s pressure campaign on Ukraine that resulted in the two articles of impeachment. But two-thirds “guilty” votes would have been needed to reach the Constitution’s bar of high crimes and misdemeanors to convict and remove Trump from office.    The final tallies fell far short.
    On the first article of impeachment, abuse of power, the vote was 52-48 favoring acquittal.    The second, obstruction of Congress, also produced a not guilty verdict, 53-47.
    Only one Republican, Mitt Romney of Utah, the party’s defeated 2012 presidential nominee, broke with the GOP.
    Romney choked up as he said he drew on his faith and “oath before God” to announce he would vote guilty on the first charge, abuse of power.    He voted to acquit on the second.
    Both Bill Clinton in 1999 and Andrew Johnson in 1868 drew cross-party support when they were left in office after an impeachment trial.     President Richard Nixon resigned rather than face revolt from his own party.
    Ahead of voting, some of the most closely watched senators took to the Senate floor to tell their constituents, and the nation, what they had decided.    The Senate chaplain opened the trial with daily prayers for the senators, including one Wednesday seeking “integrity.”
    Influential GOP Sen. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, who is retiring, worried that a guilty verdict would “pour gasoline on the fire” of the nation’s culture wars over Trump. He said the House proved its case but it just didn’t rise to the level of impeachment.
    “It would rip the country apart,” Alexander said before his vote.
    Other Republicans siding with Trump said it was time to end what McConnell called the “circus” and move on.    Trump ally GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham said it was a “sham” designed to destroy a presidency.
    Most Democrats, though, echoed the House managers’ warnings that Trump, if left unchecked, would continue to abuse the power of his office for personal political gain and try to “cheat” again ahead of the the 2020 election.
    During the nearly three-week trial, House Democrats prosecuting the case argued that Trump abused power like no other president in history when he pressured Ukraine to investigate Biden and his son, Hunter Biden, ahead of the 2020 election.
    They detailed an extraordinary shadow diplomacy run by Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani that set off alarms at the highest levels of government.    After Trump’s July 25 phone call with Ukraine, Trump temporarily halted U.S. aid to the struggling ally battling hostile Russia at its border.    The money was eventually released in September as Congress intervened.
    When the House probed Trump’s actions, the president instructed White House aides to defy congressional subpoenas, leading to the obstruction charge.
    One key Democrat, Alabama Sen. Doug Jones – perhaps the most endangered politically for reelection in a state where Trump is popular – announced he would vote to convict.    “Senators are elected to make tough choices,” Jones said Questions from the Ukraine matter continue to swirl.    House Democrats may yet summon former national security adviser John Bolton to testify about revelations from his forthcoming book that offer a fresh account of Trump’s actions.    Other eyewitnesses and documents are almost sure to surface.
    In closing arguments for the trial, the lead prosecutor, Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., appealed to senators’ sense of decency, that “right matters” and “truth matters” and that Trump “is not who you are.”
    “The president’s basic lack of character, his willingness to cheat in the election – he’s not going to stop,” Schiff told The Associated Press on Wednesday, predicting more revelations would become public.    “It’s not going to change, which means that we are going to have to remain eternally vigilant.”
    Pelosi was initially reluctant to launch impeachment proceedings against Trump when she took control of the House after the 2018 election, dismissively telling more liberal voices that “he’s not worth it.”
    Trump and his GOP allies in Congress argue that Democrats have been trying to undercut him from the start.
    But a whistleblower complaint of his conversation with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy set off alarms.    The call had been placed the day after Mueller announced the findings of his Russia probe.
    When Trump told Pelosi in September that the call was perfect, she was stunned.    “Perfectly wrong,” she said. Days later, the speaker announced the formal impeachment inquiry.
    The result was the quickest, most partisan impeachment in U.S. history, with no Republicans joining the House Democrats to vote for the charges, though one GOP congressman left the party and voted for impeachment and two Democrats joined Republicans to oppose.    The Republican Senate kept up the pace with the fastest trial ever, and the first with no witnesses or deliberations.
    Some GOP senators distanced themselves from Trump’s defense.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., holds a news conference after the impeachment acquittal
of President Donald Trump at the Capitol in Washington on Wednesday. McConnell’s maneuvering played a big part
in the trial over charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. J. SCOTT APPLEWHITE/AP
[As seen above some news services just can't print anything good about Trump or will not tell you about how bad Schiff, Nadler and Pelosi have totally screwed up because they did not promote the truth only an attempt to overthrow the 2016 election and have been hell bent to impeach Trump the day he was president and since this newspaper and others are owned by Leftist the above is what they are forced to promote but I will tell you if you do not know that......
IMPEACHMENT IS TORN IN HALF and ...
ACQUITTED now is FOREVER
.]

2/6/2020 Senate votes ‘not guilty’ in final impeachment vote by OAN Newsroom
Personal attorney to President Donald Trump, Jay Sekulow, speaks with reporters after Trump was acquitted in an impeachment trial on
charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2020. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
    President Trump scored a victory in the drawn out impeachment battle.    The Senate voted largely among party lines Wednesday to acquit the president of the articles of impeachment charges.
    “The real victor today was the American people, but also the Constitution, the Office of the President, of course, the president himself,” said Jay Sekulow, attorney for the president’s legal team.
    The first article, which accused the president of abuse of power, received a 48-to-52 vote, failing to secure a super majority to convict and remove him from office.    The second article, which details allegations of obstruction of Congress, failed with a 47-to-53 vote.
    While all Democrats voted to convict the president on both charges, GOP Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) broke with his party and voted “guilty” for the first article.    Democrat Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) spoke to reporters lauding Romney for his vote and accused Republicans of engaging in a cover-up.
    “First, I do want to salute Mitt Romney, the pressure on every Republican was enormous,” said Schumer.    “And I believe the American people will realize that this was one of the largest cover-ups in the history of our nation.”
President Donald Trump holds up a newspaper with the headline that reads “ACQUITTED” during the 68th annual National
Prayer Breakfast, at the Washington Hilton, Thursday, Feb. 6, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)
    Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) also responded to Romney’s decision, but said he is optimistic the GOP has not lost the support of the American people.
    “Well, I was surprised and disappointed, but I still think that we had great teamwork on this and I think we’re in a good position going into our Senate races and the presidential race with regard to this issue,” he stated.    “There may be plenty of other issues between now and November, but I think we’re in pretty good shape right now.”
    McConnell went on to say he hopes this will be a lesson to Democrats: “I hope the message to the House of Representatives — don’t do this again.”
    With the president acquitted, his legal team and the GOP are happy to finally close this chapter in history.

2/6/2020 FBI Director Wray: Obtaining FISA warrant against Carter Page unacceptable by OAN Newsroom
FBI Director Christopher Wray testifies during an oversight hearing of the House Judiciary Committee,
on Capitol Hill, Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2020 in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
    In his first congressional appearance since the release of last year’s Horowitz report, the director of the FBI has assured he’s committed to reforming the FISA system.
    On Wednesday, Chris Wray testified before the House Judiciary Committee to highlight the alleged “failures” in the Inspector General report and asserted “they cannot be repeated.”    He said he’s already planning to make changes to FISA policies.
    “I am adding more than 40, over 40, corrective actions to address all of those things in a way that’s robust and serous,” said Wray.    “And we’re determined to learn the lessons from this report and make sure the FBI emerges from this even better and stronger.”
    His statements follow the FBI’s investigation into President Trump’s former foreign policy advisor Carter Page over his alleged ties to Russia during 2016 election.
FILE – Carter Page, a foreign policy adviser to Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign, speaks with reporters following a day
of questions from the House Intelligence Committee, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)
    However, Republican lawmakers have argued Wray’s testimony makes the FBI agency as a whole appear “untrustworthy.”    That’s according to congressman Tom McClintock (R-Calif.), who said the FBI has “lost the trust of an awful lot of Americans.”
    Additionally, congressman Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) also suggested Wray’s testimony downplayed activities surrounding the 2016 election and didn’t take the matter seriously.
    Back in December, Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz released a report outlining several mistakes made by top FBI agents, including how a warrant was obtained to spy on Page.
    In addition to slamming FISA’s’ system, the FBI director also criticized Facebook’s proposed privacy plan, which would restrict the platform’s access to data.    If the plan moves forward, Wray believes Americans “will be blinded.”    Meanwhile, Facebook has claimed it doesn’t support government attempts to “build backdoors.”
[I do not trust Wray yet because he was brought in to run the FBI by sources that I think still belonged to THE DEEP STATE and Wray has not shown me that he is doing anything about bringing out the criminal activities of the former FBI, DOJ, CIA, NSA as far as I have seen, so it is about time for him to start showing good faith for their corruption and as stated above Jim Jordan is with me on that.]

2/6/2020 Ukraine’s former top prosecutor says Joe Biden demanded dismissal over Burisma probe by OAN Newsroom
Jill Biden watches as her husband Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden speaks
at a caucus night campaign rally on Monday, Feb. 3, 2020, in Des Moines, Iowa. (AP Photo/John Locher)
    Former Ukrainian chief prosecutor Viktor Shokin has claimed Joe Biden committed bribery and extortion in his country.
    In an interview with Rudy Giuliani Wednesday, Shokin said Biden pressured former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko to get him fired over an investigation into energy company Burisma.
    Shokin said Biden was threatening to withhold the loan guarantees that Ukraine needed at the time.    Giuliani added, Biden admitted to that himself.
    Shokin also said Poroshenko had no choice but to dismiss him, allowing Hunter Biden to continue his corrupt dealings at Burisma under the protection of Joe Biden who was vice president at the time.
[PROOF THAT JOE BIDEN IS QUID PRO QUO JOE COMMITTED EXTORTION AND BRIBERY WHICH IS WHAT THE SCHIFF SHAM SHUMER AND NADLER JOKE TRIED TO CHARGE TRUMP WITH WHO IS AQUITTED NOW BUT JOE IS DEFINITELY GUILTY.    DO YOU WANT SOMEONE LIKE HIM TO RUN AND BECOME A PRESIDENT?].

2/6/2020 McConnell prepares for votes on five judicial nominees after impeachment trial wraps up by OAN Newsroom
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., holds a news conference after the impeachment acquittal of President
Donald Trump, at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2020. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
    Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is ready to move forward, following the end of the impeachment trial.    Just minutes after the final impeachment vote Wednesday, Sen. McConnell (R-Ky.) filed motions to hold votes on five of the president’s judicial nominees.
    The move included Andrew Brasher to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit.    This shows McConnell and the president remain committed to judicial confirmations, which is something the president reaffirmed during his State of the Union address on Tuesday.
    “Working with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, thank you Mitch, and his colleagues in the Senate we have confirmed a record number of 187 new federal judges to uphold our Constitution as written,” stated President Trump.    “This includes two brilliant new Supreme Court justices; Neil Gorsuch andBbrett Kavanaugh.”
    The Republican-led chamber is expected to begin with the confirmation process of Brasher on February 10th before moving on to four District Court nominees.
Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla, questions constitutional scholars during a hearing before the House Judiciary Committee on the constitutional
grounds for the impeachment of President Donald Trump, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2019. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
    Meanwhile, Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) filed an ethics complaint against House Speaker Nancy Pelosi over her actions during Tuesday’s State of the Union address.    He filed the charges with the House Ethics Committee Wednesday.
    The Florida congressman has argued that Pelosi’s conduct was beneath the dignity of the House of Representatives and was a potential violation of the law.    His complaint refers to Pelosi’s actions when she ripped up the president’s speech.
    Rep. Gaetz added, the law does not allow the House speaker to destroy official records.    He said “nobody is above the law” and urged that Pelsoi be held accountable for her behavior.

2/6/2020 FBI opens 1K investigations into China’s alleged tech theft by OAN Newsroom
    FBI Director Christopher Wray speaks at the Department of Justice China Initiative Conference held February 6, 2020 at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C.     The FBI is pursuing 1,000 investigations into China’s alleged technology theft.    FBI Director Christopher Wray made the announcement on Thursday and said China is trying to steal U.S. technology by any means necessary.
    “They’ve pioneered an expansive approach to stealing innovation through a wide range of actors,” said the director.    “They’ve shown that they’re willing to steal their way up the economic ladder at our expense.”
    Wray said China is attempting to steal information, including cost and pricing data, internal strategy documents and anything else that may give them a competitive edge.
    “China is using a wide range of methods and techniques,…everything from cyber intrusions to corrupting trusted insiders,” he said.    “They’ve even engaged in outright physical theft.”
    The director said the country is using both Chinese intelligence services and private companies to pursue its targets.    He added the theft is focused on tech companies, but also includes agriculture businesses and medical device companies.
    “What it does mean is that when China violates our criminal laws and well-established international norms, we are not going to tolerate it, much less enable it,” reiterated Wray.    “The Department of Justice and the FBI are going to hold people accountable for that and protect our nation’s innovation and ideas.”

2/6/2020 FBI says about 1,000 investigations open into attempted tech theft by China
The Federal Bureau of Investigation seal is seen at FBI headquarters in Washington, U.S. June 14, 2018. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – FBI Director Christopher Wray said on Thursday that China was seeking to steal U.S. technology by “any means necessary” and the law enforcement agency has about 1,000 investigations open into Chinese technology theft across its 56 regional offices.
    Wray told a conference hosted by Washington’s Center for Strategic and International Studies think tank that the economic threat from China was “diverse and multilayered.”
    “As I stand here talking with you today, the FBI has about 1,000 investigations involving China’s attempted theft of U.S. based technology in all 56 of our field offices and spanning just about every industry sector,” he said.
    Senior U.S. counter-intelligence official William Evanina told the same conference that China was placing priority on stealing U.S. aircraft and electric vehicle technology.
(Reporting by Mark Hosenball and David Brunnstrom; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)

2/6/2020 UK PM Johnson backs U.S. peace plan in call with Netanyahu
Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson leaves Downing Street in London, Britain February 5, 2020. REUTERS/Antonio Bronic
    LONDON (Reuters) – British Prime Minister Boris Johnson reiterated his support for a U.S. Middle East peace plan and a two-state solution in a call with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Johnson’s spokesman said on Thursday.
    Last month, U.S. President Donald Trump proposed the creation of a Palestinian state with a capital in East Jerusalem, dependent on Palestinians taking steps to become self-governing, in an attempt to achieve a peace breakthrough.    Palestinian leaders have rejected the plan.
(Reporting by Kylie MacLellan, writing by Elizabeth Piper; editing by Stephen Addison)

2/6/2020 President Trump celebrates his acquittal at the White House by OAN Newsroom
President Donald Trump holds up a newspaper with a headline that reads “Trump acquitted” as he speaks
in the East Room of the White House, Thursday, Feb. 6, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
    President Trump addressed the nation on the Democrats’ impeachment process the day after he was acquitted by the Senate.    On Thursday, the president called his impeachment a “disgrace” that “should never happen to a president ever again.”
    He touted his success by holding up a copy of Thursday’s newspaper, which read, “Trump Acquitted" on the front page.
President Donald Trump holds up a newspaper with a headline that reads “Trump acquitted” as he speaks
in the East Room of the White House, Thursday, Feb. 6, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
    He went on to thank Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell for helping navigate the White House through the “sham” process.
    In a series of tweets, Vice President Mike Pence celebrated the president’s acquittal and said the “American people will always be grateful” to those who supported him.
    “We gathered at the White House today to congratulate our president and to thank…every member of the House and Senate who stood strong for fairness, due process and the separation of powers in the Constitution.    You defended this president and you defended the presidency.    This president, this administration and the American people will always be grateful!” – Mike Pence, Vice President of the United States

President Donald Trump reacts to audience members during a campaign rally at Drake University,
Thursday, Jan. 30, 2020, in Des Moines, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
    Meanwhile, President Trump’s chances of winning reelection are at an all-time high.    Newly released data from betting website Oddschecker.com showed the odds for the president winning a second term in office are close to 60 percent.
    This came after the president’s approval rating reached the highest level of his presidency earlier this week.
    The latest Gallup survey showed the president’s approval rating at 49 percent, which was six points higher than the company’s previous poll.    Half of the registered voters included in the poll said they want President Trump reelected.

2/6/2020 Stocks rise as coronavirus worry ebbs
A trader works at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., February 4, 2020. REUTERS/Bryan R Smith
    NEW YORK (Reuters) – U.S. stocks gained for a fourth straight session on Thursday and Wall Street’s main indexes hit record highs amid lessening concerns over the economic fallout from the coronavirus outbreak in China.
    The Dow Jones Industrial Average <.DJI> rose 89.19 points, or 0.3%, to 29,380.04, the S&P 500 <.SPX> gained 11.08 points, or 0.33%, to 3,345.77 and the Nasdaq Composite <.IXIC> added 63.47 points, or 0.67%, to 9,572.15.
(Reporting by Chuck Mikolajczak; Editing by Leslie Adler)

2/6/2020 President Trump: Schiff and Pelosi are lousy, vicious politicians by OAN Newsroom
President Donald Trump speaks in the East Room of the White House, Thursday, Feb. 6, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
    President Trump blasted Adam Schiff and Nancy Pelosi for spearheading the failed impeachment effort against him.    In his address to the nation on Thursday, the president said Schiff and Pelosi led a partisan attack on his administration under the pretext of defending “American democracy.”
    He added the two Democrats used unfair and questionable methods to achieve their political goals. He said the failure of the impeachment hoax has exposed their true intentions.     “I’ve always said they’re lousy politicians, but they do two things: They’re vicious and mean,” said President Trump.    “Adam Schiff is a vicious, horrible person (and) Nancy Pelosi is a horrible person.”
    The president also ripped into Republican Sen. Mitt Romney, who voted against him during the Senate impeachment trial.
    “Had failed presidential candidate Mitt Romney devoted the same energy and anger to defeating a faltering Barack Obama as he sanctimoniously does to me, he could have won the election,” President Trump said on Twitter.
    He went on to emphasize that a political attack like the “Russia witch hunt” must never happen again.    The president said his administration had to “go through hell” despite doing nothing wrong.    President Trump then slammed former FBI Director James Comey and Democrat officials for weaponizing government agencies against him.
    “We were treated unbelievably unfairly. And you have to understand, we first went through Russia, Russia, Russia.    It was all bullshit.    We then went through the Mueller report. They should have come back one day later, they didn’t.    They came back two years later after lives were ruined, after people went bankrupt, after people lost all their money.” – President Donald Trump
    The president also warned that witch hunts and hoaxes can very quickly go out of control and may inflict great damage to the U.S.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif., holds up a copy of President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address to a joint session of
Congress that she tore up on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2020. At left Rep. Billy Long, R-Mo. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
    Meanwhile, Democrat Party officials have shown no sign of remorse for their failed attacks on the president.    On Thursday, House lawmakers rejected a Republican-proposed measure to condemn Nancy Pelosi for tearing up a copy of President Trump’s latest State of the Union address.
    GOP lawmakers said the House speaker’s actions were appalling and shameful.    However, Pelosi claimed she ripped up the president’s speech to “get attention” and added she doesn’t need lessons on dignity.
    Rep. Mike Johnson has accused her of committing a felony, citing a rule about the destruction of official House records.    Johnson said Pelosi broke the rule when she ripped a copy of the president’s speech on Tuesday night.
    The Louisiana Republican said President Trump gave Pelosi a copy for her to protect, not to destroy, which could make her criminally liable.    He then blasted pundits, who argued the documents were Pelosi’s personal property and not official government papers.
    Congressman Matt Gaetz has since announced he’ll file an ethics complaint against Pelosi.

2/6/2020 President Trump confirms Al-Qaeda’s Qasim al-Rimi killed in U.S. airstrike by OAN Newsroom
    On Thursday, President Trump confirmed that the U.S. military has eliminated the leader of Al-Qaeda on the Arabian Peninsula. In a statement, the president said the Pentagon killed Qasim al-Rimi during a counterterrorism operation in Yemen this week.
    Al-Rimi was the top regional commander of the militant group and served as deputy to Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri.
    “At the direction of President Donald J. Trump, the United States conducted a counterrorism operation in Yemen that successfully eliminated Qasim al-Rimi, a founder and the leader of Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula,” read the statement.    “His death further degrades AQAP and the global Al-Qaeda movement, and it brings us closer to eliminating the threats these groups pose to our national security.”
    Al-Rimi’s forces have been responsible for attacks on U.S. forces and allies, as well as many atrocities against the civilian population in the region.
    President Trump said his death brings the U.S. closer to eliminating the threat posed by the terror group.
    On Twitter, Donald Trump Jr. celebrated the news and thanked the president for taking down “another disgusting terrorist.”
[Qasim al-Raymi was the emir of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.    Al-Raymi was one of 23 men who escaped in the February 3, 2006 prison-break in Yemen, along with other notable al-Qaeda members.    Al-Raymi was connected to a July 2007 suicide bombing that killed eight Spanish tourists.    In 2009, the Yemeni government accused him of being responsible for the running of an al-Qaeda training camp in Abyan province.    After serving as AQAP's military commander, al-Raymi was promoted to leader after the death of Nasir al-Wuhayshi on 12 June 2015.]

2/7/2020 Oil down $0.10 to $51.17, DOW up 89 to 29,380 as it keeps going up.

2/7/2020 U.S. kills leader of al Qaeda in Arabian Peninsula: Trump
U.S. President Donald Trump delivers a statement about his acquittal in the East Room
of the White House in Washington, U.S., February 6, 2020. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Donald Trump said on Thursday the United States had killed Qassim al-Raymi, the leader of Islamist group al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), in a counterterrorism operation in Yemen.
    “Under Rimi, AQAP committed unconscionable violence against civilians in Yemen and sought to conduct and inspire numerous attacks against the United States and our forces,” Trump said in a statement.
    “His death further degrades AQAP and the global al-Qa’ida movement, and it brings us closer to eliminating the threats these groups pose to our national security,” the president said. He did not say when Raymi was killed.
    The United States regards AQAP as one of the deadliest branches of the al Qaeda network founded by Osama bin Laden.
    Reports in Yemen have suggested in recent days that Raymi had been killed in a drone strike in Marib.    Reuters was unable to verify the reports.
    One Yemeni government official told Reuters there had been a drone strike in Marib but it was not Raymi who had been killed.
(This story has been refiled to show leader killed, in headline)
(Reporting by Eric Beech; Editing by Mohammad Zargham and Tom Brown)

2/7/2020 Trump unleashes on Democrats over trial - President delivers defiant speech after acquittal by Michael Collins, David Jackson, John Fritze and Courtney Subramanian, USA TODAY
    WASHINGTON – In a fiery, hourlong speech about his impeachment acquittal, President Donald Trump praised a room full of Republicans as “warriors” who defended him while excoriating Democrats for wanting to “destroy our country.”
    During extended and apparently off-the-cuff remarks in which the president relived a litany of complaints about Democrats and members of his own administration, he attacked the impeachment effort against him as “evil” and “corrupt,” and the work of “dirty cops.”
    “We’ve all been through a lot together,” he said, lumping in the impeachment process with other investigations, including the probe into Russia’s election interference by former special counsel Robert Mueller.
    “And it never really stopped.    We’ve been going through this now for over three years.    It was evil, it was corrupt, it was dirty cops, it was leakers and liars and this should never ever happen to another president,” he said.
    “Things can happen when you fail so badly,” Trump said Thursday. “I’m sorry about Mitt Romney.”
    The Utah Republican became the first senator in U.S. history to vote to convict a president of his own party.    The vote robbed Trump of the ability to say that Republicans were unified against his removal.
    Before the president appeared, Pat Cipollone and Jay Sekulow, the two lawyers who defended him in his impeachment trial, drew a round of applause as they entered the room.
    Trump was joined by several allies in Congress, including Reps. Jim Jordan of Ohio, John Ratcliffe of Texas, Mark Meadows of North Carolina and Doug Collins of Georgia. Sens. Chuck Grassley of Iowa, Mike Lee of Utah and Josh Hawley of Missouri were also in the audience.
    After laying out a laundry list of gripes, Trump briefly touted the stock market and the soaring economy.    He discussed his State of the Union, saying he received high marks from people he spoke with after his address.
    But then he almost immediately returned to impeachment, retelling his version of the investigations dating back to the probe of Russian interference in the 2016 election.
    “We went through hell, unfairly,” Trump said.
    “But this is what the end result is,” he said holding up the front page of The Washington Post with a headline “Trump acquitteda
.”
    Embracing a line he often uses at his campaign rallies, Trump claimed that the investigations were “all bulls-.”
    Trump was impeached by the House on Dec. 18, and then acquitted by the Senate Wednesday, over allegations he invited foreign influence in the 2020 election by pressuring Ukraine to gather dirt on former Vice President Joe Biden, and then stonewalled the ensuing investigation.
President Donald Trump, with Republicans on Thursday, displays a headline about
his acquittal in the impeachment trial. SAUL LOEB/AFP VIA GETTY IMAGES
[AS YOU CAN SEE WHEN YOU READ THIS ARTICLE HOW BIASED THE FAKE NEWS IS AND THE FOLLOWING ARTICLE SHOWS PELOSI IS TOTALLY OUT OF IT IN DENIAL THAT HER ADMINISTRATION HAS SCREWED UP AND THEY ALL MAY NEED PYSCHIATRIST TO GET THROUGH THIS BUT THEN THE GLOBALIST ARE PUSHING THE BUTTONS SO THEY WILL CONTINUE THEIR ASSAULTS AS GOD HAS INTERVENED TO LET THEM GO DOWN IN FLAMES.].

2/7/2020 Pelosi defends ripping of speech by Laurie Kellman, ASSOCIATED PRESS
    WASHINGTON – House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Thursday defended her speech-ripping performance after President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address and took fresh aim at his fitness for office even as he celebrated his impeachment acquittal.
    “That was not a State of the Union,” Pelosi said.    “That was his state of mind.”
    She reaffirmed her shredding of Trump’s speech at the end of a difficult week for Democrats in Congress and across the nation that included the botched Iowa caucuses on Monday, Trump’s prime-time address Tuesday and his Senate acquittal on two impeachment articles on Wednesday.    Pelosi led the impeachment process in the House.
    “I’ve extended every possible courtesy.    I’ve shown every level of respect,” Pelosi said, describing her public conduct, which included “extending the hand of friendship” to him as Trump arrived.    “He looked a little sedated,” she said.
    He did not take her hand.
    As he spoke, Pelosi said, she quickly read ahead through her copy of the speech.    “I saw the compilation of falsehoods.”    About one-third of the way through, she said she started to think, “There has to be something that clearly indicates to the American people that this is not the truth.”

2/7/2020 U.S. appeals court will not reconsider net neutrality repeal ruling by David Shepardson
FILE PHOTO - Supporter of Net Neutrality Lance Brown Eyes protests the FCC's recent decision to
repeal the program in Los Angeles, California, November 28, 2017. REUTERS/ Kyle Grillot
    (Reuters) – A U.S. appeals court said late on Thursday it will not reconsider an October ruling that largely upheld the repeal of landmark net neutrality rules, rejecting requests by 15 U.S. states, and tech and advocacy groups.
    The Federal Communications Commission in December 2017 reversed Obama-era rules prohibiting internet service providers (ISPs) from blocking or throttling traffic, or offering paid fast lanes, a blow to large tech companies and consumer groups that had championed the level playing field of net neutrality.
    In orders issued Thursday, the full U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia declined without comment to rehear the decision, as did the three-judge panel that issued the ruling in October.
    FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, who had proposed and championed the repeal, was pleased with the decision, a spokeswoman for him said.    “The internet has remained free and open, consumers have been protected, speeds have increased, and more and more Americans have gotten access to broadband,” she said.
    In petitions filed in December, the Computer & Communications Industry Association, internet trade group INCOMPAS, and various advocacy groups had asked for the rehearing; they were joined by states that had also challenged the decision.    Members of the trade groups include Amazon.com Inc, Microsoft Corp, Facebook Inc and Google parent Alphabet Inc
    Free Press, among the advocacy groups that sought the rehearing, said it will “keep weighing our legal options.    And we’ll keep making the case in Congress, in statehouses and in future FCC proceedings about the need to restore the vital nondiscrimination rules.”
    Firefox browser maker Mozilla, which also fought the net neutrality repeal, said it was considering “next steps.”
    The appeals court, in its October decision, also ruled the FCC had overstepped its legal authority when it declared that states cannot pass their own net neutrality laws.
    It ordered the agency to review some aspects of its 2017 repeal of the rules, including public safety implications and how its decision will impact a government subsidy program for low-income users.
    The 2017 FCC 3-2 vote handed internet providers sweeping powers to recast how Americans use the internet, as long as they disclose changes.    The new rules took effect in June 2018, but ISPs have yet to change how users access the internet.
    In April, the Democratic-controlled U.S. House of Representatives voted to reinstate net neutrality protections, but the measure was not considered by the Republican-controlled Senate.
(Reporting by David Shepardson; Editing by Daniel Wallis and Leslie Adler)

[NOTICE TO ALL AMERICANS: PRESIDENT TRUMP GAVE ALL THE STATE DEPARTMENT PERSONNEL A CHANCE TO DO THEIR JOB CORRECT SINCE THEY WOULD BE WORKING FOR HIM, BUT IN REALITY HE DID NOT KNOW HOW DEEP THE GLOBALIST INFLUENCE INTO THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION HAD DEVELOPED IN HIS 8 YEAR TERM AND HE PROBABLY SHOULD HAVE FIRED ALL OF THEM AND REPLACED THEM WITH THOSE HE COULD TRUST BUT NO ONE KNEW HOW CORRUPTED IT HAD BECOME EVEN IN HIS ADMINISTRATION IN THE DOJ, FBI, CIA, NSA AND CONGRESS AS THAT CABAL WAS SWELLING TO ATTACK HIM THE DAY HE WAS ELECTED.
SO AFTER THE ACQUITTAL HE HAS WON THE RIGHT TO CLEAN THE SWAMP IN ANY WAY HE WANTS TO FOR THOSE WHO WORK UNDER HIM AND I THANK GOD THAT HE GOT ELECTED AND MAY GET 4 MORE YEARS TO FIX OUR COUNTRY
].
2/7/2020 Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman escorted out of the White House by OAN Newsroom
FILE – In this Jan. 27, 2020, file photo Army Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman walks down the steps of the
Eisenhower Executive Office Building on the White House complex in Washington. Vindman was escorted out
of the White House complex on Friday, Feb. 7, according to his lawyer. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)
    The National Security Council’s top Ukraine expert Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman is no longer an official at the White House.    On Friday afternoon, Vindman was escorted out by security and reportedly told his services at the NSC were no longer needed.
    “Today, Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman was escorted out of the White House, where he has dutifully served his country and his president.    There is no question in the mind of any American why this man’s job is over.    LTC Vindman was asked to leave for telling the truth.” – Ambassador David Pressman, counsel to Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman
    His twin brother Yevgeny, who also worked as a lieutenant colonel for the U.S. Army, was allegedly escorted out at the same time.
    Other reports claimed Vindman told his colleagues he would leave the NSC in the coming weeks to take up a position at the Pentagon.
FILE – In this Nov. 19, 2019, file photo National Security Council aide Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman is sworn in to
testify before the House Intelligence Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington during a public impeachment hearing of
President Donald Trump’s efforts to tie U.S. aid for Ukraine to investigations of his political opponents. Vindman was
escorted out of the White House complex on Friday, Feb. 7, 2020, according to his lawyer. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)
    Vindman testified against the president during the impeachment trial.    There’s been speculation the Trump administration was considering taking action against him following his testimony.
    “I was concerned by the call.    What I heard was inappropriate, and I reported my concerns to Mr. Eisenberg.    It is improper for the President of the United States to demand a foreign government investigate a U.S. citizen and political opponent.” – Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman
    The official’s lawyer said Vindman came into the public eye only when subpoenaed to testify before Congress and did what the law demanded.
    “He did what any member of our military is charged with doing every day,” said Pressman.    “He followed orders, he obeyed his oath and he served his country, even when doing so was fraught with danger and personal peril.”
    The NSC has declined to comment.
    Donald Trump Jr. weighed in on Vindman’s exit, suggesting it was a “tough scene for Never Trumpers on the NSC.”
[ALSO SHIFTY SCHIFF STOPPED HIM FROM NAMING THE WHISTLEBLOWER WHICH TOLD US THAT SCHIFF KNEW WHO IT WAS AND SHOULD NOT HAVE KNOWN.    ALSO VINDMAN IF YOU ARE PART OF THIS GLOBALIST ATTACK ON TRUMP WHICH THE DEMOCRATS HAVE BOUGHT INTO THEN YOU ARE THEIR BACKLASH FROM A FALSE IMPEACHMENT AND THE TRUTH CAME OUT IN THE ACQUITTAL OF THEIR ACTIONS AND IF I WERE YOU I WOULD GO TO THE EAR DOCTOR AND HAVE THEM CHECK THEM TO INSURE THERE IS NOTHING INAPPROPRIATE WITH YOUR HEARING AND THE EYE DOCTOR IF YOU DID NOT READ THE REAL TRANSCRIPT THAT YOU SAY YOU HEARD.].

2/7/2020 Looming decision on McGahn testimony could trigger new impeachment fight in House by OAN Newsroom
FILE – In this Feb. 22, 2018, file photo former White House counsel Don McGahn speaks at the Conservative
Political Action Conference (CPAC), at National Harbor, Md. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File)
    Democrats appear to be gearing up for a series of new legal battles against the White House.    House lawmakers are waiting for guidance, which could be released as early as Friday, on the House Judiciary Committee’s ability to compel testimony from former White House counsel Don McGahn.
    Democrats said McGahn has information related to the Mueller report, which could result in new articles of impeachment against the president.    If McGahn is allowed to testify, House Intel Chair Jerry Nadler may be able to subpoena John Bolton to testify as well.
    President Trump reacted to the new impeachment push by saying he will fight again if he must.
    “We will probably have to do it again because these people have gone stone-cold crazy, but I have beaten them all my life and I will beat them again if I have to,” said the president.    “What they are doing is very unfair.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif., announces the passage of the second article of impeachment, obstruction of Congress, against
President Donald Trump by the House of Representatives at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2019. (House Television via AP)
    Meanwhile, House Minority Whip Steve Scalise said these “people need to be held accountable” for trying to take the president down.    On Thursday, Scalise said those who abused their power ought to go to jail.
    He added there are “some very crooked people, including some dirty cops, who are still out there.”
    Scalise went on to discuss the ongoing DOJ investigation into the origins of the Russia investigation.    He said he hopes the lead prosecutor on the case, John Durham, “names names.”
[WELL IT LOOKS LIKE THE DEMS ESPECIALLY PELOSI WANT SOME MORE LET DOWN, EMBARRASMENT AND PUNISHMENT AND I CAN TELL HER WHERE TO STICK THAT GAVEL FOR HER CHILDLIKE ATTITUDE.].

2/7/2020 President Trump slams Democrats for handling of Iowa caucuses, impeachment by OAN Newsroom
President Donald Trump pauses as he speaks to reporters before boarding Marine One at the White House in Washington, Friday,
Feb. 7, 2020, for the short flight to Andrews Air Force Base, Md., and then on to Charlotte, N.C. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
    President Trump is mocking Democrats after their major failure in Iowa.    On Friday, the president tweeted he thinks Democrats should blame Russia again for their problems.
    Attached to his statement was a report by the Associated Press, which said they could not determine a winner from the Iowa caucuses.    The outlet has said this was due to too many irregularities in the process as well as the tight margin between presidential candidates Pete Buttigieg and Bernie Sanders.
    President Trump noted no one “knows who the real winner is.”
    The president further questioned how Democrats will be able to run U.S. healthcare if they can’t even count votes properly.
    “They couldn’t even take a simple tabulation, and yet, they’re telling you how to run the country and how to run healthcare,” he said.    “Think of it, all the money the Democrats spent and the votes are fried – they have no idea who won.”
In this Feb. 4, 2020 photo, a pedestrian walks past a sign for the Iowa Caucuses on a downtown
skywalk, Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2020, in Des Moines, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
    The president also spoke out against Democrats’ latest lawsuit against him, which was rejected in D.C.’s Circuit Court of Appeals.
    Earlier in the day, he took aim at Democrats in general, saying they have “Trump derangement syndrome.”    He said this was on full display when House Speaker Nancy Pelosi ripped up a copy of his State of the Union speech.
    “Well, I thought it was a terrible thing when she ripped up the speech,” said President Trump.    “I thought it was very disrespectful to the chamber, to the country.”
    He went on to say the House’s impeachment against him should be expunged because it was “a total political hoax.”

2/7/2020 More states consider Second Amendment sanctuary counties by OAN Newsroom
File – A man stands near the doorway as residents continue to file in for a Nelson County Board
of Supervisors meeting at the Liberty High School auditorium in Lynchburg, Va., addressing a resolution
to make the county a Second Amendment sanctuary. (Emily Elconin/The News & Advance via AP)
    A swath of counties across the U.S. have introduced legislation to become Second Amendment sanctuaries.    Residents of counties in Florida, Arizona and North Carolina showed up to board meetings this week to show support for sanctuary resolutions.
    The specific language in the resolutions vary depending on the state, however, most hint at local government not enforcing unconstitutional state or federal laws.    The declarations are largely symbolic, however, supporters hope lawmakers will take notice when considering gun control legislation.
    “For any action that may come our way in the future, we just wanted to go ahead and let people know where we stand on the Second Amendment — that we do support it,” said William Dozier, district chairman for the Bay County Board of County Commissioners.
    Members of these communities have said they want to keep guns in the hands of law abiding citizens and out of the hands of criminals.
    This movement has gained momentum as the battle over guns continues in Virginia, where citizens have helped pass the resolution in over 100 local governments.

2/7/2020 Rudy Giuliani slams Fox political specialist for ‘spreading lies’ by OAN Newsroom
FILE – In this May 5, 2018, file photo, Rudy Giuliani, an attorney for President
Donald Trump, speaks in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)
    Fox News found itself in hot water after Rudy Giuliani accused one of the network’s senior specialists of “spreading lies.”    On Thursday, Giuliani tweeted, “I challenge Bryan Murphy to a debate on Fox on the lies he is spreading.”
    Murphy is a political affairs specialist on the network’s research team.    He recently wrote an internal memo titled “Ukraine Disinformation and the Trump Administration,” in which he questioned the credibility of some of the network’s top commentators and contributors.    The memo was then leaked to the public, which prompted backlash.
    Murphy accused Giuliani of having “high susceptibility to Ukrainian disinformation.”    The former mayor responded by saying, “Fox owes us an opportunity to respond to this attack.”
    “I can prove what I’m saying, can he?” asked Giuliani.
    The memo went on to target network correspondent and investigative journalist John Solomon.    Murphy said Solomon “uses unreliable sources, focuses on stories (that are) part of the disinformation campaign and also misrepresents his sources.”
    The final two victims, couple Victoria Toensing and Joe DiGenova, are attorneys who frequently guest star on the network as commentators.    Murphy argued they have ulterior financial motives related to their non-disclosure agreements.
    Giuliani said if he gets the opportunity to debate, he may bring Toensing and DiGenova to support him.    He added, “All facts are backed up by witnesses, documents and tapes.”

2/7/2020 Fired FBI agent Strzok vows to respond to President Trump’s ‘attacks’ by OAN Newsroom
File – Former FBI counterintelligence agent Peter Strzok is pictured. (Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP Photo)
    Fired FBI agent Peter Strzok said he’s ready to respond to the president’s so-called “attacks.”    In a tweet Thursday, Strzok shared a message from his attorney.
    This comes after President Trump slammed Strzok and former FBI lawyer Lisa Page during his post-acquittal speech.
    “But I can tell you, in my opinion, these are the crookedest, most dishonest, dirtiest people I’ve ever seen,” he stated.    “…this is Strzok: ‘God, Hillary should win 100 million to one.’    This is about me, this is an agent from the FBI…
    Page has yet to respond directly to President Trump’s criticism.

2/7/2020 Coach who hired Michael Avenatti says he wanted to expose Nike, not in press conference by Jonathan Stempel
FILE PHOTO: Attorney Michael Avenatti exits the United States Courthouse in the
Manhattan borough of New York City, U.S., October 8, 2019. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
    NEW YORK (Reuters) – The government’s star witness in Michael Avenatti’s extortion trial conceded on Friday he wanted to expose Nike Inc’s alleged illegal payments to families of college basketball recruits long before he hired the celebrity lawyer.
    Gary Franklin, the founder and coach of youth basketball team California Supreme, nevertheless maintained that Avenatti never told him he might hold a press conference about the accusations, or wanted Nike to hire him for a costly internal probe, or else would seek $22.5 million to buy his silence.
    “Do you have any doubt that the defendant did not mention any of those things at any time?” Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert Sobelman asked Franklin, following the coach’s cross-examination by Avenatti’s lawyer.
    “No,” Franklin responded.
    The trial in Manhattan federal court will resume on Monday, the ninth day of testimony.
    Avenatti has pleaded not guilty to trying to shake down Nike by threatening last March to expose its alleged misconduct unless it paid him and celebrity lawyer Mark Geragos up to $25 million for the internal probe, and paid Franklin $1.5 million.
    Prosecutors have tried to show Avenatti sought a big payday in part to clear his own heavy debts, and defrauded Franklin by concealing a settlement offer meant only for the coach.
    The defense has maintained that Avenatti was simply acting as a lawyer, representing Franklin in negotiations.
    In halting testimony, Franklin struggled during cross-examination to recall efforts by his adviser Jeffrey Auerbach to go after Nike starting in March 2018, one year before he hired Avenatti, even when shown documents about what they discussed.
    Franklin conceded he was ready in October 2018 to “drop the bomb,” in Auerbach’s words, but said this only meant telling Nike sports marketing chief John Slusher that two executives had wanted him to funnel the illicit payments and falsify invoices.
    He hired Avenatti after Nike stopped sponsoring California Supreme, the executives rebuffed his entreaties and Slusher referred him to the Beaverton, Oregon-based company’s law firm.
    The hiring came after Franklin saw Avenatti represent adult film actress Stormy Daniels in lawsuits against U.S. President Donald Trump.
    Franklin said Avenatti did tell him last March 18, one week before his arrest, he would seek a $1 million settlement, whistleblower protection, and the firing of the two Nike executives.
    Nike has denied wrongdoing.    It is under a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission probe related to the suspect payments, according to statements and testimony at the trial.
    Avenatti faces two more trials scheduled this year for allegedly defrauding other clients, including Daniels.
(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Editing by Cynthia Osterman and Daniel Wallis)

2/7/2020 EU Amb. Sondland fired hours after Lt. Col. Vindman dismissed by OAN Newsroom
FILE – In this Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2019, file photo, then-U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland testifies
before the House Intelligence Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, during a public impeachment hearing of President
Donald Trump’s efforts to tie U.S. aid for Ukraine to investigations of his political opponents. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)
    The Trump administration has fired the Ambassador to the European Union.    Gordon Sondland was dismissed from his position on Friday, hot on the heels of Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman, who was removed from the White House earlier in the day.
    Both officials testified against the president during the impeachment trial.
    Sondland had claimed there was a quid pro quo between President Trump and Ukrainian President Zelensky.    He suggested the president sought to exchange “military aid for an investigation into former Vice President Joe Biden.”
    “Secretary Perry, Ambassador Volker and I worked with Mr. Rudy Giuliani on Ukraine matters at the express direction of the President of the United States.    We did not want to work with Mr. Giuliani.    Simply put, we were playing the hand we were dealt.    We all understood that if we refused to work with Mr. Giuliani, we would lose a very important opportunity to cement relations between the United States and Ukraine. So we followed the president’s orders.” – Gordon Sondland, former U.S. Ambassador to the EU
FILE – In this Nov. 20, 2019, file photo then-U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland is sworn in to testify
before the House Intelligence Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, during a public impeachment hearing of President
Donald Trump’s efforts to tie U.S. aid for Ukraine to investigations of his political opponents. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
    Sondland responded to his removal by saying he was “grateful for his opportunity to serve.”
    He is expected to continue working at the State Department.

2/8/2020 Oil down $0.75 to $50.34, DOW down 277 to 29,102.

2/8/2020 U.S. Ambassador to EU Sondland says Trump intends to recall him from his post
FILE PHOTO: Gordon Sondland, U.S. Ambassador to the European Union, returns after a break in his testimony
before a House Intelligence Committee hearing as part of the impeachment inquiry into U.S. President
Donald Trump on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., November 20, 2019. Samuel Corum/Pool via REUTERS
    (Reuters) – U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland, who testified in President Donald Trump’s impeachment inquiry, said on Friday that Trump intends to recall him from his post.
    “I was advised today that the President intends to recall me effective immediately as United States Ambassador to the European Union,” Sondland said in a statement.
(Reporting by Karen Freifeld in New York; Writing by Mohammad Zargham; editing by Jonathan Oatis)

2/8/2020 Appeals court dismisses Democrats’ lawsuit against Trump
    WASHINGTON – A federal appeals court on Friday dismissed one of several ongoing lawsuits charging that President Donald Trump has illegally profited off the presidency.    The lawsuit was filed by Democratic members of Congress in 2017.    The court ruled that the approximately 200 members of Congress lack the ability to sue.    The lawsuit had charged that the president violated the U.S. Constitution’s emoluments clause by accepting benefits to his businesses from foreign governments without congressional approval.
[ANOTHER TRUMP HARRASSMENT BY DEMOCRATS LOSES IN THE COURTS BUT NOT ONE OF THEM WILL TAKE THE ACTIONS OF OBAMA OR BIDEN TO THE COURTS FOR EMOLUMENTS, BRIBERY, EXTORTION OR FISA CORRUPTION WHICH THEY COULD DO AND BACKED BY REPUBLICANS.    AND IF I AM READING THE ABOVE RIGHT IT SOUNDS LIKE THE RULING SAYS CONGRESS CAN NOT SUE BUT CAN ONLY PASS BILLS AND LAWSUITS BY CONGRESS VOTING FOR THAT, WHICH IS THE SAME THING THEY DID NOT VOTE FOR THE IMPEACHMENT INQUIRY IN THE INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE AND THEN TO MOVE IT TO THE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE AND DID AN IMPEACHMENT THERE WITH A CONGRESS VOTE TO DO THAT.    SO SCHIFF AND NADLER WERE THE IDIOTS WHO APPROVED THAT AND NERVOUS NANCY LET IT HAPPEN WITH HER SCORN FOR TRUMP.].

2/7/2020 President Trump promotes opportunity zones during N.C. visit by OAN Newsroom
President Donald Trump speaks at the North Carolina Opportunity Now Summit at Central
Piedmont Community College, Friday, Feb. 7, 2020, in Charlotte, N.C. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
    President Trump promoted stimulating the economy in low-income areas at the Opportunity Now Summit in Charlotte, North Carolina.    On Friday, the president discussed aid for thousands of “opportunity zones” around the country, which were created under the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.
    The summit’s workshop tackled economic development in low-income areas, inmate reentry into society, the future of historically black colleges and universities, and infrastructure.
    The president also touted the January Jobs Report.
    “The brand new jobs numbers came in,” he said.    “We smashed expectations and created 225,000 new jobs last month.”
    President Trump’s team noted the unemployment rate in North Carolina has dropped to a historic low of 3.7 percent.    He also talked about the First Step Act, which was designed to help former inmates find jobs and assimilate into society.
President Donald Trump gives a thumbs up as he speaks during the North Carolina Opportunity
Now Summit in Charlotte, N.C., Friday, Feb. 7, 2020. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)
    Before introducing the president, Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson thanked the president for his dedication to the “forgotten men and women of this country.”
    “Nearly 35 million people across the nation live in areas marked as an opportunity zone,” said Carson.    “Today, this administration is reinforcing its commitment to revitalize neighborhoods by bringing economic freedom to the forgotten men and women of this country.”

2/8/2020 Draft of 2021 congressional budget shows Trump admin. efforts to cut wasteful spending by OAN Newsroom
President Donald Trump gives a thumbs up as he speaks during the North Carolina Opportunity
Now Summit in Charlotte, N.C., Friday, Feb. 7, 2020. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)
    President Trump is tackling wasteful government spending and the need for additional oversight in his new draft of the 2021 budget proposal.    Ahead of its release to Congress next week, the administration is largely focused on several major nonpartisan fiscal cuts.
    The U.S. national debt is at an all time high of $23.2 trillion and the president is taking issue with multibillion dollar end-of-year spending.
    “(A) bloated federal government, with duplicative programs and wasteful spending, remains a critical threat to America’s future,” stated the budget proposal.    “This agenda is focused on new strategies to reduce monetary loss, because protecting taxpayer money and making sure it is serving its intended purpose is a fundamental responsibility.”
    This budget directive will likely earn praise from fiscal hawks in Congress, including GOP Sen. Joni Ernst.    Ernst has made a name for herself as a spending watchdog. She has called out agencies over their expenses using the Twitter hashtag #MakeEmSqueal.
    The lawmaker has championed the Swag Act, which would additionally require all federal agencies to publicly disclose how much they spend on public relations campaigns every year.
FILE – This March 22, 2013 file photo, shows the exterior of the Internal Revenue Service
building in Washington. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)
    In the 2021 budget, President Trump seemingly took from her legislation titled ‘Use It Or Lose It Spending Spree.’     “What I can’t understand is how a bureaucrat, sitting in their cubicle at the Department of Energy or EPA, would think it was okay to spend taxpayer dollars on things like this,” said Ernst. “There are important things the federal government needs to do, buying fidget spinners and koozies is not one of them.”
    Another proposal within the president’s budget will tackle improper and duplicate payments made by the federal government.    According to an oversight report from the IRS, the agency mistakenly pays out approximately $140 billion annually to deceased people.    Since 2005, the IRS has spent $1.2 trillion on improper payments.
    Members of Congress can expect to read the rest of the proposals when the budget is handed to Capitol Hill on Monday.
[ITS ABOUT TIME SOMEONE DID SOMETHING ABOUT THE BLOATED SPENDING OF THE GOVERNMENT AND GET RID OF STUPID APPROPRIATIONS AND BEGIN A PROCESS TO LOWER OUR NATIONAL DEBT AND STOP ROBBING SOCIAL SECURITY LIKE OBAMA DID FOR 2 YEARS AND HE STILL RAN OUR DEBT UP 10-13 TRILLION AND TRUMP WAS A BUSINESS MAN NOT A POLITICIAN SO HE UNDERSTANDS THE IMPORTANCE OF BALANCED BUDGETS AND BOTTOM LINE BUDGETS.].

2/9/2020 Man outside White House threatens to assassinate President Trump by OAN Newsroom
FILE – This Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2019, file photo shows the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)
    A man threatened to assassinate President Trump on Saturday.    It all unfolded at the White House, where 25-year-old Roger Hedgpeth reportedly told a Secret Service officer that he intended to kill the president.
    He said he was planning to use a knife, which he had brought with him.
    “I am here to assassinate President Donald Trump,” stated Hedgpeth, according to police reports.    “I have a knife to do it with.”
    After the man was arrested, police found a 3 1/2-inch knife in his possession.    Hedgpeth was charged with making threats to do bodily harm.
    He has since been taken to a mental health hospital to be evaluated.
President Donald Trump walks to the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Friday, Feb. 7, 2020, before boarding
Marine One for a short trip to Andrews Air Force Base, Md., and then on to Charlotte, N.C. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
[MORE HATE FROM THE DEMOCRATS AND THEIR FOLLOWERS AS TRUMP DELUSION SYNDROME IS THEIR LAST RESORT TO DEAL WITH IT.    GET OVER IT YOUR PARTY IS LOSING AND IT CONTINUES IN THE NEXT ARTICLE.].

2/9/2020 Man in custody after allegedly driving car into Trump supporters in Fla. by OAN Newsroom
Photo via Duval County GOP Twitter.
    Florida police took 27-year-old Gregory Timm into custody on Saturday in connection with what may have been an attack on Trump supporters.    He was charged with aggravated assault just hours after he allegedly drove his van into a Republican voter registration tent.
    According to the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Department, the tent was in a shopping center parking lot, where at least six Trump campaign volunteers were trying to help register new voters.    Timm reportedly drove up and waved at the party, seeming friendly, before suddenly accelerating his car directly into them.
    “I thought he was going to slow down, but he didn’t,” said one volunteer.    “He gunned his engine and went straight.”
    Luckily, no one was injured.    However, witnesses said the driver came within inches of them.
    “After he ran over everything, he backed up, took out a cellphone, kind of recorded the damage, made some obscene gestures at us and then proceeded to leave the complex,” explained another volunteer.

Photo via Duval County GOP Twitter.
    Republican and Democrat officials alike have condemned what they’re calling a senseless act of violence.
    “We are outraged by this senseless act of violence toward our great volunteers.    The Republican Party of Duval County will not be intimidated by these cowards and we will not be silenced.    I call on every Republican in our great city to stand up, get involved and show these radicals that we will not be intimidated from exercising our Constitutional rights.” – Dean Black, Duval County GOP Chairman
    President Trump took to Twitter, warning “tough guys” to be careful who they “play with.”
    Sen. Marco Rubio also expressed relief that no one was hurt and called the incident a “politically motivated attack.”
    However, the sheriff’s office has said the motive is still under investigation.
    “I don’t know if he was just upset about something else or if it’s politically motivated,” stated Jacksonville Lieutenant Larry Gayle.    “We’re obviously going to follow that up, we take that very seriously.”

2/9/2020 Sen. Graham supports removal of Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman by OAN Newsroom
FILE – In this Nov. 1, 2017 file photo, Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., speaks on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
    Sen. Lindsey Graham said he doesn’t think Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman was “effective” during his time at the White House.    On Sunday, he said people in Vindman’s chain of command were suspicious of his political views.
    “I think his reassignment was justified,” said Graham.    “I don’t think he could be effective as the NSC.”
    The senator also said he believes there were leaks from the National Security Council.
    “CIA agents, Department of State, Department of Justice lawyers, FBI agents have a political agenda and they acted on it,” he said.    “We found that out through the FISA investigation.”
FILE – In this Nov. 19, 2019, file photo National Security Council aide Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman is sworn in to testify
before the House Intelligence Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington during a public impeachment hearing of President
Donald Trump’s efforts to tie U.S. aid for Ukraine to investigations of his political opponents. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)
    Graham pointed out GOP members were prevented from questioning Vindman thoroughly during his impeachment inquiry testimony.
    “He was not allowed to be asked questions about his connection to the alleged whistleblower,” he said.    “I don’t know what role he played with the whistleblower, if any, but we’re going to look.”
    When asked about the firing of EU Ambassador Gordon Sondland, Graham commented he was a political appointee and served at the pleasure of the president.
[CLEAN THE SWAMP AND CLEAR OUT THE DEEP STATE WORSHIPERS AND ALL THE LEAKERS.].

2/9/2020 Pompeo warns governors about doing business with China by OAN Newsroom
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo gestures while speaking during his and Belarus Foreign Minister Vladimir Makei
join news conference following the talks in Minsk, Belarus, Saturday, Feb. 1, 2020. (AP Photo/Sergei Grits)
    Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is advising governors across the nation to be careful when doing business with China.
    “When it comes to doing business, I’m asking you to adopt a cautious mindset,” he said.    “In the words of President Reagan, when you are approached for introduction or a connection to a deal, ‘trust, but verify.’
    On Saturday, he warned governors the country could be “targeting individual states” for political and economic gain.
    “Competition with China is not just a federal issue, that’s why I wanted to be here today, Governor Hogan,” said Pompeo.    “It’s happening in your states with consequences for our foreign policy, for the citizens that reside in your states and, indeed, for each of you.”
FILE – In this Sept. 16, 2018, file photo, American flags are displayed together with Chinese flags in Beijing. (AP Photo/Andy Wong, File)
    The secretary noted the Chinese government has “assessed” each governor, ranking them as “friendly," “hardline” or “ambiguous.”    He added there are communist China followers in dozens of states across the nation, who are attempting to influence local governments.
    “The Chinese government has been methodical in the way it has analyzed our system,” stated Pompeo.    “It’s assessed our vulnerabilities and it has decided to exploit our freedom (in order) to gain advantage over us at the federal, state and the local level.”
    The U.S. has also pressured partner nations against doing business with Chinese tech company Huawei amid concerns their government is using devices to spy on users.

2/10/2020 Justice Department receiving information on Bidens from Giuliani: Senator by David Morgan
FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump welcomes Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) to speak at an event to celebrate federal
judicial confirmations in the East Room of the White House in Washington, U.S., November 6, 2019. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Justice Department is receiving information on former Vice President Joe Biden and his businessman son, Hunter Biden, from President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, a top Trump ally in the Senate said on Sunday.
    Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham said Attorney General William Barr told him about the arrangement on Sunday morning and that Justice Department officials were evaluating Giuliani’s information to determine whether it is genuine.
    “The Department of Justice is receiving information coming out of the Ukraine from Rudy.    He (Barr) told me that they have created a process that Rudy could give information and they would see if it’s verified,” Graham told the CBS News program Face the Nation.
    Justice Department officials were not immediately available for comment.
    News of the arrangement surfaced days after the Senate acquitted Trump on impeachment charges that he abused his power by asking Ukraine to investigate the Bidens.
    Trump had based his demands on unfounded allegations of corruption.    House investigators alleged that Giuliani pursued damaging information about the Bidens in Ukraine as Trump’s personal lawyer.
    Hunter Biden sat on the board of the Ukrainian gas company Burisma while Joe Biden, now a Democratic presidential candidate, was vice president.
    Two Republican senators – Chuck Grassley and Ron Johnson – are also conducting an investigation of U.S. government records to determine whether there was a conflict of interest.
    Graham said he spoke to Barr and Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr on Sunday, after Giuliani told an interviewer that he had unearthed key evidence from Ukraine.
    “They told me: ‘Take very cautiously anything coming out of the Ukraine against anybody,'” Graham said.
    “Any documents coming out of the Ukraine against any American, Republican or Democrat, need to be looked at by the intelligence services who have expertise – I don’t – because Russia is playing us all like a fiddle.”
    Graham said he would refrain from his own probe of the Bidens and concentrate instead on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court’s decision to issue warrants that led to a federal investigation into allegations that Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign colluded with Russia to interfere in the election.
    “Here’s what I want to tell the president: I’m not going to be the Republican Christopher Steele,” Graham said.
    Steele is the former British spy who produced a dossier on Trump that the FBI used in its Russia probe.    Republicans have condemned the dossier as a sham document filled with Russian propaganda.
(Reporting by David Morgan; Editing by Nick Zieminski)
[THE DEEP STATE AND THE DEMOCRATS ARE GOING TO DO EVERYTHING IN THEIR POWER TO PREVENT THIS FROM OCCURRING AS IT IS ABOUT TIME THAT THE GUILTY ARE BROUGHT TO LIGHT AND FORCE ALL THE AMERICAN PEOPLE TO SEE WHAT HAS HAPPENED FOR THE LAST ELEVEN AND HALF YEARS.].

2/10/2020 Trump’s $4.8 trillion budget likely to get thumbs-down from Congress by Jeff Mason
FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump walks to the Oval Office as he returns from a day trip from North Carolina
at the White House in Washington, U.S., February 7, 2020. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts/File Photo
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Donald Trump’s $4.8 trillion budget proposal for fiscal year 2021 is likely to get a chilly reception from lawmakers on Monday over its proposals to slash spending on foreign aid and social safety net programs.
    The White House plans to unveil the budget blueprint for the fiscal year starting on October 1 at 12:30 p.m. eastern time, but administration officials confirmed key figures from the document over the weekend.
    Democrats are expected to object to the deep spending cuts on domestic programs, while some Republicans may raise concerns over debt and deficits.
    The budget calls for a 21 percent cut in foreign aid to $44.1 billion, down from $55.7 billion enacted in fiscal year 2020.    It would make savings in outlays to safety net programs including $130 billion in Medicare through drug pricing reforms, $292 billion to food stamp and Medicaid programs by enacting new work requirements for beneficiaries, and $70 billion through a clamp-down on eligibility for federal disability benefits.
    An administration official said the White House was making the proposals for substantial cuts despite an assumption that Congress, which controls U.S. purse strings, would allocate more money on spending than Trump wants.    With forecasts for strong economic growth, the budget predicts some $3.7 trillion in government receipts in the 2021 fiscal year.
    Last year Trump signed a two-year budget deal with Congress that increased federal spending on defense and several other domestic programs, adding to growing government debt.    That legislation authorized $2.75 trillion in new defense and non-defense spending through Sept. 30, 2021.
    Trump’s budget is largely a political document.
    It includes spending on Trump’s priorities as he seeks re-election later this year, including $2 billion to fund further construction on a border wall with Mexico, a project that is especially popular with his political base, and funding for an infrastructure bill that is unlikely to be passed by Democrats and Republicans in Congress.
    Military spending would rise 0.3% to $740.5 billion.
    The budget forecasts $4.6 trillion in deficit reduction over 10 years and assumes economic growth at an annual rate of roughly 3 percent for years to come, officials said.    Trump has taken credit for the strength of the U.S. economy thanks in part to tax cuts he championed and Congress passed earlier in his term.    The budget funds an extension of those cuts over a 10-year period with $1.4 trillion.
    The White House proposes to slash spending by $4.4 trillion over 10 years and reduce the deficit by $4.6 trillion in that time period. (Reporting by Jeff Mason; Editing by Nick Zieminski)

2/10/2020 U.S. dollar strengthens as traders see resilient US economy by Olga Cotaga
FILE PHOTO: Euro, Hong Kong dollar, U.S. dollar, Japanese yen, pound and Chinese 100 yuan banknotes
are seen in this picture illustration, January 21, 2016. REUTERS/Jason Lee/Illustration/File Photo
    LONDON (Reuters) – A stronger U.S. dollar dragged the euro down to its lowest level in months as investors expected the U.S. economy to remain resilient to the spread of the coronavirus across the world, with payroll data from last week reinforcing traders’ optimism.
    Market participants were more positive about riskier currencies amid hints that the spread of the coronavirus could be slowing down and as some big businesses resumed work in China after the Lunar New Year break.
    The Australian dollar rose 0.3% to 0.6694 per U.S. dollar, pulling away from a decade-low touched earlier in the session.    It has lost 4.5% this year.    The Chinese yuan also rose 0.3% to 6.9860 per U.S. dollar.
    The U.S. dollar, however, was stronger against other major currencies.
    It pushed the euro to match a four-month low of $1.0942 and dragged the pound down to a 2-1/2-month low of $1.2873 , before sterling recovered and traded last at $1.2911, up 0.2% on the day.
    Versus the euro, the pound was 0.2% higher at 84.84 pence .
    “The relative attractiveness of the U.S. dollar has been boosted in the near-term by building concerns over the outlook for growth outside of the U.S., the rising probability of President (Donald) Trump winning a second term and further evidence of the ongoing resilience of the U..S economy,” said Lee Hardman, currency analyst at MUFG.
    “However, the Fed’s reluctance to tighten policy should help to dampen upside potential for U.S. yields and the U.S. dollar,” Hardman said.
    According to analysts at Reuters the probability that euro/dollar will drop quickly was low, but the probability of it dropping further was high.
    The safe-haven yen was trading neutral at 109.75 yen per dollar, while bonds dipped and stock markets pared some early losses with the broad appetite for risk. [MKTS/GLOB]
    “We’ve seen positive headlines about a few large companies all reporting that they were going to be resuming and reopening facilities in China,” said Richard Franulovich, head of FX strategy at Westpac in Sydney.
    Taiwan’s Foxconn <2317.TW>, a major contractor in global technology production, received approval to resume production at a plant in China’s north, one person with knowledge of the matter told Reuters.
    Carmaker Tesla’s Shanghai factory was due resume production on Monday, a government official said last week, adding that authorities will provide assistance to the firm.
    General Motors said on Monday it would restart production in China from Feb. 15 and Samsung Electronics <005930.KS> said it plans to restart production at its TV factory in Tianjin there on Feb. 17.
    Elsewhere, the Norwegian crown jumped 0.6% versus the euro to 10.14 after Norway’s consumer prices rose sharply in January from a year earlier.
(Reporting by Olga Cotaga; Additional reporting by Tom Westbrook in Singapore; Editing by Angus MacSwan)

2/10/2020 President Trump to ‘shake up the Dems a little bit’ at his ‘Keep America Great’ rally in N.H. by OAN Newsroom
President Donald Trump reacts to audience members during a campaign rally at Drake University,
Thursday, Jan. 30, 2020, in Des Moines, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
    President Trump spoke out against Democrats ahead of his ‘Keep America Great’ rally in New Hampshire.    He took to Twitter Monday to state that he wants to “shake up the Dems a little bit.”
    In a follow up tweet, he pointed out that big crowds are forming in the Granite State ahead of the event.    He then blasted the mainstream media for never discussing his large crowds of supporters.
    President Trump’s visit to New Hampshire comes just one day before the first-in-the-nation presidential primary in the state. He’s expected to touch on his impeachment acquittal and his administration’s economic accomplishments.    He may also mention his approval rating, which currently stands at 53 percent overall.
    “Corrupt Democrat politicians have brought me to highest polling numbers ever with the impeachment hoax,” stated the president.
    The rally falls on the same day the 2021 budget is set to be released, which reportedly increases military spending to more than $700 billion.    The White House’s budget projects government savings of about $4.4 trillion over the next 10 years.
    45 percent of that figure will come from cuts to mandatory spending programs such as Medicaid and food stamps.    Additionally, reports have revealed the president’s budget would increase science funding for NASA as well as efforts to fight human trafficking.
    One America News will provide full coverage of the president’s “Keep America Great’ rally starting at 7 p.m. EST / 4 p.m. PST.

2/10/2020 Pollster: Impeachment will cause Democrats to lose House in 2020 by OAN Newsroom
President Donald Trump holds up a newspaper with a headline that reads “Trump acquitted” during an event celebrating his
impeachment acquittal, in the East Room of the White House, Thursday, Feb. 6, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
    According to pollster John McLaughlin, the impeachment process in the House has backfired on Democrats.    While speaking in an interview Sunday, he predicted the proceedings will cause Democrats to lose their House majority in 2020.
    McLaughlin added, former Vice President Joe Biden was also a big loser in the trial as more evidence surfaced throughout the process of the corruption allegations levied against him.
    “He was the front-runner and when they went after President Trump on impeachment, on Ukraine, they really took down Joe Biden, because we knew there was video of him saying he got a prosecutor fired and we knew that there were corruption problems with Hunter Biden and the Biden family,” he explained.
Democratic presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden speaks during
a campaign rally, Sunday, Feb. 9, 2020, in Hudson, N.H. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
    This comes after a recent Gallup poll showed President Trump’s approval rating has jumped to the highest it has ever been, following his acquittal in the Senate.

2/10/2020 White House unveils budget proposal for 2021 by OAN Newsroom
Office of Management and Budget Acting Director Russell Vought speaks during a television interview
at the White House, Monday, Feb.10, 2020 in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
    The White House has unveiled a $4.8 trillion budget proposal for 2021. The proposal includes $590 billion in non-defense spending and $740.5 billion in defense spending.    It also lays out a plan to eliminate the federal budget deficit over the next 15 years.
    The White House wants to cut funding next year at the Commerce Department, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Health & Human Services, the Education Department, the USDA, the State Department and the Labor Department.
    The proposal also includes several ways to reduce the costs of Medicaid and Medicare, including work requirements.    The White House left a blank for a prescription drug pricing plan, which signals an openness to work with Congress.

President Donald Trump’s budget request for fiscal year 2021 arrives at the House Budget Committee
on Capitol Hill in Washington, Monday, Feb. 10, 2020. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
    The Trump administration also proposed removing the Food and Drug Administration’s authority to regulate tobacco products as part of the president’s 2021 budget request. It would make the Center for Tobacco Products, which currently oversees regulation, its own independent agency.
    The president said the new agency, “would have greater capacity to respond strategically to the growing complexity of new tobacco products.”
    Last year, White House Domestic Policy Council head Joe Grogan hinted that the president was looking into the move.    He made the following comments on the issue:
    “When I was in the Bush administration this conversation started — I said this is a moronic idea.    FDA regulates drugs that help people and you balance safety and effectiveness.    It regulates devices which help people and you balance whether or not they are safe and effective.    This stuff is awful.    Tobacco has no redeeming qualities and it shouldn’t be regulated by a health agency like this."
    President Trump said the new agency would also oversee the sale and regulation of e-cigarette products.

2/10/2020 Attorney General Barr confirms DOJ is evaluating information from Ukraine provided by Rudy Giuliani by OAN Newsroom
Attorney General William Barr calls on a reporter during a news conference, at
the Justice Department in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
    U.S. Attorney General William Barr confirmed the Department of Justice is reviewing information from Ukraine provided by Rudy Giuliani regarding Joe and Hunter Biden.
    During a press conference Monday, Barr said the agency has the obligation to have an “open door'” to anybody who wishes to provide information they think is relevant.    He also said the Justice Department has to be very careful with information coming from Ukraine and can’t take anything from the Eastern European nation at face value.
    Barr pointed out that a process to evaluate such information has been established.
    “We had established an intake process in the field so that any information coming in about Ukraine could be carefully scrutinized by the department and its Intelligence Community, community partners, so that we could assess its provenance and its credibility,” he stated.    “And, you know, that is true for all information that comes to the department relating to the Ukraine.”
    Giuliani notably visited Ukraine back in December to gather more information about the Biden’s activities in the nation.

2/10/2020 Sen. Josh Hawley proposes complete FTC overhaul to better regulate growing tech giants by OAN Newsroom
Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., walks on Capitol Hill in Washington, Friday, Jan. 31, 2020, during the impeachment trial. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
    Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) recently released a new proposal aimed at overhauling the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).    According to the measure, released Monday, the current FTC “lacks teeth, wastes time in turf wars and is in no shape to ensure competition in today’s markets.”
    In order to improve the institution, the Missouri senator has argued the FTC should be transferred to the jurisdiction of the Department of Justice.    He also called for the five-member board to be replaced with a single director.
    It’s an aggressive approach to what both sides of the aisle have called “outdated policies,” which is a something Sen. Hawley has long been on the front-lines of confronting.
    “I’m concerned about the state of antitrust enforcement…as somebody who believes in competition, who believes in free and open markets and thinks that competition actually is good for American individuals and American families and American consumers, I’m concerned about what I see as a pattern of lack of enforcement,” he stated.
    The Missouri Republican believes the overhaul would give the commission more tools to protect the tech market.
    “It is time for Congress to overhaul the FTC and bring it into the 21st century,” Hawley urged.

2/11/2020 Oil down $0.75 to $49.57, DOW up 174 to 29,277.

2/11/2020 Trump’s budget reflects priorities - $4.89 trillion plan has little chance of passing by Michael Collins and David Jackson, USA TODAY
    WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump’s $4.89 trillion spending plan – the final budget of his first term in office – reads more like a 2020 campaign document than a spending plan that has any realistic chance of becoming law.
    It proposes steep cuts in many domestic programs and increases in spending on the military and other programs that will appeal to Trump’s base as he campaigns for voters to return him to office for another four years.
    The Trump blueprint calls for a 22% cut to the State Department and U.S. Agency for International Development’s budgets for the fiscal year that begins Oct. 1.
    The Education Department’s budget would be slashed by $5.6 billion, or 7.8%.    The Environmental Protection Agency’s budget would shrink by $2.4 billion, a 26% cut that is sure to meet resistance from Democrats in Congress.
    The Energy Department would see an 8.1% cut, while Health and Human Services’ budget would be slashed by 10%, and the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s budget would shrink by 15.2%.
    Military spending would jump by 0.3%.    Homeland Security’s budget would rise by $1.6 billion, a 3.2% increase.    NASA would see a 12% increase, while Veterans Affairs would get a 14% boost.
    While Democrats control the House, Trump’s budget stands no chance of winning approval in Congress.    White House Budget Director Russ Vought acknowledged as much Monday, saying lawmakers ignored the president’s spending cut proposals for the past three years.
    “The first three budgets have not moved in our direction,” he said.
    Vought said the budget reflects Trump’s “pro-growth” economic policies while funding “national priorities.”
    House Democrats signaled they have no plans to go along with Trump’s proposals.
    “The budget is a statement of values, and once again, the president is showing just how little he values the good health, financial security and well-being of hardworking American families,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said.
    Rep. John Yarmuth, D-Ky., chairman of the House Budget Committee, called the spending proposal “a destructive and irrational budget.”
    “Congress will stand firm against this president’s broken promises and his disregard for the human cost of his destructive policies,” he said.
    Overall, Trump’s budget will seek $4.4 trillion in savings over a decade – $2 trillion of which would come from savings from entitlements, including $130 billion from changes to Medicare prescription drug pricing.
    Democrats said that would amount to a half-a-trillion-dollar cut to Medicare, roughly $900 billion in cuts to Medicaid and a $24 billion cut to Social Security.
    Vought insisted Medicare and Medicaid would merely be reformed, not cut.    “Reducing the cost of health care is not a cut,” he said.
    Trump told Republican governors during a meeting Monday, “We’re not touching Medicare. ... We’re not touching Social Security.”
    The Trump administration projects economic growth of 3% over the next several years.    The economy grew 2.3% in 2019, falling short of Trump’s promise of at least 3%, according to data released last month by the Commerce Department.
    Trump asks Congress for $2 billion for construction of a wall along the U.S. southern border with Mexico.    That is less than the $5 billion sought last year in border wall funding.
    Trump proposes spending billions on health care, infrastructure, business loans and internet access in rural America.
Contributing: Deirdre Shesgreen and Bart Jansen
[OF COURSE THIS DEPENDS ON WHO IS IN CONTROL OF THE HOUSE IN 2021 AND THE SENATE ALSO AND THE PRESIDENCY AND HOPE TO CONTROL OUR BLOATED DEBT BUT AT LEAST TRUMP IS THE FIRST PRESIDENT WHO IS TRYING TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT, SO WHAT WILL THE DEMOCRATS DO ABOUT IT OR KEEP SPENDING LIKE THEY HAVE DONE FOR 11 PLUS YEARS.]

2/11/2020 We can agree on high standards, EU’s Von der Leyen urges UK by Marine Strauss
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen addresses the European Parliament, next to Michel Barnier,
European Commission's Head of Task Force for Relations with the United Kingdom,
during a debate on the future partnership with the UK in Strasbourg, France, February 11, 2020. REUTERS/Vincent Kessler
    STRASBOURG (Reuters) – European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen praised British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s ambition on social protection and climate action and said this could form the basis of level playing field obligations between the EU and Britain.
    The European Union is prepared to offer Britain unrivalled access to its single market in a trade deal with zero tariffs and quotas, but has insisted that any such rights would have to come with obligations to ensure fair competition.
    “It is not the time to lower social protection or to be lukewarm on climate action.    It is not the time to decrease in terms of competition rules,” Von der Leyen told the European Parliament in Strasbourg on Tuesday.
    Von der Leyen, speaking to EU lawmakers in a debate on the EU mandate for negotiations with London, said Britain would need to provide guarantees on social, environmental and consumers standards. However, she stressed that British Prime Minister Boris Johnson also appeared to want similarly high standards.
    “I’ve heard ambition in Boris Johnson’s speech, ambition on minimum wage, ambition on parental payments… I have heard ambition on cutting carbon emissions, ambition on guaranteeing that our firms are competing in full fairness.”
    “This is what we also want. Let us formally agree on these objectives.    We can formally trigger an upward dynamic competition that would benefit both the United Kingdom and the European Union,” Von der Leyen continued.
    EU lawmakers broadly agreed EU-UK ties should promote as open markets as possible, but this had to be rules-based.
    “Boris Johnson cannot have his cake and eat it,” Dutch liberal lawmaker Sophie in ‘t Veld told the assembly.
    The EU’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier said the openness of the EU market would be proportionate to commitment on a “true level playing field.”
    He added that Britain should not be under any illusion that market access for financial services would be given on a permanent basis.    It would, he said, be based on equivalence and this would be something the EU would assess alone.
    The two sides, Barnier said, were due to start “very difficult” talks next month with a very tight goal of reaching agreement by the end of 2020.
    The European Parliament, which will need to approve any final deal, is due to vote on Wednesday on a resolution backing the Commission’s negotiating mandate.
(Reporting by Marine Strauss and Philip Blenkinsop; Editing by Alexandra Hudson)

2/11/2020 President Trump unveils spending cuts, fiscal stimulus in 2021 budget by OAN Newsroom
President Donald Trump stops and gestures as he leaves the White House, Monday,
Feb. 10, 2020, in Washington for a trip to Manchester, N.H. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
    The Trump administration is bracing for a new battle with congressional Democrats over the proposed federal budget for fiscal year 2021.
    The $4.8 trillion budget, unveiled Monday, has proposed major cuts to wasteful spending, while keeping non-defense spending at $590 billion and allocating roughly $740 billion on national defense. Contrary to Democrat claims of cutting safety nets, the new budget still includes a massive $3.5 trillion in Medicare, social security and the like.
    “What this budget allows us to do is two things: really identify where we can start going back and reinvesting in to domestic accounts here at home, in addition to work on new opportunities, new openings,” explained Jim Richardson, director of U.S. Foreign Assistance Resources for the State Department.
    Economists have said the new budget offers a fiscal stimulus to grow the U.S. economy as advocated by renowned scientist John Maynard Keynes in the 1930s.    This comes at the expense of foreign aid, which has proven wasteful and problematic after the impeachment hoax centered around Ukraine.
    More importantly, however, the new budget offers a practical plan to secure U.S. borders and improve the immigration system.
    “The budget supports U.S. border security by strengthening visa vetting, targeting illicit pathways that trans-national criminal organizations are using to traffick drugs, money, weapons, and even human beings,” said Stephen Biegun, Deputy Secretary of State.
    The defense budget remains largely unchanged from last year, except some funds are reallocated from the U.S. Navy toward nuclear forces as well as research and development.    This measure is aimed at securing America’s leading role in innovation and technology as well as protecting it from foreign acquisitions.
    “This budget is the means from which we will achieve our readiness goals by 2022 and set us on the path to future budgets, which will help us achieve our modernization objectives by 2028,” stated Maj. Gen. Paul A. Chamberlain, deputy assistant secretary of the U.S. Army.
President Donald Trump’s budget request for fiscal year 2021 arrives at the House Budget Committee
on Capitol Hill in Washington, Monday, Feb. 10, 2020. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
    Additionally, the new budget cuts funding for the Commerce Department by 37 percent, the EPA by 26 percent and HUD by 15 percent.    This move falls in line with President Trump’s agenda of deregulation and free market enterprise.    For their part, the Departments of Health and Education will get 9 percent and 8 percent less money this year as well.
    “We’re doing a lot of things that are good, including waste and fraud,” said President Trump.    “Tremendous waste and tremendous fraud, so we’re doing that in terms of certain programs.”
    This hardly makes government bureaucrats happy and Democrats have already suggested the budget is “dead on arrival” in Congress, while some Republicans may call for deeper cuts to spending.
    In the coming weeks, fiscal debates are likely to produce allegations of partisan obstruction and inflammatory rhetoric in he midst of this election cycle, but this is all expected to end in a bipartisan compromise of sorts.
    “And Congress will always have a different view,” said Richardson.    “Ultimately, the president will sign a document at the end of the day.”
    As a result of yet another partisan conundrum, some of the president’s proposals could be watered down.    All the while, the national debt clock is ticking up tens-of-thousands of dollars per second.

2/11/2020 Coronavirus confirmed in San Diego, Calif. by OAN Newsroom
A plane carrying evacuees from the virus zone in China lands at Marine Corps Air Station
Miramar Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2020, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)
    Another case of coronavirus has been confirmed in the U.S., bringing the national total to 13 cases.    A California hospital momentarily released a patient who was unknowingly infected by the coronavirus.
    The UC San Diego Medical Center discharged four people Sunday after botched test results came back negative for the disease.    Those patients were part of a group who recently evacuated from Wuhan, China.
    “Because these individuals were in Wuhan, the epicenter of the outbreak where there is intense and escalating community-wide spread of this novel coronavirus, we consider them at high risk of exposure,” stated Dr. Christopher Braden, Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
    After being released from the hospital, they were transferred to the Miramar Air Base where all China evacuees will stay in quarantine.
    However, doctors said they received new test results on Monday, which showed one patient did indeed have the virus despite already being released.    That person has since been brought back to the medical center, where they will stay for treatment and observation.
    Meanwhile, health officials said they do not believe the patient infected any other evacuees upon her return to base.    During their arrival last week, the CDC assured they offer no risk to the surrounding community.
    “We know this situation may be concerning to people in the Miramar Base and surrounding community,” stated Dr. Braden.    “However, based on our experience with other coronaviruses, we don’t believe these individuals pose a risk to the community because we’re doing all that we can to take the measures to minimize any potential exposures.”
    Hundreds of people have been put in quarantine at the base since the start of the outbreak last month and each person must stay for at least two weeks after their arrival.    The first group of evacuees is set to return home Tuesday.

2/11/2020 President Trump honors U.S. soldiers killed in Afghanistan in repatriation ceremony by OAN Newsroom
From left, President Donald Trump, Army Chief of Staff Gen. James C. McConville, Vice President Mike Pence
and Sgt. Maj. Michael Grinston stand as an Army carry team moves a transfer case containing the remains
of Sgt. 1st Class Javier Jaguar Gutierrez, Monday, Feb. 10, 2020, at Dover Air Force Base, Del. (AP Photo/Steve Ruark)
    President Trump honored two American service members who were recently killed in Afghanistan.    He traveled to Dover Air Force Base in Delaware on Monday to participate in a repatriation ceremony.
    This comes after Sgt. 1st Class Javier Jaguar Gutierrez and Sgt. 1st Class Antonio Rey Rodriguez were killed in an apparent insider attack over the weekend.    The president cut his reelection campaign rally in New Hampshire short to pay his respects alongside the families of the fallen soldiers.
    On Sunday, the Defense Department confirmed the soldiers were fatally shot by a man in an Afghan uniform, during a mission Saturday night.    The servicemen were supporting Operation Freedom’s Sentinel.
    Six other troops were also injured during the shooting. According to officials, the gunman was an Afghan soldier who had got into an argument with U.S. forces before opening fire.    The shooter was not associated with the Taliban.
    “The operation is ongoing there, we still do not know whether he was an infiltrator or if it was done by mistake,” explained Shah Mahmood Miakhel, Governor of the Nangarhar province.    “A delegation has gone there for a comprehensive investigation, whenever we receive more details will share that with you.”
    Further details on the incident are slim, but authorities confirmed the alleged gunman has been killed.    An investigation into the attack is ongoing.
An Army carry team moves a transfer case containing the remains of Sgt. 1st Class Javier Jaguar Gutierrez,
Monday, Feb. 10, 2020, at Dover Air Force Base, Del. According to the Department of Defense, Gutierrez, 28, of
San Antonio, died in Nangarhar province, Afghanistan, of wounds sustained during combat operations. (AP Photo/Steve Ruark)

2/11/2020 N.H. Gov. Sununu defends President Trump against CNN’s ‘autocrat’ accusation by OAN Newsroom
N.H. Gov. Chris Sununu at the State House in Concord, N.H., Thursday, Jan. 5, 2017. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
    New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu recently defended President Trump after CNN host Chris Cuomo labeled the commander-in-chief an “autocrat.”
    During a debate on Monday, Cuomo questioned how Sununu could support the president’s policies after publicly bucking him for his rhetoric in the past.    The New Hampshire leader said its possible to disagree with the president’s methods, while still recognizing that he “gets results.”
    Gov. Sununu implied that what Cuomo sees as being “autocratic” is merely the president’s “take-no-prisoners” attitude when it comes to making deals that benefit the U.S.
    Sununu pointed out the president’s strongest advantage going into the next election will be the campaign promises that he’s delivered on.

2/11/2020 Sen. McConnell urges opposition to Dem-proposed motion to restrict President Trump’s war powers on Iran by OAN Newsroom
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky., walks on Capitol Hill in Washington, Monday, Feb. 3, 2020. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
    Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has ramped up calls to oppose the Democratic push to limit President Trump’s war powers.
    While speaking on the Senate floor Tuesday, McConnell called on his colleagues to defeat a proposed motion that requires President Trump to end all military operations against Iran within 30 days.
    The majority leader said the resolution would severely damage America’s ability to defend itself and could embolden the Ayatollah regime to stage new attacks against the U.S.
    “The ill-conceived potshots at presidential authorities in the wake of a strike that succeeded using the blunt instrument of a war powers resolution is no substitute at all for answering these broader questions,” stated McConnell.    “I will oppose my colleagues’ resolution tomorrow, and I would encourage my colleagues to do likewise.”
    The resolution is expected to pick up the four Republican votes needed for initial adoption.    However, its further prospects remain unclear.

2/11/2020 Under pressure from Trump, U.S. seeks shorter sentence for his adviser Stone by Sarah N. Lynch
FILE PHOTO: Roger Stone, former campaign adviser to U.S. President Donald Trump, departs after he was found guilty on
seven criminal counts in his trial on charges of lying to Congress, obstructing justice and witness tampering in
this still image taken from video at U.S. District Court in Washington, U.S., November 15, 2019. REUTERS/Kevin Fogarty
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Under pressure from President Donald Trump, the U.S. Justice Department on Tuesday abruptly moved to seek a shorter prison sentence for veteran Republican operative and long-time Trump adviser Roger Stone, with all four prosecutors quitting the case after the highly unusual reversal.
    Senior department officials – hours after Trump publicly complained that Stone was being treated unfairly – overrode the sentencing recommendation of seven to nine years made on Monday by the federal prosecutors who secured Stone’s November conviction.    Stone was found guilty on seven counts of lying to Congress, obstruction and witness tampering.
    In a new court filing, a Justice Department official who had not previously worked on the case called that recommendation “excessive and unwarranted” and said the department would not make a formal recommendation.
    Democrats blasted the department’s shift in the high-profile case involving Stone, whose friendship with Trump dates back decades.    Stone’s trial arose from former Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation that detailed extensive Russian interference in the 2016 election to benefit Trump’s candidacy.
    Trump criticized the proposed sentence as a “miscarriage of justice” on Twitter early on Tuesday.    He later told reporters that he did not speak to the Justice Department.
    “I’d be able to do it if I wanted.    I have the absolute right to do it.    I stay out of things,” Trump told reporters.    “I thought the recommendation was ridiculous.”
    A senior Justice Department official, briefing reporters on condition of anonymity, called the timing of Trump’s tweet an “inconvenient coincidence.”
    After the department’s action was disclosed, the four prosecutors who won Stone’s conviction – Aaron Zelinsky, Adam Jed, Michael Marando and Jonathan Kravis – withdrew from the case.    Kravis told the court in a filing he was not only leaving the case but quitting his post as a federal prosecutor.
    U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson is due to sentence Stone on Feb. 20.
    Legal experts described the department’s move as highly unusual.    Democrats accused Attorney General William Barr, who heads the department, of working to protect Trump’s political interests.
‘HELP HIS FRIENDS’
    “The president seems to think the entire Justice Department is just his personal lawsuit to prosecute his enemies and help his friends,” Chuck Schumer, the top Senate Democrat, told reporters.
    Schumer asked the department’s internal watchdog to investigate the reversal.    Democrat Jerrold Nadler, chairman of the House of Representatives Judiciary Committee, said he also would investigate the matter.
    “AG Barr must stop being the President’s lapdog.    They are turning us into a banana republic,” Democratic Senator Chris Van Hollen added on Twitter.
    Stone, who has labeled himself a “dirty trickster” and “agent provocateur” and famously has the face of former President Richard Nixon tattooed on his back, was one of several Trump associates charged with crimes as part of Mueller’s investigation.
    In a court filing on Monday, prosecutors said their proposed sentence fell within U.S. guidelines and would “accurately reflect the seriousness of his crimes and promote respect for the law.”
    That came as a surprise to senior Justice Department officials who were expecting prosecutors to ask for a lower range, said an official who spoke on condition of anonymity.    The Justice Department was not in touch with the White House over the matter, the official said.
    Legal experts said it would be unusual for prosecutors to change their proposed sentence after filing a formal recommendation to the court, especially on a high-profile case like this in which senior Justice Department officials as well as courtroom prosecutors are involved in the decision-making.
    Several said that the proposed sentence struck them as unusually severe.    Stone’s defense team, in a filing late on Monday, disputed the prosecution’s calculation and proposed a range of between 15 and 21 months. They asked the judge for a sentence that would fall below that range.
    “It is high, but the prosecutors obviously felt there were extenuating circumstances that justified the enhancements,” said Lynn Niels, a former federal prosecutor.
    The new Justice Department filing noted that Stone’s guideline sentence would be significantly less – about three to four years – if the charge that he threatened a witness, Randy Credico, was not used in the calculation.
    Stone was convicted of the charge.    The position taken by the department on the witness tampering charge echoed arguments made by Stone’s own defense team in their memo filed late on Monday.
    Mueller’s investigation detailed a Russian campaign of hacking and propaganda in the 2016 election and extensive contacts between the president’s campaign and Moscow.    Stone was one of only two of these Trump associates who went to trial rather than pleading guilty.
    Trump has the power to pardon people for federal crimes, although he has yet to use it in the cases of other former aides convicted in the wake of the Mueller investigations.
(The story corrects prosecutor name to Adam Jed, paragraph 8)
(Reporting by Sarah N. Lynch; Additional reporting by Susan Cornwell, Nathan Layne, Karen Freifeld, Mark Hosenball, David Morgan, Makini Brice, Brad Heath and Susan Heavey; Editing by Will Dunham and Andy Sullivan)

2/12/2020 Oil up $0.37 to $49.94, DOW down 1 to 29,276.

2/12/2020 Prosecutors quit as Justice Dept. seeks shorter sentence for Trump ally by Sarah N. Lynch
FILE PHOTO: Roger Stone, former campaign adviser to U.S. President Donald Trump, departs after he was found guilty
on seven criminal counts in his trial on charges of lying to Congress, obstructing justice and witness tampering in
this still image taken from video at U.S. District Court in Washington, U.S., November 15, 2019. REUTERS/Kevin Fogarty
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Under pressure from President Donald Trump, the U.S. Justice Department on Tuesday abruptly moved to seek a shorter prison sentence for veteran Republican operative and long-time Trump adviser and friend Roger Stone, and all four prosecutors quit the case after the highly unusual reversal.
    Senior department officials – hours after Trump complained on Twitter that Stone was being treated unfairly – overrode the sentencing recommendation of seven to nine years made on Monday by the federal prosecutors who secured Stone’s conviction.    Stone was found guilty in November on seven counts of lying to Congress, obstruction and witness tampering.
    In a new court filing, a Justice Department official who had not previously worked on the case called that recommendation “excessive and unwarranted” and said the department would not make a formal sentencing recommendation.
    Democrats blasted the department’s shift in the high-profile case involving Stone, whose friendship with Trump dates back decades.    Stone’s trial arose from former Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation that detailed extensive Russian interference in the 2016 election to benefit Trump’s candidacy.
    Trump told reporters he thought the initial recommendation was “ridiculous” but said he did not speak to the Justice Department about it.
    “I’d be able to do it if I wanted.    I have the absolute right to do it.    I stay out of things,” Trump said.
    The four prosecutors who won Stone’s conviction – Aaron Zelinsky, Adam Jed, Michael Marando and Jonathan Kravis – withdrew from the case.    Kravis told the court in a filing that he was also quitting his job as a federal prosecutor.
    Trump also withdrew the nomination of Jessie Liu, a former U.S. attorney in Washington whose office prosecuted Stone, for the post of Treasury undersecretary for terrorism and financial crimes, a source familiar with the matter said.
    A senior Justice Department official, speaking to reporters on condition of anonymity, called the timing of Trump’s tweet an “inconvenient coincidence.”    The official said he did not know why the four prosecutors withdrew, but said it appeared to be in protest.    The official said it was “surprising that that would be the line in the sand.”
    U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson is due to sentence Stone on Feb. 20.
    In a tweet late on Tuesday, Trump criticized Jackson’s handling of another criminal case involving his former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, who was convicted in 2018 on tax fraud, bank fraud and other charges.
    Legal experts described the Justice Department’s move as highly unusual.    Democrats accused Attorney General William Barr, who heads the department, of working to protect Trump’s political interests.
THE PRESIDENT’S LAPDOG
    “The president seems to think the entire Justice Department is just his personal lawsuit to prosecute his enemies and help his friends,” Chuck Schumer, the top Senate Democrat, told reporters.
    Schumer asked the department’s internal watchdog to investigate.    Democrat Jerrold Nadler, chairman of the House of Representatives Judiciary Committee, said he also would investigate the reversal.
    “AG Barr must stop being the President’s lapdog.    They are turning us into a banana republic,” Democratic Senator Chris Van Hollen said on Twitter.
    Stone, who has labeled himself a “dirty trickster” and “agent provocateur” and famously has the face of former President Richard Nixon tattooed on his back, was one of several Trump associates charged with crimes in Mueller’s investigation.
    In a Monday court filing, prosecutors said their proposed sentence fell within U.S. guidelines and would “accurately reflect the seriousness of his crimes and promote respect for the law.”
    That came as a surprise to senior Justice Department officials who were expecting prosecutors to ask for a lower range, said a second official who spoke on condition of anonymity.
    Legal experts said it would be unusual for prosecutors to change their proposed sentence after filing a formal recommendation to the court, especially on a high-profile case like this in which senior Justice Department officials as well as courtroom prosecutors are involved in the decision-making.
    Several said the proposed sentence struck them as unusually severe.    Stone’s defense team, in a filing late on Monday, disputed the prosecution’s calculation and proposed a range of between 15 and 21 months.    They asked the judge for a sentence below that range.
    “It is high, but the prosecutors obviously felt there were extenuating circumstances that justified the enhancements,” said Lynn Niels, a former federal prosecutor.
    The new Justice Department filing noted that Stone’s guideline sentence would be significantly less – about three to four years – if the charge that he threatened a witness, Randy Credico, was not used in the calculation.
    Stone was convicted of the charge.    The position taken by the department on the witness tampering charge echoed arguments made by Stone’s own defense team in their memo filed late on Monday.
    Mueller’s investigation detailed a Russian campaign of hacking and propaganda in the 2016 election and extensive contacts between the president’s campaign and Moscow.    Stone was one of only two of Trump associates charged in the investigation who went to trial rather than pleading guilty.
    Trump has the power to pardon people for federal crimes, although he has yet to use it in the cases of other former aides convicted in the wake of the Mueller investigations.
    The senior official said he was not concerned about any possible “ripple effect” that could occur in other cases after the four prosecutors quit the case, and said the department’s change in its position was “not really that drastic.”
(Reporting by Sarah N. Lynch; Additional reporting by Susan Cornwell, Nathan Layne, Karen Freifeld, Mark Hosenball, Steve Holland, David Morgan, Makini Brice, Brad Heath and Susan Heavey; Editing by Will Dunham, Andy Sullivan and Leslie Adler)

2/12/2020 DOJ rethinks Stone’s prison sentence by David Jackson, USA TODAY
    WASHINGTON – The Justice Department backed away from a stiff prison sentence recommended for Roger Stone, a longtime ally of President Donald Trump – an unusual move that follows Trump’s public criticism of the recommendation and overrules the department’s career prosecutors.
    The backtracking was met with swift backlash Tuesday.    In a matter of hours, attorneys who worked on Stone’s case and prepared the sentencing recommendation had abruptly quit the prosecution team. Democrats called for an investigation, accusing the Justice Department of political meddling in a criminal prosecution.
    In a strongly worded court filing Monday afternoon, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia recommended Stone serve seven to nine years in prison.    Attorneys said Stone had committed a “direct and brazen attack on the rule of law” by “consciously, repeatedly, and flagrantly” obstructing a federal investigation by lying to Congress.
    But the Justice Department reversed course 24 hours later after Trump tweeted that the recommendation was a “miscarriage of justice.”
    A Justice Department official, who is not authorized to comment publicly, characterized the recommendation by District of Columbia prosecutors as “extreme, excessive and disproportionate” to Stone’s crimes.    The official said the recommendation differed from what prosecutors had briefed Justice Department officials on.
    In a five-page filing Tuesday afternoon, the Justice Department said the initial recommendation “does not accurately reflect” the agency’s position.    Although the department maintains imprisonment is warranted, the agency said seven to nine years “would not be appropriate.” It didn’t say what would be.
    Speaking to reporters in the Oval Office, Trump said he did not ask the Justice Department to reduce the recommendation for Stone, though he said he would be allowed to.
    Stone, who’s scheduled to be sentenced Feb. 20, was found guilty in November of lying to Congress and obstructing the Russia investigation to protect Trump and his presidential campaign.
    The 67-year-old longtime GOP operative is the latest Trump ally to be convicted in cases stemming from former special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election.
    The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia did not return a call seeking comment.
    In one-page filings Tuesday, Jonathan Kravis, Aaron Zelinsky and Adam Jed notified the court that they’re withdrawing from Stone’s case. Kravis, an assistant U.S. attorney in the District of Columbia, resigned.
    Zelinsky resigned from his temporary role as special assistant U.S. attorney in the District of Columbia, though he remains a federal prosecutor in Baltimore, where he served for several years.
    Former federal prosecutor David Weinstein said a revised sentencing filing would be unusual, given its proximity to Trump’s criticism of the initial recommendation.
Roger Stone was found guilty in November of lying to Congress and obstructing the Russia investigation. JULIO CORTEZ/AP
[WHERE HAVE WE HEARD OF THIS FAKE NEWS STORY OF LYING TO CONGRESS AND OBSTRUCTION OF CONGRESS BEFORE, AS ANYONE CONNECTED TO DONALD TRUMP ESPECIALLY FROM A CASE DECIDED BY A JUDGE WHO DID NOT PROSECUTE HIILARY CLINTON ALSO FOR MUCH WORSE CRIMES.].

2/12/2020 Tapes of Avenatti threats highlight extortion trial closings
    NEW YORK – Michael Avenatti’s recorded threats to reduce the value of Nike’s stock if he wasn’t paid millions of dollars highlighted a prosecutor’s closing argument Tuesday at the prominent lawyer’s extortion trial.    The taped conversation last March between Avenatti and Nike lawyers was played in Manhattan federal court.    Closing arguments were the culmination of a three-week trial for the California lawyer who gained fame representing porn star Stormy Daniels in lawsuits against President Donald Trump.

2/12/2020 Prosecutors drop out of Roger Stone case - Uproar comes after feds backtrack on stiff sentence by Kristine Phillips and Kevin Johnson, USA TODAY
    WASHINGTON – The Justice Department backed away from a stiff prison sentence recommended for Roger Stone, a longtime ally of President Donald Trump – an unusual move that follows Trump’s public criticism of the recommendation and overrules the department’s career prosecutors.
    The backtracking was met with swift backlash Tuesday.    In a matter of hours, four attorneys who worked on Stone’s case and prepared the sentencing recommendation abruptly quit the prosecution team.    Democrats called for an investigation, accusing the Justice Department of political meddling in a criminal prosecution.
    Although a Justice Department official said the about-face was not influenced by Trump, it raised new questions about the politicization of the agency.
    “This is a devastating blow to the department’s reputation in the courts,” said Mary McCord, former chief of the Justice Department’s National Security Division.    “The only thing that seems to be causing it is the president, and the notion that the department is going to do the president’s political bidding.”
    Stone was found guilty in November of lying to Congress and obstructing the Russia investigation to protect Trump and his presidential campaign.    The 67-year-old longtime GOP operative is the latest Trump ally to be convicted in cases stemming from former special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election.
    Stone is due to be sentenced next week.    The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia initially recommended he serve seven to nine years in prison.
    In a strongly worded court filing Monday, attorneys said Stone had committed a “direct and brazen attack on the rule of law” by “consciously, repeatedly, and flagrantly” obstructing a federal investigation by lying to Congress.
    But Tuesday, hours after the president called the recommendation a “miscarriage of justice,” the Justice Department reversed course, criticizing prosecutors for recommending a lengthy prison sentence.
    A Justice Department official, who is not authorized to comment publicly, characterized the recommendation as “extreme, excessive and disproportionate” to Stone’s crimes.    The official said the recommendation differed from what prosecutors had briefed Justice Department officials on.
    In a five-page filing late Tuesday afternoon, the Justice Department said the initial recommendation “does not accurately reflect” the agency’s position.    Although the department maintains imprisonment is warranted, the agency said seven to nine years “would not be appropriate.”    It didn’t say what would be.
    The new prosecutor on the case, Assistant U.S. Attorney John Crabb Jr., asked U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson to consider Stone’s “advanced age, health, personal circumstances, and lack of criminal history” in sentencing.
    In the Oval Office, Trump told reporters that he did not ask the Justice Department to change its recommendation, though he would be allowed to.
    “I thought the (original) recommendation was ridiculous.    I thought the whole prosecution was ridiculous,” Trump said.
    .Defense attorneys had argued that the guideline for first-time offenders convicted of these crimes is 15 to 21 months.    They asked that Stone be sentenced to probation.    In one-page filings Tuesday afternoon, Jonathan Kravis, Aaron Zelinsky, Adam Jed and Michael Marando notified the court they were withdrawing from Stone’s case.    Kravis, an assistant U.S. attorney in the District of Columbia, resigned.     Zelinsky resigned from his temporary role as special assistant U.S. attorney in the District of Columbia, though he remains a federal prosecutor in Baltimore, where he served for several years.
    Zelinsky and Jed had been members of Mueller’s team.
    Their departures come as the leadership of the U.S. attorney’s office in Washington, the largest in the country, is in transition.    Two weeks ago, Timothy Shea, who served as counselor to Attorney General William Barr, was appointed as interim chief prosecutor.
    The office did not return calls seeking comment.
    Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., has asked the Justice Department’s inspector general to immediately investigate “how and why” the career prosecutors’ recommendations “were countermanded” and which officials from the department and the White House were involved in the decision.
    “This situation has all the indicia of improper political interference in a criminal prosecution,” Schumer wrote in a letter to Inspector General Michael Horowitz.
Contributing: David Jackson and Michael Collins
Roger Stone, a former campaign adviser for President Donald Trump, is scheduled
to be sentenced to prison on Feb. 20. JOSE LUIS MAGANA/ AP
[Michael Flynns case has been found to have some shady going ons, and as well as Paul Manaforts case recently saw some discrepencies all part of the Muellar probe, and it is suspect of Stones sentencing now and should be considered after the recent sham that was going on in the FISA abuse, and the DEEP STATE is striking out later and I guess wants to punish someone.].

2/12/2020 President Trump congratulates Attorney General Barr for ‘taking charge’ of Stone case by OAN Newsroom
FILE – In this Feb. 1, 2019 file photo, former campaign adviser for President Donald Trump, Roger Stone, leaves
federal court in Washington. The Justice Department said Tuesday it will take the extraordinary step of
lowering the amount of prison time it will seek for Roger Stone. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
    President Trump recently congratulated William Barr for his new role in the Roger Stone case.    While taking to Twitter Wednesday, he praised the U.S. attorney general for taking over the “totally out of control” case against his former campaign adviser.
    This comes one day after the Justice Department changed and reduced the prosecutor’s recommended prison sentence for Stone after he was found guilty of lying to Congress and witness tampering.
    The four prosecutors on the case then resigned in protest.    According to reports, Aaron Zelinsky, Adam Jed, Michael Marando and Jonathan Kravis resigned Tuesday after the department announced it would seek to overrule their recommendation.
    President Trump was quick to slam their suggested sentence and called it a “miscarriage of justice.”    He said the whole prosecution was ridiculous and accused the defense of “cutting and running” for political reasons.    The president even claimed Stone’s case was the result of “an illegal investigation.”
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., holds a news conference the morning after the impeachment of President
Donald Trump ended in acquittal, at the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, Feb. 6, 2020. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
    Meanwhile, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called for an investigation into the Justice Department over its plan to reduce Stone’s prison sentence.
    Pelosi’s claims of “political interference” came despite President Trump insisting he had nothing to do with the decision.    The House speaker went on to applaud all four of Stone’s prosecutors for deciding to step down.
    Stone was found guilty last year on seven counts of lying to Congress, obstruction and witness tampering.    At this time, it is unclear whether or not President Trump will grant him a pardon.
[POOR OLE NERVOUS NANCY I WILL LIKE TO SEE TRUMP TEAR UP THE PAPERWORK THAT CONVICTED STONE SO THE QUESTION IS WHO FRAMED ROGER STONE.].
This was a pun on the movie “Who Framed Roger Rabbit
    So read the information below of who the judge is.
Amy Berman Jackson, a United States District Judge of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia to give you some history.
    In December 2013, in the case of Roman Catholic Archbishop of Washington v. Sebelius, Jackson ruled against the Roman Catholic Diocese of Washington in its challenge to the contraceptive mandate under the Affordable Care Act as applied to its employees.    The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and other agencies made accommodations for religious organizations, under which such organizations do not have to "provide, pay for, or facilitate access to contraception" if they certify their objection to doing so.    Jackson rejected the archdiocese's argument that the act of "self-certifying" in itself constitutes a substantial burden on the archdiocese's right to freely exercise religion.
    In May 2017, Jackson dismissed a wrongful death suit filed against Hillary Clinton by the parents of two of the Americans killed in the 2012 attack on the American diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, on the basis of the Westfall Act.
    In October 2017, Jackson was assigned to preside over the criminal case that Special Counsel Robert Mueller brought against Paul Manafort and Rick Gates as part of his investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 United States presidential election.    She accepted their "not guilty" pleas, granted bail, confiscated their passports, and ordered them to be held under house arrest.    She also warned defense lawyers not to discuss the case outside of court.    On June 15, 2018, after the prosecution accused him of attempted witness tampering, Jackson revoked Manafort's bail and sent him to jail until his upcoming federal trials to prevent him from having contact with people.    On February 23, 2018, Gates pleaded guilty to one count of false statements and one count of conspiracy against the United States.    The plea bargain included an agreement to cooperate with the Mueller investigation.    On September 14, 2018, Manafort pleaded guilty to two counts of conspiracy against the United States.    The plea bargain included an agreement to cooperate with the Mueller investigation.
    Stone has the right to speak what he wants to, but Mueller seems to be able to get judges that are suspect as you will read here is Amy Berman Jackson.].

2/12/2020 Former ‘Empire’ actor Jussie Smollett indicted in Chicago by OAN Newsroom
FILE – In this March 26, 2019 file photo, actor Jussie Smollett gestures as he leaves Cook County Court after
his charges were dropped in Chicago. Smollett faces new charges for reporting an attack that Chicago authorities
contend was staged to garner publicity. (AP Photo/Paul Beaty, File)
    Illinois legal authorities are taking former “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett back to court over his reporting of a hate crime, which officials are convinced never happened.
    The indictment was issued by special prosecutor Dan Webb Tuesday amid a probe into the dismissal of felony charges against the actor.    Webb’s announced four counts of filing a false police report over the alleged 2019 attack as well as six counts of disorderly conduct.
    This came nearly one year after charges were dropped against Smollett, who was accused of staging an attack to leverage his pay on the TV show “Empire.”    District attorney Kim Foxx has continued to defend her decision to drop the charges.    However, it appears she may be shifting gears since she is facing a March primary challenge for her office.
    “While I recognize and have said from the very beginning…I own that we did not meet our own level of transparency that we should have had in this case,” Foxx stated during a meeting with the Daily Herald Editorial Board.
    A Cook County judge appointed Webb in August to look into the case to see whether the county should criminally prosecute Smollett for staging the homophobic and racist hate crime. Warrants were issued for a year’s worth of Smollett’s data in December, but were kept under wraps due to confidentiality of the case.
    Google was reportedly ordered to provide Smollett and his manager’s emails, text messages and search histories.    Even more shocking allegations surfaced about Smollett’s apparent history of staging threats against himself prior to the January 2019 incident.
FILE – In this Oct. 28, 2019, file photo, Chicago Police Supt. Eddie Johnson participates in a news conference at police
headquarters in Chicago. Attorneys for actor Jussie Smollett are asking that the city of Chicago turn over documents
that show Johnson was “untruthful or misleading in any statement” before he was fired last month. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast, File)
    Chicago Police revealed Smollett mailed a letter addressed to himself to the Chicago studio where “Empire” is filmed, just one week before the attack.    The letter included racist and violent threats.    The FBI later took over the matter and has yet to determine whether he, in fact, staged that account.    Webb cited the issue in his reasoning for pursuing charges against the actor, which he described as extensive.
    So far, authorities believe Smollett’s motive for orchestrating the alleged attack stem from the studio’s response to the letter.    He has since been removed from the show and has a defamation lawsuit pending in the courts against the city of Chicago.
[NOW THEY ARE REALLY INDICTED THE CRIMINALS WHO LIED TO EVERYONE MADE FALSE ACCUSATIONS AND HAD THE CHICAGO JUSTICE SYSTEM OBSTRUCT JUSTICE WHO LET HIM GO.].

2/12/2020 Va. House of Delegates passes bill banning the sale of specified semi-automatic firearms, modifications by OAN Newsroom
Gun safety advocates, from left, Lori Haas, Barbara Parker and Andrew Goddard, applaude a house speech by
Del. Patrick Hope, D-Arlington, who spoke in favor of a number of gun-related bills during the floor session of the
Virginia House of Delegates inside the State Capitol in Richmond, Va., Thursday, Jan. 30, 2020. (Bob Brown/Richmond Times-Dispatch via AP)
    Virginia lawmakers are continuing to get gun laws through the the state’s lower chamber as Democrats get a narrow victory on a gun bill.
    The state’s delegates passed HB 961 on Tuesday, banning specified semi-automatic firearms and modifications. Advocates of the bill believe this will keep prohibited items out of the hands of the wrong people.
    “I ask you to pass this while they do have uses that were probably fine in the hands of certain people,” urged Andrew Goddard from the Virginia Center for Public Safety.    “We don’t have a system in place to ensure that they are only in the hands of those good people.”
    The bill bans the transaction of any firearm defined as a semi-automatic rifle that can hold a magazine exceeding 12 rounds.    It also prohibits transactions involving suppressors, high capacity magazines and trigger activators.    Opponents believe this is far reaching and targets law abiding citizens.
    “This bill does not make anyone safer; this bill does not make Virginians safer,” stated D.J. Spiker, a lobbyist for the NRA.    “What this bill does is make Virginians, law abiding Virginians, felons overnight — we strongly oppose this bill.”
    Gun laws have been contentious in the state since Democrats took control of its legislature in November.    Seven out of eight bills regarding gun legislation have been passed by Virginia’s House of Delegates this year, which has prompted protests from Second Amendment advocates.
    A large protest at the state capitol ensued as a result of aggressive gun policies as well as more than 80 communities calling themselves Second Amendment sanctuaries.
Gun-rights supporters pack the hill on Capitol Square as speakers talk in Richmond, Va., Monday Jan. 20, 2020.
Gun-rights activists and other groups are descending on Virginia’s capital city of Richmond to protest plans by the
state’s Democratic leadership to pass gun-control legislation.(Rob Ostermaier/The Virginian-Pilot via AP)
    Virginia is following the lead of seven states, including California and New York, that have approved similar gun laws.    If the bill is passed, Virginians who legally own banned items on July 1, 2020 will be able to keep them until January 2021.    They can extend this by obtaining a permit by the Department of State Police.
    The measure will now move to the state Senate, where Democrats have narrow control.

2/12/2020 Bloomberg boosts advertising budget to $300M after being excluded from Iowa by OAN Newsroom
Democratic presidential candidate and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg
talks to supporters Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2020 in Detroit. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)
    Michael Bloomberg has been rising in polls despite being excluded from Democrat debates, caucuses in Iowa and the New Hampshire Primary.    His strong performance came after a series of attacks by other Democrat candidates.
    The former New York City mayor responded to the latest criticism from other 2020 Democrats by pointing out that he’s the only candidate who offers an agenda strong enough to compete with President Trump’s achievements.
    This came after Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren took aim at Bloomberg and accused him of using his own money to finance his campaign.    The far-left duo also blamed Bloomberg for having too much money in the first place.
    “And I guess if you’re worth $55 billion, you can get the rules changed for debate,” said Bernie.    “So, to answer your question, I think that that is an absolute outrage and really unfair.”
    On the other hand, Bloomberg believes what’s really unfair is that he found himself in a rare situation of being excluded from Democrat debates as well as the recent caucuses in Iowa and this week’s primary in New Hampshire.
    Nonetheless, the former New York mayor appears to have finally secured himself a spot at the upcoming Democrat debates in Las Vegas after a massive surge in polls.    According to a recent Quinnipiac poll, Bloomberg is supported by 15 percent of likely Democrat voters.    This puts him in third place as most popular, trailing Sanders and Joe Biden.
    “Sanders is pretty far left and Joe is more middle of the road,” stated Bloomberg.    “..my polls are going up and their polls are going down, so I don’t know why they keep that strategy, but I think each of us have to make the case to the voters.”
    As a way to do just that, Bloomberg has recently ramped up advertising across the U.S.    He has spent a total of $300 million on television and social media ads.    The former New York City mayor is particularly targeting Texas and California, where voters will head to polls on March 3.
    While acknowledging the importance of fair competition, Bloomberg said he will not embark on reciprocal attacks against his Democrat rivals.    His rising chances in the Democrat race also add to the worries of Joe Biden’s campaign that struggled to maintain the trust of donors after his dismal performance in Iowa.
    The deepening disarray in the Democrat field is prevalent, while voter sympathies are still uncertain.
[AS I HAVE SAID THE GLOBALIST AND DEEP STATE DID NOT SEE ANY OF THE DEMOCRATS RUNNING FOR PRESIDENT DID NOT LOOK LIKE ANY OF THEM COULD RUN AGAINST TRUMP AND BEAT HIM SO THEY SENT ONE OF THEIR MEMBERS TO BRING HIS MONEY IN TO PUT OUT ADVERTISMENTS TO TRY TO DEMEAN TRUMP WITH NEGATIVE ADVERTISEMENTS AND TRY TO PROMOTE BLOOMBERG TO RUN AS A LAST RESORT SINCE THE ATTACKS THE DEMS HAVE TRIED TO DO TO TRUMP HAVE FAILED AND THEY ARE GETTING DESPERATE NOW].

2/12/2020 Trump says he does not mind if Philippines cuts military pact with U.S.
U.S. President Donald Trump speaks while meeting with Ecuador's President Lenin Moreno in the
Oval Office of the White House in Washington, U.S., February 12, 2020. REUTERS/Tom Brenner
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump said on Wednesday he would not mind if the Philippines ends a military agreement with the United States.
    Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday announced the termination of a two-decade-old Visiting Forces Agreement with the United States, a move U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper has called “unfortunate.”    The decision will take effect in 180 days.
    Trump added that he has a good relationship with Duterte.
(Reporting by Steve Holland; Writing by Eric Beech; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)

2/12/2020 Trump warns Senate not to approve war powers resolution on Iran
U.S. President Donald Trump reacts to a question from a reporter following a signing ceremony for the Supporting Veterans in
STEM Careers Act inside the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, U.S., February 11, 2020. REUTERS/Tom Brenner
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday warned the Senate against adopting a resolution that would curb his ability to wage war against Iran, saying it would send “a very bad signal” and allow Tehran to act with impunity.
    “It is very important for our Country’s SECURITY that the United States Senate not vote for the Iran War Powers Resolution.    We are doing very well with Iran and this is not the time to show weakness,” Trump, a Republican, tweeted.
    Democrats last month said they had the votes in the Republican-controlled chamber to approve the measure, which would require the president to seek congressional authorization for military action against Iran.
(Reporting by Susan Heavey; Editing by Chris Reese)

2/12/2020 NATO to expand Iraq training mission in response to Trump by Robin Emmott
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg speaks at a news conference following a NATO defence ministers
meeting at the Alliance headquarters in Brussels, Belgium February 12, 2020. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir
    BRUSSELS (Reuters) – NATO defense ministers agreed on Wednesday to expand the Western alliance’s training mission in Iraq, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said, responding to a demand by U.S. President Donald Trump for NATO to do more in the Middle East.
    NATO will take over some of the training activities carried out by the U.S.-led coalition against Islamic State, Stoltenberg said, meaning the decision does not require more Western troops in Iraq but would be with the consent of the Iraqi government.
    “Today, allied ministers…agreed in principle to enhance NATO’s training mission,” Stoltenberg told a news conference.    “In the first instance, this will consist of taking on some of the global coalition’s current training activities.”
    NATO and the coalition have non-combat, “train-and-advise” missions that aim to develop Iraqi security forces, but both are suspended over fears for regional stability after a U.S. drone strike killed a top Iranian commander in Baghdad on Jan. 3.
    After the killing, Trump called on NATO – founded in 1949 to contain a military threat from the Soviet Union – to do more in the Middle East, without specifying what that might entail.
    Stoltenberg said the NATO Iraq mission would restart as soon as possible.    He declined to give more details. He also said there had been no decision on how many troops would be re-assigned from the U.S.-led coalition.
    NATO diplomats told Reuters the coalition troops could likely move across and work under a NATO flag from the middle of 2020 now that the political decision has been taken.
    NATO ministers, including U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper, will also discuss more options for the alliance in the Middle East in a bid to mollify Trump, a sharp critic who has accused some allies of being “delinquent” because they do not spend enough on defense.
    “Ministers also agreed to explore what more we can do beyond this first step,” Stoltenberg said.
    However, many allies say they refuse to join the U.S. maximum pressure campaign against Iran, for instance.
    Eastern European allies, fearful of Russia since Moscow’s 2014 annexation of Crimea, are concerned about shifting too many resources to the Middle East or for NATO to be used as a way for the United States to pull out of the region, diplomats said.
(Reporting by Robin Emmott; Editing by Mark Heinrich)

2/12/2020 President Trump on Stone pardon: I don’t want to talk about that yet by OAN Newsroom
President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting with Ecuadorian President Lenin Moreno in the
Oval Office of the White House, Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
    President Trump is sidestepping questions about whether or not he would issue a pardon to Roger Stone.
    On Wednesday, the president was asked if he would grant a pardon to his long-time political adviser.    He said he didn’t want to talk about it just yet and proceeded to slam the case as unjust.    He added Stone didn’t deserve to have his life destroyed “because nobody even knows what he did.”
    “I don’t want to say that yet, but I’ll tell you what, people were hurt viciously and badly by these corrupt people.    I want to thank the Justice Department for seeing this, this horrible thing.    They saw the horribleness of a nine year sentence for doing nothing.    You have murderers and drug addicts, they don’t get nine years.    Nine years for doing something that nobody can define what he did.    Somebody said he put out a tweet, and the tweet, you based it on that.” – Donald J. Trump, 45th President of the United States
    This came after the judge presiding over Stone’s case denied his request for a new trial.    A recently unsealed court order showed his defense demanded to strike a juror, who was an IRS lawyer, from the case.
FILE – In this Nov. 7, 2019 file photo, Roger Stone arrives at Federal Court for his federal trial in Washington. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)
    Meanwhile, officials in Washington are speaking out on the fallout of the Justice Department’s intervention in the case.    President Trump praised their decision to reduce Stone’s recommended prison sentence, but emphasized he was not involved.
    “That was a horrible aberration, I think it’s a disgrace,” he said.    “No, I have not been involved with it at all.”
    Deputy Press Secretary Hogan Gidley has since repeated the president’s position. On Wednesday, he told reporters President Trump did not tell Attorney General William Barr to do anything regarding Stone’s sentencing.
    “Listen, the President of the United States is, by the constitutional definition, the chief law enforcement officer of the land,” stated Gidley.    “The fact is, the president didn’t have a conversation with the attorney general at all, but he has the right to do it.”
    However, Senate Democrats, who are still raw from the impeachment acquittal, are calling for further investigations into the president’s conduct surrounding Roger Stone’s sentence.
    “I have formally requested that the Inspector General of the Justice Department investigate this matter immediately,” stated Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.).    “This morning, I call on Judiciary Committee Chairman Graham to convene an emergency hearing to do the same.”
Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., left, speaks during the Women’s Global Development and Prosperity Initiative
one-year anniversary event event co-hosted by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Senior Advisor to the
President, Ivanka Trump, at the State Department in Washington, Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2020. (AP Photo/Luis M. Alvarez)
    Sen. Graham (R-S.C.) said he will not play Schumer’s game.    The Judiciary Committee chairman told reporters on Capitol Hill he isn’t planning to request Attorney General Barr to appear and testify in front of his panel.
    He explained that Barr would appear for normal oversight hearings, but not for the Stone sentencing.
    Despite Graham’s refusal to call Barr to testify, he also told reporters he doesn’t think the president should be commenting on pending sentences.
    “He should not be commenting on cases in the system, I’ve said that a bunch,” said Graham.    “If I thought he’d done something that had changed the outcome inappropriately, I’d be the first to say.”
    This came after the president repeatedly blasted Stone’s prosecution on Twitter, calling the trial “illegal” and a “Mueller scam.”    He then congratulated Attorney General Barr for successfully seizing control of the sentencing phase for his long-time political adviser.

2/12/2020 Sen. McConnell urges Senate against passing War Powers Resolution by OAN Newsroom
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., joined by, from left, Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., Majority Whip John Thune, R-S.D., and
Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, talks to reporters following a GOP strategy meeting at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2020. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
    Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is warning against limiting the president’s war powers.    On Wednesday, McConnell called Democrat Sen. Tim Kaine’s (D-Va.) War Powers Resolution “blunt and clumsy.”
    He went on to say the legislation “severely limits” the White House’s power to mitigate threats from Iran.
    On Wednesday, the upper chamber voted to advance the resolution in a 51 to 45 vote.    McConnell stood firm, comparing the resolution to the Democrats’ impeachment efforts.
    “The collateral institutional damage of this action would fall on our military, its ability to operate quickly and adaptively, and emerging threats would be jeopardized.    Like impeachment, this War Powers Resolution cuts short that interplay between the branches, it short circuits the deliberation and debate.    It is (a) dangerously overbroad resolution that should not pass Congress, that is certain to be vetoed if it does.” – Mitch McConnell, Senate Majority Leader
    The Senate is scheduled to hold a full vote on the measure this Thursday, but appears to lack the two-thirds majority needed to override an expected veto by the president.
President Donald Trump speaks during an “Evangelicals for Trump Coalition Launch
at King Jesus International Ministry, Friday, Jan. 3, 2020, in Miami. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)
    In a series of tweets, President Trump criticized the resolution, saying the motion would greatly embolden Iranian aggression in the Middle East going forward.    He said the resolution was designed to tie his hands and “embarrass the Republican Party,” but would actually protect Iran and reveal America’s weaknesses.
    Democrats drafted the legislation after President Trump green-lit the killing of a top Iranian general last month.
    “We just took out the world’s top terrorist, Qasem Soleimani, ending his evil reign of terror forever,” stated the president.    “The fact is America is respected again, been a long time.”
    He added that a vast majority of Americans supported his decision to take out the general.

2/12/2020 DNC chair wants to reform caucuses to encourage diversity by OAN Newsroom
Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez, addresses member of the audience on stage Friday, Feb. 7, 2020,
before the start of a Democratic presidential primary debate hosted by ABC News, Apple News, and WMUR-TV
at Saint Anselm College in Manchester, N.H. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
    Democratic National Committee chairman Tom Perez claimed he wants to reform the Democrat caucuses.
    During an interview Wednesday, Perez said he wanted to review the order of when each primary happens to reflect a more diverse voter base and give candidates more of a chance to stand out.
Democratic presidential candidate and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg
talks to supporters Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2020 in Detroit. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)
    This came after Perez suffered intense backlash for appearing to change the committee’s donor requirements, which allowed Michael Bloomberg to participate in the most recent round of debates.
    Despite the criticism, the chairman claimed he is ready to have a serious discussion about making presidential races a “level field for everyone.”
    “Parties should be in the business, in my judgement, of helping Democrats up and down the ticket win,” stated Perez.    “I want to make sure that we reflect the grand diversity of our party in everything we do, including how we administer our primary system.”
    Perez has refused calls for his resignation in the wake of the donor requirement scandal.

2/13/2020 Oil up $1.39 to $51.54, DOW up 274 to 29,551 and in to record stage again.

2/13/2020 Trump salutes Barr over Stone case by David Jackson, USA TODAY
    WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump praised Attorney General William Barr on Wednesday for “taking charge” of a lowered sentencing recommendation for ally Roger Stone, an incident that prompted four veteran prosecutors to leave the case.
    “Congratulations to Attorney General Bill Barr for taking charge of a case that was totally out of control and perhaps should not have even been brought,” Trump tweeted a day after he spoke out publicly on the Stone case.
    Prosecutors recommended on Monday that Stone serve seven to nine years in prison.    Early Tuesday morning, Trump tweeted that the recommendation was unfair and that “this miscarriage of justice” should not be allowed.
    Hours later, the Justice Department disclosed it would reduce the sentencing recommendation, and then four career prosecutors involved in the case promptly withdrew from it – and one left the Justice Department entirely.
    Justice Department officials denied Trump played a role in their decision to reduce the recommendation, a claim critics challenged.
    Congressional Democrats called for an investigation, accusing Trump and the Justice Department of political meddling in a criminal prosecution.
    In seeking an investigation from the Justice Department’s Inspector General, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said that Americans “must have confidence that justice in this country is dispensed impartially.”
    Barr has agreed to testify before the House Judiciary Committee on March31, as questions swirl about whether he intervened in the case.
    House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., released a letter Wednesday to Barr “to confirm your agreement to testify.”    In the letter, Nadler and committee Democrats wrote that they have concerns that Barr misused the criminal justice system for political purposes.
    The Democrats said they will ask Barr about the department’s decision to overrule the four federal prosecutors.    They also will ask him about his department’s announcement that it is taking information that Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani is gathering in Ukraine about Trump’s Democratic rival Joe Biden and his son.
    A jury convicted Stone, 67, of lying to Congress and obstructing the Russia investigation to protect Trump and his presidential campaign.
    Critics said Trump inserted himself into the Stone case to set the stage for a pardon of his political supporter.    Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I., said that “there shouldn’t be one set of sentencing guidelines for everyone and another set for President Trump’s friends and those who lied to protect him.”
    Although a Justice Department official said the about-face was not influenced by Trump, critics said his tweet casts a new light on developments.
    Former federal prosecutor Barb McQuade, now a law professor at the University of Michigan, said Trump’s tweet “seems to confirm that it was Barr and not Shea who was responsible for the change – at Trump’s behest, no doubt.”
Contributing: Kevin Johnson, Kristine Phillips, USA TODAY; Associated Press
President Donald Trump tweeted out “congratulations to Attorney General
Bill Barr for taking charge
” of the Roger Stone case. CLIFF OWEN/AP
[The fake news claims Stone was lying to Congress and obstructing the Russia investigation which has turned out to be a fake investigation as the Mueller report did not find anything done by the Trump administration.].

2/13/2020 Barr stands by Trump – at all costs - Attorney general steps into line of fire again by Kevin Johnson, Kristine Phillips and Dennis Wagner, USA TODAY
    WASHINGTON – With the end of the Russia investigation looming, William Barr went to Capitol Hill soon after taking office to assure anxious lawmakers he was fully engaged in “landing the plane” for the public rollout of Robert Mueller’s explosive 22month inquiry.
    Barr’s intervention unleashed a political firestorm: He concluded there was insufficient evidence to charge President Donald Trump with obstruction of justice.
    It was only the beginning.
    A year after his confirmation Feb. 14, 2019, Barr and his Justice Department have embraced the mantle of Trump’s defender-in-chief even if it risks sacrificing the department’s long-prized independence, former Justice officials and legal analysts said.
    His agency’s decision to back away from a stiff prison sentence recommended for Trump confidant Roger Stone has brought fresh recriminations.    Democrats have called for an investigation, and Barr has been summoned back to Capitol Hill to explain himself.
    From the White House, however, there was the requisite, warm acknowledgement from an appreciative president.
    “Congratulations to Attorney General Bill Barr for taking charge of a case that was totally out of control and perhaps should not have even been brought,” Trump tweeted Wednesday, a day after four federal prosecutors assigned to Stone’s case withdrew from the case in apparent protest.
    Indeed, Barr has stepped into the breach at virtually every opportunity to guide Trump to safe harbor and offer a muscular defense of the president’s authority.    The attorney general helped shield the president from the most damning of Mueller’s findings, and Barr’s public summary led the special counsel to complain that his report had been mischaracterized.
    Last spring, Barr startled lawmakers by declaring that federal authorities had spied on the president’s campaign.    Then he announced a new investigation into the origins of Mueller’s inquiry.
    In August, the Justice Department delayed Congress from receiving a whistleblower’s complaint about Trump’s dealings with Ukraine.    And in a stinging address in November before the Federalist Society, Barr endorsed a sweeping view of presidential authority and cast the myriad investigations that have shadowed his boss as “sabotage.”
    This week, analysts said, the attorney general may have taken his most provocative step yet when top Justice Department officials backtracked on prosecutors’ recommended sentence for Stone.    Though department officials maintained the White House played no role in the decision, it came hours after Trump tweeted his displeasure with the stiff prison term prosecutors had recommended the night before.
    A department official, who was not authorized to comment publicly, has said prosecutors’ recommendation surprised department leaders and represented an “extreme, excessive and disproportionate” punishment.    Yet no former Justice officials or legal experts who spoke to USA TODAY could recall anything that would compare – both to the reversal and the prosecutors’ walkout.
    “I am unaware of any prior situation in which DOJ responded so obviously to the wishes of the president to change its position in a criminal matter,” said William Yeomans, a former Justice official whose service started under Jimmy Carter and ended under George W. Bush.
    “That is a chilling abuse of his power that damages the notion that the Department of Justice is guided by the rule of law, rather than the tweets of this president.”
    The four prosecutors who withdrew Tuesday from Stone’s case – Aaron Zelinsky, Jonathan Kravis, Adam Jed and Michael Marando – have not responded to requests for comment.    All four submitted one-page notices to the court announcing their exit.    Kravis’ letter added that he was leaving the Justice Department entirely.
    Trump said the four “cut and ran after being exposed for recommending a ridiculous 9-year prison sentence to a man that got caught up in an investigation that was illegal – the Mueller scam.”
    Stone was the last of a half-dozen former Trump aides and associates to be swept up in Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.    Zelinsky and Jed had been members of Mueller’s team.

    Some Stone supporters have called for Trump to pardon his longtime ally.
    “Roger Stone was targeted by dirty cops because, despite all their illegal efforts, they failed to get Trump,” said Michael Caputo, a former Trump campaign aide.
    Late Wednesday, the House Judiciary Committee announced Barr had agreed to testify before the panel on March 31.    The invitation from Chairman Jerry Nadler, D.N.Y., carried a warning: “In your tenure as attorney general, you have engaged in a pattern of conduct in legal matters relating to the president that raises significant concern for this committee.”    The handling of the Stone case and other actions, he wrote, had raised “grave questions about your leadership of the Department of Justice.”

2/13/2020 U.S. Senate rebukes Trump, votes to limit Iran warmaking ability by Patricia Zengerle
U.S. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), flanked by Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA),
Sen. Tom Udall (D-NM) and Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL), holds a news conference after the final vote on the war powers
resolution regarding potential military action against Iran, at the Capitol in Washington, U.S. February 13, 2020. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Senate backed legislation on Thursday to limit President Donald Trump’s ability to wage war against Iran, rebuking him weeks after a strike against an Iranian military commander and Tehran’s retaliation raised fears of broader regional conflict.
    Eight of Trump’s fellow Republicans joined Democrats to pass the war powers resolution by 55-45.    The measure would require Trump to remove U.S. troops engaged in hostilities against Iran unless Congress declares war or passes a specific authorization for the use of military force.
    Trump has promised a veto and there is not expected to be enough support to muster the two-thirds Senate supermajority to override.    Fifty-three of the 100 senators are Republicans who rarely break with the president.
    Senators voted nearly along party lines a week ago to acquit Trump of impeachment charges, after an investigation and trial that underscored Washington’s bitter partisan divides.
    Opponents said the resolution’s passage sent the wrong message.
    “We need to send a message of firmness, and not weakness,” said Senator Jim Risch, the Republican chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
    Democratic Senator Tim Kaine, a lead sponsor of the resolution, said the vote showed strength and reflected the importance of Congress weighing in on the decision to deploy troops.
    Even if the Senate cannot override a veto, Kaine said the resolution’s backers hoped it would influence Trump when it came to future military action, adding that the president cared about what the public thinks, if not the Senate.
    “The bill getting to his desk is an indication that we’re listening to our constituents and we’re telling him blundering into another war would be a bad idea,” Kaine told a news conference after the vote.
    The bill’s supporters also noted that they were gaining more support for their efforts to take back Congress’ authority to declare war.    The Constitution gives that authority to Congress, not the president, but presidents from both parties in recent decades have expanded the White House’s authority to pursue military action without legislators’ input.
    In June, another resolution that would have required Trump to get Congress’ permission before striking Iran failed in the Senate.
    The Democratic-controlled House of Representatives passed a similar resolution last month, also by less than a two-thirds majority.    In addition, there are enough differences between the Senate’s version and the House’s that it must pass that chamber again before it can be sent to Trump’s desk.
(Reporting by Patricia Zengerle, additional reporting by Susan Cornwell; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama, David Gregorio and Jonathan Oatis)

2/13/2020 President Trump expected to veto War Powers Resolution passed by Senate by OAN Newsroom
President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting with Ecuadorian President Lenin Moreno in the Oval Office
of the White House, Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
    President Trump is expected to veto a War Powers Resolution, which would limit his ability to take military action against Iran.    The Senate voted 55-45 to approve the measure on Thursday.
    Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell strongly urged senators to reject the measure ahead of the vote.    The Kentucky lawmaker said it would limit the U.S. military’s ability to defend itself against Iranian threats.
    The War Powers resolution was drafted after President Trump green-lit the killing of a top Iranian general last month.    The bill would require the president to remove U.S. troops engaged in hostilities against Iran unless Congress signs off on a Declaration of War.
    In a series of tweets Wednesday, the president criticized the resolution and said the motion would greatly embolden Iranian aggression in the Middle East.
    However, Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.). has said the resolution is about Congress, not the president.
    “Some view this as an effort to tie President Trump’s hands, it’s not really about President Trump,” he stated.    “It’s about Congress fully inhabiting our Article One role to declare war and taking that deliberation seriously.”
    Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) echoed Kaine’s sentiments and claimed the resolution does not make the U.S. appear weak.
    “There is abundance support for the United States taking tough positions with regard to Iran and, as part of that, we want to make sure that any military action that needs to be authorized is, in fact, properly authorized by Congress,” he explained.    “That doesn’t show weakness, that shows strength and I think that’s the strength that’s going to unfold as we debate this.”
Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, and Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, craft an amendment as the Senate advanced a bipartisan
resolution asserting that President Donald Trump must seek approval from Congress before engaging in further
military action against Iran, at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2020. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
    Seven fellow GOP senators joined Sen. Lee in supporting the resolution, including Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.).
    “It is dangerously overbroad , an overbroad resolution that should not pass Congress, that is certain to be vetoed if it does,” stated McConnell.    “If my colleagues want to make a real difference, this is not the way to go.”
    It’s not clear if there will be enough support to override a possible presidential veto.

2/13/2020 Pentagon: U.S., Taliban reach short-term ‘reduction in violence’ deal by OAN Newsroom
Photo via Secretary of Defense Dr. Mark T. Esper Twitter.
    On Thursday, the Pentagon announced a seven-day agreement with the Taliban to reduce violence in Afghanistan.    While speaking at a NATO meeting in Brussels, Defense Secretary Mark Esper said he had productive bilateral meetings with its allies on the new deal.
    He said the best, if not only, solution in the war-torn country is a political agreement.
    However, the secretary also stressed that the approach to the peace process would be conditions-based and continually reevaluated.
    “The United States and the Taliban have negotiated a proposal for a seven-day reduction in violence.    I am here today consulting with allies about this proposal, and we have had a series of productive bilateral and collective meetings about the path forward.    We have said all along that the best, if not only, solution in Afghanistan is a political agreement.    Progress has been made on that front and we will have more to report on that soon, I hope.” – Mark Esper, United States Secretary of Defense
    The Taliban reportedly supported the move because they do not want to commit to a formal ceasefire until other components of a final deal are in place.

2/13/2020 President Trump: Failed impeachment inquiry shows Democrats are ‘crooked’ by OAN Newsroom
President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting with Ecuadorian President Lenin Moreno in the
Oval Office of the White House, Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
    According to President Trump, the main take-away from the impeachment process is that Democrat lawmakers are corrupt.    While speaking to reporters at the White House Wednesday, he suggested top Democrats are guilty of wrong doing.
    The president was reiterating his previous claim that the impeachment process should have never started.    He pointed out that Democrats have spared no effort to attack his administration for no reason at all with help from the media.
    When asked what he learned from the impeachment process, President Trump didn’t hesitate to say the main thing he gathered was simply that the Democrats are crooked.
    “They got a lot of crooked things going…that they’re vicious…that the shouldn’t have brought impeachment,” he stated.    “And my poll numbers are ten points higher because of fake news like NBC, which reports the news very inaccurately."
    The president has continued his calls to investigate the origins of the Russia investigation as well as impeachment and said those responsible must be held accountable.

2/13/2020 Rep. Swalwell: Impeachment over Roger Stone intervention an option by OAN Newsroom
FILE – In this Jan. 29, 2019 file photo, former campaign adviser for President Donald Trump,
Roger Stone arrives at Federal Court in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
    According to congressman Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.), impeachment is still not off the table after the Justice Department intervened on behalf of Republican operative Roger Stone.
    In an interview Wednesday, the California lawmaker said he agreed with Stone’s sentence and he shouldn’t be treated differently than anyone else who went to trial.
    Swalwell said he’s concerned about the ability of judges and prosecutors to work independently.    He added, ultimately it will be up to the voters in November.    However, impeachment over the Stone issue is still an option.
    “We don’t wake up in the morning wanting to impeach him,” stated Swalwell.    “…but we’re not going to let him just torch this democracy because he thinks that he’s been let off once and we’re not going to do something about it.”
    Democrats have reportedly called for new investigations and oversight into President Trump, but they are ultimately struggling to figure out what to do next after their impeachment effort failed last week.
[TO THE DEMOCRATS “GET OVER IT” SINCE YOU HAVE STRUCK OUT 3 TIMES NOW BECAUSE YOU HAVE BEEN WRONG 3 TIMES ATTACKING TRUMP, SO DO YOU REALLY WANT TO HAVE IT HAPPEN AGAIN RIGHT BEFORE THE NOVEMBER ELECTIONS AND WATCH TRUMP’S APPROVAL RATING GO HIGHER THAN 53%.].

2/13/2020 Trump administration taking $3.8 billion more from military for Mexico border wall by Patricia Zengerle
FILE PHOTO: Construction workers raise the 30-foot high bollard style wall, at the US-Mexico border to replace a
section of the border wall near Calexico, California, U.S., February 23, 2018. REUTERS/Earnie Grafton
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Defense Department sent Congress a request to shift nearly $4 billion from the military budget to pay for a wall on the border with Mexico, a central promise of President Donald Trump’s campaign for the White House four years ago and bid this year for a second term.
    Lawmakers said they received a request on Thursday to reprogram more than $3.8 billion from funding for the National Guard and weapons programs, setting the stage for a possible confrontation with Democrats.
    Democratic aides said $1.5 billion would come from the National Guard, and the rest from funds for procurement, including the Lockheed Martin Corp F-35 fighter jet program, Lockheed C-130 aircraft, Boeing Co P-8 Poseidon aircraft, Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey helicopters and shipbuilding.
    Congressional Democrats, who opposed Trump’s past diversion of billions of dollars in military spending to the border wall project, said the decision was dangerous and misguided.
    “President Trump is once again disrespecting the separation of powers and endangering our security by raiding military resources to pay for his wasteful border wall,” Democratic Representatives Nita Lowey, chairwoman of the House of Representatives Appropriations Committee, and Pete Visclosky, chairman of the Defense Appropriations subcommittee, said in a statement.
    “The Constitution gives Congress, not the President, the power of the purse.    Congress rejected President Trump’s full request for wall funding, which is why he is now orchestrating this backdoor mechanism to prop up a political vanity project,” they said.
    The Trump administration has vowed to build at least 400 miles (640 km) of wall along the border by November 2020, when Americans will vote for president.    In his 2016 campaign, Trump said Mexico would pay for the wall.    The Mexican government has consistently refused to do so.
    Trump’s hard-line immigration policies, particularly for immigrants who come across the southern border with Mexico, have been a signature of his political campaign and first term in the White House.
    The Trump administration has built nearly 100 miles (160 km) of border wall, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection statistics current to late December.    All of those barriers replaced existing structures, the agency said.
(Reporting by Patricia Zengerle; editing by Jonathan Oatis)

2/13/2020 Trump sees ‘good chance’ for accord with Taliban by end of month by Humeyra Pamuk and Jonathan Landay
FILE PHOTO: U.S. Secretary of Defence Mark Esper speaks at a news conference following a NATO defence ministers
meeting at the Alliance headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, February 13, 2020. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump said on Thursday he thinks there is a “good chance” the United States would reach an agreement with the Taliban by the end of February on a U.S. troop withdrawal from Afghanistan.     Trump’s comments were the latest indication of significant progress in negotiations that the United States and the Taliban have been holding since December in Qatar.
    “I think we’re very close,” Trump said on a podcast broadcast on iHeart Radio when asked if a tentative deal had been reached.    “I think there’s a good chance that we’ll have a deal … We’re going to know over the next two weeks.”
    Earlier, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the talks had achieved “a pretty important breakthrough.”    Defense Secretary Mark Esper said the sides have been negotiating a proposed seven-day reduction in violence that some lawmakers saw as a test of the Taliban leadership’s control of its fighters.
    Sources had told Reuters a U.S.-Taliban peace deal could be signed this month, a move that would pave the way for a withdrawal from Afghanistan of some 13,000 U.S. troops and thousands of other NATO personnel, 18 years after a U.S.-led coalition invaded following the Sept. 11, 2001, al Qaeda attacks on the United States.
    The demand to sharply reduce violence has been partly why the talks had been deadlocked, according to a Western diplomat in Kabul.
    Speaking to reporters traveling with him to Munich, where he will attend a security conference, Pompeo expressed both optimism and caution.
    “We have made real progress over the last handful of days and the President gave us the authority to continue to have the conversations,” Pompeo said, adding: “We are not there yet.”
    “We hope we can get to a place where we can get a significant reduction in violence, not only on a piece of paper but demonstrated … and if we can get there, if we can hold that posture for a while, then we’ll be able to begin the real, serious discussion which is all the Afghans sitting at a table,” Pompeo said.
    He is expected to meet with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani in Munich, a former senior Afghan official said on Wednesday.     Esper, during a press conference in Brussels, said that if the process goes forward there would be continuous evaluation of any violence.
    The news of a potential agreement comes amid continued attacks by the Taliban, who control about 40% of Afghanistan, according to Afghan defense officials.
    Last month the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, a U.S. government agency, assessed that there had been a record-high number of attacks by the Taliban and other anti-government forces in the last three months of 2019.
    Although the Taliban is negotiating with U.S. envoy Zalmay Khalilzad, it refuses to talk directly to Ghani’s government, which it denounces as a puppet of the West.
    U.S. Democratic Representative Tom Malinowski, who has expressed deep reservations about the talks with the Taliban, said he viewed the proposal of a reduction in violence as a test of the Taliban leadership.
    “We also need to see whether the Taliban leadership conducting these negotiations actually can control what their forces in the field do.    And I’m glad to see that intra-Afghan talks are supposed to start if this test is passed,” he told Reuters.
(Reporting by Humeyra Pamuk and Jonathan Landay; Additional reporting by Idrees Ali and Phil Stewart; Editing by Catherine Evans, Jonathan Oatis and Daniel Wallis)

2/13/2020 India offers to import U.S. dairy, chicken legs to seal elusive trade deal with Trump by Sanjeev Miglani, Neha Dasgupta, David Lawder and Aditya Kalra
FILE PHOTO - U.S. President Donald Trump holds a bilateral meeting with India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the sidelines
of the annual United Nations General Assembly in New York City, New York, U.S., September 24, 2019. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
    NEW DELHI/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – India has offered to partially open up its poultry and dairy markets to win a limited trade deal during U.S. President Donald Trump’s first official visit to the country this month, people familiar with the protracted talks say.
    India, the world’s largest milk-producing nation, has traditionally restricted dairy imports to protect the livelihoods of 80 million rural households involved in the industry.
    But Prime Minister Narendra Modi is trying to pull all the stops for the U.S. president’s Feb. 24-25 visit, aimed at rebuilding bonds between the world’s largest democracies.
    In 2019, Trump suspended India’s special trade designation that dated back to 1970s, after Modi put price caps on medical devices, such as cardiac stents and knee implants, and introduced new data localization requirements and e-commerce restrictions.
    Trump’s trip to India has raised hopes that he would restore some of the country’s U.S. trade preferences, in exchange for tariff reductions and other concessions.
    The United States is India’s second-largest trade partner after China, and bilateral goods and services trade climbed to a record $142.6 billion in 2018.    The United States had a $23.2 billion goods trade deficit in 2019 with India, its 9th largest trading partner in goods.
    India has offered to allow imports of U.S. chicken legs, turkey and produce such as blueberries and cherries, Indian government sources said, and has offered to cut tariffs on chicken legs from 100% to 25%. U.S. negotiators want that tariff cut to 10%.
    The Modi government is also offering to open up India’s dairy market, but with quotas and a 5% tariff on some products, the sources said.     Dairy imports will need a certificate they are not derived from animals that have consumed feeds that include internal organs, blood meal or tissues of ruminants.
    New Delhi has also agreed to lower 50% tariffs on very large motorcycles made by Harley-Davidson , a tax that was a particular irritant for Trump.    The change would be largely symbolic because few such motorcycles are sold in India.
    Trump will be feted in Modi’s home state of Gujarat, then hold talks in New Delhi and attend a reception that the hosts have promised will be bigger than the one organized for former president Barack Obama in 2015.
    Trump has called India the “tariff king.”    The country has an average tariff rate of 17.% compared with 3.4% for the United States, according to World Trade Organization data.
    U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer held telephone conversations with India Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal this week about a trade agreement, and signs are positive.
    “As of now it looks like there will be a deal.    All indications are we are closing in,” said a source briefed on the talks.    A USTR spokesman and India’s trade ministry did not respond to requests for comment.
PRIVACY LAW COMPLICATIONS
    An Indian parliament panel is reviewing a draft data privacy law that imposes stringent controls over cross-border data flows and gives the government powers to seek user data from companies.
    It is not clear whether it will be passed, or in what form, but the possibilities have unnerved https://www.reuters.com/article/us-india-dataprivacy-idUSKBN1YM0GL U.S. companies and could raise compliance requirements for Google , Amazon.com Inc , and Facebook .
    The draft law is not part of the trade discussions, Indian officials say, because the issue is too difficult to resolve at the same time.
    “The privacy and localization piece will be raised independently and in concert with the trade discussions,” said a Washington-based source with knowledge of the U.S. administration’s thinking.
    Trump on Tuesday was non-committal about sealing a trade deal before his visit.    “If we can make the right deal, we’ll do it,” he told reporters.
    Two U.S. sources said progress had been made on proposed alterations to the medical device price caps.    India’s new import tariffs on medical devices, walnuts, toys, electronics and other products on Feb. 1 surprised U.S. negotiators, however.
    The new tariffs were aimed at China, which also makes medical devices, according to an Indian government source.    “We have to protect our market and our companies,” the source said.
(Reporting by Sanjeev Miglani, Neha Dasgupta and Aditya Kalra in New Delhi, and David Lawder in Washington; Additional reporting by Rupam Nair in Mumbai; Editing by Heather Timmons and Daniel Wallis)

2/13/2020 President Trump calls out juror in Roger Stone case by OAN Newsroom
Photo of Tomeka Hart via Twitter.
    President Trump continues to criticize the Justice Department’s handling of the case against Roger Stone.    In a tweet, the president said it looks like the foreperson in the jury has significant bias.
    He said this issue, combined with others, is not making things look good for the Department of Justice.
    Jury foreperson Tomeka Hart revealed her role in the trial over social media this week.
    Reports said she once ran for Congress as a Democrat and has a history of anti-Trump bias.    Her Twitter account is rife with negative stories and comments against the president and his party.
    She has called Republicans racist, participated in protests against the administration and, in one tweet, shared a quote referring to President Trump as the “Klan president.”
    Hart recently defended the four prosecutors who withdrew from the Stone case.
    “It pains me to see the DOJ now interfere with the hard work of the prosecutors,” she wrote on Facebook.    “They acted with the utmost intelligence, integrity and respect for our system of justice.”
President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting with Ecuadorian President Lenin Moreno in the
Oval Office of the White House, Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
    President Trump scorned those prosecutors during a briefing at the White House on Wednesday.
    “They ought to go back to school and learn because, I’ll tell you what, the way they treated people, nobody should be treated like that,” he said.
    The president previously criticized the trial, which he said is being run by “corrupt people.”    He also claimed Stone was treated unfairly and questioned why top FBI officials haven’t been charged in relation to the Mueller probe.
    “They put a man in jail and destroy his life, his family, his wife, his children?    Nine years in jail?    It’s a disgrace.    In the meantime, Comey walks around making book deals.    The people that launched the scam investigation, what they did is a disgrace.” – Donald Trump, 45th President of the United States
FILE – In this Jan. 29, 2019 file photo, former campaign adviser for President Donald Trump,
Roger Stone arrives at Federal Court in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
[Did the 4 four prosecutors withdrew from the Stone case because they know what the writing on the wall is going to be?].

2/13/2020 N.Y. Gov. Cuomo says he’s cooperating with federal authorities by OAN Newsroom
FILE – In this Feb. 25, 2019 file photo, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo speaks during a
bill signing ceremony in New York. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)
    President Trump took to Twitter ahead of his meeting with New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo.    On Thursday, the president said Cuomo must put national security above politics and stop the city’s unnecessary lawsuits against him.
    His comments came after the governor called the president’s move to ban the expedited reentry program “politically motivated.”
    Cuomo said he will give the federal authorities access to New York’s DMV database if President Trump rolls back the Trusted Traveler Program ban.
    He said he is prepared to take legal action against the president should he not comply with that offer.
    “We already announced that we will sue the federal government, because I believe it’s illegal,” said the governor.    “If it turns out to be ‘just politics,’ I believe that’s an abuse of government power.”
    Cuomo added this is something the president cannot legally penalize New Yorkers for.
[THIS IS A WIN FOR AMERICANS AS A GLICH HAS OCCURRED THAT MAY STOP THE DEMOCRATS FROM BRINGING IN UNDOCUMENTED IMMIGRANTS OR ILLEGAL ALIENS WHO MUST COMPLY AND BE ACCOUNTED FOR REGARDLESS OF THE SANCTUARY CITIES OR NEW YORK LAWS WHICH I THINK IS THE REAL ABUSE OF POWER.
    Trusted Traveler Program TSA Pre costs $85 and Global Entry costs $100 for a five year membership.    Travelers interested in Global Entry must apply through the Trusted Traveler Program website.    Global Entry, NEXUS, and SENTRI are programs of U.S. Customs and Border Protection.    These programs offer travel benefits to pre-screened members.    So this battle is in the works.].

2/14/2020 Oil up $0.42 to $51.59, DOW down 128 to 29,423.

2/14/2020 BLOOMBERG IS A GLOBALISTS AS WELL AS GEORGE SOROS AND BOTH WERE SENT TO RUN A CAMPAIGN TO DEFEAT TRUMP
AND NEITHER OF THEM ARE IN IT TO MAKE IT BETTER FOR AMERICANS AS DONALD TRUMP WHO IS A NATIONALIST
AND AT PRESENT IS TURNING IT ALL AROUND FROM THE 8 YEARS OF THE OBAMA ADMINISTGRATION SELLING US OUT TO THE GLOBALIST.

    And at presnt no one is holding Bloomberg responsible for these actions as he spends millions to try to influence the 2020 elections.
    Outside of his clueless policy, Bloomberg is also a terrible on any kind of a foreign policy.    That is because he is a globalist, and as such he is a supporter
  • Of large, bureaucratic global organizations like the United Nations, where he pushes for expensive actions to deal with climate change.
  • As a globalist he, too, would capitulate America’s interests when faced with our adversaries abroad.
  • In a recent interview with Margaret Hoover of "Firing Line," Bloomberg was pressed on China’s atrocious environmental record and this is what he thinks China is.
    • The billionaire environmental activist said Chinese President Xi Jinping is “not a dictator” and “has to satisfy his constituents, or he's not going to survive.”
    • This must be welcome news to the Hong Kong protesters.
    • China is doing a lot,” Bloomberg said.    “Yes, they’re still building a bunch of coal-fired power plants.    But, they are now moving plants away from the cities.    The Communist Party wants to stay in power in China, and they listen to the public.”
    • Besides the fact that Bloomberg shows more sympathy for Chinese Communist Party leaders than American coal miners, he is missing some obvious facts that anyone who claims to be an expert on climate change should know.
    • For example, it’s a fact that China emits more carbon dioxide than the U.S. and European Union combined.
    • China is a world leader in ocean pollution.
    • Chinese companies are causing environmental disasters across Africa, where they exploit local resources with little concern for the African people and their land.
    • Despite this atrocious environmental record, China was basically exempt from the rigorous demands of the Paris Climate Accords.
    Thank God President Trump realized those accords were a political farce and pulled America out of the deal.
    Bloomberg, on the other hand, wrote a personal check to cover America's share of the funding.
    These are the games billionaires play when money is no object.
    At his recent speech to the U.N., Trump said: “The future does not belong to globalists.    The future belongs to patriots.”
    So Bloomberg in the White House would be the meddler-in-chief.
    He weaponizes government to impose lifestyles he prefers and eliminate jobs he dislikes – people, families and communities be damned.    He does not put people first domestically, nor America first internationally.    His largesse exempts him of the consequences of his own meddling.
    America deserves much – much better.    If nothing else, to be left alone.

2/14/2020 President Trump responds to Attorney General Barr’s remarks about being involved in criminal cases by OAN Newsroom
FILE – In this July 11, 2019, file photo, Attorney General William Barr, left, and President Donald Trump turn to
leave after speaking in the Rose Garden of the White House, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)
    President Trump recently responded to Attorney General William Barr’s remarks regarding his involvement in criminal cases.    On Friday, the president tweeted about Barr’s interview with ABC News in which he breaks with the president over his Twitter commentary about the Department of Justice.
    President Trump repeated Barr’s remarks that he never asked the attorney general to do anything in a criminal case, but he also added it doesn’t mean that he doesn’t have the legal right to do so.
    Barr claimed President Trump’s constant Twitter posts about the Justice Department’s criminal cases make it harder for him to do his job.
    “The president has never asked me to do anything in a criminal case,” he stated.    “However, to have public statements and tweets made about the Department, about people in the Department, make it impossible for me to do my job.”
    The attorney general also said he will not be bullied or influenced by anybody, whether it’s Congress, a newspaper editorial board or the President of the United States.
    The White House also responded to the recent comments made by attorney general and his role as the nation’s top cop.
    In a statement Thursday, White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham said President Trump was not bothered at all by Barr’s comments.    She added that the attorney general has the right, like any American citizen, to voice his opinion.     Grisham also noted the president has full faith and confidence in the U.S. attorney general.
File – White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham is pictured. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

2/14/2020 Report: Durham investigating CIA analysis of 2016 Russian interference by OAN Newsroom
File – John Brennan, former director of the Central Intelligence Agency, is pictured. (Mike Simons/Tulsa World via AP)
    U.S. attorney John Durham is reportedly focusing on the Obama-era CIA’s analysis, which led to the Intelligence Community’s assessment that Russia interfered in the 2016 election.
    According to the New York Times, sources have said Durham is looking at a theory former CIA Director John Brennan was attempting to achieve a predetermined outcome by steering the probe towards Russia.
    The Times reported Durham may be trying to figure out if Brennan attempted to keep the other intelligence agencies in the dark about ulterior motives by withholding secrets and methods.
    Brennan responded to the report Thursday night and welcomed questioning from Durham.
    National security experts have reportedly questioned Durham’s investigation and have claimed his scrutiny is a misunderstanding of how the Intelligence Community shares secrets.

2/14/2020 U.S., China, Russia making world more dangerous: German president by Paul Carrel
FILE PHOTO: German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier delivers a speech in the the Bundestag
(lower house of parliament) in Berlin, Germany, January 29, 2020. REUTERS/Michele Tantussi/File Photo
    MUNICH (Reuters) – Germany’s president took an indirect swipe at U.S. President Donald Trump on Friday in accusing Washington, China and Russia of stoking global mistrust and insecurity with a “great powers” competition that could threaten a new nuclear arms race.
    In opening remarks at the annual Munich Security Conference, German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier deplored the three big powers’ approach to global affairs and, without naming Trump, took issue with his vow to “make America great again.”
    “‘Great again’ – even at the expense of neighbors and partners,” quipped Steinmeier, a former Social Democrat foreign minister whose comments on foreign policy carry authority.
    As foreign minister in 2014, he was central to the so-called “Munich consensus” when German leaders said Berlin was ready to assume more responsibility in global affairs.    Steinmeier pressed that point again on Friday, but not before bemoaning the foreign policy approaches of Russia, China and the United States.
    “Russia…has made military force and the violent shifting of borders on the European continent the means of politics once again,” he said in the text of a speech for delivery at the opening of the conference.
    “China…accepts international law only selectively where it does not run counter to its own interests,” Steinmeier said.    “And our closest ally, the United States of America, under the present administration itself, rejects the idea of an international community.”
    The upshot was “more mistrust, more armament, less security…all the way to a new nuclear arms race,” he said.
    In response, he said, Germany should raise defense spending to contribute more to European security and to maintain its alliance with the United States, recognizing that U.S. interests were gravitating away from Europe toward Asia.
    German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas later said: “Germany is prepared to become more involved, including militarily."
    “But let us not narrow the discussion down to a single question.    The strength of our alliance is not measured in euros or dollars alone,” he added, responding to U.S. pressure on Germany to increase its defense spending.
    “Relentless discussion, not maximum disruption, brings good results,” he said, adding of NATO: “Only together do we have the economic strength, the military potential and the ideas of political order needed to defend the rule-based world order.”
    Steinmeier called for a European policy toward Russia “that is not limited to condemning statements and sanctions alone.”
    Europe, he added, “must find its own balance with China between intensifying competition between systems and the need for cooperation.”
(Writing by Paul Carrel; Editing by Mark Heinrich and Alex Richardson)

2/14/2020 Obama admin. tried to meddle in several criminal probes by OAN Newsroom
FILE – In this April 6, 2019, file photo, former President Barack Obama attends a town hall meeting at
the ‘European School For Management And Technology’ (ESMT) in Berlin, Germany. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn. File)
    Democrats were quick to criticize President Trump’s words about the Roger Stone case this week.    However, many have seemingly forgotten that former President Barack Obama involved himself in several criminal probes during his two terms in office.
    In 2009, Obama faced backlash across the country after he criticized Massachusetts police for the arrest of Harvard Law professor Henry     Louis Gates Jr. The former president, without a full briefing on the case, stated police had acted stupidly for arresting the black man and insinuated officers were guilty of racial profiling.    He was later forced to apologize after learning the whole story.
    “My hope is that, as a consequence of this event, this ends up being what I call a teachable moment,” stated Obama.    “All of us, instead of pumping up the volume, (should) spend a little more time listening to each other.”
    At a press conference in 2013, he unexpectedly weighed in on the shooting of Travyon Martin while the trial was still underway.
    “When Travyon Martin was first shot, I said that this could have been my son,” he said.    “Another way of saying that is, Travyon Martin could have been me 35 years ago.”
    Despite his apparent attempt to influence the trial, the jury chose to acquit the suspect.
FILE – In this Dec. 5, 2017, file photo, former President Barack Obama address the participants
at a summit on climate change in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast, File)
    Later that year, Obama was caught in the crosshairs again when he stated military members convicted of sexual harassment should be dishonorably discharged.
    “Not only is it a crime, not only is it shameful and disgraceful, but it also is going to make and has made the military less effective than it can be,” he said.
    A U.S. Navy judge went on to rule that Obama had committed “unlawful command influence” as commander in chief.    The former president’s words later caused the conviction against a marine sergeant to be dropped because the court was worried the president’s stance would sway sentencing.
    Obama also downplayed former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s email scandal in 2015. During an interview, he said he believed Clinton’s breach of policy did not pose a national security problem. He added he “didn’t get an impression” from Clinton she was purposefully trying to hide something.
    “Hillary Clinton is and has been an outstanding public servant,” he said.    “She was a great Secretary of State for me.”
    Obama’s decision resulted in James Comey’s takeover of the investigation, in which Comey decided there was no basis for criminal indictments in the case.    This came after the former administration prosecuted others for having classified material on their private computers.
[THERE SEEMS TO BE A DOUBLE STANDARD BY THE DEMOCRATS IN THE ACTIONS OF TRUMP IN THEIR HATRED OF HIM SO WHO IS WRONG IN THIS PICTURE ESPECIALLY SINCE IT WAS OBAMA’S ADMINISTRATION THAT CAUSED OR CREATED THE RUSSIAN COLLUSION THAT IS PUNISHING TRUMPS ASSOCIATES WHICH HAS BEEN PROVEN THERE WAS NO RUSSIAN COLLUSION AND THE NEXT ARTICLE WILL EVEN ADD TO THOSE INSULTS.].

2/14/2020 Justice Department declines to file charges against Andrew McCabe by OAN Newsroom
FILE – In this June 7, 2017, file photo, then FBI Acting Director Andrew McCabe listens during a
Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)
    Fired FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe will not be charged for lying to federal investigators.    The DOJ declined to charge McCabe after an inspector general’s report found he “lacked candor, including under oath, on multiple occasions.”
    In a statement to McCabe’s lawyers, the DOJ said, “Based on the totality of the circumstances and all of the information known to the government at this time, we consider the matter closed.”
    McCabe, who is now a CNN contributor and think tank official, blasted the fact it took so long to drop the charges.    He was fired in 2018 just days before receiving his pension.
    “As glad as I am that the Justice Department and D.C. U.S. Attorney’s Office finally decided to do the right thing today, it is an absolute disgrace that they took two years, put my family through this experience, before they finally drew the obvious conclusion they could have drawn a long, long time ago,” stated McCabe.
    The news came after Inspector General Michael Horowitz alleged that McCabe lied under oath at least four times and misled his former boss, James Comey.    In January, unsealed court documents showed McCabe had apologized to a bureau investigator about a media leak.
    He was reportedly asked if he knew how FBI information about the Clinton Foundation ended up in a 2016 article by The Wall Street Journal.    He initially denied knowing about the leak, but walked back his claim in a follow-up interview.
    Despite his admission, he previously denied that he did anything wrong.    When asked whether he would take a deal, he said, “Absolutely not.”
    “I never intentionally mislead anyone about anything,” he said.    “I will not stand up and claim something that I didn’t do.”
FILE – In this May 11, 2017 file photo, then Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe listens during a
Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
    The closure of McCabe’s criminal probe created an uproar on social media amid the controversy surrounding the sentencing of Roger Stone. Supporters of the president called out the fact that Stone was found guilty of lying to Congress while McCabe admitted to lying under oath, but has received no criminal penalty.
    Many have also pointed out that other Obama-era officials have been let off the hook for their alleged misconduct under a Trump appointed Department of Justice.
    The DOJ previously declined to bring charges against James Comey for how he handled the memos of his conversations with President Trump.
    The president has increasingly ramped his calls for the disgraced DOJ officials to be indicted for unfairly targeting his 2016 campaign and prosecuting his advisers in the Russia investigation.
    “They put a man in jail and destroy his life, his family, his wife, his children?    Nine years in jail?    It’s a disgrace.    In the meantime, Comey walks around making book deals.    What they did is a disgrace.” – Donald Trump, 45th President of the United States.
[THERE SEEMS TO BE A DOUBLE STANDARD IN THE JUSTICE SYSTEM AND THE AMERICAN PEOPLE WILL SOON REALIZE THIS AS WE WAITED TO SEE JUST HOW BAD THIS WILL BECOME.    OR IS THE DURHAM OUTPUT GOING TO RIGHT THIS INJUSTICE THAT IS SEEN IN THE SYSTEM.    IF NOT TRUMP MAY BE FORCED TO PARDON THE INNOCENT AND CONTINUE TO CLEAN THE SWAMP.].

2/14/2020 Attorney General Barr assigns outside prosecutors to review Michael Flynn case
FILE – In this Feb. 1, 2017 file photo, then-National Security Adviser Michael Flynn speaks during
the daily news briefing at the White House, in Washington. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
    Attorney General William Barr is calling for a review of the case against former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.    He has assigned a U.S. attorney from St. Louis to look over the handling of the case against the retired army general, who recently withdrew his guilty plea.
    Barr has also reportedly assembled a team of outside prosecutors to review several other cases.    The DOJ recently came under fire for intervening in the sentencing recommendation for Roger Stone.
    Attorney General Barr has said he knew that the recommended sentencing for Stone was way too harsh before President Trump said so.    He said that Stone’s conviction was justified, but stated the DOJ’s initial proposal for his time behind bars was excessive.
Attorney General William Barr speaks at the National Sheriffs’ Association Winter Legislative and Technology Conference in Washington, Monday, Feb. 10, 2020. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
    The attorney general went on to say that President Trump’s tweets on the matter had absolutely no influence on his department’s choice to revise its suggested sentence.
    “I’ve heard very few people actually suggest that seven to nine-year sentence would be appropriate in this case,” he said.    “It was very excessive and I didn’t want my department to be behind that.”
    Barr added while he’s not a fan of the defendant, Stone is entitled to a sentence that fits the crime.    He said that the DOJ’s initial filing of Stone’s sentence was due to a miscommunication.
[WAS THAT MISCOMMUNICATION SENT FROM THE GLOBALIST, SWAMP OR DEEP STATE?].

2/14/2020 Michael Avenatti found guilty in Nike extortion case by OAN Newsroom
FILE – In this July 23, 2019, file photo, California attorney Michael Avenatti walks
from a courthouse in New York, after facing charges. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle, File)
    Michael Avenatti has been found guilty of trying to extort Nike. On Friday, jurors in New York convicted the high-profile attorney on all three counts of extortion and fraud.
    Avenatti tried to shake down the footwear giant by threatening to publicly accuse the company of paying amateur basketball players, unless the company agreed to pay him millions of dollars. His attorney said they are already planning to make an appeal.
    “We are obviously disappointed in the verdict in this case, even surprised by it,” stated attorney Danya Perry.    “But we have preserved some significant issues on appeal and will be pursuing that.”
    Avenatti is currently being held in solitary confinement at the Manhattan Metropolitan Corrections Center.
    The disgraced lawyer is also facing charges in two other cases.    He is due back in court for sentencing on June 17, where he could receive up to 42 years in prison.
[WELL IT IS TRUE WHAT GOES AROUND COMES AROUND.].

2/14/2020 Pelosi backs President Trump’s warnings on Huawei by OAN Newsroom
Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the US House of Representatives, speaks on the first day of the 56th Munich
Security Conference in Munich, Germany, Friday, Feb.14, 2020. (Sven Hoppe/dpa via AP)
    On Friday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi urged foreign nations to completely cut ties with Chinese telecom giant Huawei.    At a security conference in Germany, Pelosi stated that choosing to do business with the company is essentially choosing autocracy over democracy.
    Pelosi noted that Huawei is becoming more dangerous than ever as it builds its 5G network, which could bring in new business partners.    She encouraged the international community to come together to create alternatives to the company.
    “If you want to build a collective conscience of values and respect for human rights, don’t go Huawei,” she said.    “Instead, let’s internationalize, build something together that will be about freedom of information.”
    On Thursday, the U.S. filed new charges against Huawei, including the company’s alleged theft of trade secrets from U.S.-based companies.
    Officials said the company’s successful efforts to steal trade secrets and technology gave it a “significant and unfair competitive advantage.”    This comes just days after officials said Huawei has covert access to mobile phone networks.
FILE – In this Jan. 29, 2019, file photo, the logos of Huawei are displayed at its retail shop window
reflecting the Ministry of Foreign Affairs office in Beijing. (AP Photo/Andy Wong, File)
    Meanwhile, the deadline for U.S. businesses to cut ties with the Chinese tech company has been delayed for the fourth time. Earlier on Thursday, the Trump administration granted Huawei a temporary license to continue working with American companies for another 45 days.
    The Commerce Department said a number of rural broadband carriers rely on the tech company.
    Huawei was blacklisted by the administration last May after it was deemed a national security risk.    The company has responded to these allegations by accusing the Justice Department of attempting to “irrevocably damage Huawei’s reputation” and business.
    “The U.S. Department of Justice’s new charges against Huawei are part of this campaign, this is political persecution, plain and simple,” read their latest statement.

2/14/2020 Defense Secy. Esper, German counterpart discuss fight against ISIS by OAN Newsroom
U.S. Secretary for Defense Mark Esper speaks during a press conference on the first day of the
Munich Security Conference in Munich, Germany, Friday, Feb. 14, 2020. (AP Photo/Jens Meyer)
    Defense Secretary Mark Esper met with global officials in Germany this week to discuss progress in the fight against ISIS.    During Friday’s press briefing in Munich, Esper said the U.S. is determined to defeat the terror group.
    “We stand united with our partners and allies in the D-ISIS coalition,” he said.    “Today in Munich, I reaffirmed our unwavering commitment to advancing global peace and security, and to the lasting defeat of ISIS.”
    He also discussed the importance of the commitment made by 82 countries, who have joined the coalition in pursuit of taking down the caliphate.
    The secretary emphasized that even though ISIS has been weakened, now is not the right time to let up.
    “Looking ahead, it is imperative that we maintain unrelenting pressure on ISIS in Iraq and Syria, just as we help prepare the Iraqis to do so for the long term,” stated Esper.    “Together we have achieved tremendous success against ISIS, destroying its physical caliphate and liberating millions from its barbaric rule.”
    Esper’s comments came as global leaders met at the Munich Security Conference, where they are discussing containment of the coronavirus and tensions in the Middle East.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, center, shakes hands with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, right, as US Secretary of Defense
Mark Esper watches during the 56th Munich Security Conference (MSC) in Munich, southern Germany, on Friday, Feb. 14, 2020. The 2020
edition of the Munich Security Conference (MSC) takes place from Feb. 14 to 16. (Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/Pool photo via AP)

2/14/2020 N.M. GOP candidate Claire Chase releases ad against Democrat proposed gun law by OAN Newsroom
In this undated photo provided by Claire Chase for Congress, Claire Chase, a Republican candidate
for U.S. House in southern New Mexico, shoots at a “red flag” in an online campaign ad shot in
Caprock, N.M. to protest a state proposed red-flag gun law. (Claire Chase for Congress via AP)
    New Mexico Republican congressional candidate Claire Chase is speaking out against new gun legislation in the state.    Chase released a campaign ad on Thursday and said the proposed ‘red flag’ gun law approved by the state’s Democrat-led legislature is unconstitutional.
    The legislation allows law enforcement officers to take guns away from individuals who they think pose a danger to themselves or others.    Chase and other gun rights advocates have said the legislation doesn’t allow legal due process and is based on unconfirmed evidence.
    “This piece of legislation is an attack on our constitutional rights that would make ‘innocent until proven guilty’ into ‘guilty until proven innocent,’” she said.    “Today, I have a few words for those liberals in Santa Fe: Come and take ‘em.”
    The GOP candidate is hoping to unseat Democrat Xochitl Torres Small (D-N.M.), who narrowly won the seat in 2018.    The race will be crucial for Republicans as they aim to regain control of the House.

2/15/202 Oil up $0.49 to $52.01, DOW down 25 to 398.

2/15/2020 The West is winning,” Pompeo tells China, Russia by Robin Emmott and John Irish
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks at the annual Munich Security Conference in Germany February 15, 2020. REUTERS/Andreas Gebert
    MUNICH (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo defended on Saturday his nation’s global role despite misgivings in Europe, vowing that Western values would prevail over China’s desire for “empire.”
    Pompeo was seeking to reassure Europeans troubled by U.S. President Donald Trump’s “America first” rhetoric, ambivalence over the transatlantic NATO military alliance and tariffs on European goods.
    “I’m happy to report that the death of the transatlantic alliance is grossly exaggerated.    The West is winning, and we’re winning together,” he said in a speech at the Munich Security Conference, listing U.S. steps to protect liberal democracies.
    Pompeo was, in part, responding to German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, who on Friday accused the United States, Russia and China of stoking global mistrust.
    Trump’s decision to pull out of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, as well as the Paris climate accord, have undermined European priorities, while moves such as recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital have weakened European diplomacy, envoys say.
    Pompeo defended the U.S. strategy, saying Europe, Japan and other American allies were united on China, Iran and Russia, despite “tactical differences.”
    He reiterated Washington’s opposition to the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline under construction between Russia and Germany under the Baltic Sea, a project backed by the government of German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
    Citing Russia’s 2014 annexation of Crimea, cyber threats in Iran and economic coercion by China, Pompeo said those countries were still “desiring empires” and destabilizing the rules-based international system.
    U.S. Secretary of Defense Mark Esper, speaking immediately after Pompeo, focused his remarks solely on China, accusing Beijing of a “nefarious strategy” through telecommunications firm Huawei.
    “It is essential that we as an international community wake up to the challenges presented by Chinese manipulation of the long-standing international rules-based order,” Esper said.
    He said it was not too late for Britain, which last month said it would allow Huawei a limited role in building its 5G networks, to take “two steps back,” but added he still needed to asses London’s decision.
    “We could have a win-win strategy if we just abide by the international rules that have been set in place for decades … that respect human rights, that respect sovereignty,” he said.
(Additional reporting by Paul Carrel; Editing by Andrew Cawthorne)

2/15/2020 U.S., allied firms testing alternatives to Chinese 5G technology: Esper
U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper speaks at the annual Munich Security Conference in Germany February 15, 2020. REUTERS/Andreas Gebert
    MUNICH (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of Defense Mark Esper said on Saturday that Washington was working with technology companies in the United States and allied nations to develop alternatives to Chinese 5G vendors and was already testing them at U.S. military bases.
    “We are encouraging allied and U.S. tech companies to develop alternative 5G solutions and we are working alongside them to test these technologies at our military bases as we speak,” Esper said at the Munich Security Conference.
    “Developing our own secure 5G networks will outweigh any perceived gains from partnering with heavily subsidized Chinese providers that answer to party leadership.”
(Reporting by John Irish and Paul Carrel; Editing by Edmund Blair)

2/15/2020 CBP to deploy 100 tactical agents to sanctuary cities by OAN Newsroom
FILE – In this July 8, 2019, file photo, a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)
officer looks on during an operation in Escondido, Calif. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull, File)
    The feud between the Trump administration and sanctuary cities is escalating as ICE looks to increase enforcement across the U.S. Immigration enforcement officials announced Friday that Customs and Border Protection is deploying 100 tactical officers to sanctuary cities across the country.
    The deployment comes amid a fight between Democrat leadership and federal agencies over cooperation with immigration officials.     Specifically, this includes a lack of coordination and communication over information sharing and detaining immigrants when requested by federal agencies.
    “The strange law enforcement resources places the officers and community at risk, and ultimately results in fewer criminals being removed from our streets.    Despite these challenges, it’s our duty to all of you to enforce laws passed by Congress.    We are not going to stop fighting to keep your community safe, regardless of whatever obstacles are placed in our path.” – Matthew Albence, Director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement
    The Department of Justice filed a lawsuit against New Jersey earlier this week, which aimed to prohibit state and local law enforcement agencies from sharing information on inmates in the country illegally.
Matthew Albence, right, the acting director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement,
speaks during a news conference, Friday, Jan. 17, 2020, in New York. (AP Photo/Jim Mustian)
    Tensions between the Department of Homeland Security and New York increased after the DHS banned residents from enrolling in Trusted Traveler programs.    This came in response to new laws passed by the state, which sought to withhold DMV records from federal agencies.
    Sanctuary state officials believe federal agencies are cracking down for political reasons.
    “It’s not really about TTP (Trusted Traveler Program) and Global Entry, it’s about what that memo that was leaked from DHS suggests, which is it’s all politics,” said New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo.    “It’s retaliation and it’s reprisal.”
    Although the acting director of ICE has not disclosed details on where agents will be deployed, other officials have hinted the agency will target major sanctuary cities like New York, San Francisco, Boston and Chicago.    Officials also said the deployment will last from February to May.

2/15/2020 President Trump highlights alleged wrongdoing by Andrew McCabe by OAN Newsroom
FILE – In this June 7, 2017, file photo, then FBI Acting Director Andrew McCabe listens during a Senate
Intelligence Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)
    President Trump highlighted alleged wrongdoing by former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe amid the DOJ’s decision to not bring charges against him.
    The 2018 Inspector General report confirmed McCabe leaked information to the Wall Street Journal regarding the Clinton probe.
    The president tweeted Saturday noting the Department’s report found the former FBI official misled investigators over his role in disclosures to the media and lacked candor on four separate occasions.
    He also pointed out McCabe authorized leaks to advance his own personal interests and the Inspector General recommended he be fired.
    This came after the DOJ informed McCabe this week its investigation into the former official is over.
[I brought back this article here dated on 2/5/2020 McCabe reportedly told investigators Rosenstein wanted Comey’s advice on appointing special counsel by OAN Newsroom
    New documents have exposed a former Department of Justice official’s alleged involvement in the firing of former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe.
    According to newly released notes from a 2017 interview, former Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein sought out James Comey’s advice about appointing a special counsel.    These notes, in addition to 300 pages of witness interviews, suggest McCabe told investigators Rosenstein asked him to get Comey’s opinion on whether a special counsel should be appointed.
    Comey was stripped of his role as leader of the Russia investigation after the president determined he was unfit to lead the bureau.    Rosenstein then appointed Robert Mueller to take on the Russia probe, who’s investigation did not establish a criminal conspiracy between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin.
    “You notice this with the Ukraine argument, they don’t want the President to investigate what went on.    Its now expanded from Ukraine to the President wasn’t allowed to make entrees to his attorney general, who is investigating this spying operation on candidate Trump…it’s incredible.    They want to criminalize investigations of this activity.” - Tom Fitton, President – Judicial Watch
    President Trump is now slamming the FISA court’s decision to appoint Obama-era official David Kris to oversee changes deemed necessary by the Horowitz report.    The president argued the appointee has “no credibility.”
"..But these were dirty people, these were bad people, these were evil people and I hope that someday I’m going to consider it my greatest or one of my greatest achievements — getting rid of them," said President Trump.]

2/15/2020 President Trump endorses Claudia Tenney for Congress by OAN Newsroom
FILE – In this June 10, 2015, file photo, former assemblywoman Claudia Tenney, R-NY, speaks during
a news conference at the Capitol, in Albany, N.Y. Tenney faces Democratic New York State Assemblyman
Anthony Brindisi in the state’s 22nd Congressional District. (AP Photo/Mike Groll, File)
    The president has announced his support for former Rep. Claudia Tenney (R-N.Y.).    President Trump endorsed Tenney on Twitter, commending her on her past in Congress.
    The Republican congressional candidate quickly responded by saying she was honored to have the president’s support and that Upstate New York is excited to join him in the “great American comeback.”
    Tenney got her political start in 2002 by representing New York State Assemblyman David Townsend as his legal council and chief of staff.    She went on to win the 2016 election, serving in Congress until she was unseated in 2018.
    As a small business owner and military mother, Tenney is running on a conservative platform that opposes unnecessary taxation while supporting active and retired military.
    “Republicans and Democrats…all across Central New York get up and fight for their families, for their jobs,” stated the congressional candidate.    “That’s who I’ll fight for in Congress.”
FILE – In this Feb. 25, 2019 file photo, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo speaks during
a bill signing ceremony in New York. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)
    Tenney is a vocal advocate for the Second Amendment and was the first to introduce a bill to repeal New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s restrictive Safe Act.    If she wins the Republican primary, she will face off in a rematch with Anthony Brindisi (D-N.Y.), who edged her out by less than two percent.

2/15/2020 Attorneys for Roger Stone request new trial by OAN Newsroom
FILE – In this Nov. 6, 2019 file photo, Roger Stone arrives at Federal Court for the second day
of jury selection for his federal trial, in Washington. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)
    Roger Stone is requesting a new trial again.    Stone’s attorneys did not say why they filed the motion on Friday.
    However, the request came one day after his team investigated whether there had been potential bias by a juror, who voted to convict him in November.
    Jury foreperson Tomeka Hart revealed her role in the trial over social media this week.    Reports said she once ran for Congress as a Democrat and has a history of anti-Trump bias.
    Her Twitter account is rife with negative stories and comments against the president and his party.    She has called Republicans racist, participated in protests against the administration and, in one tweet, shared a quote referring to President Trump as the “Klan president.”
    In a tweet, President Trump said the juror’s bias, combined with other issues, doesn’t make the Department of Justice look good.
    He previously criticized the trial, which he said is being run by “corrupt people.”    The president also claimed Stone was treated unfairly and questioned why top FBI officials haven’t been charged in relation to the Mueller probe.
    “They put a man in jail and destroy his life, his family, his wife, his children? Nine years in jail?    It’s a disgrace.    In the meantime, Comey walks around making book deals.    The people that launched the scam investigation, what they did is a disgrace.” – Donald Trump, 45th President of the United States
President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting with Ecuadorian President Lenin Moreno in the
Oval Office of the White House, Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
    Reports said it’s unclear if Stone’s request for a new trial will delay his sentencing, which is set for February 20th.
    Stone, who was convicted of witness tampering and lying to Congress in November, had a prior request for a new trial rejected earlier this week.

2/15/2020 Schwarzenegger thanks President Trump for combating homelessness by OAN Newsroom
U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Dr. Ben Carson participates in a roundtable discussion at Stella
apartment homes in Granville, Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2020 in San Diego, Calif. (Howard Lipin/The San Diego Union-Tribune via AP)
    The president thanked former Calif. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger for acknowledging his efforts to combat homelessness.    Taking to Twitter Friday, President Trump said it was “very nice” of to Schwarzenegger to extend his gratitude.
    This came after the former Golden State governor said he wanted to thank the president, even though they have disagreements.
    Carson attended the event, where he called for stronger housing policies.
    “The health of a community starts at home. The home is the basis of the community, and the community is the basis of the nation.    If we want to have a strong and fair nation, then we have to have strong and fair policies.” – Ben Carson, United States Secretary of Housing and Urban Development
    In the meantime, the latest Federal Report showed the number of residents suffering from homelessness in California grew by a little over 16 percent, or 21,000 people, last year.
President Donald Trump shakes hands with Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson as he arrives to speak at the North
Carolina Opportunity Now Summit, at Central Piedmont Community College, Friday, Feb. 7, 2020, in Charlotte, N.C. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

2/15/2020 President Trump endorses Beth Van Duyne for Congress by OAN Newsroom
Photo of Beth Van Duyne via official campaign website.
    President Trump is throwing his support behind Beth Van Duyne for Congress.    The president posted on Twitter that Van Duyne has his full endorsement for Congress.    He said she is a “strong conservative who supports border security (and) loves our military.”
    He added she has done “great things as Mayor of Irving, Texas, and with my administration.”
    The former mayor quickly responded by saying the president wants people in office who are going to work for the American people.    “He’s not looking for politicians, he’s looking for people who are able to bring solutions to the table and get things done,” she said. “I was very proud to be able to get his support yesterday.”
    Van Duyne set out on her political career in 2004 as a city council member for the Dallas suburb of Irving.    Six years later, she was elected as the city’s first female mayor.
    In 2017, the president appointed her to be the Regional Director of U.S. Housing and Urban Development.
    If elected, Van Duyne said she will work to stop drug cartels from finding a safe haven in sanctuary cities and secure the nation’s borders.    She said these efforts have attributed to her city’s record low crime rates.
    “What happened in our city of Irving is our crime rate plummeted,” she said.    “We had the lowest crime rate in our city’s history, and that lasted for nine years.”
    Along with border security, the former mayor and mother of two has promised to work with the president to promote economic opportunity for Americans and fight human trafficking.
    Others vying for the state’s 24th district seat included former Green Beret Desi Maes, two realtors and a property manager.    The Texas primary election is set to take place on March 3rd.

2/15/2020 French officials confirm first coronavirus death in Europe by OAN Newsroom
French lab scientists in hazmat gear inserting liquid in test tube manipulate potentially infected
patient samples at Pasteur Institute in Paris, Thursday, Feb. 6, 2020. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)
    Officials from the French Health Ministry reported an 80-year-old Chinese tourist succumbed to the coronavirus on Saturday, marking the first virus-related death in Europe since the outbreak began.    Up to this point, the only deaths outside of China have been reported in Hong Kong, Japan and the Philippines.
    The man’s daughter also contracted the virus, but is expected to be released soon.    The man and his daughter were both from the Hubei province in China, which officials are calling the epicenter of the outbreak.
    “He was hospitalized at the Bichat Hospital under strict isolation measures on January 25th,” stated Health Minister Agnès Buzyn.    “His condition deteriorated rapidly, he was in a critical state for several days and he was in intensive care.”
    France has confirmed 11 cases of coronavirus so far.
French lab scientists are silhouetted working in a lab at Pasteur Institute in Paris, Thursday, Feb. 6, 2020. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)
    Meanwhile, President Trump has applauded his administration for its efforts to contain the coronavirus.    The president shared a poll during his remarks to the National Border Patrol Council on Friday, which said a majority of American voters approve of his handling of the virus.
    This came after he previously received criticism for temporarily banning residents of the Hubei province.
    “’61 percent of the voters approve of Trump’s handling of the coronavirus,’” stated President Trump.    “I was criticized by a lot of people at the beginning because we were the first, we’d never done it before, we closed our borders to certain areas.”
    As of Friday night, there are 15 people in the U.S. infected with the virus.    The president said many of them are getting better and reiterated his theory the virus could weaken as the weather gets warmer.

2/16/2020 White House officials do not trust China’s reporting on coronavirus infection by OAN Newsroom
A worker wearing a protective suit gestures to a driver outside a tumor hospital newly designated to treat
COVID-19 patients in Wuhan in central China’s Hubei Province, Saturday, Feb. 15, 2020. (Chinatopix via AP)
    White House officials appeared to have suspicions about the accuracy of China’s reporting of coronavirus cases.
    According to a report Saturday, the U.S. did not have high confidence in the information coming from China regarding the number of those affected by the disease.
    This came as a number of officials have expressed doubt that China is being fully transparent, including White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow.
White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow speaks during a tv news interview at the
White House in Washington, Friday, Feb. 7, 2020. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
    Last week, Kudlow addressed ongoing concerns following a change in China’s measuring criteria, which added 15,000 cases in a single day.
    “We thought there was better transparency coming out of China, but it doesn’t appear to be,” stated the economic advisor.    “It’s the great unknown and I wish we did know more because, you know, this should not be about politics or for that matter, trade.”
    Chinese officials said the number of new cases are dropping overall.

2/15/2020 San Francisco mayor admits to romantic relationship with FMR Public Works Director by OAN Newsroom
In this photo taken Friday, Nov. 1, 2019, San Francisco Mayor London Breed waits to
address the annual Women In Construction Expo in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)
    San Francisco’s mayor London Breed admitted she had an affair and accepted gifts from the city’s disgraced Director of Public Works.    She faced calls for her resignation after she links herself with one of her former subordinates, now at the center of an FBI probe.
    At a news conference Friday, Breed confirmed rumors about her fling with San Francisco’s former Director of Public Works Mohammed Nuru and also admitted she had accepted $5,600 from him for car repairs.    Hoping to clear the air, Breed stressed her and Nuru had been only friends in recent years and her romantic relationship with him was two decades ago.
    “I’ve been asked about it by a lot of people and so I thought it was a need to tell people that to tell them about our relationship, that it is made clear,” stated the San Francisco mayor.
    Breed further explained why she accepted money from Nuru in a post online.    She said last year, her car broke down and Nuru, only acting as her friend, took it to a mechanic.    He reportedly helped her secure a rental car later, which she said brought the the estimated value of what she owed him to about $5,600.
    This Feb. 6, 2020, photo shows director of San Francisco Public Works Mohammed Nuru, left, leaving a
federal courthouse in front of attorney Ismail Ramsey in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
    Breed said she intended to sell the car, but was not able to and also stressed Nuru’s payments to her were legal and unrelated to their positions.
    “Well I checked with the city attorney every step of the way whether its relationship, whether its the car, and ultimately Mohammed reported to the city administrator who made the decisions as it relates to do with that department” stated Breed.
    However, since her statements, many are calling for her to resign or temporarily step back while an investigation to take place.    Citizens, as well as officials in City Hall, argue Breed broke the law.
    “Allowing her subordinate to give her a gift of this size, it’s ethically wrong and but more importantly it’s a legal violation and because of that serious violation and the serious culture of corruption that pervades this city, I believe that she should voluntarily resign.” stated Hillary Ronan, member of San Francisco Board of Supervisors.
    Earlier this week, Nuru left his top city position after the FBI arrested him under charges of “public corruption, bribery kickbacks and side deals.”

2/16/2020 EU must develop ‘appetite for power’, Borrell says
FILE PHOTO: EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell addresses the European
Parliament in Strasbourg, France, February 11, 2020. REUTERS/Vincent Kessler
    MUNICH (Reuters) – European Union governments need to be willing to intervene in international crises or risk prolonging paralysis in their foreign policy, the EU’s top diplomat said on Sunday.
    The EU is the world’s largest trading bloc but it often fails to speak with one voice on foreign policy because its policy-making requires consensus among members.    EU governments are divided on issues from Libya to Venezuela.
    “Europe has to develop an appetite for power,” the EU’s foreign policy chief Josep Borrell told the Munich Security Conference, stressing that did not only mean military power.
    “We should be able to act … not everyday making comments, expressing concern,” he told leaders, lawmakers and diplomats.
    With its economic power, the bloc has been able to boast of a “soft power,” but its influence in the world has waned, partly because U.S. President Donald Trump’s “America First” policies have undermined European priorities.
    Trump’s decision to pull out of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, as well as the Paris climate accord, his recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital before a final peace settlement and his criticism of NATO are at odds with European positions.
    With new leadership in Brussels, the EU has launched into a flurry of diplomacy since January, particularly on the Middle East.
    But the bloc was still divided on how to react to Trump’s peace proposal for the Palestinians and Israel.    Efforts to revive a maritime mission off Libya to uphold a U.N. arms embargo have run into difficulties, diplomats say.
    “When there is no unanimity (in the EU), the remaining majority have to act,” Borrell said.
(Reporting by Robin Emmott; Editing by Frances Kerry)

2/16/2020 Judge in Roger Stone’s case schedules phone conference ahead of sentencing date by OAN Newsroom
In this Feb. 21, 2019, photo, former campaign adviser for President Donald Trump,
Roger Stone, leaves federal court in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
    The case of Roger Stone took a new turn just days ahead of his sentencing.    On Sunday, Judge Amy Berman Jackson called for an on-the-record telephone conference for this coming Tuesday with attorneys from both sides.    It’s not clear what the discussion will focus on.
    This came amid speculation that President Trump could pardon Stone after the DOJ moved to alter its sentencing recommendation last week.
FILE- In this Oct. 4, 2018, file photo Sen. John Kennedy, R-La., arrives at the
Capitol in Washington. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)
    Meanwhile, some Republican senators said Stone is facing a disproportionately tough sentence.
    “Roger Stone is pretty good at bad decisions and nobody would confuse him with Alexander Hamilton,” stated Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.).    “Being, Mr. Stone’s status as a chucklehead is not a criminal act.”
    The upcoming conference comes after Stone’s attorneys filed a motion for a new trial last week amid allegations of potential juror bias.

2/17/2020 VA. Democrats push to ban assault weapons fails Senate vote by OAN Newsroom
FILE – This Monday an. 20, 2020 file photo shows pro gun demonstrators holding signs
in front of the Virginia State Capitol in Richmond, Va. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)
    The Virginia State Senate rejected a measure to ban the sale of some semi-automatic weapons and large magazines.    State senators rejected the measure in a 10-to-five vote Monday, postponing the bill for the rest of the year and asking the State Crime Commission to study the issue.
    The state of Virginia has been known as the center of all the gun debates.    Protesters have been gathering at the state’s capital the past couple of weeks to showcase their right of keeping their legal weapons.
    Virginia Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security Brian Moran argued that Americans apparently have no right to carry firearms because those guns are made for war.
    On the other hand, the NRA was delighted to hear the news of Virginia’s rejected bill.
    A group of four moderate Democrats joined their Republican counterparts in voting against the measure.    The bill would have prohibited the sale of AR-15 style rifles and banned the possession of magazines holding more than 12 rounds.
    Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam and his allies believe this bill could potentially save lives and help prevent future mass murders.
[THIS IS THE PERSON WHO HAS PROMOTED INFANTICIDE IS PROMOTING GETTING RID OF THE SECOND AMENDMENT TO SAVE LIVES!].
    A spokeswoman for the governor said his office would be back next year in a renewed push for the bill.

2/17/2020 Hundreds of Americans flown home from cruise ship, 14 with coronavirus by Stephen Lam and Stephanie Nebehay
People wearing face masks walk inside a subway station, as the country is hit by an outbreak
of the novel coronavirus, in Shanghai, China February 17, 2020. REUTERS/Aly Song
    TRAVIS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif./GENEVA (Reuters) – More than 300 American cruise liner passengers, including 14 who tested positive for coronavirus, were flown home to military bases in the United States after two weeks under quarantine off Japan.
    The cruise ship Diamond Princess, which with more than 400 cases has by far the largest cluster outside China, has become the biggest test so far of other countries’ ability to contain an outbreak that has killed 1,772 people in China and five elsewhere.
    A ground crew in anti-contamination suits met the chartered jet that touched down at Joint Base San Antonio in Texas, and passengers could be seen climbing down the stairs wearing face masks in the pre-dawn mist.    Another flight landed at Travis Air Force Base in California hours earlier.
    All the passengers were taken into a two-week quarantine.
    Although U.S. officials had said passengers with coronavirus symptoms would not be repatriated, 14 passengers found at the last minute to have tested positive were permitted to board the planes.    The U.S. State Department said the infected passengers were exposed to other passengers for about 40 minutes before they were isolated.
    Across mainland China, the total number of coronavirus cases rose by 2,051 to 70,635, according to the World Health Organization.    That was slightly more new cases than were reported on Sunday, but hundreds fewer than reported on Saturday.
    Chinese authorities say the decrease is a sign that measures taken to halt the spread of the disease are having an effect.
    However, epidemiologists say it is probably still too early to say how well the outbreak is being contained within China and its central Hubei province, where the virus first appeared.    Official figures of new cases have leveled off in the past, only to jump suddenly after changes in methodology.
    “The real issue is whether we are seeing efficient community transmission outside of China and at the present time we are not observing that,” Mike Ryan, head of World Health Organization’s emergencies program, said at a news conference in Geneva.
    Fewer than 700 cases have been reported in other countries and even within China the epidemic is affecting “a very tiny, tiny, tiny proportion of people,” Ryan said.
    China has responded to the COVID-19 virus by locking down Hubei’s provincial capital Wuhan, a megacity of 11 million people, and imposing restrictions in a number of other cities.
    But the ruling Communist Party is under pressure to prevent the economy from crashing and to get people back to work.
    China’s central bank cut the interest rate on its medium-term lending on Monday, which is expected to pave the way for a reduction in the benchmark loan prime rate on Thursday.    Beijing has also announced plans for cuts in taxes and fees.
    Even so, economists expect China’s economic growth to slow.    Ratings agency Moody’s on Monday lowered its 2020 GDP growth forecast to 5.2%, making it likely China would miss a goal to double GDP over the decade to 2020.
CRUISE SHIPS
    Around half of all known cases of the virus outside China have been found aboard the Diamond Princess, which was ordered to stay under quarantine at the port of Yokohama on Feb. 3.
    Several other countries have announced plans to follow the United States in bringing passengers home.    Around half of the 3,700 passengers and crew are Japanese.
    Matthew Smith, an American passenger who remained on the ship after refusing to board the voluntary repatriation flights, tweeted that staying behind was the “best decision ever.”
    “US Gov’t said they would not put anyone on the planes who was symptomatic, and they ended up knowingly and intentionally putting on 14 people who actually have the virus,” he wrote.
    Authorities around the world were also trying to track down passengers from another cruise liner, the Westerdam, which was turned away from ports across Southeast Asia for two weeks before docking in Cambodia on Thursday.
    One American passenger who disembarked in Cambodia tested positive for the virus in Malaysia on Saturday.
    Carnival Corp, which operates both cruise liners, said it was cooperating with authorities in trying to trace other passengers from the Westerdam.    None of the other 1,454 passengers and 802 crew had reported any symptoms, it said.
    Hundreds of passengers are still in Cambodia, either on the ship or in hotels.
    Holly Rauen, a passenger from Fort Myers, Florida, said she and others will be tested by Cambodian authorities.    “We have no idea when we get to get home,” she said.
CHINA BACK TO WORK?
    After an extended Lunar New Year holiday, China needs to get back to work or will suffer severe economic consequences.    There is a proposal to delay the opening of the annual session of parliament, due on Feb. 24.
    Some cities remain in lockdown, streets are deserted, employees are nervous, and travel bans and quarantine orders are in place around the country.    Many factories have yet to re-open, disrupting supply chains in China and beyond.
    In Japan, where data showed on Monday that the economy had already shrunk last quarter at the fastest pace in almost six years, the impact of the virus is expected to show up in the current quarter, stoking fears of recession.
    Trade-dependent Singapore downgraded its 2020 economic growth forecast and has said recession is possible.    It is set to unveil measures to cushion the blow on Tuesday.
    Organisers of the Tokyo Marathon have decided to limit the March 1 race to top-level athletes, banning 38,000 general participants, a person with knowledge of the issue told Reuters.
    Japan’s Imperial Household Agency said it would cancel Emperor Naruhito’s public birthday address on Feb. 23, his first since his coronation last year.    The event regularly attracts tens of thousands of people to the inner grounds of the Imperial Palace in the heart of Tokyo.
(Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay in Geneva, Nandita Bose in Washington, David Stanway in Shanghai, Claire Baldwin in Sihanoukville, Daniel Trotta in New York, John Geddie and Aradhana Aravindan in Singapore, Farah Master in Hong Kong and Sophie Yu in Beijing; Writing by Andy Sullivan and Peter Graff; Editing by Mike Collett-White, Nick Macfie and Sonya Hepinstall)

2/17/2020 WTO gives somber goods trade outlook, sees virus threat
A traffic light is turned red in front of the WTO headquarters
in Geneva, Switzerland, December 10, 2019. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse
    BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Growth of global trade in goods is likely to remain weak in early 2020, the World Trade Organization (WTO) said on Monday, adding that the below-trend performance could become even worse due to the new coronavirus.
    The Geneva-based trade body said its goods trade indicator fell to 95.5 from the 96.6 reading reported in November.    Readings of less than 100 indicate trade growth below medium-term trends.
    The WTO said the new figure did not take into account the most recent developments, such as the outbreak of the new coronavirus, which could dampen trade prospects further.
    Global merchandise trade fell by 0.2% year-on-year in the third quarter of 2019, the WTO said, with a possible pick-up in the fourth quarter.
    However, its new data indicated this recovery would not be sustained, with a decline now looking likely in the Jan-March period of 2020.
    The WTO trade outlook indicator is a composite of data on export orders in business surveys, air freight, container shipping, car production and sales and trade in electronic components and agricultural materials, particularly wood.
    It is designed to identify turning points and gauge momentum in global trade growth rather than to provide a specific short-term forecast.
(Reporting by Philip Blenkinsop; Editing by Alex Richardson)

2/17/2020 Attorney General Barr assigns outside prosecutors to review cases by OAN Newsroom
Attorney General William Barr speaks at the National Sheriffs’ Association Winter Legislative
and Technology Conference in Washington, Monday, Feb. 10, 2020. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
    William Barr took aggressive steps to ensure the cases against former Trump advisers were conducted properly.    This came amid on-going allegations of misconduct on the part of the special counsel team.
    Attorney General William Barr has reportedly worked on a review of the investigation into former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.    Barr has assigned U.S. attorney Jeffrey Jensen to look over the handling of the case against the retired army general.
    Reports said Flynn’s defense attorney Sidney Powell had fought for months to get an external review. In a letter to Barr, Powell requested a new government counsel with no connection to the Mueller probe. For months, she wrote to the DOJ and accused the former special counsel team of gross misconduct.    Flynn eventually withdrew his guilty plea of lying to the FBI.
FILE – In this Feb. 1, 2017 file photo, former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn speaks during
the daily news briefing at the White House, in Washington. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
    Powell had previously called out the Mueller team for it’s aggressive methods.
    “I think that’s why they picked him for the special council operation because he knew what a dirty prosecuter he is.” stated Powell.
    Andrew Weissmann, the top prosecutor under former special counsel Robert Mueller, said no attorney general in U.S. history has involved him or herself into cases with such close ties to a sitting president.
    “The question I have for him is tell me,” asked Mueller “…when have you ever reached in as the Attorney General to any other case?
    Weissmann also said the Justice Department closed the case against former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe in order to open new investigation reviews into former FBI Director James Comey and former FBI agent Peter Strzok.    This came after the DOJ declined to bring charges against the Russia probe officials.
    The New York Times reported over the past two weeks, U.S. attorney Jensen and prosecutors working under Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen have been questioning other line prosecutors about investigative steps and reasons for undertaking certain actions for prosecution.
    The announcement of outside investigators came after Attorney General Barr along with Deputy Attorney General Rosen took control of Roger Stone’s sentencing recommendation, causing four Mueller prosecutors to withdraw in protest from a case they spent years working on.
    Barr also pulled the top treasury nomination of former DCUS attorney Jessie Liu and gave her a temporary position at the treasury as the interim U.S. attorney in Washington, which will oversea all of the investigative reviews into the former Trump advisers.

2/17/2020 Mike Bloomberg under fire for jabs at senior citizens and farmers by OAN Newsroom
Democratic presidential candidate and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg talks
to supporters Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2020 in Detroit. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)
    Presidential candidate Mike Bloomberg was under fire for comments he’s made, this time about the elderly and farmers.    Current and past comments by the former New York mayor have been gripping the media for his apparent jabs at both senior citizens and farmers.
    It began with a video of Bloomberg speaking on health care Sunday.    He claimed health care will bankrupt us if we don’t begin turning away the elderly.
    “If you show up with prosthetic cancer and you’re 95 years old, we should say go and enjoy, live a long life. If it’s a young person, we should do something about it,” stated the former New York City mayor.
    Following those remarks, Bloomberg said society isn’t ready for that yet.
    Later, a video from 2016 re-surfaced that showed Bloomberg giving an address at the University of Oxford’s School of Business.    The one hour speech covered topics such as leadership and equality in the workplace.    The topic that raised red flags across the nation was Bloomberg’s take on the farming industry.
    “I can teach anybody in this room to be a farmer, its a proccessy,” stated Bloomberg.
    The former New York City mayor claimed he could teach anyone in the lecture hall to farm, despite having no experience in the industry himself.    He quickly summarized modern agriculture saying, “dig a hole, put a seed, put dirt on top, up comes the corn.”
    Bloomberg went on to compare farming to information technology, saying IT requires more “grey matter,” which is a different skill set not everyone can learn.
    “Now comes the information economy fundamentally different,” stated the presidential candidate.    “It’s a skill set a lot more grey matter, not clear teachers can teach student can learn.”
    The remarks have been met with major backlash from both sides of the aisle who have said Bloomberg is sorely out of touch with the agriculture industry, which is a vital part of the nation’s economy.

2/17/2020 Mainstream media reflects on Michael Avenatti coverage by OAN Newsroom
FILE – In this Dec. 12, 2018, file photo, attorney Michael Avenatti, speaks outside court in New York.
An indictment filed against Avenatti, Wednesday, April 10, alleges he stole millions of dollars from clients,
didn’t pay his taxes, committed bank fraud and lied in bankruptcy proceedings. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez, File)
    Following his conviction for trying to extort Nike, the mainstream media has reflected on its past propping up of disgraced attorney Michael Avennati.    He was once a consistently lauded figure in the mainstream media.    Now, with decades of jail time potentially ahead of him after being convicted of attempting to extort Nike, pundits have pushed different takes on the disgraced attorney.
    After once suggesting Avennati could be a strong presidential candidate, CNN anchor Brian Stelter questioned his network’s past coverage of him.
    Stelter once said to Avennati on CNN, “Looking ahead to 2020, one reason I’m taking you seriously as a contender is because of your presence on cable news.”
    A 2018 Media Research Center study found, Avennati appeared on CNN 74 times over a 10 week period and on MSNBC 57 times over the same time.
    In reacting to Svenatti’s conviction last week, CNN Legal Pundit Jeffrey Toobin noted the attorney was on the network a lot and claimed he felt “snookered.”
    “The total collapse of his life is really sort of extrordinary, and frankly I feel kind of snookered because I took him seriously.” stated Toobin.
    Others in the mainstream media were more blunt about their past estimations of Avennati.    In a tweet Sunday, Daily Beast reporter and MSNBC contributor Sam Stein admitted he gave Avennati too much credibilty.
    Though Avennati already appeared destined for a lengthy spell behind bars, his legal troubles are far from over.
    The lawyer is still facing a trial on embezzlement charges in California and a trial on wire fraud and identity theft charges in New York.    That case is connected to an accusation he stole $300,000 from former client Stormy Daniels.

2/18/2020 Democrats hope to limit president’s powers to recall ambassadors by OAN Newsroom
Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., speaks with aide on Capitol Hill, Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2020 in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
    Senate Democrats are working on a number of proposals to limit the president’s powers to recall ambassadors.    According to reports, Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) is drafting new rules aimed at limiting the president’s power over the State Department, including one which would grant Congress more authority to question the president over their decision to recall ambassadors.
    This comes amid speculation President Trump recalled former Ukraine Ambassador Marie Yovanovich last year after she was suspected of impeding an investigation into corruption in Ukraine. Democrats have argued this constitutes an abuse of power by President Trump. They have also alleged he kicked Yovanovitch out for political gain.     However, opponents of the rules have argued they would go too far to limit the executive branch.    Former Afghanistan Ambassador Ronald E. Neumann weighed in on the proposals by saying it’s important the president has the ability to remove ambassadors at their discretion.
    The controversy over the treatment of Yovanovitch by the Trump administration came to a head during the House’s impeachment hearings, following her testimony.
    It was also alleged that President Trump had private associates of his follow the Ukraine ambassador, which prompted Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to launch a probe into the incident. He said he doesn’t think the claims will prove to be true.
    “We will do everything we need to do to evaluate whether there was something that took place there,” said Pompeo.    “I suspect that much of what’s been reported we’ll ultimately prove wrong, but our obligation, my obligation as Secretary of State, is to make sure that we evaluate, investigate anytime there’s someone who poses there may have been a risk to one of our officers, we’ll obviously do that.”
Former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch testifies before the House Intelligence Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington,
Friday, Nov. 15, 2019, during the second public impeachment hearing of President Donald Trump. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
    In recent weeks, there have been similar calls from Democrats to rein in the president’s power over the executive branch, specifically on President Trump’s decision to defy subpoenas for White House officials to testify in the House’s impeachment inquiry.    This is something the president is allowed to do exerting executive privilege.
Either way, it appears the Democrat’s fight to limit the powers of the executive branch and to attack President Trump are far from over.
[THIS IS ANOTHER OVER REACH BY THE DEMOCRATS SINCE THE AMBASSADORS ARE WORKING FOR THE ARTICLE 2 UNDER THE PRESIDENT AND HE CAN HIRE AND FIRE ANYONE HE WANTS TO WHICH TRUMP FAILED TO DO NOT KNOWING THAT THEY WERE GOING TO HASSLE HIM INSTEAD OF DOING THEIR JOB NOT THE ONE THAT THE DEEP STATE WANTED AND THE GLOBALIST WHO ARE PUSHING THIS TRAVESTY NOW AND MOST LIKE THAT SNAKE SHUMER.].

2/18/2020 Former Ukraine Envoy Bill Taylor says CrowdStrike server theory wasn’t probed because State Dept. didn’t take it seriously by OAN Newsroom
File – Former American diplomat to Ukraine William Taylor is pictured. (J. Scott Applewhite/AP Photo)
    According to former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Bill Taylor, the State Department did not properly investigate the country’s role in alleged election meddling.
    In a recent interview, Taylor said U.S. diplomats were not directed to find out if CrowdStrike servers could be located in Ukraine because nobody took the issue seriously. He also pointed out that Ukraine’s alleged involvement in U.S. elections was deemed “Russian propaganda.”
    Taylor served as the top envoy to Ukraine between 2006 and 2009 as well as in June 2019 until January of 2020.    Meanwhile, President Trump was concerned about alleged events from 2016.
    “Hybrid war is more than tanks and soldiers…hybrid war is information war, it’s cyber war, it’s economic war, it’s a tax on elections,” said Taylor.    “As we know, they’ve attacked our elections.”
    Taylor also said there is a lot of disinformation around Ukraine and its war with the Kremlin.    He warned the U.S. should be very careful about those kinds of stories.
[When will someone finally get the Crowdstrike servers?    That’s right they may implement some corrupt Democrats and DOJ, NSA and CIA persons].

2/18/2020 Trump campaign criticizes tweet by former President Obama claiming he made the economy what it is now by OAN Newsroom
Former president Barack Obama talks during a panel with NBA players Chris Paul, Kevin Love and Giannis
Antetokounmpo and sports analyst Michael Wilbon in Chicago on Saturday, Feb. 15, 2020. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
    The Trump campaign recently fired back at former President Barack Obama after he appeared to claim credit for the booming economy.    In a statement Monday, a top campaign official said the economy is only recovering because of actions President Trump took to undo his predecessor’s policies.
    “President Trump reversed every single failed Obama-era economic policy, and with it, reversed the floundering Obama/Biden economy,” Kayleigh McEnany, Trump campaign national press secretary, told Fox News reporters.
    This comes after former President Obama took to Twitter noting the anniversary of his signing the 2009 Economic Stimulus Package.
    The Trump campaign added that by deregulating, lowering taxes and supporting free market policies, President Trump has created the hottest economy on record.    This is a fact Vice President Mike Pence has continued to stress.
    “I hope you have figured out already American manufacturing has never had a greater champion in the Oval Office than President Donald Trump,” he stated.    “And we’re going to keep working every day, not just earn your confidence, but to give you confidence to invest, to give you the confidence to know that this is a president that believes in growth.”
    The Trump campaign added that by contrast Obama and former Vice President Joe Biden orchestrated the worst economic recovery in modern history.
[As soon as the Democrats took over in 2009 every advantage that I had disappeared in that from 2010 to 2015 five years I went without a raise and the economic downside affected my marriage as we had our two sons and ended my marriage after 8 years and also Obama stole 2 years from Social Security for a bailout he used for God knows what which took away any raise I had before the above.    On top of that he spent 13 trillion dollars in 8 years the most of any president which is the main reason the U.S. is in debt now and no one knows what it was spent on since the press controlled all the fake news and Republican were locked out until we won the House and Senate back in 2015 which should tell anyone that the American people finally caught on to the corruption of the last 4 years and it was not hard for all to push for Trump to win
    BY THE WAY IF THEY BROUGHT OBAMA IN TO SPEAK THEN THEY ARE GETTING DESPERATE
].

2/18/2020 Jailed Wikileaks founder Assange’s health improving: spokesman by Andrew MacAskill and Sarah Young
FILE PHOTO: WikiLeaks' founder Julian Assange leaves Westminster Magistrates Court
in London, Britain January 13, 2020. REUTERS/Simon Dawson
    LONDON (Reuters) – Jailed WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is no longer being kept in solitary confinement and his health is improving, his spokesman Kristinn Hrafnsson told reporters on Tuesday.
    Assange, 48, is in Belmarsh high-security prison in London, fighting an extradition request from the United States where he faces 18 counts including conspiring to hack government computers and violating an espionage law.    He could spend decades in prison if convicted.
    His supporters had expressed concern about the state of his health after he appeared confused during a court hearing in October, struggling to recall his age and name and saying he was unable to think properly.
    Assange was moved from solitary confinement in the medical wing to a different part of the prison with 40 other inmates after his legal team and prisoners complained that his treatment was unfair, Hrafnsson said.
    “I saw him about 10 days ago – he has improved thanks to the pressure from his legal team, the general public, and amazingly, actually from other inmates in Belmarsh Prison to get him out of isolation,” Hrafnsson said ahead of an extradition hearing that starts next week.
    Australian-born Assange made global headlines in early 2010 when WikiLeaks published a classified U.S. military video showing a 2007 attack by Apache helicopters in Baghdad that killed a dozen people, including two Reuters news staff.
    WikiLeaks later angered the United States by publishing caches of leaked military documents and diplomatic cables.
    Assange has consistently presented himself as a champion of free speech being persecuted for exposing abuses of power.    But his critics paint him as a dangerous figure complicit in Russian efforts to undermine the West.
    He fled to the Ecuadorean embassy in London in 2012 to avoid extradition to Sweden, where he was wanted for questioning about allegations of sex crimes which have since been dropped.    He spent seven years holed up in the embassy until Ecuador decided to stop giving him refuge and he was dragged out last May.
    Earlier, a group of doctors representing 117 physicians and psychologists from 18 nations called in a letter for an end to what they described as “the psychological torture and medical neglect of Julian Assange.”
    His father, John Shipton, said Assange’s long confinement indoors had damaged his health and feared that sending his son to the US would be akin to a “death sentence.”
    “His situation is dire, he has had nine years of ceaseless psychological torture where false accusations are constantly being made,” he told reporters.
(Writing by Estelle Shirbon/Guy Faulconbridge; editing by Stephen Addison)

2/18/2020 Trump blasts proposed restrictions on selling U.S. jet parts to China by Jeff Mason and Makini Brice
FILE PHOTO: Chinese Vice Premier Liu He and U.S. President Donald Trump sign "phase one" of the U.S.-China trade agreement during
a ceremony in the East Room of the White House in Washington, U.S., January 15, 2020. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque/File Photo
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday blasted proposals that could restrict U.S. companies’ ability to supply jet engines and other components to China’s aviation industry and said he had instructed his administration to prevent such moves.
    The president’s intervention illustrated, at least in this case, his desire to prioritize economic benefits over potential competitive pitfalls and national security concerns.
    And it contrasts with his administration’s treatment of China’s telecoms industry; U.S. companies are prevented from trading with Huawei Technologies, the world’s largest telecommunications equipment maker, for national security reasons.
    But in a series of tweets on Tuesday, Trump said national security should not be used as an “excuse” to make it difficult for foreign countries to buy U.S. products.
    “The United States cannot, & will not, become such a difficult place to deal with in terms of foreign countries buying our product, including for the always used National Security excuse, that our companies will be forced to leave in order to remain competitive,” Trump wrote on Twitter.
    “As an example, I want China to buy our jet engines, the best in the World,” he added.
    Trump did not identify the restrictions.    The White House declined to comment.
    The United States and China, the world’s two largest economies, have a complicated and competitive relationship.    Trump signed a first-phase trade deal with China earlier this year after a long trade war in which the two sides levied significant tariffs on each other’s products.    Many of those tariffs are still in place.
    Trump’s series of tweets on Tuesday was an apparent reference to reports over the weekend that the U.S. government is considering whether to block General Electric Co from continuing to supply engines for a new Chinese passenger jet.
    Washington is also eyeing limits on other components for Chinese commercial aircraft such as flight control systems made by Honeywell International Inc .
    Central to the possible crackdown on the sale of U.S. parts to China’s aircraft industry is whether shipments could fuel the rise of a serious competitor to U.S.-based Boeing Co or boost China’s military capabilities.
    The Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) said it welcomed Trump’s comments.
    “We applaud President Trump’s tweets supporting U.S. companies being able to sell products to China and opposing proposed regulations that would unduly curtail that ability,” said John Neuffer, the group’s president, in a statement.    “As we have discussed with the administration, sales of non-sensitive, commercial products to China drive semiconductor research and innovation, which is critical to America’s economic strength and national security.”
(Additional reporting by Tim Ahmann; Editing by Tom Brown)

2/18/2020 Trump calls for all cases stemming from Mueller probe to be ‘thrown out’
FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump walks to Air Force One after the NASCAR
Daytona 500 in Daytona Beach, Florida, U.S., February 16, 2020. REUTERS/Erin Scott
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday called for all cases stemming from Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election to be “thrown out” and suggested he could bring a lawsuit over the matter.
    Trump made the comments hours before a telephone conference call between lawyers for the president’s former adviser, Roger Stone and prosecutors.    Stone was convicted on seven counts of lying to the U.S. Congress, obstruction and witness tampering.
    Prosecutors initially called for Stone to receive a prison sentence of between seven to nine years in the case but, after Trump publicly called the recommendation “unfair,” the Justice Department scaled it back.    That sent shock waves through Washington and prompted all four prosecutors to quit the case and one to quit the agency.
    “Everything having to do with this fraudulent investigation is … badly tainted and, in my opinion, should be thrown out,” Trump said in a series of tweets.
    “If I wasn’t President, I’d be suing everyone all over the place … BUT MAYBE I STILL WILL,” Trump continued.
    Asked about Trump’s tweets on Tuesday in an interview with Fox News Channel, White House spokeswoman Stephanie Grisham alleged corruption and raised questions about the jury, adding: “He’s frustrated, obviously, and who knows what he’ll end up doing.”
    Stone was one of several former Trump associates to have been charged in the Mueller probe and one of only two to go to trial instead of pleading guilty.
    Trump’s tweets on Tuesday morning came days after the nation’s top law enforcement official, Attorney General Bill Barr, said Trump’s tweets made it “impossible” to do his job.
    In a letter on Monday, more than two thousand former Justice Department officials criticized the behavior by Barr and Trump around the Roger Stone case and said their actions “require Mr. Barr to resign.”
(Reporting by Makini Brice and Susan Heavey; Editing by Andrew Heavens and David Gregorio)

2/18/2020 President Trump slams prosecutors in Roger Stone case, threatens lawsuit over Mueller probe by OAN Newsroom
President Donald Trump speaks with reporters as he boards Air Force One as he departs
Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2020, at Andrews Air Force Base, Md.(AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
    President Trump recently slammed federal prosecutors who worked the Roger Stone case and threatened to sue everyone behind the Mueller probe.
    In a string of tweets Tuesday, he said the Russia investigation was “badly tainted” and should be thrown out altogether.    The president also said it was “illegally set up” based on a discredited dossier as well as forged documents to the FISA court.
    The president went on to point out that Mueller lied to Congress when he said he did not come to the White House with the intention of becoming the FBI director.
    Meanwhile, the federal judge overseeing the Roger Stone case has declined to delay his sentencing amid calls for a new trial.    In a teleconference with prosecutors and the defense Tuesday, District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson said delaying the sentencing would not be a “prudent” thing to do.
FILE- In this Nov. 12, 2019 file photo, Roger Stone waits in line at the federal court in Washington. The Justice Department said it
will take the extraordinary step of lowering the amount of prison time it will seek for Roger Stone. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
    The judge said she’s considering holding a hearing on the request for a new trial, but added that she wasn’t sure if it was necessary.
    Stone is scheduled to be sentenced Thursday, however, Jackson indicated his sentence wouldn’t go into effect until after she makes a decision on the possibility of a new trial.

2/18/2020 NSA whistleblower petitions for clemency by OAN Newsroom
Former National Security Agency contractor Reality Winner is asking for early release in the middle of her five-year prison sentence
for leaking classified documents to the media on Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. (Justice Department, File)
    A former National Security Agency (NSA) agent asked President Trump for clemency after pleading guilty to leaking classified information.
    NSA whistleblower Reality Winner submitted a clemency petition to the White House Monday in hopes to reduce her jail sentence.    The petition showcased Winner’s service in the military, jail treatment, health conditions, and the circumstances of her case.
    In addition to the petition, over 4,000 letters of support have also been submitted.    Some of the supporters include press freedom advocates and former NSA analyst Jon Ivy.
    Ivy wrote, “She was trained, as we all are, to put the greater good above our own safety.”
    In 2018, she was sentenced to just over five years in prison for the release of classified information into Russia’s alleged attempts to meddle in the 2016 elections.    Winner claimed she did not mean to go against the United States and did not work with any other foreign country.
    President Trump has expressed support for Winner in the past, including a 2018 tweet in which he called her sentencing unfair.
    The Department of Justice has not yet responded to her request.

2/19/2020 Oil up $0.07 to $52.09, DOW down 166 to 29,232 as coronavirus is affecting world economy.

2/19/2020 Oregonians petition to move Idaho border by Kristin Lam, USA TODAY
    Frustrated by liberal policies, some Oregon residents petitioned to leave the state – by moving the border with Idaho westward.
    The movement secured initial approval from two counties and aims to get enough signatures to put the proposal on ballots in November, according to the group called Greater Idaho.
    If the group succeeds, voters in southeast Oregon may see a question on whether their county should become part of Idaho by redrawing the border.
    “Rural counties have become increasingly outraged by laws coming out of the Oregon Legislature that threaten our livelihoods, our industries, our wallet, our gun rights, and our values,” Mike McCarter, one of the chief petitioners, said in a news release.
    “We tried voting those legislators out, but rural Oregon is outnumbered and our voices are now ignored.    This is our last resort.”
    Democrats control the governor’s office and state Legislature. Last year, Senate Republicans left the capital to protest a bill on greenhouse gas emissions.
    Valerie Gottschalk, a chief petitioner, said she hopes the proposal will gain traction like the petition to recall Gov. Kate Brown did last summer, though proponents did not collect the 280,000 signatures for a recall election.
    Greater Idaho said it needs to collect about 2,400 signatures from Josephine County and about 3,000 from Douglas County to appear on the ballot.
    “People here would prefer Idaho’s conservative governance to the progressive/ liberal current Oregon governance,” Gottschalk said in a news release.    “Every time I look at the Facebook group Greater Idaho, the group has gotten bigger.”
    Of Oregon’s 36 counties, only 14 in the Willamette Valley area would remain if the group had its way.
    Moving the border would require approval from the U.S. Congress as well as the Idaho and Oregon Legislatures.
    The proposal to join Idaho isn’t the first effort Oregonians have made to leave the state.    In 1941, residents of southwestern Oregon tried to secede by creating a state of Jefferson with northern Californians.
This proposed map provided by Greater Idaho shows an expanded Idaho, potentially created by moving state borders. GREATER IDAHO GROUP
[IT IS GETTING TOTALLY OUT OF HAND SANCTUARIES CITIES, COUNTIES, WHATS NEXT DUH, MOBILE COUNTIES, STATES AND COUNTRIES.].

2/19/2020 Pompeo says prepared to talk to Iran ‘anytime’, pressure to continue
FILE PHOTO: U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks at a business leaders reception at
the Museu de Moeda in Luanda, Angola February 17, 2020. Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/Pool via REUTERS
    ADDIS ABABA (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Wednesday said authorities in Washington were prepared to talk to Iran “anytime,” but that it needed to “fundamentally” change its behavior and that a campaign of maximum pressure against it would continue.
    “We are not rushed, the pressure campaign continues.    It’s not just an economic pressure campaign… it’s isolation through diplomacy as well,” Pompeo told reporters in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa before boarding a flight to Saudi Arabia.
(Writing by Lisa Barrington; editing by John Stonestreet)

2/19/2020 State Dept. blacklists Russian oil company for helping Maduro regime avoid U.S. oil sanctions by OAN Newsroom
File – Elliott Abrams, left, listens to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo talk about
Venezuela at the State Department in Washington, D.C. (Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP Photo)
    The Trump administration recently announced it’s imposing sanctions on a subsidiary of the Russian oil conglomerate Rosneft.
    The sanctions will freeze all assets held in the U.S. by Rosneft Trading SA, the Swiss-incorporated broker for the Russian oil company, and also target firm President Didier Casimiro.    Private holders of interests in the firm will be given 90 days to divest from the company or risk having their assets frozen.
    Rosneft and its subsidiaries have been accused of helping embattled Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro evade existing U.S. sanctions on its oil exports, a major source of income for the regime, which controls the world’s largest reserves of crude oil.
    According to U.S. Special Rep. for Venezuela Elliot Abrams, the Russian company disguised shipments of crude oil.    Just last month, it moved over 2 million barrels to West Africa.
    Maduro’s regime has depended on aid from Russia, China, and Cuba since an attempt was made to replace him with Juan Guaido, the former president of the National Assembly of Venezuela.    The U.S. and other Western allies recognize Guaido as the acting president of the South American country pending Democratic elections.
Self-proclaimed interim president of Venezuela and opposition leader Juan Guaido attends a legislative session
at the San Antonio municipal theater, in Caracas, Venezuela, Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2020. The lawmakers are meeting at
an alternative location due to the government blocking their access to the National Assembly chambers. (AP Photo/Matias Delacroix)
    Since last year, the U.S. has increased pressure on Maduro to cede power and allow for elections by imposing sanctions on key Venezuelan industries.    This included its state-owned oil and natural gas company Petróleos de Venezuela.
    While announcing the sanctions, Abrams reaffirmed the administration’s commitment to continuing its campaign to oust Maduro from power and seek democratic elections for the people of Venezuela.
    "Today’s sanctions are another step in the policy of pressuring the Maduro regime to allow Venezuela to escape from its terrible crisis through free and fair presidential elections,” he stated.    “There will be more steps and further pressure."
    Officials in the administration have added they do not believe the move will have an effect on global oil prices.

2/19/2020 Appeals court blocks N.C. voter ID law for general elections, claim it’s discriminatory by OAN Newsroom
File- This photo shows a NC Voter ID rules posted at the door of the voting station at the
Alamance Fire Station in Greensboro, N.C. (Andrew Krech/News & Record via AP)
    A North Carolina appeals court has blocked a voter ID law, which was scheduled to take effect during this years general elections. A three judge panel unanimously made the decision Tuesday after claiming the law was enacted with discriminatory intent.
    This comes amid an over years-long battle between Democrats and Republicans in the state to pass some form of voter ID laws.    The state passed a more stringent voter ID bill in 2013, but it was shot down by the state’s courts due to similar concerns over discrimination.
    The most recent law was passed by North Carolina voters in November 2018.    The rule was blocked by a state court for the 2020 primary elections last July.    At the time, however, it still had the green-light to be implemented during the generals.
    Many left-wing activists have argued the rules would disproportionately target minority voters who may find it more difficult to obtain state sanctioned forms of ID.
    “Illegal voter ID bill; the latest bad faith attempt in a string of failed efforts by the North Carolina General Assembly to impede the right to vote of African Americans and Latinos in this state,” stated Rev. Dr. T. Anthony Spearman, President of the North Carolina’s NAACP.
    However, many Republicans have argued the laws are necessary to protect electoral integrity.
    Republicans have also said the bill is considered lenient compared to how strict voter ID laws can be.    This new legislation allows for exemptions, which makes it possible to obtain state sanctioned IDs for free and would allow people to fill out provisional ballots if they do not have a photo ID on them at the time they cast their vote.
    State Republicans have not yet said whether they plan on challenging the ruling in court.

2/19/2020 Democrats expected to slam Bloomberg in debate by OAN Newsroom
    Democratic presidential candidate Mike Bloomberg gives his thumbs-up after speaking during a campaign event
at Hardywood Park Craft Brewery in Richmond, Va., Saturday, Feb. 15, 2020. (James H. Wallace/Richmond Times-Dispatch via AP)
    A Democrat presidential candidate will be stepping into the debate ring for the first time in more than a decade.    On Tuesday, Mike Bloomberg qualified for Wednesday’s Democrat debate in Las Vegas.    However, the former New York City mayor is expected to face serious heat from his fellow candidates.
    Bloomberg’s Democrat opponents have a number of debates under their belt and a person working on his campaign recently said their team is concerned with the billionaire’s lack of experience in that arena.    His campaign said it’s expecting to receive a lot of negative attention from other candidates.
    For instance, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Miss.) took to social media Tuesday to blast Bloomberg for being an “egomaniac billionaire,” who allegedly bought his way into the debate.
    However, Bloomberg’s senior campaign adviser suggested this is not the case.    In a recent interview, Timothy O’Brien promised the former New York City mayor would release his tax returns and sell his company if he’s elected.
    “There will be no confusion about any of his financial holdings, blurring the line between public service and personal profiteering,” he stated.    “We will be 180 degrees where Donald Trump is on these issues.”
    Meanwhile, Bloomberg’s biggest rival, Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-Vt.), could potentially benefit from his late entrance in the debate.    According to Business Insider, candidates are expected to shift their attention off Sanders and onto Bloomberg.
Democratic presidential candidate U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., speaks to hundreds of people on the campus
of the University on Nevada, Reno, Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2020, before leading several dozen on a two-block march to the
student union to cast their ballot on the final day of early voting ahead of Saturday’s presidential caucuses. (AP Photo/Scott Sonner)
    Bloomberg will not be on the ballots for Nevada’s caucuses, which are set to be held this Saturday.    He will prepare for Wednesday’s debate for now, which will be a crucial battle ahead of Super Tuesday on March 3rd.

2/19/2020 President Trump: Federal government will step in if Calif. cities can’t clean up streets by OAN Newsroom
FILE – In this Aug. 21, 2019 file photo, a woman walks past a homeless man sleeping in front of recycling bins and garbage on a street corner
in San Francisco. Gov. Gavin Newsom is calling for better mental health care to help treat the state’s large homeless population as he addresses
one of the state’s most pressing problems in his second State of the State speech to be given Wednesday, Feb. 19. 2020. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu, File)
    President Trump warned if California can’t clean up its streets, the federal government will.    He made those remarks during a briefing on preparations for the 2028 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles Tuesday.
    The president then said California’s big cities have needles and other unhealthy substances on the streets, which ends up on the beaches as well as in the ocean.    He said he’s already told members of his administration they have to get involved in cleaning up the Golden State.
    “…if they can’t do it themselves, we are going to do it, the federal government is going to take it over,” he stated.    “We are working right now with L.A., in particular….it’s not thinkable what they have allowed to have happened to these cities, incredible.”
    President Trump said his administration is also in talks with officials in San Francisco regarding the issue.
    Homelessness has led to several public health issues in California’s big cities, including outbreaks of hepatitis.    About half of the nation’s homeless population resides in the Golden State.

2/19/2020 Trump offered to pardon Assange if he denied Russia helped leak Democrats’ emails – lawyer
FILE PHOTO: WikiLeaks' founder Julian Assange leaves Westminster Magistrates Court in
London, Britain at an earlier appearance on January 13, 2020. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls/File Photo
    LONDON (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump offered to pardon WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange if he said that Russia had nothing to do with WikiLeaks’ publication of Democratic Party emails in 2016, a London court heard on Wednesday.
    Assange appeared by videolink from prison as lawyers discussed the management of his hearing next week to decide whether he should be extradited to the United States.
    At Westminster Magistrates’ Court, Assange’s barrister, Edward Fitzgerald, referred to a witness statement by former U.S. Republican congressman Dana Rohrabacher who had visited Assange in 2017, saying that he had been sent by the president to offer a pardon.
    The pardon would come on the condition that Assange complied with the United States by saying that the Russians were not involved in the email leak that damaged Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign in 2016, Rohrabacher’s statement said.
    A White House spokeswoman, Stephanie Grisham, denied the assertion.
    “The president barely knows Dana Rohrabacher other than he’s an ex-congressman.    He’s never spoken to him on this subject or almost any subject.    It is a complete fabrication and a total lie,” she said.

    Assange, 48, who spent seven years holed up in Ecuador’s London embassy before he was dragged out last April, is wanted in the United States to face 18 counts including conspiring to hack government computers and violating an espionage law. He could spend decades behind bars if convicted there.
    Almost a decade after his WikiLeaks website enraged Washington by leaking secret U.S. documents, Woolwich Crown Court in London will begin hearings on Monday – with Assange present – to decide whether he should be sent to the United States.
    At Wednesday’s hearing, Assange spoke only to confirm his name and date of birth.    He appeared relaxed and spent much of the hearing reading notes in his lap.    He wore two pairs of glasses: one on top of his head and another which he took on and off and twiddled in his hands.
    The Australian-born Assange made global headlines in early 2010 when WikiLeaks published a classified U.S. military video showing a 2007 attack by Apache helicopters in Baghdad that killed a dozen people, including two Reuters news staff.
    WikiLeaks later angered the United States by publishing caches of leaked military documents and diplomatic cables.
    The full extradition hearing will be split in two parts, with the second half delayed until May. [nL8N29S3JL]
(Reporting by Elizabeth Howcroft in London and Steve Holland in Washington; Editing by Stephen Addison/Mark Heinrich)

2/19/2020 EU leaders to clash over money as Brexit blows hole in budget by Jan Strupczewski
FILE PHOTO: European Union flags fly outside the European Commission headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, April 10, 2019. REUTERS/Yves Herman/File Photo
    BRUSSELS (Reuters) – European Union leaders will clash this week over the EU’s 2021-2027 budget as Britain’s exit leaves a 75 billion-euro ($81 billion) hole in the bloc’s finances just as it faces costly challenges such as becoming carbon neutral by 2050.
    The budget is the most tangible expression of key areas on which the EU members must focus over the next seven years and their willingness to stump up.
    For the coming seven-year cycle, the starting point for talks is 1.074% of the bloc’s gross national income (GNI), or 1.09 trillion euros.    By contrast, EU national budgets claw in 47% of annual output (GDP) on average.
    Still, disputes over hundredths of percentage points have kept EU and government officials busy for the last two years and many diplomats remain skeptical that a deal will be reached on Thursday and Friday, when leaders meet in Brussels.
    “Tomorrow’s summit is a complex and complicated summit because the proposal we have received does not meet our expectations”, said Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte.    Italy is one of the net contributors to the common EU pot.
    The EU budget gets money from customs duties on goods entering its single market, a cut of sales tax, antitrust fines imposed by the EU on companies, and from national contributions.
    It spends money on subsidies for EU farmers, on equalizing living standards across the bloc, border management, research, security and various non-EU aid programs.
    Some net contributors – the “frugal four” of the Netherlands, Austria, Sweden and Denmark – want to limit the budget to 1.00% of GNI. Germany, the biggest contributor, is prepared to accept a bit more, but 1.07 is too high for Berlin.
COHESION FUNDS
    The European Commission has proposed 1.1% and the European Parliament, which will vote on the budget, wants 1.3%.    For net beneficiaries such as Poland, larger is better.
    For many central and eastern European countries, EU “cohesion funds” are crucial. “The costs related to Brexit and other challenges should be more equitably distributed,” Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki wrote in the Financial Times, adding this was not the case due to proposed deep cuts for cohesion policies and the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP).
    But with less money coming in because of Brexit, some net contributors argue there is simply less to share around.    Also, more money should be spent to modernize the EU economy rather than on preserving agriculture, they say.
    EU leaders will discuss the idea of a tax on plastic waste that would go to EU coffers and sharing some profits from trading carbon emission permits.
    The EU is also considering other taxes – on the digital economy, on flying, on financial transactions and on products made with high CO2 emissions imported into the EU.
    Commission officials warn time is running out and the EU risks starting next year with no money to protect its borders, finance research and fund student exchanges, or equalize standards of living.
(Reporting by Jan Strupczewski; Additional reporting by Crispin Balmer in Rome and Philip Blenkinsop in Brussels; Editing by David Holmes)

2/19/2020 President Trump to hold ‘Keep America Great’ rally in Phoenix, Ariz. by OAN Newsroom
President Donald Trump arrives at SNHU Arena for a campaign rally, Monday, Feb. 10, 2020, in Manchester, N.H. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
    President Trump is visiting the Southwestern United States this week as a part of his reelection campaign.    In California, he held a roundtable with supporters near Palm Springs before delivering remarks at a fundraising luncheon.
    The president is slated to meet with farmers and Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) in Bakersfield on Wednesday afternoon.    He’s expected to discuss efforts to improve agricultural practices in the Golden State.
    He will then head to Phoenix, Arizona for another ‘Keep America Great’ rally, where he is likely to speak on immigration and tout the expansion of the southern border wall.

Supporters of President Donald Trump cheer as he arrives at SNHU Arena to speak during
a campaign rally, Monday, Feb. 10, 2020, in Manchester, N.H. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
    This comes amid the president’s rising approval rating, which hit an all-time high on Wednesday.    The latest poll averages, which were recently released by RealClear Politics, showed 46 percent of voters approve of the president’s work in office.    That’s the highest approval rating the president has received in the survey so far.
    Support for the president has grown since his impeachment acquittal.    A Hill-HarrisX survey showed the president’s approval stands at 49 percent while support from Republican voters remains strong at 86 percent.
    President Trump took to Twitter to tout these rising numbers and slam mainstream media outlets for their “fake news polls.”

    Tune in to One America News tonight at 9:00 p.m. EST/ 6:00 p.m. PST for full coverage of President Trump’s ‘Keep America Great’ rally in Phoenix!

President Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally Monday, Feb. 10, 2020, in Manchester, N.H. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

2/19/2020 President Trump: Sen. Murphy, John Kerry have hindered U.S. relations with Iran by OAN Newsroom
Former Secretary of State John Kerry speaks at a campaign stop for Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden
at the South Slope Community Center, Saturday, Feb. 1, 2020, in North Liberty, Iowa. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
    President Trump has said Iran is unwilling to make a deal with the U.S. because Democrats are interfering with American foreign policy.    The president took to Twitter on Wednesday, where he accused John Kerry and Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) of violating the Logan Act.
    Last week, sources said Murphy secretly met with Iran’s foreign minister on the sidelines of a conference in Germany.
FILE – In this Feb. 3, 2020, file photo, Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., walks on Capitol Hill in Washington D.C. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)
    President Trump stated Kerry’s and Murphy’s actions “must be dealt with strongly.”    The president first heard about the Iran meeting on Tuesday before speaking with the press.
    “I saw that Sen. Murphy met with the Iranians, I just saw that on the way over,” he said.    “That sounds like, to me, a violation of the Logan Act.”
    In 2017, Murphy accused former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn of violating the Logan Act.    At the time, the senator stated that any effort to undermine our nation’s foreign policy is illegal and should be taken seriously.

2/20/2020 Oil up $1.24 to $53.29, DOW up 116 to 29,348.

2/20/2020 Roger Stone sentenced to 3 years, 4 months in prison by OAN Newsroom
Roger Stone arrives for his sentencing at federal court in Washington, Thursday, Feb. 20, 2020. Roger Stone, a staunch ally of
President Donald Trump, faces sentencing on his convictions for witness tampering and lying to Congress. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
    Roger Stone will spend 40 months behind bars and will also pay a $20,000 fine for witness tampering and lying to Congress.
    Judge Amy Berman Jackson handed down the sentence Thursday amid controversy over the recommendation from the Department of Justice.    She agreed with Attorney General William Barr that the prosecution’s original seven to nine year sentencing recommendation was excessive.
    Stone was convicted of lying to Congress about his involvement in the 2016 WikiLeaks hack of DNC emails.    Defense attorneys had requested a new trial based on juror bias and Judge Jackson said she will consider that request. Stone currently remains free on bond.
FILE – Attorney General William Barr speaks at the National Sheriffs’ Association Winter
Legislative and Technology Conference in Washington. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)
    Meanwhile, President Trump said Stone was treated unfairly and has hinted at a possible pardon.    On Thursday, he retweeted conservative commentator Tucker Carlson who stated there are “indications” the president was looking into a pardon.
    Carlson referenced the list of 11 officials who’s sentences were commuted by the White House this week.    He also referred to Stone’s case as “a shocking insult to the American tradition of equal justice” and condemned the judge in the case as an avowed Democrat.
    During a press conference this week, the president called Stone’s case a “miscarriage of justice.”

2/20/2020 Judicial Watch suing FBI for Seth Rich documents by OAN Newsroom
FILE – In this July 12, 2018 file photo, FBI Deputy Assistant Director Peter Strzok is seated to testify before
the House Committees on the Judiciary and Oversight and Government Reform during a hearing on “Oversight of FBI and DOJ
Actions Surrounding the 2016 Election
,” on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
    Oversight group Judicial Watch is suing the FBI for documents on the case of slain DNC staffer Seth Rich.    In a recent statement, the president of the watchdog group, Tom Fitton, said FBI agents were discussing Rich’s murder shortly after it happened in the summer of 2016.
    FBI records show former agent Peter Strzok sent an internal email chain about Rich to former FBI lawyer Lisa Page.    Fitton also found FBI agents said Rich’s documents may have been mixed-up with an unspecified classified matter.

    “We’d asked the FBI for documents, we didn’t get any answer…I think another request shows they had nothing,” he stated.    “So we just had to sue for Seth Rich documents.”
    “And why do we think the FBI is hiding their records?” asked Fittion.    “Because in another case, we found Seth Rich records…one of the officials says ‘I squashed the story with someone’…denying any specific involvement.”
    Judicial Watch said its lawsuit comes after the FBI failed to release Seth Rich documents under the Freedom of Information Act.

2/20/2020 Rep. Gaetz: President Trump should pardon Roger Stone, no limit to pardoning power by OAN Newsroom
File – Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., speaks to reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
    According to Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), President Trump should pardon Roger Stone.    Gaetz put in his two cents on the trial during an appearance on “The View” Thursday ahead of Stone’s sentencing for lying to Congress and witness tampering.
    The Florida lawmaker’s response drew criticism from host Megan McCain, but the congressman maintained that the president’s pardoning power is unlimited.    He also noted that former Democrat presidents used their pardoning power significantly more than President Trump has.
    Rep. Gaetz said there’s been a “double standard” in the country regarding unjust sentencing and remarked that officials like Peter Strzok, Lisa Page and Andrew McCabe “have not faced consequences.”
    Meanwhile, President Trump said Stone was treated unfairly and has hinted at a possible pardon.

2/20/2020 President Trump names Richard Grenell as Acting Director of National Intelligence by OAN Newsroom
File -Then-ambassador Richard Grenell speaks during a press conference after a meeting with Serbian
President Aleksandar Vucic in Belgrade, Serbia, Friday, Jan. 24, 2020. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)
    President Trump has named the current U.S. ambassador to Germany as his pick for acting Director of National Intelligence.    In a tweet Wednesday, he announced Richard Grenell will take over the position from Joseph Maguire.
    The selection came after the president said he wanted to remove what he called “bad actors” in America’s intelligence agencies.
    “I was illegally spied on by Comey, Brennan and all the sleaze of the world,” stated President Trump.    “…when people talk about the, you know, intelligence agencies…well I was not given a very good first glance at it.”
    Analysts have praised Grenell for his firm stance on taking on Germany in relation to Iran, Huawei, NATO and other such controversies.
    Pending the president’s appointment, Grenell would become the first openly gay cabinet member.
[MORE SWAMP CLEANING, CONGRESS IS NEXT WITH VOTER HELP SO SHOCK THEM INTO THE REALITY OF THEIR CORRUPTION.].

2/20/2020 Assange’s legal team plans to request asylum in France to avoid U.S. extradition by OAN Newsroom
John Shipton, the father of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange arrives for a press conference in Paris, Thursday, Feb. 20, 2020. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)
    Jailed WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is reportedly planning to seek political asylum in France.    According to his legal team, the attorneys are hoping to negotiate asylum for their client with French President Emmanuel Macron.
    They warned that Assange’s possible extradition to the U.S. could set a dangerous precedent for journalists all over the world.
    “The case that is in front of us concerns all democracies and our vision of what rights does a man have,” stated attorney Antoine Vey.
    The WikiLeaks founder is currently being held in the U.K.’s Belmarsh Prison.    His extradition trial is expected to end in May.
Spanish human rights lawyer and Julian Assange defense team member Baltasar Garzon, second left, John Shipton,
the father of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, center, and lawyer Eric Dupond-Moretti attend a
press conference in Paris, Thursday, Feb. 20, 2020. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)
    Assange’s lawyers argued their client has already suffered enough and must be released.
    “This is a man that was prevented from sun exposure for years,” said Vey.    “He wasn’t able to walk in an open place and he endured huge pressure.”
    Earlier this week, the White House said President Trump was not considering a pardon for Assange.

2/20/2020 U.S. targets 5 Iranian officials in latest sanctions action by OAN Newsroom
    The State Department has blacklisted five Iranian officials, who have been accused of preventing free and fair elections in the Islamic Republic.    According to U.S. Special Representative Brian Hook, the sanctions were imposed on members of Iran’s Guardian Council and its Elections Supervision Committee.
    Secretary Ahmad Jannati and senior council member Mohammad Yazdi were among those blacklisted.    The sanctions will freeze their U.S.-held assets and bar Americans from doing business with them, along with anyone else on the blacklist.
    Hook said this isn’t the first time this has happened.
    “In 2010, when Iranians protested his sham election, Jannati praised the regime for executing protesters (and) urged more executions until the protest stopped,” he stated.    “Jannati is also well known for wishing death to America and Israel whenever the occasion presents itself.”
    This new round of sanctions came one day before the nationwide parliamentary vote.    Ahead of Friday’s elections, there were 90 sitting lawmakers seeking reelection.

2/20/2020 Democrats take aim at Bloomberg, Sanders during Las Vegas debate by OAN Newsroom
From left, Democratic presidential candidates, former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg, Sen. Elizabeth Warren,
D-Mass., Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., participate in a Democratic presidential primary debate
Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2020, in Las Vegas, hosted by NBC News and MSNBC. (AP Photo/John Locher)
    Six Democrat candidates went head-to-head in Las Vegas ahead of Nevada’s caucus, which is set to take place this weekend.
    Former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg joined the debate stage for the first time Wednesday, where he was grilled over his treatment of women.
    Bloomberg attempted to defend his record, but was met with jeers from the crowd.
    “I’ve said we’re not going to get to end these agreements because they were made consensually and they have every right to expect that they will stay private,” he rebutted.
Democratic presidential candidates, former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg speaks during a Democratic presidential
primary debate Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2020, in Las Vegas, hosted by NBC News and MSNBC. (AP Photo/John Locher)
    Meanwhile, Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-Vt.) faced criticism for the behavior of his supporters.    Last week, a prominent Nevada union alleged Bernie supporter harassed and threatened its members after urging them not to support candidates who would dismantle their health care.
    “When you say that you disown these attacks and you didn’t personally direct them, I believe you, but at a certain point, you got to ask yourself — why did this pattern arise?” asked former South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg.    “Why is it especially the case among your supporters that this happens?"
    Sanders has reportedly tried to ease tensions with Nevada’s
culinary union as the group is expected to play an important role in Saturday’s caucus.

2/20/2020 Time running out to end Venezuela’s humanitarian crisis: Lima Group bloc by David Ljunggren
FILE PHOTO: A protester holds a national flag as a bank branch, housed in the magistracy of the Supreme Court of Justice, burns during
a rally against Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro, in Caracas, Venezuela, June 12, 2017. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins/File Photo
    GATINEAU, Quebec (Reuters) – Time is running out to avert a humanitarian catastrophe in Venezuela, which is gripped by a political and economic crisis, members of the Lima Group regional bloc said on Thursday.
    The group backs Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido, who is recognized by more than 50 countries as the legitimate president.    It wants President Nicolas Maduro to quit and call elections but he has refused.
    Canadian Foreign Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne said the bloc must reinvigorate its efforts.
    “Time is of the essence.    We are facing a humanitarian crisis and an environmental crisis of a historic proportion,” he told a news conference after a Lima Group meeting in Gatineau, Quebec, noting almost 5 million people have fled the country.
    While admitting that “the path ahead may be tough,” Champagne appealed to other nations to do more to help Venezuela return to democracy.
    “The international community should come with us shoulder to shoulder,” he said.
    Guaido faces an increasingly weary population that in recent months has shown waning enthusiasm for more demonstrations.    Many opposition sympathizers have become frustrated by Maduro’s continued grip on power.
    “We can wait no longer, given the humanitarian crisis,” said Peruvian Foreign Minister Gustavo Meza-Cuadra.
    The Lima Group also includes Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, Panama, Paraguay, Bolivia, Mexico, Haiti, Argentina and St Lucia.
(Reporting by David Ljunggren; Editing by Lisa Shumaker and Daniel Wallis)

2/20/2020 President Trump: America believes in redemption of former inmates by OAN Newsroom
President Donald Trump delivers the commencement address at the “Hope for Prisoners
graduation ceremony, Thursday, Feb. 20, 2020, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
    President Trump has touted the first results of his prison system reform by saying many people are getting a second chance at life.    While speaking at a Las Vegas Police Department commencement event, the president emphasized America is a nation that believes in redemption.
    “We are here to reaffirm that America is a nation that believes in redemption,” he said.    “We believe in second chances.”
    The president has stated former inmates often face isolation, alienation and a lack of opportunity, which brings them back to a life of crime. However, he said he’s changing that by reintegrating former prisoners back into society through new training programs.
President Donald Trump delivers the commencement address at the “Hope for Prisoners
graduation ceremony, Thursday, Feb. 20, 2020, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
    He noted graduates of these programs will be able to obtain stable employment.
    “There are some in our society that want to tell you what you can’t do, but do not believe those voices for one second,” stated President Trump.    “I’m here today because I believe in what you can do, you’re going to be incredible.”
    The president recently welcomed 29 inmates returning to society and said they’ve shown commitment to change by participating in new training programs.

2/20/2020 President Trump holds ‘Keep America Great’ rally in Colorado Springs by OAN Newsroom
President Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally Thursday, Feb. 20, 2020, in Colorado Springs, Colo. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
    President Trump kept the ball rolling on the campaign trail with his latest stop in Colorado Springs.    The president held a ‘Keep America Great’ rally in the Centennial State on Thursday.
    “I was thrilled to be back in Colorado Springs tonight beneath the majestic peaks of the Rocky Mountains with thousands of terrific, hardworking American patriots,” he said.    “With your help, this November, we are going to defeat the radical socialist Dems, and we are going to win Colorado!
    The president touted several of his administration’s policies, which have resulted in record low unemployment and a booming economy.    He also doubled-down on his criticism of his Democrat challengers in the race.
    He specifically took aim at former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg, who came under fire by his fellow contenders Wednesday night during the Nevada Democrat debate.
    “Mini Mike didn’t do well last night, I was going to send him a note saying: ‘It’s not easy doing what I do, is it?’” stated President Trump.    “It’s not easy, Mike, not easy for any of them.”
    The president has promised his base the U.S. will never turn to socialism and urged Colorado voters to get out and vote for him on Election Day.    The state’s primary is slated for March 3rd.
President Donald Trump arrives to speak at a campaign rally at The Broadmoor World
Arena, Thursday, Feb. 20, 2020, in Colorado Springs, Colo. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

2/20/2020 N.D. greenlights extension of Dakota Access Pipeline by OAN Newsroom
FILE – This Sept. 29, 2016, file photo, shows a section of the Dakota Access pipeline under
construction near St. Anthony in Morton County, N.D. (Tom Stromme/The Bismarck Tribune via AP)
    The state of North Dakota has signed off on the extension of the Dakota Access Pipeline to increase its oil shipments to Illinois and Texas.    On Wednesday, state regulators unanimously ruled the underground pipeline was safe to proceed.
    “We feel that the company has met the standard needed in North Dakota to construct, operate and maintain this pipeline,” stated Commissioner Julie Fedorchak.
    Over the past few years, protesters and local Native American groups have worked to derail to project.    The Lakota People’s Law Project issued a statement, saying it was “saddened” by the new decision.
    “We feel that answers from oil and gas representatives at the hearing were unsatisfactory and misleading,” said lead counsel Chase Iron Eyes.    “We have studied and we know the dangers because we live on the front lines of extraction.”

North Dakota Public Service Commissioner Julie Fedorchak reviews a permit for the expansion of the Dakota Access pipeline
on Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2020 at the state Capitol in Bismarck, N.D. North Dakota regulators unanimously approved the
expansion, saying they believed the project had met exhaustive state and federal requirements. (AP Photo/James MacPherson)
    However, state officials have said the pipeline will expand the ongoing “economic miracle” in their state, which was caused by a boom in shale oil output.
    “The decision we reached today on the Dakota Access Pipeline has been made after at least an eight-month review process here at the commission,” said Fedorchak.    “(This) related to the safety, the spill response, the integrity management and overall operations of the system.”
    North Dakota is the ninth-fastest growing economy in the U.S. following a recession in the mid-2010’s.

2/20/2020 NSC reassigns official to Energy Dept., Trump admin. dismisses rumors regarding op-ed by OAN Newsroom
Photo via Victoria Coates official Twitter.
    A National Security Council official has been reassigned to another part of the administration after her loyalty was called into question.    On Thursday, the NSC confirmed Victoria Coates will leave her post as deputy adviser and join the Energy Department.
    This came after the White House dismissed rumors Coates was suspected of being the anonymous author behind an anti-Trump op-ed.
    “White House leadership rejects rumors that have circulated recently and does not put any stock in the suggestion that Victoria Coates is the author of ‘Anonymous: A Warning’ or the related op-ed in the New York Times,” stated one senior official.    “Dr. Coates’ transition to the Department of Energy has been in the works for several weeks, and reflects the continued trust and confidence the administration places in her as she takes on this sensitive role at the Department of Energy, where she will continue working to implement the president’s agenda.”
    A report from Axios this week claimed the circumstances surrounding her removal were tied to her strained relationship with top NSC staff.    It alleged others in the administration believed she was behind the New York Times piece and were pushing for her removal.

FILE – In this Nov. 3, 2019, file photo, the south side of the White House is pictured before President Donald Trump
arrives. Victoria Coates, a top official on the National Security Council, is being reassigned amid fallout
over the identity of the author of the inside-the-White House tell-all book by “Anonymous.” (AP Photo/Jon Elswick)
    The issue has since been addressed by the president.
    “I know all about Anonymous, I know a lot about the leakers too,” he said.    “When I want to get something out the press, I tell certain people and it gets out there.”
    In the meantime, the NSC has announced Coates will begin her new role on Monday, where she will reportedly ensure the close alignment of national security and energy policy.
    “We are enthusiastic about adding Dr. Coates to DOE, where her expertise on the Middle East and national security policy will be helpful,” stated Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette.    “She will play an important role on our team.”

2/20/2020 President Trump taps Fla. lawmaker as new DHS adviser by OAN Newsroom
Photo via Julia Nesheiwat official Twitter.
    President Trump has tapped a veteran politician from Florida to serve as his new Homeland Security adviser.    Reports released on Thursday confirmed that Julia Nesheiwat will be appointed to the position.
    Nesheiwat is the state’s current Chief Resilience Officer and has served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Bureau of Energy Resources.    She’ll be working directly under National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien, who she served with during her time at the State Department.
    The lawmaker will replace Rear Admiral Peter Brown, who served in the position for about six months.    Officials have not commented on why he was ousted.
Photo of Rear Admiral Peter Brown via DHS official website.

2/21/2020 Oil up $0.48 to $53.77, DOW down 128 to 29,220 as the coronavirus continues to bring it down.

2/21/2020 No deal in sight as “Frugal Four” stamp down on EU budget by Marine Strauss and Jakub Riha
FILE PHOTO: European Union leaders meet during a round table at an EU summit in
Brussels, Belgium February 20, 2020. Riccardo Pareggiani/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo
    BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Denmark, Austria, Sweden and the Netherlands dug in their heels over the next European Union budget, insisting it cannot top 1% of economic output, to leave the EU no closer to a deal on Friday after all-night talks.
    Expectations for a breakthrough were low as the 27 national leaders reconvened on Friday.    They had spent a day and a night in talks that failed to bridge divisions between richer and poorer nations over the size of the next budget and what to spend it on.
    “I don’t think we are going to reach an agreement,” said Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen.
    Her Romanian colleague, Klaus Iohannis, said another summit of EU leaders would be needed to break the deadlock.    Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis channeled frustration, saying the leaders “can go straight home” if the four frugals do not budge.
    Some EU countries want extra funding to match new ambitions to fight climate change and manage migration, some want a continued focus on development and farm aid, and some are pushing for greater realism in recognising the 75 billion-euro ($81 billion) fiscal shortfall left by net contributor Britain’s departure from the EU.
    A baseline proposal to cap the budget – which will run from 2021 to 2027 – at 1.074% of EU gross national income, or 1.09 trillion euros ($1.18 trillion), faced criticism from all quarters.
    Dubbed the Frugal Four, the bloc’s wealthy net contributors want a limit of 1% and refuse to pay more to make up for the loss of Britain’s fees.    Their less-developed peers want to keep generous aid coming.
    After an initial session of all 27 leaders on Thursday afternoon, they broke for separate face-to-face meetings that went through the night and until 0600 GMT on Friday.
    “The bilaterals took forever.    But it seems things have not moved, the frugals keep on insisting on their position,” one diplomat said on Friday morning.
    An EU official confirmed: “The position of the frugals has not changed an inch … so there is not much to go on.”
    A French diplomat echoed the sentiment: “I’m not very optimistic. Because of the frugals.”
(GRAPHIC: What the EU pays for – https://graphics.reuters.com/EU-BUDGET/0100B5EX3MM/EU-BUDGET.jpg)
LONG NEGOTIATIONS ON CARDS
    EU leaders have until the end of the year to agree, so chances of an early compromise appear low.
    Beyond the size of the budget, the other fight is what to spend it on.    The poorer eastern and southern nations want to hold on to development aid.    They are backed by France, Ireland and others in seeking to uphold major farm subsidies.
    But Germany, the Netherlands and others want to shift funds towards new priorities, including combating climate change, managing migration and expanding the digital economy.
    The Germans and Dutch are also leading a small group who want to preserve rebates that reduce their payments to the current 2014-20 budget.    Every other EU country is against that.
    Poland and Hungary – where nationalist and eurosceptic governments stand accused of flouting democratic standards – refuse to link EU aid to upholding the rule of law.
    “If we are so far apart, there is no basis for discussion,” Babis said.
(Reporting by Michel Rose, Marine Strauss, Gabriela Baczynska, Jakub Riha, Sabine Siebold; writing by Gabriela Baczynska; editing by Larry King)

2/21/2020 U.K. Shadow Chancellor: Assange’s case biggest political trial of contemporary era by OAN Newsroom
John McDonnell, member of the U.K’s Labour Party, has been Shadow Chancellor
of the Exchequer in the Shadow Cabinet of Jeremy Corbyn since 2015. (Kirsty Wigglesworth/AP Photo)
    According to the U.K.’s Shadow Finance Minister John McDonnell, the prosecution of Julian Assange is the biggest human rights concern of the contemporary era.
    McDonnell visited Assange at the U.K.’s Belmarsh Prison on Thursday and said the WikiLeaks founder must be granted whistleblower protections.    The official added that Assange is working on his case and plans to return to journalistic work once his trial is finished.
    “We have a long tradition in this country for standing up for journalistic freedom, and standing up for the protection of whistleblowers and those who expose injustices,” he stated.    “If this extradition takes place I think it will damage our reputation — I’m hoping it doesn’t.”
    McDonnell also added that people must have true information in the public domain and make their own judgments about certain reports.
Supporters of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange protest outside Belmarsh Prison, in London,
Tuesday Feb. 18, 2020. Assange faces extradition hearings, to face charges in America, including conspiring to
commit computer intrusion, over the publication of US cables a decade ago. (Victoria Jones/PA via AP)
    Meanwhile, supporters of Assange are planning a march to Parliament Square on Saturday in protest of him being extradited.    Over 1,200 journalist as well as people in journalism-related fields have signed a global statement in defense of the WikiLeaks founder.

2/21/2020 Poll: 77% of Americans trust Federal government to handle COVID-19 by OAN Newsroom
This undated electron microscope image made available by the U.S. National Institutes of Health in
February 2020 shows the Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, yellow, emerging from the surface of cells,
blue/pink, cultured in the lab. Also known as 2019-nCoV, the virus causes COVID-19. (NIAID-RML via AP)
    A recent survey found a majority of Americans trust the federal government to tackle the coronavirus outbreak.    According to a Gallup poll released Thursday, 77 percent of Americans are either very confident or somewhat confident the government has the ability to stop the spread of the virus in the U.S.
    The findings show Americans are more confident in the government to handle the spread of the virus than with previous health scares.    For example, 64 percent of Americans said they trusted to the government to fight the Zika virus in 2017 and that number was at 61 percent for Ebola in 2014.
    Meanwhile, four Americans who tested positive for the coronavirus are being treated in a hospital in Spokane, Washington.
    In a press briefing on Thursday, a spokeswoman for the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) said the four former passengers of the Diamond Princess cruise ship were flown back to the U.S. over the weekend.
    Spokane County health officer Dr. Bob Lutz said the hospital was chosen for these patients, “because of its secured airborne infection isolation rooms.”
    “The risk to the general community about this particular process is zero,” he stated.    “I mean, because of the resources that have been brought to bear to ensure the safety of these individuals were brought from the airport to this facility, again there was no risk to the general population — I emphasize that as much as I possibly can.”
    Dr. Lutz went on to reaffirm health care workers at the hospital have been specifically trained to handle this type of scenario.

2/21/2020 Report: Record number of Republicans file to run for House, Senate seats by OAN Newsroom
File – Voters line up in voting booths to cast their ballots at Robious Elementary School
in Chesterfield, Va. on Tuesday Nov. 8, 2016. (Shelby Lum/Richmond Times-Dispatch via AP)
    Another surge of candidates is running for Congress in the 2020 elections, but this time it appears to be conservatives.    According to reports, a record number of Republicans have filed to run for the House and Senate this election cycle.
    The surge mirrors that of the 2018 midterms, where more Democrats were running for office compared to previous elections.    The current surge in Republican candidates is an apparent response to the election of more radical progressive and socialist-leaning candidates whom Democrats pushed to victory last election.
    “I’m a conservative wife, mother, and businesswoman who 100% stands with President Trump and against the left-wing socialists who want to wreck our country.” — Marjorie Greene (R), congressional candidate – Ga.’s 14th District
    Meanwhile, New York congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez announced she will be endorsing over a dozen female progressive congressional candidates through her political action committee.
Rep. Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass., left, and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., listen as U.S. Census Bureau
Director Steven Dillingham testifies during a hearing of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform,
on Capitol Hill, Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
    On her Twitter Friday, Ocasio-Cortez confirmed the move is part of her greater push to elect a “progressive majority” to Congress.    The congresswoman said the idea behind the move is to “open the door” for political newcomers and “reward political courage” in Congress.
    Among her endorsements, AOC is backing several long-shot candidates who are running against Democrats endorsed by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

2/21/2020 France shuttering nuclear power plant in push for green energy by OAN Newsroom
FILE – In this Nov. 30 2006 file picture the nuclear plant in Fessenheim,
eastern France, is photographed.(AP Photo/Winfried Rothermel, File)
    Reports this week detailed the planned closure of two reactors at the Fessenheim nuclear plant near the border between France and Germany.    French citizens said the closure of the power plant will gut the region’s economy.
    One reactor is slated to stop producing power Saturday, while the second will shut down at the end of June.    The closures came as part of a policy to reduce the use of atomic power in a push for renewable energy.
FILE – In this file photo dated Thursday, April 6, 2017, a sticker is photographed on a helmet of an employee of Fessenheim’s
nuclear power plant opposing the closure, during a protest outside the EDF headquarters in Paris, France. (AP/Photo Michel Euler, FILE)
    Fessenheim Mayor Claude Brender called the closure “a real heartbreak.”
    “There is a very deep relationship between our area and the nuclear plant,” stated Brender.    “The personnel who work here are fellow citizens, they are friends.”
    14 of France’s 58 reactors are slated to be shut down by 2035.    France paid 10 million euros to help in economic aid to the region and 400 million to the plant’s owner for the closure.

2/21/2020 President Trump disregards Russia meddling report as Democrat ‘misinformation campaign’ by OAN Newsroom
President Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally at the Las Vegas
Convention Center, Friday, Feb. 21, 2020, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
    President Trump has dismissed new reports that claimed Russia is, once again, attempting to sway the presidential election in his favor.    On Friday, the president slammed Democrat lawmakers for what he called “another misinformation campaign.”
    The president has labeled the move “hoax number seven” and noted the party still, after two weeks, has yet to finalize the results of the recent caucus in Iowa.
    The president’s son took to his defense later that day, tweeting, “Here we go again with the Russia, Russia, Russia nonsense.”
    Russian government officials have also denied these reports, which they called “paranoid.”    On Friday, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov denounced the allegations and emphasized they will only escalate closer to the election.
FILE – In this June 28, 2019, file photo, President Donald Trump, right, shakes hands with Russian President Vladimir Putin,
left, during a bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the G-20 summit in Osaka, Japan. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)
    This came after several media outlets reported that Russia is trying to meddle in the 2020 elections.    According to those reports, intelligence officials told the House Intelligence Committee that the country is aiding President Trump’s reelection efforts.
    Democrats in Congress reacted to these reports by saying this was “exactly as we warned he would do.”
    “We count on the intelligence community to inform Congress of any threat of foreign interference in our elections,” stated Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.).    “If reports are true and the president is interfering with that, he is again jeopardizing our efforts to stop foreign meddling.”
[THIS TIME WE KNOW WHO LEAKED THE ABOVE INFORMATION TO THE PRESS.].
    House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has called on members of Congress to “condemn the president’s reported efforts to dismiss threats to the integrity of our democracy and to politicize our intelligence community.”
    “American voters should decide American elections, not Vladimir Putin,” she added.
[AND WE KNOW WHO BELIEVES THE LIES THAT SCHIFF PUSHES OUT IN HIS RUSSIA HOAX 2.0 AND MOST AMERICANS ARE BEGINNING TO LEARN WHO IS THE REAL THREAT TO AMERICAN DEMOCRACY AND WE NEED TO KNOW PELOSI WHY DO YOU HATE TRUMP SO BADLY TO TEAR UP HIS SPEECH.].
Supporters cheer as President Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally Thursday,
Feb. 20, 2020, in Colorado Springs, Colo. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

2/21/2020 Millions of Americans still don’t have a ‘Real ID’ by OAN Newsroom
A customer opens the door of a Washington state Dept. of Licensing office in Lacey, Wash., Friday, June 22, 2018
next to a sign providing information about the requirements of Real ID. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
    Millions of Americans still do not have a ‘Real ID,’ which may pose some problems for air travel later this year.
    According to the U.S.     Travel Association, at least 99 million Americans don’t have the new ID, which will be required to fly beginning October 1, 2020.
    Ahead of the new rule, several lawmakers have asked the Department of Homeland Security to come up with a contingency plan, so people aren’t turned away once the new law takes effect.
    Travel experts have said the change in ID requirements could impact holiday travel.
    “We’re absolutely not ‘Real ID’ ready at all, we know 99 million Americans don’t have a ‘Real ID’,” Tori Barnes, Vice President of the U.S. Travel Association.    “It’s going to be Thanksgiving 2020 where Grandma goes to get on a plane and she can’t go see her grandkids.”
    TSA agents are already informing travelers of the upcoming requirements in an effort to encourage individuals to obtain the new ID.
    The Real ID Act was among new security laws enacted in the wake the 9/11 terrorist attacks, but some states have been slow to implement the changes.
In this photo taken Feb. 6, 2020, Alaska Department of Administration Commissioner Kelly Tshibaka appears
before a state House committee in Juneau, Alaska. Tshibaka, whose department includes the state Division of Motor Vehicles,
has downplayed the need for new Real ID cards, saying alternatives with less stringent requirements will be accepted for air travel
through federal Transportation Security Administration checkpoints starting this fall. (AP Photo/Becky Bohrer)

2/22/2020 Oil down $0.42 to $53.35, DOW down 228 to 28,992 as coronavirus is taking its tolls in the world economy.

2/22/2020 GOP attorneys general seek to block ERA by ASSOCIATED PRESS
    NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Five Republican attorneys general are seeking to block an effort by three Democratic led states to get the Equal Rights Amendment adopted into the U.S. Constitution.
    Legal chiefs in five states – Tennessee, Alabama, Louisiana, Nebraska and South Dakota – filed a motion on Thursday to intervene in a lawsuit filed by Virginia, Nevada and Illinois.    All five rescinded their approvals of the ERA before a congressionally mandated ratification deadline more than 40 years ago, Tennessee Attorney General Herbert Slatery said Thursday.
    Virginia recently became the 38th state to ratify the measure designed to guarantee women the same legal rights men enjoy.
    Constitutional amendments must be ratified by three-quarters of the 50 states, or 38.    But the ERA’s future is uncertain, in part because the ratification deadline expired so long ago.
    The archivist of the United States, David Ferriero, announced he would not certify the adoption.    The three Democratic attorneys general sued Ferriero, arguing the deadline, first set for 1979 and later 1982, is not binding.

2/21/2020 President Trump holds ‘Keep America Great’ rally in Las Vegas, Nev. by OAN Newsroom
President Donald Trump points to the audience as he walks onstage to speak at a
campaign rally, Friday, Feb. 21, 2020, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
    President Trump held another ‘Keep America Great’ rally in Las Vegas on Friday.    The event came just a day before Democrats are expected to hold their caucus in Nevada.
    The president stated he will defeat his Democrat opponents in a “big beautiful landslide” and touted his successes, including a rebuilt military, a booming economy and a plummeting poverty rate.
    “They have a big election tomorrow, we’ve already won the state,” he said.    “This November, we’re going to defeat the radical socialist Democrats, and we are going to win Nevada in a big beautiful landslide.”

Supporters of President Donald Trump cheer during a campaign rally, Friday, Feb. 21, 2020, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
    In the past three years, the Trump administration has reportedly created over 125,000 manufacturing and construction jobs in the state.    The president won almost every county in 2016, but overall lost the blue state to then-candidate Hillary Clinton.
    During the rally, the president also touted the diversity and “boundless optimism” of his party.
    “Republicans are fighting for citizens from every background, every community and every walk of life,” stated President Trump.    “We are welcoming Americans of all parties and political persuasions to join our incredible movement to make America great again.”
President Donald Trump gives a thumbs-up as he walks offstage after speaking at a
campaign rally, Friday, Feb. 21, 2020, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
Meanwhile, Republicans are entering peak election season with a major fundraising lead over Democrats.    The latest Federal Election Commission filing this week showed the RNC has $76 million cash on hand.    This figure is about eight times more than the DNC’s $9.9 million.
    Democrat hopeful Mike Bloomberg himself has four times more cash on hand than the committee.
    According to RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel, support for President Trump is growing.    She has claimed Americans are choosing results over a crowded Democrat field that has no vision for the nation.
    “As we saw last night, Democrats are a disaster,” she said on Twitter.    “Let’s keep winning with Trump!

2/22/2020 N.Y. Gov. Cuomo refuses to give up Social Security number for global entry access by OAN Newsroom
FILE – In this Feb. 25, 2019 file photo, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo speaks during
a bill signing ceremony in New York. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)
    During a radio interview on Friday, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo shared his willingness to increase his offer of federal officials accessing the DMV database, but not Social Security numbers.
    New York has been in conflict with the Trump administration since its citizens were blocked from trusted traveler programs last month.    The conflict was due to a state law that allowed illegal immigrants to acquire driver’s licenses.
    Gov. Cuomo confirmed his conviction to block federal agencies from accessing Social Security numbers citing concerns over possible deportations.
    “The Social Security numbers are the indicator of documented or undocumented, and I will never give them the Social Security numbers in the DMV database,” stated the New York governor.    “Over my dead body will I do that.”
    According to a spokesman for the governor, a similar proposal was rejected by President Trump several weeks ago.

2/22/2020 Supreme Court ruling: Government can deny green cards to those on public assistance by OAN Newsroom
FILE – In this June 17, 2019 file photo, The Supreme Court in Washington. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
    The Trump administration has tightened its grip on immigration policy in the U.S. This week, the Supreme Court ruled five to four to expand the “public charge” rule across the entire country.
    The decision will allow all 50 states to deny green cards to any non-citizen who the government believes will rely on public assistance.
    “President Trump’s administration is reinforcing the ideals of self-sufficiency and personal responsibility, ensuring that immigrants are able to support themselves and become successful here in America,” stated USCIS Director Ken Cuccinelli.
    The Department of Homeland Security defined the scope of “public charge” in August 2019.    They expanded it to include immigrants who are likely to use public benefits like Medicaid, food stamp and housing vouchers.
FILE – In this Friday, March 17, 2017, file photo, a sign advertises a program that allows food stamp recipients
to use their EBT cards to shop at a farmer’s market in Topsham, Maine. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty, File)
    Several states, including California, New York and Illinois, issued “universal” injunctions to stop enforcement of the rule across the country.
    “It is a point of principle that we stand up at a moment like this, as a state, and assert ourselves,” said Gov. Gavin Newsom (D-Calif.).    “(We will) protect not only the values of the state, but the remarkable diversity that we represent within this state.”
    Last month, the high court struck down the injunctions and expanded the rule to every state except Illinois, which has been since included in the ruling.
    Advocates have urged immigrants not to be afraid of signing up for public assistance.    They claimed the affected population will be small.
    “The people who are actually, directly impacted by this is very small,” said Immigration Advocates Network Director Rodrigo Camarena.    “We should remind our immigrant friends and neighbors that, in all likelihood, this decision does not affect you.”
FILE – In this July 8, 2019, file photo, a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)
officer looks on during an operation in Escondido, Calif. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull,File)
    The new order will allow the federal government to enforce the “public charge” rule without being blocked, but courts will still be able to appeal the rule in their state.
    The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in Illinois will hear oral arguments on the issue next week.    The new rule will take effect nationwide on Monday.

2/22/2020 Fmr. Deputy Nat’l Security Adviser speaks out on Mueller investigation by OAN Newsroom
FILE – In this Wednesday, March 29, 2017, file photo, then-Deputy National Security Adviser K.T. McFarland speaks
at the Women’s Empowerment Panel, at the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)
    Former Deputy National Security Adviser K.T. McFarland recently spoke out on her experience dealing with Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team in the Russia probe.    During an interview this week, McFarland said Mueller’s team quizzed her on things she did not have access to and did not remember 100 percent accurately.
    The former White House aide has suggested this allowed investigators to say she must be lying. She further argued they were attempting to make her confess to a crime she didn’t commit.
    “They gave me the distinct impression…that they wanted me to either plead guilty to a crime I didn’t feel I had committed or to talk about other people having done things that I didn’t think they had done,” stated McFarland.    “They didn’t say it that many words, but that was the impression they conveyed.”

FILE – This Feb. 1, 2017, file photo shows then-National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, joined by K.T. McFarland,
then-deputy national security adviser, during the daily news briefing at the White House, in Washington. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)
    According to McFarland, investigators “went away” after she couldn’t give them what they needed to “spin their web.”    She added she was left “traumatized” by the ordeal.
    The former adviser ended by promoting her forthcoming book, “Revolution: Trump, Washington and ‘We the People’,” which will be released later this month.

2/22/2020 Twitter suspends group of pro-Bloomberg accounts over ‘platform manipulation’ by Elizabeth Culliford
FILE PHOTO: Democratic presidential candidate Mike Bloomberg holds a campaign
rally in Salt Lake City, Utah, U.S., February 20, 2020. REUTERS/Ed Kosmicki
    SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Twitter Inc on Friday said it had started suspending and restricting dozens of accounts posting content promoting U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg.
    “We took enforcement action on about 70 accounts, which includes a combination of permanent suspensions and account challenges to verify ownership,” a Twitter spokeswoman said in a statement to Reuters.
    The action was first reported by the Los Angeles Times.
    Twitter said the accounts violated its platform manipulation and spam policy, which prohibits coordination among accounts to amplify or disrupt conversation by using multiple accounts.
    This can refer to creating several accounts to post duplicative content but also includes “coordinating with or compensating others to engage in artificial engagement or amplification, even if the people involved use only one account.”
    “We ask that all of our deputy field organizers identify themselves as working on behalf of the Mike Bloomberg 2020 campaign on their social media accounts,” said Sabrina Singh, a Bloomberg campaign spokeswoman, adding that content “shared by staffers and volunteers to their network of friends and family” was “not intended to mislead anyone.”
    The billionaire candidate’s campaign, which has been pouring unparalleled amounts of money into an online advertising campaign, is also hiring hundreds of digital organizers to support the candidate, including by pushing content to their own social media channels.
    The Wall Street Journal reported that these organizers in California receive $2,500 a month to promote Bloomberg’s candidacy through actions such as posting on social media to their own networks.
    This month, a paid partnership between the former New York mayor’s campaign and popular Instagram meme accounts pushed Facebook Inc to announce it was allowing U.S.-based political candidates to run branded or sponsored content on its social networking platforms. [nL4N2AE3NM]
(Reporting by Elizabeth Culliford; Additional reporting by Trevor Hunnicutt in New York; Editing by Gerry Doyle and Franklin Paul)

2/23/2020 AP: Sen. Sanders wins the Nev. caucus by OAN Newsroom
Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., speaks at a campaign stop at the State
Historical Museum of Iowa, Monday, Jan. 20, 2020, in Des Moines, Iowa. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
    While the last few results of the Nevada caucus are still being officially tallied, the Associated Press already called Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders the winner of the Silver State.
    With 50 percent of the vote in, Sanders had nearly twice as many county delegates than the runner-up Joe Biden.    He ultimately won due to the support of Nevada’s large Latino community.
    During his speech, Sanders mentioned how important it is to come together as a country.
    “We are bringing our people together,” stated the Vermont Senator.    “In Nevada we have just brought together a multi-generational (and) multiracial coalition, which is not only going to win in Nevada, it’s going to sweep this country.”
    The win came despite heavy lobbying efforts against him by the Culinary Union, which represents more than 60,000 workers.    Most of the workers who voted at the caucuses held on the Las Vegas strip, voted for Sanders despite the Union’s claim he would take away their health care.
    President Trump decided to tweet about Sanders’ win and congratulated him on his victory.    So far, Sanders has 34 delegates going into the primary next weekend in South Carolina.

2/23/2020 President Trump to appoint new ambassador to Germany, Grenell shuffles current Intel staff by OAN Newsroom
In this photo taken Friday, Jan. 24, 2020, U.S. President Donald Trump’s envoy for the Kosovo-Serbia
dialogue, Ambassador Richard Grenell listens Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic during
a press conference after their meeting, in Belgrade, Serbia. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)
    President Trump has said he’s looking to appoint a new ambassador to Germany after tapping Richard Grenell as the head of U.S. National Intelligence.    On Sunday, he told the press he has several candidates in mind to replace Grenell as America’s top diplomat in Germany.
    The president has praised the ambassador’s work in that country and confirmed he will remain in office until a replacement is found.
    “I’ll be appointing an ambassador to Germany,” stated President Trump.    “We have five people that we are looking at very seriously, and at a certain point in the not too distant future, we will be announcing who they are.”
    Last week, the president appointed Grenell as acting Director of National Intelligence.    He has said he will continue the personnel shakeup in the top levels of the U.S. government.
    It remains unclear how long Grenell’s temporary assignment will last in light of the slow confirmation process in the Senate.    He is expected to start in his new role on March 12th.
President Donald Trump speaks to the media as he leaves the White House, Sunday,
Feb. 23, 2020, in Washington, en route to India. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
    In the meantime, the acting director of National Intelligence has already shaken things up.
    According to new reports, Grenell told Deputy Director Andrew Hallman his services were no longer needed following the resignation of former Acting National Intelligence Director Joseph Maguire.
    While Grenell has not been nominated to fill the post permanently, he’s already made several new hires.    This included a former aide to Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), who has apparently been given permission to clean house.

2/23/2020 O’Brien: House Russia report has no intelligence behind it by OAN Newsroom
FILE – In this Jan. 20, 2020, file photo, national security adviser Robert O’Brien
addresses media during a news conference in Berlin. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn, File)
    According to National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien, there isn’t any real intelligence behind the recent claims of Russian interference in the 2020 elections.    On Sunday, he dismissed the leaked House Intel report, which alleged the Kremlin is trying to help President Trump get reelected.
    “There was no intelligence behind it to support the reports that were leaked out of the House,” stated O’Brien.    “I haven’t seen any intelligence that would back up what I’m reading in the paper.”
    He added the administration is learning about these claims secondhand
.
    “It’s just hard to comment on that because, again, I wasn’t there,” he said.    “These were leaks coming from a House Intel Committee hearing.”
    This came after the president tweeted about the House’s report on Friday, claiming that it was a “misinformation campaign being launched by Democrats in Congress.”

FILE – In this July 25, 2018, file photo, retired Vice Adm. Joseph Maguire, appears before the
Senate Intelligence Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)
    Prior reports suggested President Trump had become “furious” over the briefing, which allegedly led to dismissal of Joseph Maguire.    O’Brien has denied that the former acting director of National Intelligence was fired over the congressional briefing.    The adviser stated Maguire’s term had come to an end and that he was merely serving under the Vacancy Act.
    “Joe Maguire was always planning on leaving within the next couple of weeks.    I have a tremendous amount of respect for him, as does the president.    So, the premise of your question that he was pushed out just isn’t true.    Joe Maguire was always planning on leaving.” – Robert O’Brien, U.S. National Security Adviser
    In a statement, Maguire wrote that his time serving in the intelligence community was the “opportunity of a lifetime.”

2/23/2020 Judge in Roger Stone case denies motion to recuse herself by OAN Newsroom
Roger Stone arrives for his sentencing at federal court in Washington, Thursday, Feb. 20, 2020. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
    The presiding judge in Roger Stone’s case has dismissed his recusal motion against her. According to court documents released on Sunday, Judge Amy Berman Jackson dismissed his request as “an attempt to use the court’s docket to disseminate a statement for public consumption that has the word ‘judge’ and ‘biased’ in it.”
    She argued Stone’s motion to disqualify her did not contain any factual or legal support.
    Stone’s legal team previously took issue with Jackson’s praise of jurors during the trial, when she commented that they acted with “integrity.”    Stone has also argued the judge would not make a fair decision on his request for a new trial.
    Jackson has said her comment regarding jurors has nothing to do with his argument.    She claimed it was instead based on her observation of jurors during the trial.
    Earlier this week, Stone was sentenced to a little more than three years behind bars.
Roger Stone, center, departs federal court in Washington, Thursday, Feb. 20, 2020. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

2/23/2020 President Trump on Afghanistan: ‘It’s time to come home’ by OAN Newsroom
A soldier reunites with his daughter at Fort Bragg, N.C. after returning from the Middle East. (U.S. Army via AP)
    President Trump has declared it’s time for American troops to finally come home from Afghanistan.    While speaking to reporters on Sunday, the president confirmed he would consider signing a deal with the Taliban to end the long-running conflict in Afghanistan.
    Taliban fighters and Afghan security forces clashed on Saturday prior to the announcement of the week-long “reduction in violence” deal.
    If the terms of the temporary accord are honored, the U.S. and the Taliban will sign an agreement that could lead to the withdrawal of thousands of U.S. troops after a nearly 20-year-long war.
    “It’s time to come home, and they want to stop,” stated President Trump.    “They’re tough people (and) we’re tough people, but after 19 years, that’s a long time.”
In this frame grab from video taken, people and soldiers gather next to an American military convoy stuck
in the village of Khirbet Ammu, east of Qamishli city, Syria, Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2020. (AP Photo)
    There are still an estimated 13,000 U.S. troops that remain in Afghanistan.

2/23/2020 President Trump predicts Bernie Sanders will be Democrat nominee by OAN Newsroom
Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., right, with his wife Jane,
speaks during a campaign event in San Antonio, Saturday, Feb. 22, 2020. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
    President Trump has predicted Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-Vt.) will be the Democrat presidential nominee “unless they cheat him out of it.”    On     Sunday, the president said he doesn’t care who he runs against, but added he’s waiting to see how it all plays out.
    However, he pointed out he thought Nevada was a “great win for Sanders.”
    “Frankly, I don’t care who I run against, I just hope they treat him fairly,” stated President Trump.    “We’ll see what happens, but I congratulate Bernie Sanders.”
    The president went on to say he hopes the senator is treated fairly by the DNC.
    “They’ve got a lot of winning to do, I hope they treat him fairly,” he said.    “I hope it’s not going to be a rigged deal, because there’s a lot of bad things going on, and I hope it’s not going to be one of those.”
Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders I-Vt., pauses as he speaks at a campaign
event in El Paso, Texas, Saturday, Feb. 22, 2020. (AP Photo/Cedar Attanasio)
    The president’s comments followed Sanders’ strong performance in Iowa, New Hampshire and Nevada this month.    He is projected to win Nevada’s state caucus, which took place this weekend.

2/23/2020 President Trump dismisses reports of Russia 2020 election meddling by OAN Newsroom
President Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally at the Las Vegas
Convention Center, Friday, Feb. 21, 2020, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
    History is doomed to repeat itself as new reports showed Russia is allegedly taking another run at interfering in the U.S. presidential election.    The intelligence community has reportedly told Congress that Russia is attempting to interfere in the 2020 election cycle in order to reelect President Trump.
    The president recently responded to these reports, promptly calling the new claims “hoax number seven.”
    “They said today that Putin wants to be sure that Trump gets elected,” he said.    “Here we go again.”

House Democratic impeachment manager, Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif.
at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2020. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
    According to the New York Times, intelligence officials briefed the House Intelligence Committee about Moscow’s renewed efforts to interfere in U.S. democracy this week.    During the briefing, officials bluntly explained the Kremlin was trying to get President Trump reelected.
    Republican lawmakers were quick to challenge the validity of the information.    However, when lawmakers on the committee requested to see underlying evidence, such as email or phone intercepts detailing the alleged interference, the briefers reportedly stated they “had none to offer.”
    Officials also told the committee that Russia was not only trying to sway the general election, but was also intending to make moves during the Democrat primaries as well.    The Washington Post revealed Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-Vt.) was briefed last month on Moscow’s efforts to help his campaign win the Democrat nomination.
    “Do nothing Democrats, they’re dishing that Putin wants to make sure I get elected,” added President Trump.    “Wouldn’t (they) rather have Bernie, who honeymooned in Moscow?
FILE – In this July 25, 2018, file photo, retired Vice Adm. Joseph Maguire, appears before the
Senate Intelligence Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)
    The day after the congressional briefing, President Trump was reportedly angry with then-acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire because his people spoke to the Democrat-led committee.    This allegedly prompted the president to remove Maguire from his position this past week.    He has since appointed U.S. Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell to take his place.
    The president believes Democrats, especially Intel Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), could weaponize the new intelligence against his 2020 reelection bid.
    “It’s disinformation, that’s the only thing they’re good at,” he said.    “They’re not good at anything else, they get nothing done.”
    Russia has denied these new reports, blasting the intelligence briefing as more “paranoia” that will likely escalate as election season heats up.

2/24/2020 WikiLeaks founder heads to court today - Free press protections could be at stake in case by Kim Hjelmgaard, USA TODAY
    LONDON – His Ecuadorian hosts claim his indoor soccer games destroyed embassy equipment.    And that he liked to ride a skateboard in the halls.    Nearly a year after British police officers dragged him – heavily bearded, disheveled and resisting – into a waiting van, the cramped embassy quarters where he spent seven years avoiding the long reach of the U.S. Justice Department still retain the odor of cat litter from his trusted feline companion.
    A court hearing that begins here Monday could determine whether Wiki-Leaks founder Julian Assange, who published classified U.S. government communications as well as emails hacked by Russia from Hilary Clinton’s failed 2016 presidential campaign, will continue to be confined – and if so, where and how.
    The hearing will decide if Assange is sent to the U.S. to face trial in a case that could have serious implications for First Amendment protections.
    Since May, the 48-year-old Australian national has been locked up at Belmarsh Prison, which houses some of Britain’s most dangerous lawbreakers.
    Assange is there because he was found guilty of skipping bail in 2012; he fled to Ecuador’s embassy rather than turn himself in to British authorities for possible extradition to Sweden.    Investigators there wanted to question him over sexual assault allegations connected to two women.
    Assange hid because he feared Sweden would, in turn, extradite him to the U.S.    The Department of Justice has indicted him on 18 counts, alleging 17 forms of espionage and one instance of computer misuse connected to Wiki-Leaks’ dissemination of caches of secret U.S. military documents provided to him by former U.S. Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning.
    Assange denies all the allegations.    The Swedish case has since been dropped.    In Britain, he was sentenced to 50 weeks in prison for jumping bail, a period he has already served.
    But there’s more at stake than one anti-secrecy advocate’s freedom.
    John Kiriakou, a former CIA analyst who blew the whistle on a U.S. government- sanctioned torture program in 2007, said that Assange’s U.S. case could set a precedent that would erode press freedoms for news organizations that publish classified information.
    “If you are able to prosecute someone who has a strong case to be called a publisher, then who’s next?” said Kiriakou, who served jail time after pleading guilty to leaking the name of an officer involved in waterboarding.
.     Assange describes himself as a political refugee.    He maintains that as a journalist, he should be immune from prosecution and that his work revealed embarrassing and highly damaging facts about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the detainees held at the U.S. base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
    Assange’s detractors say he doesn’t write stories or interview anyone or provide explanatory context, and the dissemination of raw, unfiltered documents and data – the publication of stolen classified materials – should not count as journalism.
    “WikiLeaks walks like a hostile intelligence service and talks like a hostile intelligence service,” then-CIA Director Mike Pompeo said in April 2017.    Pompeo is now U.S. secretary of State.
    Justice Department officials in President Barack Obama’s administration ultimately decided they could not prosecute Assange for revealing national security secrets, described as one of the largest compromises of classified information in U.S. history, because it risked criminalizing subsequent national security journalism.During the Obama administration it was called ‘the New York Times problem,’” after the newspaper’s record of publishing information on national security matters the U.S. government has deemed secret, said Stephen Rohde, a historian and constitutional law expert.    “In other words, how can we indict him for espionage when we’re confident he’s a journalist, a publisher and enjoys First Amendment rights.”
    Generally speaking, the First Amendment restrains the government from jailing, fining or imposing liability for what the press publishes.    It does not shield journalists from criminal liability.
    The information Assange published contained about 90,000 Afghanistan War-related “significant activity” reports, 400,000 Iraq War-related reports, 800 Guantanamo Bay “detainee assessment” briefs and 250,000 State Department cables.    The material illuminated U.S. military and diplomatic procedure and actions in far-flung places, and the light it shined was not flattering.
    To his supporters, Assange is a champion of free speech and the public interest.
    To his critics, he is a criminal who conspired to steal thousands of pages of national defense information that has risked the lives of U.S. forces, allies and collaborators.
    If Assange is sent to the U.S. to stand trial, he could get a life sentence – 175 years – if found guilty on all 18 charges.
    It is far from certain that Assange will lose his extradition case. And even if he does, it does not automatically follow he will be sent to the U.S., according to Anand Doobay, an expert in the rules governing extradition at London-based firm Boutique Law.
    Doobay said if the judge decides “not to refuse” the U.S. request, then Britain’s secretary of state will have to decide whether to order it, a call that involves scrutiny of factors such as whether there is a risk that by extraditing him Assange could face the death penalty.    British law forbids extradition under such circumstances.
    While none of the current charges carries the death penalty, Assange’s supporters have argued that the Trump administration can’t be trusted and could unveil additional charges that do carry a death sentence once Assange arrives on U.S. soil.
    Doobay noted that most extradition requests the U.S. makes to the U.K. are granted.    It’s not clear what will happen if Assange prevails in the British court.    Because he has already served 50 weeks for skipping bail, he could simply be free to go.    But if he is deported to his native Australia, the U.S. could mount a new extradition case.    It could also issue an international arrest warrant if he travels beyond Britain’s borders.
A supporter of Julian Assange stands with a poster of the WikiLeaks founder in London on May 2, 2019. FRANK AUGSTEIN/AP

2/24/2020 AIPAC slams Sen. Sanders for questioning its platform by OAN Newsroom
Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., speaks during a
campaign event in San Antonio, Saturday, Feb. 22, 2020. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
    The American Israel Public Affairs Committee, otherwise known as AIPAC, recently took aim at Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-Vt.) for his comments regarding the non-profit organization.
.     In an official statement Sunday, AIPAC called Sanders’ comments “outrageous.”    The group added that he’s insulting his own colleagues as well as the millions of Americans who stand with Israel.
    This comes after Sanders’ questioned the integrity of AIPAC and their platform.    He expressed his concern via Twitter, where the self-proclaimed Democrat socialist suggested the organization provides a platform for those who “express bigotry and oppose basic Palestinian rights.”
    If elected president, Sanders vowed to support the rights of both Israelis and Palestinians despite previous calls to cut aid to Israel as “leverage.”
    “I would use the leverage, $3.8 billion is a lot of money, and we cannot give it carte blanche to the Israeli government or to any government at all,” he stated.    “We have the right to demand respect for human rights and democracy.”
    As a result, the presidential hopeful said he will not be attending the event.    Meanwhile, the conference has seen speakers from both sides of the aisle, including Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Vice President Mike Pence and even Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer.
    Schumer recently defended the Israelis previous response to tensions overseas.
    “Israel has every right to respond just as any other nation, including our own would,” he stated.    “Some voices will condemn Israel for responding, but no government can allow its civilians to be subject to rocket attack time and time again.”
    The AIPAC 2020 conference is slated to begin next week.

2/24/2020 Warren Buffett: I would vote for Bloomberg over Sanders by OAN Newsroom
FILE – In this May 5, 2019, file photo Warren Buffett, Chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, speaks during a game of bridge following
the annual Berkshire Hathaway shareholders meeting in Omaha, Neb. Buffett will release his annual letter to Berkshire Hathaway shareholders
on Saturday, Feb. 22, 2020. Buffett’s letter is always one of the most-read business reports every year. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik, File)
    Billionaire investor Warren Buffett said he’s taking a “wait and see” approach to announcing his support for a Democrat presidential candidate.
    In an interview Monday, the Berkshire Hathaway chairman suggested he would support Michael Bloomberg over Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-Vt.).    However, he has yet to officially endorse either candidate.
    Buffett pointed out that “another billionaire” supporting Bloomberg might not be helpful at this time.    On the other hand, he said he doesn’t agree with Sanders in many ways, but does think we “ought to do better by the people who get left behind by the capitalist system.”
    “I don’t think we should kill the capital system in the process, I think we should make sure that the golden goose keeps laying more eggs,” he stated.    “And it’s worked wonderfully since 1776, but it doesn’t work as well for people whose talents aren’t really geared to a market economy.”
From left, Democratic presidential candidates, former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg,
Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., participate in a Democratic presidential
primary debate Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2020, in Las Vegas, hosted by NBC News and MSNBC. (AP Photo/John Locher)
    Buffett said he doesn’t consider himself a “card-carrying Democrat” and noted that he’s supported Republicans in the past.br>     Earlier this month, Buffett’s business partner said he believed Bloomberg could get the moderate vote, which would increase his chances in the election.

2/24/2020 Sen. Sanders under fire for pro-Castro comments by OAN Newsroom
FILE – In this Feb. 21, 2016, file photo, Democratic presidential candidate
Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., speaks during a rally in Greenville, S.C. (AP Photo/John Bazemore, File)
    Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-Va.) is the current front-runner in the Democratic presidential primary race, but comments made during a recent interview may slow his momentum.
    Soon after his landslide victory in Nevada, Sanders found himself under fire for making comments praising aspects of the authoritarian regime of Cuban leader Fidel Castro.    On CBS’s 60 minutes Sunday night, the senator refused to condemn the entirety of Castro’s nearly 50 year rule.
    “We’re very opposed to the authoritarian nature of Cuba, but you know it’s unfair to say that everything is bad,” stated Sanders.    “When Fidel Castro came into office he had a massive literacy program — is that a bad thing even though Fidel Castro did it?
    The prime time interview was not the first time the Democratic-socialist spoke highly of Castro.    In an uncovered video from 1986, the then-mayor of Burlington, Vermont revealed how he had felt learning about the revolution in 1959.
    “I remember, for some reason, being very excited when Fidel Castro made the revolution in Cuba when I was a kid, and I remember reading that and it just seemed right and appropriate that poor people were rising up against rather ugly, rich people,” stated Sanders in 1986.
    Since the CBS interview aired, Sanders has faced considerable backlash.
    Representatives from Florida, a state with a large Cuban population, took to Twitter to call the senator’s comments “inappropriate.”
    Meanwhile, the senator is already polling poorly in the Sunshine State with only 11 percent support.

2/24/2020 New U.S. rule targeting poor immigrants sows fear, confusion, advocates say by Mica Rosenberg
FILE PHOTO: A Mexican Federal Police observes through the border gate as the U.S. Border Patrol agents conduct
a training exercise at the border fence between Ciudad Juarez, Mexico and Sunland Park,
U.S., as seen from Ciudad Juarez, Mexico January 31, 2020. REUTERS/Jose Luis Gonzalez
    NEW YORK (Reuters) – The Trump administration rolled out a new immigration policy on Monday that bars people deemed likely to require government benefits such as housing and food assistance from obtaining permanent residency in the United States.
    Local and state officials overseeing public health and social services in New York said that some immigrants were disenrolling from certain food assistance programs and Medicare even if they might not be affected by the rule, which places new limits on eligibility for green cards.
    The city said it would be ramping up programs – like a hotline for immigrants and access to legal services – in an effort to counter misinformation about the rule’s implementation.
    “Why is the rule harmful?    Because it is sowing confusion; it is creating fear,” said Steven Banks, the commissioner of New York City’s Department of Social Services.
    U.S. immigration law has long required officials to deny green cards to people likely to become a “public charge,” but the term had been narrowly defined as being dependent on cash assistance or institutionalized at the government’s expense.
    The new rule broadens the definition to include anyone who would receive a much wider range of benefits and takes into account factors such as age, educational level and English proficiency.
    Ken Cuccinelli, acting deputy secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), said in a Fox News interview on Monday that the new regulation would help ensure immigrants do not burden U.S. taxpayers and “will be able to stand on their own two feet.”
    U.S. President Donald Trump has made cracking down on immigration a key platform of his presidency and has moved to restrict some forms of legal immigration while also trying to cut down on illegal border crossings.
    The new eligibility tests will be considered primarily for those in the United States on visas seeking to change their status, as well as those applying at U.S. consulates abroad for green cards.
    Most immigrants seeking green cards are not eligible for public benefits.    But advocates worry they will unnecessarily forgo programs they and their U.S. citizen children are entitled to such as the supplemental nutrition program for women, infants and children known as WIC, which is not covered by the regulation.
    Rejecting challenges, the U.S. Supreme Court let the rule go forward nationwide.
(Reporting by Mica Rosenberg in New York; Additional reporting by Ted Hesson in Washington D.C. and Kristina Cooke in Los Angeles; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)

2/24/2020 Julian Assange put lives at risk, lawyer for United States says by Michael Holden
A woman wears a face mask with a hashtag of support for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange outside Woolwich Crown Court, ahead of a
hearing to decide whether Assange should be extradited to the United States, in London, Britain, February 24, 2020. REUTERS/Hannah Mckay
    LONDON (Reuters) – Julian Assange is wanted for crimes that put at risk the lives of people in Iraq, Iran and Afghanistan who had helped the West, some of whom later disappeared, said a lawyer acting for the United States in its bid to extradite him.
    Almost a decade since his WikiLeaks website enraged Washington by leaking hundreds of thousands of secret U.S. documents, Assange, 48, is fighting extradition from Britain to the United States where he is accused of espionage and hacking.
    He was wanted, said James Lewis, lawyer for the U.S. authorities, not because he embarrassed the authorities but because he put informants, dissidents, and rights activists at risk of torture, abuse or death.
    “What Mr Assange seems to defend by freedom of speech is not the publication of the classified materials but the publication of the names of the sources, the names of people who had put themselves at risk to assist the United States and its allies,” Lewis said at London’s Woolwich Crown Court.
    The United States asked Britain to extradite Assange last year after he was pulled from the Ecuador embassy in London, where he had spent seven years holed up avoiding extradition to Sweden over sex crime allegations which have since been dropped.
    Assange has served a prison sentence in Britain for skipping bail and remains jailed pending the U.S. extradition request.
    Lewis, speaking on behalf of the U.S. authorities, said hundreds of people across the world had to be warned after the WikiLeaks disclosures.    Some had to be relocated.    Others later disappeared, he said, although he said the United States would not try to prove that was directly a result of the disclosures.
    Some WikiLeaks information was found at Osama bin Laden’s hideout in Pakistan, he added.
    The United States has charged Assange with 18 criminal counts of conspiring to hack government computers and violating an espionage law.    Lewis said Assange had conspired with Chelsea Manning, then a U.S. soldier known as Bradley Manning, to hack Department of Defense computers.
HERO OR ENEMY?
    Supporters hail Assange as an anti-establishment hero who revealed governments’ abuses of power, and argue the action against him is a dangerous infringement of journalists’ rights.
    Chants from 100 of his backers outside could be clearly heard in court.    Assange himself complained about the din.
    “I’m finding it difficult concentrating,” said a clean-shaven Assagne, dressed in a blue-grey suit.    Judge Vanessa Baraitser warned those in the public gallery not to disturb the proceedings.
    Assange’s lawyer said he should not be extradited as he would not get a fair trial and would be a suicide risk.
    Lawyer Edward Fitzgerald said that the U.S. attitude to Assange had changed when Donald Trump came to power and that the U.S. president wanted to make an example of his client.
    He said that in 2013 the U.S. government under former President Barack Obama had decided that Assange should not face any action.    But that in 2017, after the 2016 election of Trump, an indictment was brought against Assange.
    Why the change?    “The answer is President Trump came into power with a new approach to freedom of speech and a new hostility to the press amounting effectively to declaring war on investigative journalists,” Fitzgerald said.
.     He said conversations between Assange and his lawyers in the Ecuadorean embassy were secretly monitored by U.S. spies who received information from a private security company bugging the building.
    In addition to releasing military records, WikiLeaks angered Washington by publishing secret U.S. diplomatic cables that laid bare critical U.S. appraisals of world leaders.
    Assange made headlines in 2010 when WikiLeaks published a classified U.S. military video showing a 2007 U.S. helicopter strike in Baghdad that killed a dozen people, including two Reuters news staff.
(Editing by Guy Faulconbridge and Peter Graff)

2/24/2020 U.S. Supreme Court open to more damages against Sudan over embassy bombings by Andrew Chung
Doreen Oport, who was injured in the attack on the U.S. embassy in Nairobi, Kenya in 1998, stands outside
the U.S. Supreme Court after oral arguments in Washington, U.S. February 24, 2020. REUTERS/Andrew Chung
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday appeared open to reinstating $4.3 billion in punitive damages against Sudan in lawsuits accusing it of complicity in the 1998 al Qaeda bombings of two U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania that killed 224 people.
    Eight justices heard about an hour of arguments in an appeal – filed by people injured and relatives of people killed in the attacks – of a 2017 lower court ruling that blocked the plaintiffs from collecting the punitive damages imposed against Sudan alongside about $6 billion in compensatory damages.    Justice Brett Kavanaugh did not participate in the case.
    The justices directed the bulk of their questioning toward an attorney representing Sudan as opposed to the plaintiffs.    Conservative and liberal justices raised doubts over Sudan’s argument that it could not be hit with punitive damages.
    Sudan, riven by civil war and unrest, has been trying to reduce its exposure in the litigation.
    Twelve Americans were among the dead in the Aug. 7, 1998, attacks, with thousands of other people wounded.    The lawsuits involve 567 people, most of whom are non-U.S. citizens who were employees of the U.S. government and their relatives.
    Doreen Oport, 58, who was working as an immigration assistant in the embassy in Kenya’s capital Nairobi during the attack and suffered burns and other injuries, expressed optimism following the arguments.
    “We are waiting for justice,” Oport said.
    President Donald Trump’s administration urged the justices to side with the plaintiffs.
    The damages were imposed by default because for most of the litigation Sudan did not appear before a lower court to counter accusations that it harbored and provided support to the Islamist militant group al Qaeda, which led to the bombings.    Sudan denies the allegations.
    The truck bombs that detonated outside the embassies in Nairobi as well as Dar es Salaam, Tanzania marked the first large-scale al Qaeda attack.    Three years later, on Sept. 11, 2001, al Qaeda operatives carried out attacks in the United States, killing nearly 3,000 people.
    Starting in 2001, several groups of plaintiffs sued in federal court in Washington under the 1976 Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act, which generally bars claims against foreign countries except those designated by the United States as a state sponsor of terrorism, as Sudan has been since 1993.    Other claims were made under local District of Columbia law.
    A federal judge found Sudan liable and awarded the plaintiffs $10.2 billion, including $4.3 in punitive damages.
    In 2017, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit upheld Sudan’s liability, but ruled that a 2008 change in the law allowing for punitive damages was enacted after the bombings occurred and cannot be applied retroactively.
    During Monday’s arguments, some justices seemed skeptical that the 2008 change precluded such damages.
    “If we agree that compensatory damages apply retroactively, on what account does it make sense to speak of punitive damages not also applying retroactively, given that it’s authorized by the same statute?” conservative Justice Neil Gorsuch asked.
(Reporting by Andrew Chung; Editing by Will Dunham)

2/24/2020 Report: President Trump has appointed more than one-third of judges on liberal Ninth Circuit Court in Calif. by OAN Newsroom
FILE – In this Thursday, Sept. 12, 2019, file photo, President Donald Trump pauses as he speaks at the
2019 House Republican Conference Member Retreat Dinner in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)
    President Trump effectively tilted the historically left-leaning Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to the right.    According to reports this week, the now 10 judges appointed by President Trump have been largely praised by their peers.
    The largest circuit court covers many West Coast states including California, Hawaii and Arizona.
    Analysts said the recent shift will likely prevent the court from hindering the president’s policies.
    “To uphold the rule of law, we have confirmed, and this is something they say most important thing you can do judges I say most important thing is defense, second is judges,” stated President Trump.    “A record number of 217 federal judges who will interpret the constitution as written.”
    Despite the recent shift, Democrat appointed judges still hold a slight majority in the circuit with 16 appointees.
    However, Judge Milan Smith Jr. said President Trump’s judicial picks are about to take over.
    “Trump has effectively flipped the circuit,” stated Smith.    “You will see a sea change in the Ninth Circuit on day-to-day decisions.”
    The Ninth Circuit has been controlled by the Democratic appointees since 1978.
[Thank you Obama since you were too busy spending 13 trillion dollars that you forgot to control the courts because you only needed the California 9th Circuit to attack the U.S. policies and now Trump is turning that around to deal with liberal policies being pushed in the courts and day by day he is undoing those issues and if he gets 4 more years think of the improvements.].

2/25/2020 Oil down $2.18 to $51.28, DOW down 1032 to 27,961 as the coronavirus is causing the worse as it spreads.

2/25/2020 Stocks drop sharply as virus spreads by Jessica Menton, USA TODAY
    A sharp rise in coronavirus cases outside of China jolted global financial markets Monday, reviving concerns about the potential economic fallout from the outbreak.
    The Dow Jones industrial average plunged 1,031.61 points, or 3.6%, to close at 27,960.80, its biggest one-day drop since February 2018, when inflation fears rattled investors.    The Standard & Poor’s 500 slid 3.4% to end at 3,225.89, but is still sitting within about 5% of its record high on Wednesday.    The technology- heavy Nasdaq Composite shed 3.7% to end at 9,221.28.
    Stocks were pummeled after South Korea reported 231 new cases of the deadly virus Monday, bringing the country’s total to 833.    China reported 409 new cases, raising the mainland’s total to 77,150.    The 150 new deaths from the illness raised China’s total to 2,592.    Elsewhere, a surge in reports of new cases in Iran and Italy raised the prospect of more disruptions.
    “Many investors remain complacent about the far-reaching impact of coronavirus, which is continuing to spread – and at a faster pace,” Nigel Green, chief executive and founder of financial consultancy deVere Group, said in a note.    “This will inevitably hit financial markets, and investors’ complacency leaves many wide open to nasty surprises.”
    Monday’s decline battered stocks across most industries, from airlines to technology companies to large financial firms.    The sharp drop comes just days after stocks rallied to all-time highs, signaling a potential shift in sentiment as investors sought safety in havens like gold and U.S. bonds.
    The latest developments raised fresh worries that the outbreak could threaten to derail global growth.    Investors fear that production delays in China due to the virus could force multinational companies to cut their earnings outlooks.
    Diane Swonk, chief economist at Grant Thornton, said the spread of the coronavirus is prompting her to increase her estimate of the outbreak’s impact on U.S. economic growth in the first half of the year.    She previously forecast the virus would cut growth by three-tenths of a percentage point in the first quarter but now says the impact could be about half a percentage point, though she hasn’t completed her analysis.
    “It’s causing an economic pandemic,” she says.    “We have a global reaction that’s literally shutting down businesses.”
    Expectations have climbed among traders that the Federal Reserve will cut interest rates this year to help cushion the U.S. economy.    Fed-funds futures, used by investors to place bets on the course of the central bank’s policy, showed 90% of the market on Monday priced in at least one rate cut this year, up from a 58% probability a month ago, according to data from CME Group.
    But the virus is hurting supply for companies, not demand, according to Tim Bray, senior portfolio manager at GuideStone Capital Management.
    “,” Bray said.
Contributing: Paul Davidson of USA TODAY; The Associated Press
Traders at the New York Stock Exchange watched a selloff Monday as investors parsed the effects of the coronavirus on trade. RICHARD DREW/AP

2/25/2020 European shares steady as selling pressure eases
The German share price index DAX graph is pictured at the stock exchange in Frankfurt, Germany, February 21, 2020. REUTERS/Staff
    (Reuters) – European shares bounced back on Tuesday after recording their worst losses since June 2016 in the previous session, with investors assessing the economic hit of a coronavirus outbreak that has spread far beyond China.
    Markets across the globe attempted to stabilize, with the pan-European STOXX 600 index <.STOXX> rising 0.6%.
    After a 5.4% tumble on Monday, Milan-listed shares <.FTMIB> rose 0.6%. Italy is struggling with the worst flare-up of coronavirus cases in Europe, with 220 cases reported and seven dead.
    Airline stocks, which took the biggest hit on Monday, edged higher. Lufthansa , EasyJet and Ryanair rose between 0.6% and 1.4%.
    Prudential Plc rose 2.9% after hedge fund Third Point LLC amassed a more than $2 billion stake and called on the British insurer to split into two companies.
(Reporting by Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)

2/25/2020 U.S. Democrats want Russia sanctions over 2020 election interference
U.S. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) holds a news conference after the final vote on the war powers resolution
regarding potential military action against Iran, at the Capitol in Washington, U.S. February 13, 2020. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Senior U.S. Democrats said on Monday that President Donald Trump’s administration should immediately impose sanctions on Russia after U.S. intelligence officials told members of Congress that Russia appeared to be trying to influence this year’s U.S. election.
    Senators Chuck Schumer, Bob Menendez and Sherrod Brown wrote to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin demanding that the administration “immediately and forcefully” put sanctions on the government in Moscow and any Russians involved in election interference.
    A congressional source told Reuters on Friday that intelligence officials had told lawmakers that Russia appeared to be engaging in disinformation and propaganda campaigns to help both Democratic presidential challenger Bernie Sanders and Trump, who is seeking re-election in November.
    The Kremlin on Friday denied interference.
    U.S. law allows the administration to propose sanctions on Moscow in response to election interference.
    Congress passed the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act, or CAATSA, in 2017 partly in response to the intelligence community’s finding that Russia interfered in the 2016 election to boost Trump’s chances of winning the White House.    Moscow denies that allegation and Trump has repeatedly questioned the finding.
    In the letter released on Monday, the three senators urged Pompeo and Mnuchin to move swiftly to impose sanctions.
    “Doing anything less would be an abdication of your responsibility to protect and defend the US from this serious threat to our national security, and to the integrity of our electoral process,” they wrote.
    The White House, State Department and Treasury did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
    Schumer is the Senate Democratic leader.    Menendez and Brown are the top Democrats on the Senate Foreign Relations and Banking committees, which oversee sanctions policy.
    Trump replaced acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire with U.S. Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell last week.    According to media reports, Trump was annoyed by the briefing to lawmakers about Russian interference.
(Reporting by Patricia Zengerle; Editing by Peter Cooney)
[DO NOT IMPOSE ANY SANCTIONS UNTIL SOMEONE CAN PROVIDE OR PROOF OF ANY EVIDENCE THAT RUSSIA IS INTERFERRING IN ANYTHING ESPECIALLY SINCE THIS WAS PROBABLY LEAKED BY 4 PINNOCHIO ADAM SCHIFF WHO DID THE SAME THING IN 2016-2018.].

2/25/2020 Judge rejects Stone’s bid to remove her from case by Kristine Phillips, USA TODAY
    WASHINGTON – U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson denied Roger Stone’s motion to disqualify her, saying the move was merely an attempt to generate public interest in the case.
    “If parties could move to disqualify every judge who furrows his brow at one side or the other before ruling, the entire court system would come to a standstill,” Jackson said.    “At bottom, given the absence of any factual or legal support for the motion for disqualification, the pleading appears to be nothing more than an attempt to use the Court’s docket to disseminate a statement for public consumption that has the words ‘judge’ and ‘biased’ in it.”
    Stone, whom Jackson sentenced to a little over three years in prison, sought to have the judge removed from the case because of what she said about jurors during Stone’s sentencing hearing last week.    The judge scheduled a hearing Tuesday on his request for a new trial.
    Stone, a longtime friend and ally of President Donald Trump, was convicted of lying to the House Intelligence Committee and obstructing its investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential race.    He was also found guilty of urging a potential congressional witness to also lie.
    In a long statement before she announced Stone’s sentence, Jackson said jurors “served with integrity” – a comment that defense attorneys say “undermines the appearance of impartiality.”
    Jackson’s statement is “premature” because of the pending motion for a new trial that questions the integrity of one juror, Stone’s attorneys argued in a seven-page filing Friday, adding that the judge’s “ardent conclusion” shows an inability to reserve judgment on an issue she has not yet heard.
    But in a six-page ruling Sunday evening, Jackson said her characterization “was entirely and fairly based” on her observations of the jurors through nine days of jury selection and trial.

2/25/2020 Pompeo discusses Afghan peace plan, election meddling at press conference by OAN Newsroom
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks at a news conference at the State Department,
Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
    Secretary of State Mike Pompeo recently addressed the upcoming peace plan with Afghanistan as well as concerns over election interference.
During a press conference in Washington, D.C. Tuesday, he said the peace plan with Afghanistan would pave the way for stronger rights for religious minorities groups and women.
    The State Department head went on to deflect concern over recent reports that Russia could be trying to interfere in the upcoming presidential election.
    “Finally, as I’ve said many times and most recently during my meeting with Foreign Minister (Sergey ) Lavrov in Munich, meddling in our elections is unacceptable,” stated Pompeo.    “The Trump administration will always work to protect the integrity of our elections.”
    The secretary pointed out that Russian election meddling isn’t unique to America by highlighting similar reports in Belarus and Zimbabwe. Pompeo urged the mainstream media to report on those cases as well.

2/25/2020 Kevin McCarthy slams Calif. rule mandating all in-state health plans cover abortion OAN Newsroom
House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy of Calif. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
    House Minority leader Kevin McCarthy has slammed California for alleged civil rights abuses, which discriminate against millions of pro-life Americans.
    McCarthy has railed against a rule forcing all in-state health plans to cover medical abortions.    He claimed the move is not only cold and cruel, but illegal.
    Last month, the Department of Health and Human Services issued California a Notice of Violation and threatened to block the state’s access to federal funds due to its disregard for the Weldon Amendment.    The amendment protects health care entities from discrimination over refusal to cover abortion.
    "To those who are being discriminated against by the government’s constant overreach, we see you (and) we hear you and we will continue to hold California’s leadership responsible,” stated McCarthy.
    In a statement last week, California State Attorney Gen. Xavier Becerra informed Washington that Sacramento would not alter its abortion coverage mandate.

2/25/2020 Ore. state GOP walk out of capitol building in protest of climate bill by OAN Newsroom
FILE – In this Feb. 6, 2020 file photo, demonstrators protest against a cap-and-trade bill aimed at stemming
global warming protest at the Oregon State Capitol in Salem. Republican lawmakers on Monday, Feb. 24, 2020 boycotted
the Oregon Senate in an effort to deny Democrats a quorum and doom a contentious climate change bill. (AP Photo/Andrew Selsky)
    Republican state legislators in Oregon recently walked out of the state’s capitol building in protest of a Democrat-backed climate bill.    On Monday, all except for one Oregon state GOP senator participated in the walkout to protest a bill that would place strict restrictions on greenhouse gas emissions.
    This followed similar actions taken by State Republicans to stop a similar bill last year, which led to a days-long delay in Oregon’s legislative session.
    Monday’s walkout prompted backlash from Democrats, including state Gov. Kate Brown who claimed the move was anti-democratic during a news conference.
    “The Senate Republicans who walked out are not against climate policy, they are against the Democratic process,” she stated.    “It’s incredibly disappointing and a sad moment for Oregon…Oregonians should be outraged, and I am too.”
Gov. Kate Brown of Oregon denounces a walkout by Republicans in the state Senate that prevented a quorum on
Monday, Feb. 24, 2020 in Salem, Ore. Republican lawmakers are trying to doom a contentious climate change bill. Brown
said the Republicans are not against the climate policy but are against the Democratic process. (AP Photo/Andrew Selsky)
    On the other hand, state Republicans have argued that Democrats refuse to work with them on the bill and claimed they had no choice, but to boycott the vote.

2/25/2020 UK court told Assange tried to call White House, Hillary Clinton over data dump by Michael Holden
Julian Assange wearing two pair of glasses in seen at court during a hearing to decide whether he should be extradited
to the United States, in London, February 24, 2020 in this courtroom sketch. REUTERS/Julia Quenzler
    LONDON (Reuters) – Julian Assange tried to contact Hillary Clinton and the White House when he realised that unredacted U.S. diplomatic cables given to WikiLeaks were about to be dumped on the internet, his lawyer told his London extradition hearing on Tuesday.
    Assange is being sought by the United States on 18 counts of hacking U.S. government computers and an espionage offence, having allegedly conspired with Chelsea Manning, then a U.S. soldier known as Bradley Manning, to leak hundreds of thousands of secret documents by WikiLeaks almost a decade ago.
    On Monday, the lawyer representing the United States told the hearing that Assange, 48, was wanted for crimes that had endangered people in Iraq, Iran and Afghanistan who had helped the West, some of whom later disappeared. [nL5N2AO0W5]
    U.S. authorities say his actions in recklessly publishing unredacted classified diplomatic cables put informants, dissidents, journalists and human rights activists at risk of torture, abuse or death.
    Outlining part of his defence, Assange’s lawyer Mark Summers said allegations that he had helped Manning to break a government password, had encouraged the theft of secret data and knowingly put lives in danger were “lies, lies and more lies.”
    He told London’s Woolwich Crown Court that WikiLeaks had received documents from Manning in April 2010.    He then made a deal with a number of newspapers, including the New York Times, Britain’s Guardian and Germany’s Der Spiegel, to begin releasing redacted parts of the 250,000 cables in November that year.
    A witness from Der Spiegel said the U.S. State Department had been involved in suggesting redactions in conference calls, Summers said.
    However, a password that allowed access to the full unredacted material was published in a book by Guardian reporters about WikiLeaks in February 2011.    In August, another German newspaper reported it had discovered the password and it had access to the archive.
    A spokesman for The Guardian said the authors were told the password was temporary and the book contained no details about the whereabouts of the files.
PEOPLE’S LIVES “AT RISK
    Summers said Assange attempted to warn the U.S. government, calling the White House and attempting to speak to then- Secretary of State Clinton, saying “unless we do something, people’s lives are put at risk.”
    Summers said the State Department had responded by suggesting that Assange call back “in a couple of hours.”
    The United States asked Britain to extradite Assange last year after he was pulled from the Ecuador embassy in London, where he had spent seven years holed up avoiding extradition to Sweden over sex crime allegations which have since been dropped.
    Assange has served a prison sentence in Britain for skipping bail and remains jailed pending the U.S. extradition request.
    Supporters hail Assange as an anti-establishment hero who revealed governments’ abuses of power, and argue the action against him is a dangerous infringement of journalists’ rights. Critics cast him as a dangerous enemy of the state who has undermined Western security.
(Reporting by Michael Holden; Editing by Gareth Jones and Giles Elgood)

2/25/2020 U.S. health officials raise alarm about likely local spread of coronavirus by Julie Steenhuysen and Diane Bartz
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks at a business leaders reception at thebr> Museu de Moeda in Luanda, Angola February 17, 2020. Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/Pool
    WASHINGTON/CHICAGO (Reuters) – The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Tuesday alerted Americans to begin preparing for the spread of coronavirus in the United States after the flu-like virus surfaced in several more countries.
    The announcement signals a change in tone for the U.S. health agency, which had largely been focused on efforts to stop the virus from entering the country and quarantining individuals traveling from China.
    “The data over the past week about the spread in other countries has raised our level of concern and expectation that we are going to have community spread here,” Dr. Nancy Messonnier, the CDC head of respiratory diseases, told reporters on a conference call.
    What is not known, she said, is when it will arrive and how severe a U.S. outbreak might be.    “Disruption to everyday life might be severe,” she cautioned.
    Businesses, schools and families should begin having discussions about the possibility that their lives may be disrupted if the virus begins spreading within U.S. communities.
    Separately, U.S. Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar told a Senate subcommittee there will likely be more cases in the United States, and he asked lawmakers to approve $2.5 billion in funding to fight the outbreak after proposing cuts to the department’s budget.
    “While the immediate risk to individual members of the American public remains low, there is now community transmission in a number of countries, including outside of Asia, which is deeply concerning,” Azar said, adding that recent outbreaks in Iran and Italy were particularly worrying.
    Believed to have originated from illegal wildlife sold in the Chinese city of Wuhan late last year, the new coronavirus has infected some 80,000 people and killed 2,663 in China.
    Although the World Health Organization says the epidemic has peaked in China, coronavirus cases have surfaced in about 30 other countries, with some three dozen deaths reported, according to a Reuters tally.
    Growing outbreaks in Iran, Italy and South Korea have raised concerns that coronavirus will surface in other nations and worsen in those that have already reported infections, further denting a global economy that had already been hit by a dependence on China.
    Major U.S. stock indexes fell again on Tuesday after a sharp selloff on Monday.
    Azar said the U.S. government was working closely with state, local, and private sector partners to prepare for mitigating the virus’ potential spread in the United States.
    U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer, however, said President Donald Trump and his administration had been caught “flat-footed” and lacked a comprehensive plan to deal with coronavirus.    He called for at least $3.1 billion in additional funding to fight it.
    “The Trump administration has shown towering and dangerous incompetence when it comes to the coronavirus,” said Schumer, the top Senate Democrat.    “Mr. President, you need to get your act together now.    This is a crisis.”
‘DEADLY CONSEQUENCES’
    U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told reporters that Iran may have covered up information about the spread of coronavirus there, and he accused China of mishandling the epidemic through its “censorship” of media and medical professionals.
    “The United States is deeply concerned by information indicating the Iranian regime may have suppressed vital details about the outbreak in that country,” Pompeo told reporters as Iran’s coronavirus death toll rose to 16.
    “All nations, including Iran, should tell the truth about the coronavirus and cooperate with international aid organizations,” Pompeo said.     His remarks, coming less than two months after a short-lived U.S.-Iranian military clash and the signing of U.S.-China trade deal, could inflame tensions with Tehran and Beijing.
    Beijing last week revoked the credentials of three Wall Street Journal correspondents over a column China said was racist.    The United States has said it was considering a range of responses to their expulsion.
    “Expelling our journalists exposes once again the government’s issue that led to SARS and now the coronavirus – namely censorship.    It can have deadly consequences,” Pompeo said, referring to the 2002-2003 outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome that also emerged from China.
    “If China permitted its own and foreign journalists and medical personnel to speak and investigate freely, Chinese officials and other nations would have been far better prepared to address the challenge” of coronavirus, he added.
    Despite the coronavirus epidemic, Pompeo said the United States still planned to host a special meeting with the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in Las Vegas in March.
(Reporting by Julie Steenhuysen in Chicago, Humeyra Pamuk, Richard Cowan, Susan Heavey, Tim Ahmann and Diane Bartz in Washington, Michael Erman in New York and Manas Mishra in Bangalore; Writing by Paul Simao; Editing by Bill Berkrot)

2/25/2020 Canaries hotel locked down over coronavirus as Spain reports first mainland case by Inti Landauro and Emma Pinedo
People look over the sea into the haze created by a sand storm known locally as "La Calima"
in Arrecife, Lanzarote, Canary Islands, Spain, February 23, 2020. REUTERS/Russell Boyce
    MADRID (Reuters) – A large Canary Islands hotel was locked down for coronavirus tests on Tuesday after a guest and his wife were found to be infected, as Spain also reported its first case of the disease on the mainland.
    Catalan regional health authorities said a 36-year old Italian woman, resident in Barcelona, had tested positive after a recent trip to the north of Italy, which is Europe’s worst affected country with more than 280 cases.
    Twenty-five people who came into contact with her will be quarantined at home for two weeks, though none of the group currently displays any symptoms, Catalan public health secretary Joan Guix told reporters.
    The four-star H10 Costa Adeje Palace hotel in Tenerife went into lockdown after an Italian doctor on holiday on the island tested positive for the virus on Monday.    His wife tested positive on Tuesday, the regional government said.
    The doctor and his wife had been moved to a hospital isolation ward, and other hotel guests and staff would be tested for the virus, health authorities said.
    Guests would remain there until the results of a second test on the doctor was known and, depending on that outcome, “appropriate health measures will be taken,” a Spanish government spokeswoman said.
    The hotel has hundreds of rooms, several restaurants and swimming pools, and is located 50 meters (yards) from the beach.    Around 1,000 people were inside, local newspaper Diario de Avisos said.
    On its Facebook page, the hotel said it planned a carnival party on Thursday evening.    Its management declined to comment on Tuesday.
    Christopher Betts, an English guest from Leicestershire, said over the phone from his room that there were police cars stationed at all entrances.
    “We’re told we’re in quarantine… The hotel seems to be acting normally, except that we cannot go out,” he said, adding that guests had been allowed to have breakfast in the restaurant.
    He had not been tested for the virus yet and had missed his flight home.    Hotel employees were wearing masks, but none was provided for guests, Betts said.
    Tens of thousands are expected this week in the Canary Islands for carnival festivities.
    Before Monday, Spain had identified two coronavirus cases – a German tourist in La Gomera, another Canary Island, and a British man in Mallorca.
(Additional reporting by Joan Faus, Paola Luelmo, Ingrid Melander, Nathan Allen; Editing by Andrei Khalip and John Stonestreet)

2/25/2020 Italy probes “insane” prices for coronavirus masks, sanitizers
A couple wearing protective masks look at a phone next to the Colosseum in Rome, Italy, February 25, 2020. REUTERS/Remo Casilli
    MILAN (Reuters) – Italian authorities have begun an investigation into rocketing online prices for hygienic masks and sanitizing gels following the coronavirus outbreak in northern Italy, two senior magistrates said on Tuesday.
    Italy has seen the biggest outbreak of the disease in Europe, with more than 260 cases and seven deaths reported, most in the prosperous north of the country.
    “We have decided to open an investigation after media reports of the insane prices fetched up by these products (masks and gels) on online sales websites in the last two days,” Milan deputy chief prosecutor Tiziana Siciliano told Reuters.
    As the disease has spread, many pharmacists say they have run out of hygienic masks and hand sanitizers, and many people have resorted to online sites where prices have shot up.
    “The price of masks online has risen from one cent to 10 euros each and a one-liter bottle of disinfectant that last week was on sale for 7 euros, was up to 39 euros yesterday,” Siciliano said.
    Sales of hand sanitizer gels in Italy rose to 900,000 packs in the first six weeks of 2020, a nine-fold rise over the previous year and are expected to reach 1 million by the end of February, research institute Nielsen said on Tuesday.
    “Sales of hygienic hand gels have gone through the roof.    The shelves of big retailers (hypermarkets, supermarkets, cash and carry, specialist pharmacists and discounters) have been cleared out,” Nielsen said.
    As the emergency has spread, police have also issued warnings that criminals posing as health inspectors have been using false identity papers to try to gain access to people’s houses to steal money or other valuables.
($1 = 0.9227 euros)
(Reporting by Emilio Parodi; editing by James Mackenzie and Mark Heinrich)

2/25/2020 EU Commission advises staff not to go to Lombardy over virus
A crowd of Italians wearing protective masks wait outside a closed supermarket in the town of Casalpusterlengo,
one of the towns on lockdown due to coronavirus outbreak in Lombardy, in this still image taken
from video in Casalpusterlengo, Italy, February 23, 2020. Local Team/REUTERS TV via REUTERS
    BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Commission has advised its staff not to travel to the northern Italian region of Lombardy over coronavirus concerns and told officials who went to the most affected areas in northern Italy to stay at home for two weeks.
    “We recommend our staff to replace travels to Lombardy with teleconferences,” a spokesman for the EU commission told a news conference in Brussels.
    He added that EU staff who have been over the last two weeks to 11 towns in northern Italy which are listed as the most affected by a coronavirus outbreak must stay at home for two weeks.
(Reporting by Francesco Guarascio @fraguarascio and Jakub Riha)

2/25/2020 Dow, S&P 500 fall 3% as coronavirus spread fans fears
Iranian people wear protective masks to prevent contracting coronavirus, as they sit in taxi
in Tehran, Iran February 25, 2020.WANA (West Asia News Agency)/Nazanin Tabatabaee via REUTERS
    NEW YORK (Reuters) – The Dow and S&P 500 tumbled 3% on Tuesday in their fourth straight day of losses as the coronavirus spread further around the world and investors offloaded risky assets as they struggled to gauge the economic impact.
Based on the latest available data, the Dow Jones Industrial Average <.DJI> fell 880.79 points, or 3.15%, to 27,080.01, the S&P 500 <.SPX> lost 97.59 points, or 3.03%, to 3,128.3 and the Nasdaq Composite <.IXIC> dropped 255.67 points, or 2.77%, to 8,965.61.
(Reporting by Caroline Valetkevitch; Editing by Chris Reese)

2/26/2020 Oil down $1.52 to $49.82, DOW down 879 to 27,081.

2/26/2020 U.S. health officials urge Americans to prepare for spread of coronavirus by Julie Steenhuysen and Diane Bartz
A man wears a face mask while waiting for a public bus in the Chinatown section
of San Francisco, California, U.S., February 25, 2020. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton
    WASHINGTON/CHICAGO (Reuters) – The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Tuesday alerted Americans to begin preparing for the spread of coronavirus in the United States after infections surfaced in several more countries.
    The announcement signaled a change in tone for the Atlanta-based U.S. health agency, which had largely been focused on efforts to stop the virus from entering the country and quarantining individuals traveling from China.
    “The data over the past week about the spread in other countries has raised our level of concern and expectation that we are going to have community spread here,” Dr. Nancy Messonnier, the CDC’s head of respiratory diseases, told reporters on a conference call.
    What is not known, she said, is when it will arrive and how severe a U.S. outbreak might be.    “Disruption to everyday life might be severe” and businesses, schools and families should begin having discussions about the possible impact from the spread of the virus, Messonnier cautioned.
    In a teleconference later on Tuesday, Dr. Anne Schuchat, the CDC’s principal deputy director, said that while the immediate risk in the United States was low, the current global situation suggested a pandemic was likely.
    “It’s not a question of if.    It’s a question of when and how many people will be infected,” Schuchat said.
    Separately, U.S. Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar told a Senate subcommittee there will likely be more cases in the United States, and he asked lawmakers to approve $2.5 billion in funding to fight the outbreak after proposing cuts to the department’s budget.
    “While the immediate risk to individual members of the American public remains low, there is now community transmission in a number of countries, including outside of Asia, which is deeply concerning,” Azar said, adding that recent outbreaks in Iran and Italy were particularly worrying.
    Believed to have originated from illegal wildlife sold in the Chinese city of Wuhan late last year, the new coronavirus has infected some 80,000 people and killed close to 2,700 in China.
    Although the World Health Organization says the epidemic has peaked in China, coronavirus cases have surfaced in about 30 other countries, with some three dozen deaths reported, according to a Reuters tally.
Growing outbreaks in Iran, Italy and South Korea have raised concerns that coronavirus will surface in other nations and worsen in those that have already reported infections, further denting a global economy that had already been hit by a dependence on China.
    Global and U.S. stock markets fell sharply again on Tuesday, as investors feared the epidemic would further damage an already slowing world economy. [nL3N2AQ000]
    The White House’s top economic adviser, Larry Kudlow, said the U.S. economy would be able to ride out any disruption from the global spread of coronavirus, adding that he did not expect the Federal Reserve to cut interest rates to blunt the disease’s economic impact.
    U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer, however, said Republican President Donald Trump and his administration had been caught “flat-footed” and lacked a comprehensive plan to deal with the coronavirus.    He called for at least $3.1 billion in additional funding to fight it.
    “The Trump administration has shown towering and dangerous incompetence when it comes to the coronavirus,” said Schumer, the Senate’s top Democrat.    “Mr. President, you need to get your act together now.    This is a crisis.”
    Trump defended his administration’s response.    “CDC and my Administration are doing a GREAT job of handling Coronavirus, including the very early closing of our borders to certain areas of the world,” Trump said on Twitter.
    Dr. Anthony Fauci, the head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said it would be at least a year before a coronavirus vaccine could be made available to the public.
    But Fauci said testing Gilead Sciences’ antiviral drug remdesivir for potential treatment of coronavirus could be done in a “reasonable amount of time.”
‘DEADLY CONSEQUENCES’
    U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told reporters that Iran may have covered up information about the spread of coronavirus there, and he accused China of mishandling the epidemic through its “censorship” of media and medical professionals.
    “The United States is deeply concerned by information indicating the Iranian regime may have suppressed vital details about the outbreak in that country,” Pompeo told reporters as Iran’s coronavirus death toll rose to 16.
“All nations, including Iran, should tell the truth about the coronavirus and cooperate with international aid organizations,” Pompeo said.     His remarks, coming less than two months after a short-lived U.S.-Iranian military clash and the signing of a U.S.-China trade deal, could inflame tensions with Tehran and Beijing.
    Beijing last week revoked the credentials of three Wall Street Journal correspondents over a column China said was racist.    The United States has said it was considering a range of responses to their expulsion.
    “Expelling our journalists exposes once again the government’s issue that led to SARS and now the coronavirus: namely censorship. It can have deadly consequences,” Pompeo said, referring to the 2002-2003 outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, which also emerged from China.
    “If China permitted its own and foreign journalists and medical personnel to speak and investigate freely, Chinese officials and other nations would have been far better prepared to address the challenge” of coronavirus, he added.
    Despite the coronavirus epidemic, Pompeo said the United States still planned to host a special meeting with the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in Las Vegas in March.
(Reporting by Julie Steenhuysen in Chicago, Humeyra Pamuk, Richard Cowan, Susan Heavey, Tim Ahmann and Diane Bartz in Washington, Michael Erman in New York and Manas Mishra in Bangalore; Writing by Paul Simao; Editing by Bill Berkrot and Jonathan Oatis)

2/26/2020 President Trump says CNN, NBC ‘panicking markets’ with their coronavirus coverage by OAN Newsroom
President Donald Trump turns while speaking to the media as he leaves the White House,
Sunday, Feb. 23, 2020, in Washington, en route to India. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
    President Trump recently blasted the mainstream media for causing unnecessary alarm about the coronavirus.    He took to Twitter Wednesday to state that NBC and CNN are “doing everything possible” to make the coronavirus outbreak seem “as bad as possible.”
    The president also added that their Democrat comrades are “all talk and no action” when it comes to the issue.
    President Trump went on to stress the U.S. is in “great shape.”    On Tuesday, he said his administration is doing everything they can to keep the coronavirus from spreading.
    “We’re working very hard, we’re spending a tremendous amount of money also,” he stated during a recent business roundtable.    “We just asked for $2.5 billions on getting everything ready just in case something should happen and also helping other nations who really aren’t equipped to do it.”
    Meanwhile, Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar testified before a House panel Wednesday on the administrations response to the virus.    Lawmakers pressed him on questions regarding the president’s 2021 budget request, along with concerns related to the spread of the infectious disease.
    Democrats have claimed the president’s budget would eliminate “groundbreaking funding” for the safety and wellness of Americans.    However, Azar assured Americans will not be in harms way anytime soon.
    “We have three cases among Americans from Wuhan and 42 cases from the Diamond Princess (cruise ship),” explained the HHS secretary.    “The immediate risk to the American public remains low, but there is now community transmission in a number of countries, including outside of Asia, which is deeply concerning..”
Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar testifies before a Senate Appropriations subcommittee on
President Donald Trump’s budget request for fiscal year 2021, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2020.
President Donald Trump said Tuesday that the urgent $2.5 billion plan for coronavirus he sent to lawmakers will prepare
the nation in case of an outbreak in the U.S. and help other nations unprepared to handle the threat. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
    Azar ended the hearing by saying the Trump administration will continue to be aggressively transparent as the outbreak and the country’s response evolves.
    President Trump will be having a news conference to further discuss the coronavirus with CDC representatives and others on Wednesday.    One America News will provide full coverage of the entire briefing at 6 p.m. EST / 3 p.m. PST.

2/26/2020 First clinical trial for drug to treat coronavirus underway at University of Nebraska Medical Center by OAN Newsroom
Dr. Andre Kalil, of the University of Nebraska Medical Center, speaks in Omaha, Neb., Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2020.
Dr. Kalil, Kalil, who will oversee a clinical trial of the coronavirus at the medical center, said the study developed
quickly in response to the virus outbreak that is centered in China. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)
    Clinical trials are officially underway in Nebraska for a drug designed to combat the deadly coronavirus.    The trials began on Tuesday and are being conducted at the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) in Omaha.
    In a recent statement, the medical center said the tests will evaluate the safety and efficiency of the drug in hospitalized adults who have already been diagnosed with the virus.
    The first trial participant is an American volunteer who was repatriated after being quarantined on the Diamond Princess cruise ship that docked in Japan earlier this month.
    Meanwhile, health officials have said they expect to conduct the tests on hundreds of individuals across the globe.
    “The plan for the trial is to test in close to 400 patients, that’s going to be the total amount of patients enrolled in the trial,” explained Dr. Andre Kalil, an infectious diseases specialist at UNMC.    “…studies in animals have shown it cleared off the medication, but we don’t know if the medication will have the same effect in human beings and that’s why we we need to test in this randomized trial.”
    This marks the first trial in the U.S. to evaluate possible treatment for the virus.

2/26/2020 Bloomberg almost says he ‘bought’ Congress in debate stage gaffe by OAN Newsroom
Democratic presidential candidates former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg, speaks during a Democratic
presidential primary debate at the Gaillard Center, Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2020, in Charleston, S.C., co-hosted
by CBS News and the Congressional Black Caucus Institute. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
    Democrat presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg made a gaffe on the debate stage by almost saying he “bought” congressional candidates.
    During the Democrat presidential debate in South Carolina Tuesday, he appeared to fumble his words when expressing his influence in getting Democrats into the House.    Bloomberg boasted spending more than $100 million to get 21 Democrats elected in the 2018 midterm elections.    The blunder seemed to come near the end of his remarks.
    Many of Bloomberg’s opponents have slammed the former New York City mayor by alleging he’s trying to buy his way through the election.    The Bloomberg campaign is waiting to see how the gaffe bodes going into the South Carolina primary on Saturday.

2/26/2020 De Blasio slams Bloomberg over stop-and-frisk policy by OAN Newsroom
Democratic presidential candidates, former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg, walks off stage during a
commercial break in a Democratic presidential primary debate at the Gaillard Center, Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2020,
in Charleston, S.C., co-hosted by CBS News and the Congressional Black Caucus Institute. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
    Bill De Blasio has claimed the only reason Mike Bloomberg has apologized for stop-and-frisk is because he’s running for president.    The New York City mayor issued his latest attack against Bloomberg in a tweet on Tuesday.
    During the South Carolina debates, Bloomberg said he was embarrassed for supporting stop-and-frisk while he was the mayor of New York City.
    “We started it…we adopted a policy which had been in place; the policy that all big police departments use of stop-and-frisk,” said Bloomberg.    “What happened, however, was it got out of control.”
    De Blasio noted that Bloomberg stood by stop-and-frisk until last year, adding that if he weren’t running for president then there would have never been an apology.

2/26/2020 Greece confirms first coronavirus case, a woman back from Milan
View of the entrance of the AHEPA hospital, where the first confirmed coronavirus case is
being treated, in Thessaloniki, Greece, February 26, 2020. REUTERS/Alexandros Avramidis
    ATHENS (Reuters) – A Greek woman who recently returned home from northern Italy became Greece’s first coronavirus case and is being closely monitored, while authorities have ordered the closing of one school in Thessaloniki, the health ministry said on Wednesday.
    No further information was immediately available on the previous movements of the 38-year-old woman, though Greek media said she had returned to Greece from Milan by air on Feb. 23.
    Greece has not introduced any travel restrictions to Italy, which is the country in Europe most affected by the outbreak with more than 370 cases and 12 deaths reported.
    “She is in good health and is being monitored by a team of exceptional colleagues in Thessaloniki,” health ministry representative Sotiris Tsiodras told a news briefing.
    Authorities are in the process of identifying people the woman has come into contact with, he said, adding that those who have been in close proximity would be placed in isolation.
    A health ministry official said 10-15 people the patient had been in touch with had already been quarantined.
    “We are tracing the people who came in contact with her.    Also the airline and, as protocol says, with passengers who were at a specified proximity and crew members,” Health Minister Vassilis Kikilias told reporters.
    He also canceled all leave for staff at his ministry and at all state-run hospitals nationwide until further notice.
    The Health and Education ministries ordered the “precautionary” closing of one school in Thessaloniki, where the woman is hospitalized, for a day, without providing further details.
    Coronavirus is believed to have originated in a market selling wildlife in the Chinese city of Wuhan late last year and has infected about 80,000 people and killed more than 2,700, the vast majority in China.
    It causes respiratory symptoms similar to a cold or flu and like other respiratory infections, it spreads between people in droplets from coughs and sneezes.
    On Tuesday, authorities in Athens unveiled a contingency plan which includes school closures, bans on public gatherings and suspension of all means of public transport in the event of a health emergency.
    “The first case of coronovirus has been confirmed in our country.    It was something we expected and we are absolutely prepared,” Kikilias said.
    Greece, which has 11 million people but attracts more than 30 million foreign tourists annually, has identified 13 hospitals across the country for treating infected patients.
(Reporting by Renee Maltezou and George Georgiopoulos, writing by Michele Kambas; Editing by Gareth Jones, Kirsten Donovan)

2/26/2020 Assange complains he cannot follow U.S. extradition hearing by Andrew MacAskill
FILE PHOTO: A protester holds a sign outside Woolwich Crown Court, ahead of a hearing to decide whether Assange
should be extradited to the United States, in London, Britain, February 24, 2020. REUTERS/Hannah Mckay
    LONDON (Reuters) – Julian Assange complained he was struggling to follow his extradition hearing on Wednesday as his legal team argued Britain should not send him to the United States because the charges against him were politically motivated.
    Assange, 48, faces 18 counts in the U.S. including conspiring to hack government computers and violating an espionage law for publishing thousands of classified diplomatic cables.    He faces decades in prison if convicted.
    But the Wikileaks founder complained he was struggling to hear proceedings from his position in the dock at Woolwich Crown Court and asked to be able to sit with his lawyers.
    “I am as much a participant in these proceedings as I am at Wimbledon (tennis),” he told the judge.    “I cannot communicate with my lawyers or ask them for clarifications.”
    On the third day of the hearing, Assange said he was also unable to communicate privately with his lawyers because of microphones in the dock and unnamed U.S. embassy officials in the courtroom.
    Assange’s legal team will submit a formal application for him to leave the dock on Thursday after judge Vanessa Baraitser said such a move was not a risk assessment she could make and questioned whether he would still technically be in custody if allowed out of the dock.
    She said most defendants normally sit in the dock and that she could not make exceptions but she did however ask Assange’s legal team to make a formal application that he should be able to move.
    James Lewis, for the U.S. government, said he would not object if Assange were allowed to sit in the well of the court handcuffed to a security official.
POLITICAL CHARGES
    Earlier, Assange’s lawyer, Edward Fitzgerald, said extradition for political offences was not allowed under the Anglo-US Extraditions Treaty set up in 2003.
    Violent crimes and terrorism were the only type of political crimes that the treaty allows people to be extradited for, he said.
    His legal team compared Assange to the British Iraq war whistleblower Katharine Gun and Alfred Dreyfus, a Jewish artillery officer in the French army who in 1894 was convicted of treason and shipped to a penal colony off South America’s Atlantic coast.
    Fitzgerald also argued that the court needed to consider various protections enshrined in both international law and the European Convention of Human Rights.
    But Lewis for the U.S. disagreed with the claim that espionage is a political offense.
    He said earlier this week that Assange had put lives at risk by disseminating classified materials through Wikileaks.
    The United States asked Britain to extradite Assange last year after he was pulled from the Ecuador embassy in London, where he had spent seven years holed up to avoid being sent to Sweden over sex crime allegations which have since been dropped.
(Editing by Stephen Addison)

2/26/2020 Brazil confirms first coronavirus case in Latin America by Lisandra Paraguassu and Carolina Mandl
A woman wearing a protective mask stands in front Albert Einstein Hospital, following the
coronavirus outbreak, in Sao Paulo, Brazil February 26, 2020. REUTERS/Rahel Patrasso
    BRASILIA/SAO PAULO (Reuters) – Brazil confirmed the first case of a fast-spreading new coronavirus in Latin America on Wednesday, diagnosing a 61-year-old man in Sao Paulo who returned recently from Italy.
    The official diagnosis comes during Brazil’s carnival holiday, a peak time for domestic travel when millions of revelers throng to major cities for raucous street celebrations.
    Brazilian stocks tumbled nearly 5% on Wednesday in their first trading since Friday, following a holiday closure when global bourses dropped sharply on concerns about the epidemic.
    “We still don’t have all the answers for how coronavirus will behave in the Southern Hemisphere,” Health Minister Luiz Henrique Mandetta said, noting that Brazil’s tropical climate and late summer weather could slow the spread of the disease.
    Mandetta said there are 20 suspected cases of the new coronavirus in the country and he expects that number to jump as more Brazilian tourists cut their travels short in coming days.
    The minister added that there was some concern about the steady supply of medical equipment such as masks made in China, where the outbreak began.
    Brazil’s first confirmed patient, a Sao Paulo resident, had traveled to Lombardy, in northern Italy, from Feb. 9 to Feb. 21 and had symptoms compatible with the disease, the ministry said.
    Italy has been hardest hit by the outbreak in Europe, with more than 350 cases reported and 11 deaths.
    The Brazilian patient remains in good health and will be monitored in isolation for the next 14 days, the Albert Einstein Hospital in Sao Paulo said in a written statement.
    Officials are reaching out to early 60 people who had contact with the patient, including his wife and some passengers sitting near him on a flight.    On Sunday, a day before he went to the hospital, the patient received nearly 30 people at his home.
    In the state of Pernambuco, a 51-year-old woman arrived this week from Italy with mild flu symptoms, according to the state health secretariat.
    The hardest-hit stocks on the Sao Paulo stock exchange included airlines Gol and Azul, both down around 10%.    Iron ore miner Vale, which relies on Chinese demand for much of its revenue, dropped nearly 7%.
    The new coronavirus is believed to have originated in the Chinese city of Wuhan late last year and has infected about 80,000 people and killed more than 2,700, the vast majority in China.
(Reporting by Lisandra Paraguassu in Brasilia and Carolina Mandl in Sao Paulo; Additional reporting by Anthony Boadle; Editing by Brad Haynes, Gareth Jones and Nick Zieminski)

2/26/2020 New coronavirus cases in Germany, one man in critical condition
Cars are parked outside the Klinik am Eichert hospital in Goeppingen, Germany, February 26, 2020, after
a positive coronavirus case was confirmed in the state of Baden Wuerttemberg. Reuters/Timm Reichert
    BERLIN (Reuters) – A 25-year-old man living in the southern German state of Baden-Wuerttemberg has tested positive for coronavirus after a trip to Milan, and another man further north is in a critical condition with the disease, authorities said on Tuesday.
    The Baden-Wuerttemberg health ministry said the man in the southern state, who had likely become infected during his visit to Italy, had contacted authorities after coming down with flu-like symptoms.    He will be treated in isolation, it added.
    “People in close contact with the patient will be kept in home isolation and be asked about their state of health every day,” it said.    “As soon as a contact person develops symptoms, they will also be isolated in hospital.”
    In North Rhine-Westphalia, the state health ministry said the man there was admitted to hospital on Monday afternoon with symptoms of severe pneumonia.
    “The patient is in a critical condition and is currently being isolated in the intensive care unit,” the ministry said.
    “The patient’s wife is also being treated as an in-patient with symptoms of a viral disease.    Her condition is currently stable.    The diagnosis on whether she has also been infected with the virus is still pending,” it added in a statement.
    Schools and kindergartens in the Heinsberg district of North Rhine-Westphalia, where the man is from, will remain closed on Wednesday as a precaution, the ministry said.
    The new confirmed cases take to 18 the total number of coronavirus cases in Germany.    There have been no deaths.
    Car supplier Webasto said last month a Chinese employee had tested positive for the virus upon returning to China following a visit to the company headquarters near Munich.    The employee apparently infected several German colleagues during the visit.
    The new coronavirus, believed to have originated from illegal wildlife sold in the Chinese city of Wuhan late last year, has infected some 80,000 people and killed more than 2,600 people, most of them in China.
    Neighbouring Switzerland confirmed its first case of the coronavirus earlier on Tuesday.    Austria also confirmed its first two cases on Tuesday.
(Reporting by Thomas Escritt and Paul Carrel; Editing by Alison Williams and Jonathan Oatis)

2/26/2020 President Trump: Admin. has had tremendous success in keep coronavirus contained by OAN Newsroom
President Donald Trump, with Vice President Mike Pence, and other members of the President’s Coronavirus Task Force speaks during
a news conference in the Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House, Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
    On Wednesday, President Trump delivered an update on the handling of the coronavirus in the U.S. He emphasized that the administration’s number one priority is to keep the American people safe.
    During a rare address from the White House briefing room, the president touted the tremendous success his administration has had with containing the disease, including the screening of people from regions with infections.
    He added the U.S. is working on a number of potential vaccines, one of which is ready for trials.
    The president went on to cite a recent report, which named the U.S. as the country most prepared to handle the coronavirus.
    “We have the greatest experts in the world right here, people that are called upon by other countries when things like this happen,” he said.    “We’re ready to adapt, and we’re ready to do whatever we have to as the disease spreads, if it spreads.”
    Moving forward, he announced that Vice President Mike Pence will head the coronavirus task force.    Pence is expected to reach out to state governors to ensure they have the resources they need to combat the virus.
    “I know full well the importance of presidential leadership…and the vital role of partnerships of state and local governments, (as well as) health authorities, in responding to the potential threat of dangerous, infectious diseases,” stated the vice president.
President Donald Trump listens as Vice President Mike Pence speaks during a news conference about coronavirus in the
Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House, Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
    During the press conference, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar thanked the president for his strong leadership.    He said he “could not be more delighted that you’ve asked the vice president…to lead this whole government approach with us.”
    “The president’s early and decisive actions, including travel restrictions, have succeeded in buying us incredibly valuable time,” stated Azar.    “This has helped us contain the spread of the virus, handle the cases we have, and prepare for the possibility that we will need to mitigate broader spread of infections within the United States.”
    The secretary went on to say that the threat of the coronavirus in the U.S. remains low.
    “We’re grateful for hard work that healthcare workers, first responders, communities, state and local leaders have put into the response so far,” he added.    “Because of this hard work and the president’s leadership, the immediate risk to the American public continues to be low.”
President Donald Trump, with members of the president’s coronavirus task force, speaks during a news conference in the
Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House, Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

2/26/2020 Nikki Haley: Socialism failed everywhere by OAN Newsroom
FILE – In this Dec. 3, 2018 file photo, then-U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley speaks
during the Hudson Institute’s 2018 Award Gala in New York. (AP Photo/Kevin Hagen, File)
    Former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley has said “we must promise each other and future generationsa” that America will never become a socialist country.    On Wednesday, Haley stated an entire generation of Americans has grown up without knowing the suffering caused by socialism in the 20th century.
    She also claimed Democrat presidential candidates are embracing socialism and has called apparent front-runner Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-Vt.) an “avowed socialist.”
    “Right now, the Democratic presidential front-runner is an avowed socialist named Bernie Sanders,” stated Haley.    “Only in a prosperous country like America can people be so flippant about capitalism and so naive about socialism.”
    Haley added that socialism is the polar opposite of capitalism. She stressed that socialism has had a harmful impact wherever it was implemented.
    “Socialism has failed everywhere it’s ever been tried. Instead of prosperity, it leads to poverty. Instead of opportunity, it creates dependency.    Instead of liberty, it means oppression at home and often means aggression abroad. Instead of hope for a better tomorrow, socialism means a living nightmare every single day.” – Nikki Haley, Former Governor of South Carolina

2/26/2020 Calif. housing crisis forces residents onto the streets by OAN Newsroom
FILE – In this July 1, 2019 file photo, a homeless man moves his belongings from a street near
Los Angeles City Hall, background, as crews prepared to clean the area. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel, File)
    It’s called the Golden State because it doesn’t come cheap.    California’s high cost of living has been forcing people to either live on the streets or in vehicles.    According to new reports, more than 16,000 Los Angeles residents reported living in their cars in 2019.
    “This is an unprecedented crisis in LA,” stated Los Angeles Mission President Herb Smith.    “We have seen a 12 to 16 percent increase (in housing costs) in Skid Row, while we’ve seen an increase across the state, some 20 to 35 percent.”
    In San Francisco, the cost of living is even higher.
    “In Los Angeles, its $2,200 a month for a place to yourself.    It’s $3,600 a month in San Francisco, and 40 percent of Americans can’t afford a $400 emergency expense.    35 percent of millennials are living with their parents.    I mean, what do all these stats tell you? It tells you that housing is unaffordable.” – Elvina Beck, CEO of PodShare
    1,800 people reported living in their cars in San Francisco last year, which was a 45 percent jump from 2017.    According to the latest city census, an additional 9,700 reported living on the streets.
    State officials have said more people are turning to recreational vehicles rather than renting an apartment or buying a home.    Trailers line the streets of Silicon Valley, which is home to the nation’s most powerful tech companies.
    Those who have lived in RVs included employees of companies like Google and Facebook.
Children from two homeless families relocated at the Safe Landing for Families, play at
the property yard in Los Angeles Monday, Feb. 24, 2020. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)
    While the rising cost of housing has been talked about among lawmakers, residents have said they are not seeing change.
    “It’s an ongoing and growing crisis until we can sustain the fundamentals of housing, mental health treatment, drug addiction and the economic empowerment of individuals through employment,” added Smith.
    President Trump has held the issue against his opponents during the duration of his presidency.
    “You see what’s happening in California,” he said.    “They just announced a plan to give free healthcare to illegal immigrants when it could very well be used, all of that money, to provide housing, hospitalization and medical for the rising number of homeless people.”
A homeless man occupies part of a sidewalk in a Johannesburg suburb, Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2020. (AP Photo/Denis Farrell)
    In the meantime, the Department of Housing and Urban Development has provided grants to hard-hit areas to contribute to relief efforts.    Los Angeles County was granted about $139 million in 2018.
    Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) has sponsored a bill to boost federal spending on homelessness by $13 billion over the next 10 years.    State leaders are also working on a package of eight proposals, which they have said will lower home construction fees and the cost of homes.

2/27/2020 Oil down $1.45 to $48.65, DOW down 124 to 26,958.

2/27/2020 Court backs Trump in ‘sanctuary’ fight by Larry Neumeister, ASSOCIATED PRESS
    NEW YORK – The Trump administration can withhold millions of dollars in law enforcement grants to force states to cooperate with U.S. immigration enforcement, a federal appeals court in New York ruled Wednesday in a decision that conflicted with three other federal appeals courts.
    The ruling by the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan overturned a lower court’s decision ordering the administration to release funding to New York City and seven states – New York, Connecticut, New Jersey, Washington, Massachusetts, Virginia and Rhode Island.
    The states and city sued the U.S. government after the Justice Department announced in 2017 that it would withhold grant money from cities and states until they gave federal immigration authorities access to jails and provide advance notice when someone in the country illegally is about to be released.
    Before the change, cities and states seeking grant money were required only to show they were not preventing local law enforcement from communicating with federal authorities about the immigration status of people who were detained.
    At the time, then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions said: “So-called ‘sanctuary’ policies make all of us less safe because they intentionally undermine our laws and protect illegal aliens who have committed crimes.”
    In 2018, the Justice Department imposed additional conditions on the grant money, though challenges to those have not yet reached the appeals court in New York.
    The 2nd Circuit said the plain language of relevant laws makes clear that the U.S. attorney general can impose conditions on states and municipalities receiving money.
    And it noted that the U.S. Supreme Court has repeatedly observed that the federal government maintains broad power over states when it comes to immigration policies.
    In the past two years, federal appeals courts in Chicago, Philadelphia and San Francisco have ruled against the federal government by upholding lower-court injunctions placed on the enforcement of some or all of the challenged conditions.    “While mindful of the respect owed to our sister circuits, we cannot agree that the federal government must be enjoined from imposing the challenged conditions on the federal grants here at issue,” the 2nd Circuit three-judge panel said in a decision written by Judge Reena Raggi.
    “These conditions help the federal government enforce national immigration laws and policies supported by successive Democratic and Republican administrations.    But more to the authorization point, they ensure that applicants satisfy particular statutory grant requirements imposed by Congress and subject to Attorney General oversight,” the appeals court said.
    The Justice Department praised the decision, issuing a statement calling it a “major victory for Americans.”
    Cody Wofsy, a staff attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union, called the decision a “real outlier,” saying he believed the 2nd Circuit was the nation’s first court to side with the Trump administration on the issue.
‘Sanctuary’ policies make all of us less safe because they intentionally undermine our laws and protect illegal
aliens who have committed crimes
,” then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in 2018. MANUEL BALCE CENETA/AP

2/27/2020 Pentagon urged to not help fund wall by Lolita C. Baldor, ASSOCIATED PRESS
    WASHINGTON – Lawmakers from both parties told Pentagon leaders on Wednesday that the Defense Department is undermining its own efforts to get military money by diverting billions of dollars for the construction of President Donald Trump’s U.S.-Mexico border wall The chairman of the House Armed Services Committee and the committee’s top Republican warned Defense Secretary Mark Esper that overturning congressional funding decisions to shift money for the wall is an enormous problem that will have consequences.
    The plan to shift money has triggered rare Republican opposition to one of Trump’s priorities.
    Rep. Mac Thornberry, R-Texas, said the result might be that Congress will place greater restrictions on the Pentagon’s ability to move money around to meet military needs.    The chairman, Democratic Rep. Adam Smith of Washington, said the money transfer is “very, very damaging to the Pentagon.”
    “The message it sends is the Pentagon has plenty of money,” Smith said.
    The Pentagon announced this month that it was slashing billions of dollars in funding for Navy and Air Force aircraft and other military programs to free up money for the construction of the wall.
[WE DEFINITELY KNOW WHICH CONGRESS PERSONS ARE TRYING TO KEEP TRUMP FROM BUILDING THE WALL AND THE REALITY THE PENTAGON WANTS TO DO IT, BUT NO IT MEANS CONGRESS IS SPENDING TOO MUCH MONEY AND NEEDS TO BE STREAMLINED ALSO.].

2/27/2020 Operation Chaos: S.C. GOP encourages members to vote Sanders in Democrat primaries by OAN Newsroom
Democratic presidential candidate, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., pauses as he speaks at a
campaign event in Myrtle Beach, S.C., Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2020. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
    South Carolina Republicans have come up with a tactic to further Bernie Sanders chances of becoming the 2020 Democrat nominee.
    “We are specifically asking for Republicans and Trump supporters all across South Carolina to turn out and vote for Senator Bernie Sanders in the Democratic primary on Saturday,” said conservative activist Stephen Brown.
    The request begs a double take for staunch conservatives living in the deep south.    As South Carolina’s open primary elections are set for Saturday, Republican activists are busy working on what they call ‘Operation Chaos.’
    The statewide mission is to get conservatives and supporters of President Trump to vote for Bernie Sanders amid reports moderate Democrats plan to turn on him if he becomes the Democrat nominee.
    “So we, as Republicans, think that there’s a very reasonable chance that the Democrats might deny the nomination to Bernie Sanders and if they were to do that, we believe it would enrage the left,” explained Brown.
Supporters greet Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., bottom left, at a
campaign event, Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2020, in North Charleston, S.C. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
    With a split Democrat Party, they believe the president’s road to reelection will be that much easier.    The second part to their movement is to protest the state’s open primary system in hopes that the South Carolina General Assembly will change state laws to allow parties to hold closed primary elections in the future.
    “We’ve been pushing and pushing and we keep getting rebuffed, and we thought, well, here’s an opportunity to make a public protest,” said Brown.
    According to officials, South Carolina Democrats have meddled in the Republican primaries for decades.    Meanwhile, Democrats who have heard about ‘Operation Chaos’ are calling it a conspiracy and a hijack.
    “If Republicans want to conspire to derail and hijack our elections this time, then they will be forced to vote in the Democratic Party primary the next time around when they actually have a democracy and allow candidates to compete against one another,” stated State Sen. Marlon Kimpson (D).
    However, Republicans have dismissed those concerns and have argued its a valid way to fight.
    “I’m a military guy; when you’re engaged in a confrontation, you use every tactic available to you especially in this case,” explained conservative activist Ron Tomaccio.    “There’s no dispute that it is absolutely legal.”
    Even as Republicans add fuel to “the Bern” in South Carolina, winning the state poses a real challenge for the self-proclaimed Democrat socialist.    Though he’s still polling high after winning Nevada, Iowa and New Hamsphire, Sanders significantly trails behind contender Joe Biden in recent state polls.

2/27/2020 Trump campaign sues New York Times for libel by OAN Newsroom
President Donald Trump arrives to speak at a campaign rally at Veterans Memorial
Coliseum, Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2020, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
    The Trump campaign has filed a libel lawsuit against the New York Times.    At the center of the suit is an op-ed written last year by journalist Max Frankel.    It was published under the headline “The Real Trump-Russia Quid Pro Quo.”
    Within the article, Frankel accused the Trump campaign of having an “overarching deal” with the Kremlin.    He suggested that agreement was to help then-candidate Donald Trump beat Hillary Clinton for a new pro-Russian foreign policy.    The claim was made despite the special counsel eventually finding no evidence of Russian collusion, following their years-long probe.
    In a statement Wednesday, the New York Times suggested it would fight the lawsuit and win on First Amendment grounds.    In order to prevail, the Trump campaign will need to prove that the false statements in the opinion piece were made with “actual malice,” which is something it believes is “evident.”
    The Trump campaign accused the Times of engaging in a “systematic pattern of bias against” it, which was “designed to maliciously interfere with and damage its reputation.”    It also claimed the Times published the op-ed despite knowing the statements were “100 percent false and defamatory” and would mislead its own readers.
FILE – In this June 28, 2018, file photo, a police officer stands guard outside The New York Times building
in New York. The campaign to reelect President Donald Trump sued The New York Times for defamation Wednesday,
Feb. 26, 2020, saying it was responsible for an essay by a former executive editor for the newspaper that claimed
the campaign made a deal with Russian officials to defeat Hillary Clinton in 2016. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, File)
    The president’s team has suggested the opinion piece could be part of an attempt by the New York Times to “improperly influence” this year’s presidential elections.
    “That’s not an opinion; that’s something much more than an opinion,” President Trump told reporters during Wednesday news conference.    “They did a bad thing and there will be more coming.”
    The campaign is seeking millions of dollars in damages, though an exact dollar amount has yet to be released.

2/27/2020 Rep. Hurd: Coronavirus threat to public still low by OAN Newsroom
File – Rep. Will Hurd (R-Texas) is pictured. (Andrew Harnik/AP Photo)
    GOP congressman Will Hurd (R-Texas) said he trusts the information released by government agencies regarding the coronavirus threat in the U.S.
    In an interview Thursday, he said the CDC and the Department of Health and Human Services have been preparing for this type of case dating back to the days of the avian and swine flu scares.
    The Texas lawmaker pointed out his own hometown of San Antonio itself is dealing with the outbreak by quarantining five people who flew into Lackland Air Force base from China.    He then denied the Trump administration is “playing politics” with its coronavirus response.
    “You cannot hermetically seal the United States of America, but the threat to the general public, according to the CDC as of last night, is still low,” he stated.
    Rep. Hurd said he’s glad people are concerned about the virus because it means they are paying attention and going to be prepared.

2/27/2020 Exclusive: U.S. mulls using sweeping powers to ramp up production of coronavirus protective gear by Ted Hesson and Alexandra Alper
U.S. President Donald Trump holds news conference on the coronavirus outbreak at the
White House in Washington, U.S., February 26, 2020. REUTERS/Carlos Barria
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Donald Trump’s administration is considering invoking special powers through a law called the Defense Production Act to rapidly expand domestic manufacturing of protective masks and clothing to combat the coronavirus in the United States, two U.S. officials told Reuters.
    The use of the law, passed by Congress in 1950 at the outset of the Korean War, would mark an escalation of the administration’s response to the outbreak.    The virus first surfaced in China and has since spread to other countries including the United States.
    U.S. health officials have told Americans to begin preparing for the spread of the virus in the United States.
    The law grants the president the power to expand industrial production of key materials or products for national security and other reasons.     The biggest producers of face masks in the United States include 3M Corp, Honeywell International Inc and Kimberly-Clark Corp.
    Trump, a Republican seeking re-election on Nov. 3, has faced criticism from Democrats over his administration’s response to the outbreak.
    Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar told lawmakers this week that the United States needs a stockpile of about 300 million N95 face masks – respiratory protective devices – to combat the spread of the virus.    The United States currently has only a fraction of that number available for immediate use, Azar testified.
    During an interagency call on Wednesday, officials from HHS and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) discussed the possibility of invoking the Defense Production Act for the manufacture of “personal protective equipment” that can be worn to prevent infection, according to a DHS official.     Such equipment can include masks, gloves and body suits.
    Azar said at a congressional hearing on Wednesday that China controls “a lot of the raw materials as well as the manufacturing capacity” related to face masks.
    “Very little of this stuff is apparently made in the (United) States, so if we’re down to domestic capability to produce, it could get tough,” the DHS official told Reuters.
    A White House official confirmed that the administration was exploring the use of the law to spur manufacturing of protective gear.    Both the DHS official and the White House requested anonymity to discuss the issue.
    “Let’s say ‘Company A’ makes a multitude of respiratory masks but they spend 80% of their assembly lines on masks that painters wear and only 20% on the N95,” the White House official said.    “We will have the ability to tell corporations, ‘No, you change your production line so it is now 80% of the N95 masks and 20% of the other.'
    “It allows you to basically direct things happening that need to get done,” the official added.
    HHS declined to comment.    DHS did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
‘VERY LOW’
    Trump said on Wednesday the coronavirus risk to the United States remained “very low,” but that federal health officials were prepared to take action and that Vice President Mike Pence would take control of the U.S. response.
    Chuck Schumer, the top Senate Democrat, on Thursday accused Trump of “towering and dangerous incompetence” and said the president “must get his act together” on the coronavirus threat.
    Invoking the Defense Production Act is one of a number of options under consideration by the administration to combat the virus, the officials said, and no final decision has been made.    Trump invoked the law in 2017 to address technological shortfalls in a vaccine production capability and other items such as microelectronics.
    The law grants the president broad authority to “expedite and expand the supply of resources from the U.S. industrial base to support military, energy, space, and homeland security programs,” according to a summary on the Federal Emergency Management Agency website.
    Azar testified on Wednesday that the United States has a stockpile of around 12 million of the N95 masks that are in line with certifications from the U.S. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH).    HHS also has another 5 million N95 masks that are no longer NIOSH certified, Azar said, perhaps because they are past the expiration date.
    In addition to those masks, the U.S. government has a stockpile of 30 million “gauze type” surgical masks, which the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has said are less effective because they are loose-fitting.
    Azar said the government needs a stockpile of approximately 300 million N95 masks.
(Reporting by Ted Hesson and Alexandra Alper; Additional reporting by Michael Erman, Jeff Mason and Mike Stone; Editing by Ross Colvin and Will Dunham)

2/27/2020 Italy plays down coronavirus risk as death toll rises, cases jump by Crispian Balmer and Gavin Jones
A view shows Duomo square, as a coronavirus outbreak continues to grow in
northern Italy, in Milan, Italy, February 27, 2020. REUTERS/Yara Nardi
    ROME (Reuters) – Italy’s government, desperate to stave off a likely recession, played down on Thursday the gravity of an outbreak of coronavirus, the worst yet seen in Europe, saying it only impacted a tiny fraction of the country.
    But even as ministers took to the airwaves with reassuring messages, officials said the death toll had risen by five from Wednesday to 17, while the number of people who tested positive for the illness increased by more than 200, to 650.
    “The epidemic of misleading information will do more damage to Italy than the risk of the virus epidemic itself,” Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio told a news conference.    “Only 0.1% of the country is involved.”
    The coronavirus continues to spread across Europe but Italy is the epicenter.    In other European states for example, Germany has some 27 cases, France around 18 cases, and Spain 15.
    Analysts have warned that the outbreak looks set to shunt Italy’s fragile economy into its fourth recession in 12 years, with many businesses in the wealthy north close to a standstill and hotels reporting a wave of cancellations.
    Bologna-based think-tank Prometeia forecast on Thursday that gross domestic product would fall for a second quarter running in the first quarter and decline by 0.3% in 2020 as a whole.
    Even though the outbreak is focused on a small cluster of towns in Lombardy and neighboring Veneto, the local authorities have banned public events across the regions and closed schools, universities, cinemas, theaters and museums.
    Italian authorities now seem concerned that their draconian measures to halt the spread of the virus, including widespread testing of people who had no symptoms, will take a heavy toll on the fragile economy.
    World Health Organisation official Walter Ricciardi said on Thursday Italy’s large-scale testing in affected areas was not in line with WHO guidelines followed in other countries.
    A growing list of countries around the world have reported cases of coronavirus in the last two days because of contacts with Italy. Israel said on Thursday it was barring entry to non-Israelis who had visited Italy in the past two weeks.
    Italian health officials stressed that despite the rising number of cases, the number that had been hospitalized and fully recovered had risen to 45.
QUARANTINE
    In a setback to efforts to present a healthy face to the world, the governor of the region of Lombardy, Attilio Fontana, took to Facebook to announce he had placed himself in quarantine after one of his staff came down with the disease.
    “For now I don’t have any type of infection so I can continue to work … but for two weeks I will try to live in a sort of self-isolation,” he said, donning a surgical mask.
    The previous day medical experts in Italy had stressed that such masks served no useful function for those not infected.
    In another case in Milan, professional services firm Ernst & Young said a staff member had tested positive and they had instructed their employees in northern Italy to work from home.
    A significant spread of the outbreak to Italy’s financial capital, with a population of 1.4 million people, has been one of the authorities’ main fears.
    The right-wing opposition League party has accused Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte of mishandling the crisis and called on Thursday for the creation of a government of national unity.
    “The important thing is not to sink.    With Conte, Italy is sinking.    We are willing to row in a lifeboat for the time strictly necessary to return to democratic normality,” League leader Matteo Salvini told reporters.
    “This government team is not fit to handle normality, let alone an emergency.”
    The government dismissed the attack and vowed to forge ahead to overcome one of the most serious crises Italy has had to deal with for years.
    Asked on Thursday if it wasn’t time for a unity government, Conte said: “We already have one.    The government is united for the nation.”
(Additional reporting by Angelo Amante, Elvira Pollina, Stephen Jewkes and Giselda Vagnoni; Editing by Peter Graff and Alexandra Hudson)

2/27/2020 Scores cleared to leave Tenerife hotel on coronavirus lockdown by Nathan Allen
A woman plays with a child on the hotel terrace in H10 Costa Adeje Palace, which is on lockdown after novel coronavirus
has been confirmed in Adeje, on the Spanish island of Tenerife, Spain, February 27, 2020. REUTERS/Borja Suarez
    TENERIFE, Spain (Reuters) – Some 130 guests were cleared on Thursday to leave a Tenerife hotel placed on lockdown after four cases of the coronavirus were detected there, but Spanish authorities did little to allay concerns of the close to 600 tourists who will remain there.
    On the third day of the H10 Costa Adeje Palace Hotel’s lockdown, only the widespread presence of protective masks gave a glimpse of how unreal life has become for those inside the compound.
    A video from inside the hotel showed guests sunbathing by one of the swimming pools and others serving themselves at a restaurant buffet.    Some, but not all, wore masks, lowering them while eating.
    Lara Pennington from Manchester, staying at the hotel with her children and elderly inlaws, said basic safety measures such as wearing masks and washing hands regularly were being ignored.
    “There are numerous people who are not adhering to the protocol and therefore the environment outside of our rooms still remains very unsafe for us.    We have no intention of leaving our rooms,” she said.
    Carlota, a volunteer nurse about to enter the hotel, told Reuters: “What we are really afraid of is that other people could be infected.    Supposedly in healthy people it is not a deadly virus.    We should not have any problem.”
    A spokesman for the regional government said none of the remaining guests presented any symptoms and they might be cleared before the end of a 14-day isolation period imposed on Wednesday.
    “A decision has been made that frees the hotel from the presence of 130 people,” he said in televised comments.
    Other guests appeared more concerned about being stuck on the hotel grounds.
    “Everything is quite surreal, 95% of the situation remains normal here but we feel encapsulated,” Christopher Betts, from Leicestershire in England, told Reuters by telephone.    “We kill the time by walking around, reading a bit, sitting by the pool.”
    The hotel, which has said it is cooperating with authorities, did not respond to requests for comment, including on who would ultimately pay for the forced extended vacation.
    The holidaymakers’ experiences of adjusting to confinement were similar to those who spent two weeks in quarantine on the Diamond Princess cruiseliner off Yokohama, near Tokyo.
    Just like for some of those passengers, the view from balcony has become their window on the world, which also appeared less lively.
    Most shops nearby shut, as the guests who make up the bulk of their customers were unable to leave the hotel to visit.
    The coronavirus can spread via droplets in the air when an infected person coughs, sneezes or breathes out, and these can also contaminate surfaces such as door handles and railings.
    Spain’s total number of active coronavirus cases rose to 25 on Thursday from 11, with the bulk of them linked to Italy, hit by Europe’s worst outbreak, with over 500 cases and 17 deaths.
    The four infected people in the hotel were all Italians.
(Additional reporting by Paola Luelmo, Emma Pinedo, Joan Faus in Madrid; Writing by Andrei Khalip; editing by John Stonestreet)

2/27/2020 Rep. Collins: Durham probe to produce criminal charges by OAN Newsroom
FILE – In this May 21, 2019, file photo, Rep. Doug Collins, R-Ga., ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee, speaks during
a hearing without former White House Counsel Don McGahn on Capitol Hill in Washington.(AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)
    Rep. Doug Collins (R-Ga.) has said the ongoing probe into the origins of the ‘Russia hoax’ will likely lead to criminal charges.    While speaking at CPAC on Thursday, he announced U.S. attorney John Durham has been looking into potential wrongdoing by top officials in Washington.
    According to Collins, Durham will not release a report, but will instead charge high-ranking bureaucrats based on incoming evidence.    The attorney was appointed by Attorney General William Barr to find out who was responsible for the debunked ‘Russia hoax.’
Collins has claimed the probe will help drain the swamp of corruption in D.C.
    “We started seeing the underbelly of a corrupt party…all these folks who determined that they knew better than the American people,” stated the representative.    “They said, ‘We’re going to try and find a way to stop (President Trump) this man.’
    He added outcomes of the Mueller probe and impeachment proceedings have confirmed left-wing bureaucrats tried to oust a U.S. president, but failed.

2/27/2020 First U.S. case of ‘community spread’ coronavirus confirmed by OAN Newsroom
File – In this Oct. 8, 2015, file photo, is the University of California,
Davis Medical Center in Sacramento, Calif. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, File)
    American citizens remained on high alert after the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) confirmed the first case of ‘community spread’ coronavirus in the United States.    ‘Community spread’ has been defined as an infection that came from an unknown source, meaning the new patient was likely infected secondhand by another person in the U.S.
    On Wednesday night, the CDC reported a patient at UC Davis Medical Center in California had been diagnosed with the virus.
    The agency reportedly put off testing the California patient, who contracted the coronavirus from an unknown source.
    Medical center staff confirmed they had asked CDC officials if this patient was infected with the virus.    Public health officials have said the patient didn’t meet their criteria for testing since they had not traveled to another country with an outbreak or had come into contact with someone who had the disease.
In this photo released by Malaysia’s Ministry of Health, a health worker wearing a full protective suit waits for the
arrival of evacuated Malaysians from China’s Wuhan, the epicenter of the new coronavirus outbreak, at Kuala Lumpur
International Airport in Sepang, Malaysia, Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2020. (Muzzafar Kasim/Malaysia’s Ministry of Health via AP)
    Experts have said this case reveals that limited criteria could be preventing additional coronavirus cases in the U.S. from being reported.
    “That suggests the virus is out there in the community,…that everybody is at risk,” said Dr. Dean Blumberg.    “We don’t know who might be carrying it, we don’t know who we could get it from.”
    This has prompted fears the virus may already exist undetected in the country.    If it does, efforts to contain it will have to focus on minimizing transmissions.
    “That other person probably exposed other people, and you have to realize that this virus is so new that none of us have any immunity to it,” reiterated Blumberg.    “So anybody who’s exposed is at high risk of getting infected.”
Vice President Mike Pence, third from left, accompanied by Surgeon General Jerome Adams, left, Health and
Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, and others, speaks during a coronavirus task force meeting at the
Department of Health and Human Services, Thursday, Feb. 27, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
    This came after President Trump appointed Vice President Mike Pence to lead the nationwide response to the virus.    Pence will head the coronavirus task force and is expected to reach out to state governors to ensure they have the resources they need.
    In a rare address from the White House briefing room this week, the president spoke on the administration’s efforts to contain the virus.    He emphasized the government will spare no expense to keep the public safe.
    “We were asking for $2.5 billion and we think that’s a lot, but the Democrats and Sen. Schumer (D-N.Y.) wants us to have much more than that,” stated President Trump.    “We’re going to spend whatever is appropriate.”
    The CDC has said the newly diagnosed California patient brought the total number of U.S. cases to 60, including the repatriated passengers of the Diamond Princess cruise ship in Japan and the U.S. residents evacuated from China.

2/27/2020 Calif. Gov. Newsom: 33 people tested positive for coronavirus, 8.4K people monitored statewide by OAN Newsroom
California Governor Gavin Newsom speaks to members of the press at a news conference
in Sacramento, Calif., Thursday, Feb. 27, 2020. (AP Photo/Randall Benton)
    More than two dozen people in California have tested positive for the coronavirus and thousands remain under watch statewide.    On Thursday, California Governor Gavin Newsom stated 33 people have tested positive for the virus, while at least 8,400 people are also being monitored.
    Of the 33 people who now have the virus, five have been moved out of state.    This included California’s first ever case with an unknown source.
    “We are currently in deep partnership with CDC on one overriding protocol that drives our principal focus right now: that’s testing,” said Newsom.
    Officials added the threat posed to California remains low.
President Donald Trump listens to Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, speaks about coronavirus during an Black
History Month reception in the East Room of the White House, Thursday, Feb. 27, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
    Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar has said the American public shouldn’t expect “massive hospital isolation” in response to the coronavirus.    During Thursday’s congressional hearing, he explained if the virus spreads in the U.S., it will “look and feel more like a severe flu season.”
    According to Azar, labs around the country will also be provided with more test equipment, which will help provide definitive diagnoses of the virus.    He noted there’s no risk to communities of individuals who have already been quarantined.
    “These are highly contained, controlled environments where, if an individual tests positive,…they can’t remain on military bases,” stated the secretary.    “They’re treated with protective equipment while they get better.”
    Azar told lawmakers he would guarantee public access to a vaccine that treats the virus, even if it was developed in a joint venture with a private enterprise.    This came after he initially received pushback for suggesting a vaccine may not be financially available to some Americans.
A large monitor displaying a map of Asia and a tally of total coronavirus cases, deaths, and recovered, is visible
as Vice President Mike Pence and Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar tour the Secretary’s Operations Center
following a coronavirus task force meeting at the Department of Health and Human Services, Thursday, Feb. 27, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

2/27/2020 Attorney General William Barr: Leftist media advance ‘tyranny of majority’ in U.S. by OAN Newsroom
Attorney General William Barr speaks at the National Religious Broadcasters
Convention Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2020, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)
    Attorney General William Barr has criticized the mainstream media over its widespread left-wing bias.    While speaking at a religious broadcaster’s event in Nashville this week, Barr stated that major news outlets have become “massively consolidated” and “remarkably monolithic in viewpoint.”
    He added the mainstream media today is unable to perform its constitutional duty of preventing “the tyranny of the majority.”    This comes amid fierce media attacks on Barr over his handling of Roger Stone’s case.
    The attorney general claimed corporate media has effectively suppressed the diversity of viewpoints.
    “When the entire press advances along the same track, as Tocqueville put it, the relationship between the press and the energized majority becomes mutually reinforcing,” stated Barr.    “The key to restoring the press in that vital role is to cultivate a greater diversity of voices in the media.”
    He also praised Christian outlets for sharing an alternative view and preventing America from a “slide towards despotism.”
Attorney General William Barr, right, waits as he is introduced by National Religious Broadcasters general counsel
Craig Parshall, left, before speaking at the group’s convention Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2020, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

2/27/2020 Sen. McConnell: Senate to take up coronavirus funding within 2 weeks by OAN Newsroom
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., joined at left by Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., and Majority
Whip John Thune, R-S.D., speaks to reporters on Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2020. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
    Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has confirmed the upper chamber will take up emergency funding on the coronavirus within the next two weeks.    On Thursday, McConnell expressed confidence in the Appropriations Committee, which he has said will carefully consider the right sum needed by the nation.
    However, he called out Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) for requesting the funding and then attacking the White House when it was given.    He has urged Congress to work together and look past partisanship.
    “The Congress must be prepared to work together, across the aisle, in a collaborative way and actually get results.     Fortunately, it appears we will have an opportunity to put this cynicism behind us quickly and move forward in a unified way.    Bipartisan discussions are already underway among our colleagues on the Appropriations Committee.” – Sen. Mitch McConnell, U.S. Senate Majority Leader
    He added that the virus does not care about partisan bickering or political news cycles.
FILE – IN this Jan 15, 2019 file photo, Senate Judiciary Committee committee member Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., questions
William Barr during a Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)
    Meanwhile, Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) has drafted new legislation to secure America’s medical supply chain in the face of the virus’s spread.    Hawley will reportedly reveal the bill, known as the ‘Medical Supply Chain Security Act,’ on Capitol Hill this week.
    The main function of the proposal would be to amend a 1938 act to include the word “device.”    The change would allow the FDA to monitor shortages of drugs and medical devices more accurately.
    The senator has said he believes China has badly mismanaged its handling of the coronavirus in comparison to the U.S.
    “The truth is we don’t know how many cases there are in China, we’ve got to assume there are many more than is being reported,” stated Hawley.    “We need to prepare ourselves in the United States and take every available measure, because this virus is very serious, very dangerous, and the situation is growing increasingly critical.”
    He has said he hopes the bill will ultimately reduce U.S. reliance on China for the manufacture of drugs and supplies.
    Congress is expected to go on recess the week of March 16th.

2/27/2020 Report: Bloomberg considering Andrew Yang for running mate, endorsement by OAN Newsroom
Democratic presidential candidate former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg speaks during a campaign
event at The Rustic restaurant, Thursday, February 27, 2020, in Houston. (AP Photo/Michael Wyke)
    Democrat presidential hopeful Mike Bloomberg has reportedly floated the idea of making former opponent Andrew Yang his running mate.    According to sources close to the matter, Bloomberg’s aides reached out to Yang to see how the pair of entrepreneurs could work together.
    Yang dropped out of the presidential race earlier this month after performing poorly in both the Iowa caucus and the New Hampshire primary.
    “You know, I am the math guy, and it is clear tonight from the numbers that we are not going to win this race,” stated the former presidential contender.    “I am not someone who wants to accept donations and support in a race that we will not win, so tonight I am announcing that I am suspending my campaign for president.”
    Yang is currently a contributor on CNN, but has expressed interest in potentially running in other political races.
Democratic presidential candidate businessman Andrew Yang speaks during the
McIntyre-Shaheen 100 Club Dinner, Saturday, Feb. 8, 2020, in Manchester, N.H. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
    Meanwhile, Bloomberg has touted his enormous personal wealth and recently vowed to flip Texas blue in this year’s upcoming elections.
    “If you want somebody who has the resources to beat Trump, that’s me,” he stated.
    Bloomberg has also endorsed failed senatorial and presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke.    He has said he’s building a coalition of Democrats, Independents and moderate Republicans in Texas to undermine strong support for the president in that state.
    “That’s why I’m running: to stand up for every American who has lost their job, lost their insurance or can’t pay their college tuition,” he said.    “You’ve all heard the slogan, ‘Mike will get it done.’
    Bloomberg has also criticized his Democrat rivals in the race, who he claimed won’t be able to deliver on their promises and can only repeat slogans that are untrue.

2/28/2020 Oil down $1.76 to $46.89, DOW down 1194 to 25,764.

2/28/2020 Coronavirus Map: Tracking the Spread of the Coronavirus Outbreak
    It has sickened more than 82,600 people, at least 2,809 people have died, all but 65 in mainland China.

2/28/2020 Ukraine opens probe into alleged foreign pressure reportedly at the hands of Joe Biden by OAN Newsroom
Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden speaks at a campaign event in Sumter, S.C., Friday, Feb. 28, 2020. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
    Ukraine’s Bureau of Investigation has launched a probe into Joe Biden’s effort to fire the country’s former prosecutor general Viktor Shokin.
    On Thursday, officials said investigators will look into the circumstances of Shokin’s dismissal and whether alleged pressure from a U.S. citizen played a role.
    Though investigators haven’t mentioned the citizen by name, Shokin has openly accused Biden of pushing him out during his time as vice president.
    Biden has denied any wrongdoing, however, the matter has been a significant point of debate. It even sparked the failed impeachment of President Trump after he called for an investigation during his call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
    “They (Ukraine) should investigate the Bidens…likewise China should start an investigation into the Bidens because what happened in China is just about as bad as what happened with Ukraine,” President Trump told reporters.    “So, I would say that President Zelensky, if it were me, I would recommend that they start an investigation…because nobody has any doubt that they (the Bidens) weren’t crooked.”
    Biden has been accused of forcing the firing of Shokin in 2016 to take scrutiny off of his son Hunter who was on the board of Ukraine gas firm Burisma, which was under investigation by Shokin.

    OAN Investigates –First-hand testimony of former Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin by OAN Investigates
    EXCLUSIVE: Watch the unraveling of the biggest political scandal in US history.    Travel with OAN’s Chanel Rion and Rudy Giuliani to Budapest and Kiev to capture explosive first-hand interviews with key Ukrainian officials highlighting DNC collaborated foreign interference into the 2016 presidential election.    Hear the shocking first hand testimony of former Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin on why he was fired and what corruption he uncovered.
    Watch all 3 parts FREE below.
Part One: https://www.youtube.com/watch? v=fn4wety-2ze&t=
Part Two: https://www.youtube.com/watch? v=bk2coidhlz4&t=
Part Three: https://www.youtube.com/watch? v=wrftijtov6i=

    I had trouble opening the above links on Internet Explorer but did on Microsoft Edge but not what it states is opening on You Tube, so you may have to go on to One America Newsroom https://www.oann.com/ to view them.

2/28/2020 President Trump to hold ‘Keep America Great’ rally in North Charleston, S.C. by OAN Newsroom
FILE – In this Feb. 21, 2020 file photo, President Donald Trump speaks during
a campaign rally in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)
    President Trump is set to hold a ‘Keep America Great’ campaign rally in South Carolina.    He will deliver remarks to a crowd of supporters in North Charleston Friday, just one day before the state’s Democrat primary.
    Hundreds of people have already lined up for the event with President Trump teasing the “big rally” in a tweet earlier this week.
    This is one of several rallies being held this election cycle as the president looks to target early primary states.    Back in 2016, President Trump beat Hillary Clinton by 14 percentage points in South Carolina.
    One America News will provide full coverage of the president’s rally starting at 7 p.m. EST / 4 p.m. PST.    The event is set to take place at the North Charleston Coliseum & Performing Arts Center.

2/28/2020 Secy. Pompeo: Decrease in violence in Afghanistan by OAN Newsroom
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo testifies during a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington,
Friday, Feb. 28, 2020, about the Trump administration’s policies on Iran, Iraq and the use of force. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
    On Friday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo gave an update on the situation in the Middle East.    During a hearing before the House Foreign Affairs Committee, he discussed the success of this week’s seven-day peace deal between the U.S. and the Taliban.
    The administration is hoping to sign a formal agreement Saturday to decrease the number American troops in Afghanistan.    However, Pompeo has suggested the deal would only happen if Iran does not interfere.
    “We’ve seen just these last six days a significant reduction in violence in Afghanistan,” stated the secretary.    “We are watching closely to see if the Islamic Republic of Iran begins to take even more active measures, active measures that undermine our efforts at peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan.”
    Secretary of Defense Mark Esper and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg are also expected to meet with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani to announce a joint declaration regarding the peace deal.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo testifies during a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington,
Friday, Feb. 28, 2020, about the Trump administration’s policies on Iran, Iraq and the use of force. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

2/28/2020 President Trump slams media and Democrats, defends his response to coronavirus by OAN Newsroom
President Donald Trump, with Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, speaks during a news conference
at the Brady press briefing room of the White House, Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
    President Trump has doubled down on his response to the coronavirus outbreak.    On Friday, the president credited his administration for limiting the spread of the virus in the U.S.
    He pointed out that while the spread has been fast in several other countries, the scale of the outbreak in the U.S. remains notably small.    The president attributed this to his quick decision to stop flights from infected areas and secure the border.
    He issued similar remarks at the White House on Thursday night.
    “I did something that had never been done before: I closed our borders to certain areas of the world very early,” stated President Trump.    “We’ve never closed the border before.”
    He also tweeted criticism about the Democrats, who he said were too busy wasting time on smearing the Republican Party to act early.
    “I took a lot of heat from the Democrats,” he added.    “They said, ‘Whats he doing?’ because anything I do, they’ll do the opposite.”
FILE – In this Oct. 17, 2019 file photo, acting White House chief of staff
Mick Mulvaney speaks in the White House briefing room in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)
    Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney has emphasized the coronavirus represents a threat to the U.S., but it’s not as serious as prior outbreaks.    While speaking at CPAC 2020, he claimed the mainstream media ignored the threat of the virus early on due to their focus on the “impeachment hoax.”
    He stated these outlets are now reporting on the virus because they think it will “take down the president.”
    The chief of staff has said the outbreak will likely impact public services, but affirmed the U.S. is equipped to deal with the coronavirus.
    “We are the best country in the world prepared to do this, we have been preparing for this for years,” said Mulvaney.
    He pointed out the fatality rate of the coronavirus is about 1.2 percent, which he said was serious, but not “a death sentence.”

2/28/2020 Trump campaign manager: Democrat support for universal healthcare will get people to vote red by OAN Newsroom
Brad Parscale, campaign manager for President Donald Trump, center, wears a red had that reads “Keep N.H. Great” as he arrives to
speak on SiriusXM Satellite Radio at the Red Arrow Diner, Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2020, in Manchester, N.H. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
    President Trump’s campaign manager has said the left’s support of policies like universal healthcare will drive Americans to vote Republican in 2020. While speaking at CPAC on Friday, Brad Parscale stated the idea of “socialized medicine” is not something “people believe in” and will not gain traction in “flyover country.”
    He claimed the divide over healthcare could help the president flip New Hampshire, Minnesota, Nevada and New Mexico, which are four states the Trump campaign lost in 2016.
    Parscale went on to say the Trump campaign is planning to build off its success from 2016.
    “I said to the president, ‘Let’s build an entire fleet before we even take off,'” stated Parscale.    “That’s why it’s firing on all cylinders…its operating better for this party, the future of this party, and the president than any party in our campaign history.”
    He added the strength of the economy will also help sway people to vote red in November.

2/28/2020 Sen. Cruz slams socialism, Sanders at CPAC 2020 by OAN Newsroom
File – Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) is pictured. (Andrew Harnik/AP Photo)
    Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) recently took the stage at CPAC.    While speaking Thursday, Cruz wasted no time in taking aim at the 2020 hopeful Bernie Sanders and his so-called “love affair” with Fidel Castro and socialist Cuba.
    Ted Cruz, whose father is a Cuban immigrant, said he took personal issue with Sanders’ support for a regime that oppressed members of his own family.    The Texas senator also celebrated President Trump for showing enormous courage by taking on China and allowing American businesses, such as cotton markets, to expand.
    Cruz went on to describe a shift in party alignment in the U.S. He pointed out that in the last decade Democrats have chosen between their two traditional support bases: blue collar workers and wealthy California environmentalists.    They end up choosing their wealthier supporters.
    The senator described this as a driving force behind President Trump’s 2016 victory and cited the willful abandonment of workers by Democrat politicians, including Barack Obama and Nancy Pelosi.    According to Cruz, the blue collar workers that the Democrats abandoned have now become the main force behind the Republican Party.
    “If you care about jobs, if you have callouses on your hands, we are now the party (the Republican Party) of truck drivers and steel workers and oil workers and farmers and ranchers and cops and firefighters and waiters and waitresses, and everyone that gets out and works for a living — that’s the Republican Party,” he stated.
    Sen. Cruz went on to praise President Trump’s commitment to these very people and cited historic job market growth with 12,000 new factory jobs created within the past three years.

2/28/2020 President Trump faces off with Democrats over coronavirus funding by OAN Newsroom
President Donald Trump with Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, right, and
other members of the president’s coronavirus task force speaks during a news conference at the Brady press
briefing room of the White House, Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
    President Trump has went head-to-head with Democrats over the amount of money to spend on the coronavirus outbreak.
    On Thursday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer released a joint statement outlining their demands for coronavirus funding.    The Democrats are calling for $6 billion more than what the president initially proposed to fight the spread of the virus.
    “Unfortunately, up until now, the Trump administration has mounted an opaque and often chaotic response to this outbreak,” stated Pelosi.
    This came just one day after President Trump held a press briefing to address the state of matters in the U.S. He appointed Vice President Mike Pence to lead the coronavirus response.
    Democrats have taken to social media to express concern over the vice president as the choice to lead the task force.    However, the president said the Democrats, along with the media, are playing up the threat of the virus for political gain.
    Despite infighting, Pelosi said Congress is coming close to a bipartisan agreement.    Meanwhile, the vice president said he will focus on proving necessary resources to help combat the spread of the virus.
    “In the days ahead, we’re going to make sure that the full resources of the federal government continue to be brought to bear in confronting the coronavirus here at home,” he stated.    “And I look forward to your recommendations and to your counsel, and to carry those recommendations to the president as we continue to deal with this issue.”
    This week the CDC advised schools, hospitals and businesses to prepare for a possible acceleration of the virus.    However, the president said that the risk to Americans remains low.

2/28/2020 As coronavirus slams Italy, paralysis and anxiety spread by Emilio Parodi and Angelo Amante
FILE PHOTO: People queue at a supermarket outside the town of Casalpusterlengo, which has been closed by the Italian
government due to a coronavirus outbreak in northern Italy, February 23, 2020. REUTERS/Guglielmo Mangiapane/File Photo
    MILAN (Reuters) – At the epicenter of Europe’s worst outbreak of coronavirus to date, daily lives have taken on an eerie, aimless calm.    It’s at night that the worry takes over.
    “You can hear the ambulances coming and going, and maybe they’re going to sick people who have nothing to do with the coronavirus but it worries you just the same,” said Davide Benelli from his home in Casalpusterlengo, a town of around 15,000 in Italy’s quarantined “red zone” where the disease broke out a week ago.
    People in the zone wake up to closed cafes, restaurants and schools; farmers worry that planting should be starting around now.    Parents try to keep their children amused with games or jobs around the house, or go on bike rides or drives to break the boredom.
    As the economic shocks triggered by this paralysis in the country’s northern industrial heartland reverberate across Europe, Italians are still trying to get to grips with how a seemingly isolated case could balloon within days, to bring the eurozone’s third-largest economy to the brink of recession.
    Almost 900 coronavirus cases have been confirmed.    Authorities have put part of Italy’s most productive region into lockdown, shut the Venice carnival, one of its main tourist events, and postponed Milan’s showpiece design fair.
    Lombardy, the region around Italy’s financial capital, Milan, sits on the border with Switzerland and is one of the richest and most productive in Europe.    Along with neighboring Veneto, the other main area hit by the coronavirus outbreak, it generates around a third of Italy’s economic output.br>     Economists expect the crisis to tip Italy’s already struggling economy into recession by the end of the first quarter, with knock-on effects likely to last for months.
    “In Veneto, we have 600,000 businesses and we make 150 billion euros ($165 billion) of GDP per year, if we go into recession, Italy will fail,” said Luca Zaia, governor of the region of Veneto.
    The lockdown, which started on Feb. 23, affects 10 towns in Lombardy and one in Veneto and isolates some 50,000 people from the outside world.    Trucks can get in and out with bare essentials, but police roadblocks keep everyone else in.
    Italy’s case reveals how vulnerable a Western economy can be to unexpected outside events.    The red zone and the region around it is a microcosm of the Italian economy.    The area contains everything from warehouses and logistics centers for companies to cheese and dairy processing centers.
    Local engineering unions say some 6,000 manufacturing workers, mainly those living in the red zone, have been sent home or put on short hours.
    “We are very worried.    We’ll have to wait a couple of months for a reliable estimate of the effects on employment … but the initial signals are alarming,” said Andrea Donega, secretary general of the regional branch of the FIM-CISL union.
Banks are taking steps to ensure people can access cash. Banco BPM SpA, one of the region’s main banks, has temporarily stopped charging customers from other banks who use its ATMs.
    The impact is hurting areas of Italy barely touched by the virus. Italy’s tourism federation, Assoturismo, said up to 90% of hotel and travel agency bookings had been canceled in Rome and up to 80% in Sicily for March, as school trips and conferences across the country were called off, and foreigners opted for caution.
    “Italian tourism never experienced a crisis on this scale in recent history.    This is the darkest moment. Not even 9/11 hit our business so hard,” said Assoturismo chief, Vittorio Messina.
HOW DID IT HAPPEN?
    Italians want to know why their country has become the Wuhan of Europe. The first two cases in Italy came to light at the end of January when two Chinese tourists from the city that is ground zero of the deadly disease fell ill during a trip to the country.     The couple were immediately put into isolation, everyone they had come into contact with was tested for the virus, and Italy’s government became the first in Europe to ban all direct flights to and from China, in a bid to halt further contagion. The two Chinese are not believed to have infected anyone else.     “The system of prevention put into place by Italy is the most rigorous in Europe,” Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte told reporters reassuringly on Jan 31.
    His confidence was misplaced.
    On Feb. 21, Lombardy announced that a 38-year-old Italian man, named only as Mattia, from the town of Codogno, 60 km (40 miles) southeast of Milan, had tested positive for the virus.    Within a week, 888 people were confirmed to have caught the disease, of whom 21 had died.
    “We were considered to be the country that had adopted the most drastic and fastest preventative measures,” said Massimo Galli, head of the infectious diseases department at Milan’s Sacco hospital, where some coronavirus patients are being treated.    But he said the epidemic probably started well before Codogno resident Mattia, dubbed “patient one,” fell ill.
    The illness is spread through the air and can leave some people symptom-free while local authorities say about two in 100 develop fatal complications including pneumonia, making it a stealth killer able to infect thousands without their knowing it.
    When Mattia first showed up in the Codogno hospital on Feb. 18, no alarm was raised about his symptoms because he had not been to China, local officials said.
    The consequences were dramatic.
    After spending time in the emergency room that day, surrounded by other sick patients, he decided to return home, the local health authority said.    But his condition worsened and he was back in hospital the next day with no protection in place.
    He was not diagnosed until the night of Feb. 20 and by then he had infected five health workers and at least one fellow patient, besides his pregnant wife and a friend.    They in turn spread the disease before going into quarantine.
    A nurse from the hospital told Reuters on Thursday that he suspected the illness had been circulating days before Mattia arrived seeking help.
    “For at least a week before the first case was discovered, we had observed an abnormal number of pneumonia cases.    All these persons were treated and sent back home,” he said, asking not to be named.
    He said confusion reigned in the hours after news broke that Mattia had tested positive.
    “At the beginning (management) kept us in the hospital for 30 hours.    Then they told us to go home and place ourselves in quarantine.    Eventually, they told us to come back to the hospital,” he added.    “As a result, more health workers than patients were infected in Codogno hospital.”
    The local health agency responsible for the hospital did not immediately respond to a request for comment.    Prime Minister Conte has accused the hospital of mismanaging the case and contributing to spreading the virus, saying it did not follow the right protocols.
    The hospital has said it did, as has Lombardy’s regional government, which oversees the local health service.    It argues that Rome changed its guidelines at the end of January on testing possible coronavirus patients.    The new rules said swabs only had to be taken from people with connections to China — something that did not apply to Mattia.
    Prompted by Conte’s complaint, prosecutors have opened an investigation into the procedures followed by the hospital.    It may take many weeks before they reach any conclusions.
    No one knows who brought the illness to Italy’s wealthy north: Scientists initially believed the unwitting “patient zero” might have been a colleague of the Codogno patient who had recently returned from a business trip in China. But he tested negative, leaving no other obvious candidates.
    Dr. Marino Faccini leads a team of experts in Milan who are tasked with trying to find the source of viral outbreaks.    However, after days of plotting possible paths for the infection, he has drawn a blank.
    “We are (now) working to limit the virus and not so much looking for patient zero, whose (illness) dates back quite some time and is difficult to locate,” Faccini told Reuters.
SHOCK WAVES
    The authorities have had to strike a difficult balance between ensuring public safety and trying to prevent panic.
    “Only 0.1% of the country is involved,” Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio told reporters on Thursday.    But local authorities say they have had to impose broad restrictions to prevent the spread of contagion, which would overload the health service to the point of collapse.
    “If this outbreak spreads, hospitals will face a serious crisis, not only for the coronavirus admissions but for all patients,” the Lombardy regional government said in a statement on Friday.
    In the red zone, only strictly necessary services such as supermarkets are open.    School children have been doing homework remotely and communicating with their teachers by WhatsApp.
    The economic shockwaves have been felt across the country, in businesses of all sizes.    The area is a rich agricultural producer, with around 500 farms and some 100,000 cattle and pigs. With planting due now, “everyone should be working flat out,” said Gianpiero Gruppi, who raises pigs and mixed cereal crops in San Rocco al Porto, near Lodi.
    Instead, two of his farm workers are in lockdown and he and his brother have been forced to do the work of four on their own.    “I don’t know how long we’ll be able to go on like this,” he said.
    The only way to get things in and out is to hand them to police on the checkpoints or leave them to be picked up.
    Carlo Migli, a dairy farmer near Lodi who has 300 head of dairy cattle, has struggled to get the necessary health checks on milk samples because the nearest testing centers are outside the red zone.
    If he can’t get the checks done, he’ll have to throw out daily production of 3,000 liters of milk, he said.
    Local producers worry future sales will suffer as buyers shy away, even though the virus does not affect food safety.    Coldiretti, an agricultural lobby group, has already warned that food products from Italy are facing additional sanitary checks in some places.
    Carlo Cornali, owner of Pasticceria Cornali, a century-old bakery in Codogno which makes a famous biscuit sold locally and beyond, has had to stop production altogether.    Just ahead of the normally busy Easter season, he has canceled his own orders to suppliers.
    “We can’t do anything because the eggs come from outside the red zone,” he said.
    “I don’t know when we’re going to open and if we open, what it will be like, because we’ll have to see the effects of this general psychosis.”
(Angelo Amante reported from Rome; Additional reporting by Andrea Mandala, Elisa Anzolin, Silvia Aloisi; Writing by Crispian Balmer and James Mackenzie; Edited by Sara Ledwith and Jason Szep)

2/28/2020 World Health Organization raises coronavirus risk assessment to ‘very high’ by OAN Newsroom
Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director General of the World Health Organization (WHO), addresses a press conference about the update
on COVID-19 at the World Health Organization headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, Monday, Feb. 24, 2020. (Salvatore Di Nolfi/Keystone via AP)
    The World Health Organization (WHO) has upgraded its risk assessment of the coronavirus to ‘very high’ at a global level and warned governments around the world not to take the outbreak lightly.
    According to the agency’s director general, the increase in the number of cases and the number of affected countries is a major concern.    Since Thursday, Denmark, Estonia, Lithuania, Netherlands and Nigeria have all reported their first cases of the virus.    Notably, all of these cases have been linked to Italy.
    “What we see at the moment are linked epidemics of COVID-19 in several countries, but most cases can still be traced to known contacts or clusters of cases,” explained WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom.    “We do not see evidence as yet that the virus is spreading freely in communities.”
    He added there is still a chance of containing the virus if immediate action is taken to detect cases early and isolate known patients.

In this photo released by Malaysia’s Ministry of Health, a health worker wearing a full protective suit waits for the
arrival of evacuated Malaysians from China’s Wuhan, the epicenter of the new coronavirus outbreak, at
Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Sepang, Malaysia, Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2020. (Muzzafar Kasim/Malaysia’s Ministry of Health via AP)
    Meanwhile, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has said the U.S. is offering humanitarian assistance to Iran and other countries amid the deadly coronavirus outbreak.
    Democrats have grilled Pompeo on the Trump administration’s handling of tensions with the Islamic Republic.    They accused the administration of not sharing information with Iran about the deadly disease.
    Pompeo denied these allegations and instead stated Iran has not been forthright with information about the outbreak in the region.
    “Their healthcare infrastructure is not robust and to date, their willingness to share information about what’s really going on inside Iran has not been robust,” he said.    “I’m very concerned that it is that Iran that is not sharing information.”
    Pompeo previously criticized both Iran and China for what he called suppression of information about the spread of the virus, which he claimed will hinder the global response to the disease.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo testifies during a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington,
Friday, Feb. 28, 2020, about the Trump administration’s policies on Iran, Iraq and the use of force. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
[NOTE THAT OPEN BORDER NATIONS ARE GETTING THE CORONAVIRUS ISSUES DOES THAT TELL YOU SOMETHING LIBERALS AND PROOF THAT WALLS WORKS ALSO EVEN IN THE UNITED STATES IT IS CALIFORNIA WHO IS NOT FOLLOWING THE REST OF THE STATES PROCEDURES AND THAT IS WHERE THE VIRUS HAS COME IN AT.].

2/28/2020 GOP congressional candidate slams Rep. Schiff for neglecting his district’s homeless crisis by OAN Newsroom
Photo of Eric Early via Facebook.
    Republican congressional candidate Eric Early has blasted Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) for allegedly neglecting his district’s homeless crisis.    Early, who is running for California’s 28th district, recently toured a homeless community, where he spoke about the ongoing crisis.
    During his tour with reporters, he shed light on the rampant drug use and mental health problems affecting many living in and around Los Angeles County.
    Early claimed Schiff is too busy chasing the limelight in Washington to address his district’s problems.
    “Mr. Schiff has completely abandoned our district in the 20 plus years that he’s been in office,” he said.    “It’s a mess out here (and) he’s done nothing for our district, certainly not a darn thing with respect to homelessness.”
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., listens at a news conference with Speaker
of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., as House Democrats move ahead in the impeachment inquiry of
President Donald Trump, at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2019. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
    His remarks came after Schiff devoted months to impeaching President Trump, who was later acquitted of all charges.
    Early is looking to flip his seat red come November.    He added he is ready to “send the viper into retirement and help give Congress back to the people.”
[SCHIFF'S ATTEMPT TO CHASE THE LIMELIGHT HAVE TOTALLY BACKFIRED ON HIM AND NOW HE IS TRYING TO RECREATE HIS FAILED RUSSIAN COLLUSION HOAX VERSION TWO WHICH WILL FAIL ALSO SO WAKE UP CALIFORNIANS IN HIS DISTRICT AND GET RID OF HIM].

2/28/2020 Senate Majority Leader McConnell speaks on failed pro-life bills by OAN Newsroom
FILE – In this Feb. 11, 2020, file photo, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., talks to reporters
following a GOP strategy meeting at the Capitol in Washington. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)
    Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has spoken out about two pro-life bills that died on the Senate floor this week.    On Friday, McConnell said although the measures failed to pass in the Senate, this is a topic that people need to continue picking a side on.
    He urged evangelicals to get behind the president on this issue and added he has never seen a more solidly conservative administration than this one.
    Despite the setback, McConnell emphasized his ultimate goal is to overturn Roe v. Wade, which would give states the power to decide.
    “I think most states, not all, would enact legislation that people like myself would be sympathetic with,” he said.
    The ‘Born Alive’ bill would have required states to report all data about abortions and make sure doctors are providing medical care to abortion survivors.    Additionally, the ‘Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act’ was aimed at lending protections to the unborn.

2/29/2020 Oil down $1.25 to $45.09, DOW down 357 to 25,410.

2/29/2020 U.S. shuts border bridge to stop migrants rushing across from Mexico by Julio-Cesar Chavez
Migrants, mainly from Cuba, block the Paso del Norte border crossing bridge after a U.S. appeals court
blocked the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) program, which sent asylum seekers back to Mexico
to await the outcome of their case, in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico February 28, 2020. REUTERS/Jose Luis Gonzalez
    CIUDAD JUAREZ/EL PASO (Reuters) – U.S. authorities said they closed the busy Ciudad Juarez-El Paso border bridge on Friday after more than a hundred mostly Cuban migrants tried to cross in response to a court ruling suspending an asylum policy.
    Earlier, an appeals court ruled to block one of President Donald Trump’s signature immigration policies the administration says has helped to curb migration on the southern border and forced tens of thousands to wait in Mexico.
    Word of the news spread on social media and a Reuters witness saw migrants on the Mexican side of the border heading towards the bridge while some U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers were putting on riot gear.
    “I’ve been waiting in Juarez for ten months,” said one Cuban asylum seeker, who declined to give his name.    “I don’t care how long I have to wait here for them to let us through.”
    CBP confirmed on its Twitter account that it had closed the Paso Del Norte Bridge to stop a group of migrants from illegally and forcefully entering the United States and that other ports stayed open.
    The policy has forced roughly 60,000 people back to Mexico under one of Trump’s asylum policies, called the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), to await the outcome of their cases in often dangerous border towns.
    There, they are vulnerable to kidnapping, rape, robbery and other crimes while living in sometimes unsanitary conditions.
    Later on Friday, the Trump administration said in an emergency motion that at least 25,000 migrants sent back through the program were still in Mexico and that halting the program “could prompt a rush on the southern border.”
    In response, the appeals court put its ruling on hold to allow the administration to petition the U.S. Supreme Court to take up the issue.
    “It’s time for everyone to start going home, no one is going to cross tonight,” said Enrique Valenzuela, head of the population council of the Chihuahua state government, whose is among those in charge of handling migrants at the border.
    “The suspension has been suspended, MPP is back,” he told migrants as he walked through the crowd at the base of the bridge.
    Even though some migrants left, dozens were still present when CBP tweeted the bridge would remain closed overnight.
(Reporting by Julio-Cesar Chavez in Ciudad Juarez and El Paso; Additional reporting by Ted Hesson in Washington; Writing by Stefanie Eschenbacher; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)

2/29/2020 Greek police fire teargas on migrants at border with Turkey by Lefteris Papadimas
Migrants are seen during clashes with Greek police, at the Turkey's Pazarkule border crossing
with Greece's Kastanies, in Edirne, Turkey, February 29, 2020. REUTERS/Huseyin Aldemir
    KASTANIES, Greece (Reuters) – Greek police fired teargas toward migrants who were gathered on its border with Turkey and demanding entry on Saturday, as a crisis over Syria abruptly moved onto the European Union’s doorstep.
    The Greek government reiterated its promise to keep migrants out.
    “The government will do whatever it takes to protect its borders,” government spokesman Stelios Petsas told reporters, adding that in the past 24 hours Greek authorities had averted attempts by 4,000 people to cross.
    Live images from Greece’s Skai TV on the Turkish side of the northern land border at Kastanies showed Greek riot police firing teargas rounds at groups of migrants who were hurling stones and shouting obscenities.
    Media were not permitted to approach the Greek side of the border in the early morning, but the area smelled heavily of teargas, a Reuters witness said.
    A Turkish government official said late Thursday that Turkey will no longer contain the hundreds of thousands of asylum seekers after an air strike on war-ravaged Idlib in Syria killed 33 Turkish soldiers earlier that day.
    Almost immediately, convoys of people appeared heading to the Greek land and sea borders on Friday.
    An estimated 3,000 people had gathered on the Turkish side of the border at Kastanies, according to a Greek government official. Kastanies lies just over 900 km (550 miles)north-east of Athens.
    Greece, which was a primary gateway for hundreds of thousands of asylum seekers in 2015 and 2016, has promised it will keep the migrants out.
    However, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said on Saturday that some 18,000 migrants had crossed borders from Turkey into Europe. Speaking in Istanbul, he did not immediately provide evidence for the number, but said it would rise.
    Greek police were keeping media about a kilometer away from the Kastanies border crossing, but the broader area, where the two countries are divided by a river, was more permeable.
    A group of Afghans with young children waded across fast-moving waters of the Evros river and took refuge in a small chapel.    They crossed into Greece on Friday morning.
    “Today is good” said Shir Agha, 30 in broken English.    “Before, Erdogan people, police problem,” he said.    Their shoes were caked in mud.    It had rained heavily the night before, and by early morning, temperatures were close to freezing.
    Greece had already said on Thursday it would tighten border controls to prevent coronavirus reaching its Aegean islands, where thousands of migrants are living in poor conditions.
    Nearly a million refugees and migrants crossed from Turkey to Greece’s islands in 2015, setting off a crisis over immigration in Europe, but that route all but closed after the European Union and Ankara agreed to stop the flow in March 2016.
(Additional reporting by Ali Kucukgocmen in Istanbul; Writing by Michele Kambas; Editing by Frances Kerry; Editing by Frances Kerry)

[AS SEEN IN THE ARTICLE BELOW IT LOOKS LIKE THE BEAST THAT CAME OUT OF THE SEA WITH 10 HORNS AND 10 CROWNS IS GETTING A REVISION OF ITS PURPOSE].
2/29/2020 USTR vows to push for trade deals with Britain, EU; seeks reforms at WTO by Andrea Shalal
FILE PHOTO: A British Union flag (L), a U.S. flag (C) and an European Union flag are seen
flying above offices in London, Britain, March 30, 2016. REUTERS/Toby Melville
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Trump administration on Friday said it would focus on concluding new trade agreements with Britain, the European Union and Kenya over the coming year, while strictly enforcing trade laws and pushing for reforms of the World Trade Organization.
    In its annual report to the U.S. Congress, the U.S. Trade Representative’s office said members of the global trade body needed to fundamentally rethink what it called “an outdated tariff framework” that no longer reflected economic realities.
    USTR delivered a scathing indictment of the WTO in the 338-page document, calling it an organization that had “strayed far from its original mission and purpose,” while highlighting the Trump administration’s push over the past year to confront what it said were China’s unfair trade policies and practices.
    It said 2019 was “a historic year for American trade” in which the administration reached trade agreements with China and Japan, and secured congressional approval of a new North American trade deal with Mexico and Canada.
    It also hailed a WTO decision giving Washington the right to impose tariffs on $7.5 billion of EU goods in a long-running dispute over aircraft subsidies to Airbus .
    The U.S. government also initiated action against France over its digital services taxes that Washington says will harm U.S. tech companies such as Facebook , Alphabet Inc’s Google , Amazon Inc and Apple , and is monitoring developments in other countries, the report said.
    Washington and Paris have agreed to a truce staving off those tariffs through year-end to allow work on broader tax reforms by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.
    “Going forward, President Trump will continue to rebalance America’s relationship with its trading partners, aggressively enforce our trade laws, and take prompt action in response to unfair trade practices by other nations,” the report said.
    In addition to pursuing trade agreements with Britain and the EU, USTR said it would work on trade agreements with new partners, including Kenya, which would be the first U.S. free trade deal in sub-Saharan Africa.
    USTR said it hoped a recent change in EU leadership and appointment of a new trade commissioner would lead to “more progress in the coming year” than was possible in the past.
    It said it also planned to conduct further negotiations with Japan and China to reach more comprehensive trade agreements, while continuing to push for reforms at the WTO.
    The WTO’s failure to keep pace with new developments in the global economy has resulted in significant advantages for non-market economies,” USTR wrote in the report, saying China in particular benefited from the WTO’s deficiencies.
(Reporting by Andrea Shalal; Additional reporting by David Shepardson; editing by Sonya Hepinstall and Leslie Adler)

2/29/2020 President Trump taps Rep. Ratcliffe as Director of National Intelligence by OAN Newsroom
FILE – In this Wednesday, July 24, 2019, file photo, Rep. John Ratcliffe, R-Texas., questions former special counsel Robert Mueller
as he testifies before the House Intelligence Committee hearing on his report on Russian election interference, on Capitol Hill in
Washington. President Donald Trump has nominated Ratcliffe again to be nation’s top intelligence official. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)
    President Trump has announced he will again nominate Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-Texas) to be the U.S. Director of National Intelligence.    On Friday, the president took to Twitter to share his decision, saying that the House Intelligence Committee member is an “outstanding man of great talent.”
    The president ended a campaign to nominate Ratcliffe for the position last summer after the politician withdrew his name from consideration.    This followed bipartisan criticism about the congressman’s qualifications and the potential he had exaggerated his resume.
    President Trump has since accused the media of perpetrating “slander and libel” against the congressman.
    “I could see that the press was treating him, I thought, very unfairly,” he said.    “I asked him, ‘Do you want to go through this for two or three months, or would you want me to maybe do something else?'
    The top intelligence position has been vacant since former Director Dan Coats stepped down last year.    It was created in the aftermath of the September 11th terror attacks and was designed to head the National Intelligence Program, which oversees 16 intelligence agencies and the CIA.
    Senior Democrats are opposed to the nomination.    Senate Intelligence Committee Vice Chairman Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) has questioned if anything has changed since Ratcliffe’s original and unsuccessful nomination.
    If he is confirmed, Ratcliffe will replace acting Director of National Intelligence Richard Grenell, who also serves as the U.S. Ambassador to Germany.

2/29/2020 CBP briefly shuts down border crossing in El Paso, Texas by OAN Newsroom
A Border Patrol agent wait to show reporters an immigration holding facility, Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2020, in El Paso, Texas. (AP Photo)
    U.S. border officials temporarily shut down a crossing bridge in Texas after more than 100 migrants tried to rush into the United States.    The emergency lockdown happened on Friday at the Paso Del Norte Bridge in El Paso.
    According to reports, a large group of mainly Cuban migrants ignited a confrontation and demanded to cross the border.    “We are waiting for the normal process,” said one bystander.    “We have been waiting here for almost a year and they take away the MPP (Migrant Protection Protocols), they do not let us pass.”
    The move followed recent reports that President Trump’s ‘Remain in Mexico’ policy would be overturned by a federal appeals court.
    Border agents were equipped with riot gear as asylum seekers grew more aggressive.    They barricaded the entrance before shutting it down completely.
    The border crossing has since been reopened.

2/29/2020 Wash. Gov. Inslee declares state of emergency after first U.S. coronavirus death by OAN Newsroom
EvergreenHealth Medical Center is seen Saturday, Feb. 29, 2020, where a person died of COVID-19, in Kirkland, Wash. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
    The first coronavirus death in the U.S. has been confirmed in Washington state.    On Saturday, health officials stated a patient who had contracted coronavirus has died in the Seattle area of King County, Washington.
    Health officials reported the person who died was in their 50s and had a compromised immune system, but provided no evidence on how they contracted the virus.
    State Governor Jay Inslee issued a statement confirming the resident’s death.
    “It is a sad day in our state as we learn that a Washingtonian has died from COVID-19,” he said.    “Our hearts go out to his family and friends.”
    Inslee has since declared a state of emergency in Washington, which he claimed would ensure his state will have the necessary funding to respond “quickly and effectively.”    He has directed state agencies to use all resources necessary to prepare for and respond to the outbreak.

    President Donald Trump with members of the coronavirus task force speaks during a news conference
in the Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House, Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
    At least four cases of the virus have recently been reported in the U.S. with no known origins.    The virus has spread within multiple countries across the world, where it has killed more than 2,900 people.
    Earlier this week, President Trump and U.S. health officials reaffirmed that the coronavirus’s threat to the U.S. remains serious, but relatively low.
    “We have the greatest experts in the world right here, people that are called upon by other countries when things like this happen,” said the president.    “We’re ready to adapt, and we’re ready to do whatever we have to as the disease spreads.”

2/29/2020 France bans gatherings of more than 5,000 due to coronavirus
FILE PHOTO - A woman wears a protective mask in light of the coronavirus outbreak in China as she walks at the
Trocadero esplanade in front of the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France, February 1, 2020. REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes
    PARIS (Reuters) – The French government on Saturday put a temporary ban on public gatherings with more than 5,000 people due to the coronavirus outbreak, as France reported 16 new cases.
    Health Minister Olivier Veran said after a special cabinet meeting that the number of confirmed cases had risen to 73.    Of those, two have died, 59 are in hospital, and 12 have recovered.
    The move comes after Switzerland on Friday banned events expected to draw more than 1,000 people in a bid to curb the spread of the disease.
    Meanwhile in Italy schools and universities will stay closed for a second consecutive week in three northern regions in an effort to contain Europe’s worst outbreak of the disease.
    “All public gatherings of more than 5,000 people in a confined space are temporarily banned across France,” Veran told journalists.
    “These measures are temporary and we will likely have to revise them.    They are restrictive and paradoxically we hope they don’t last long because that means we will have contained the virus’ spread,” he added.
    As a result a Paris half-marathon that was due to be held on Sunday with more than 40,000 runners expected has been canceled, and the capital’s annual farm show will close a day early on Saturday, Veran said.
    Meanwhile, an annual international property fair due later this month in Cannes, southern France, has been pushed back to June.
    The government has also banned all public gatherings in the Oise district north of Paris and in La Balme-de-Sillingy, a town in the French Alps where cases have been reported.
(Reporting by Leigh Thomas; Editing by Alexander Smith and Clelia Oziel)

2/29/2020 New coronavirus case confirmed at Tenerife hotel on lockdown
FILE PHOTO: General view of H10 Costa Adeje Palace, which is on lockdown after cases of coronavirus have been
detected there in Adeje, on the Spanish island of Tenerife, Spain February 26, 2020. REUTERS/Borja Suarez
    TENERIFE (Reuters) – An Italian national staying at a hotel in Tenerife which has been placed on lockdown after four cases of the coronavirus were detected has tested positive for the virus, regional health authorities confirmed on Saturday.
    The Italian national, part of the same group as the four original cases at the H10 Costa Adeje Palace Hotel, has been in isolation in a hotel room since Feb. 24 and will be taken to hospital, the Canary Islands’ regional health authorities said, adding the Italian was “in good state of health.”
    It brings the total number of active cases in the Canary Islands to six – five in Tenerife and one in La Gomera.
    On Saturday, the fourth day of the hotel’s lockdown, some of the 130 guests who had been cleared to leave on Friday were seen exiting its grounds with suitcases.
    More than 700 tourists remain inside waiting out a 14-day isolation period imposed on Wednesday.
    Hotel guest Christopher Betts, from Leicestershire in England told Reuters British tourists were being swabbed for the virus on Saturday, the first time they had been tested.    They had previously been given thermometers to check their own temperatures.
    The Canary Islands regional government said on Friday guests could leave before completing the full 14-day isolation period if foreign governments could provide charter flights and guarantee isolation and health protocols.
    British Ambassador to Spain Hugh Elliot said on Twitter that efforts were under way to support British nationals in the hotel and “to plan for (their) safe return.”
    Spain’s number of active coronavirus cases rose to 49 on Saturday.    The bulk of those are linked to Italy, which has Europe’s worst outbreak, with some 900 cases and 21 deaths.
(Reporting by Guillermo Martinez and Nathan Allen, Writing by Jessica Jones; Editing by Mike Harrison and Timothy Heritage)

2/29/2020 Britain reports number of coronavirus cases has risen to 23
A woman wearing a protective mask travels on a Jubilee Line tube train in London, Britain, February 27, 2020. REUTERS/Hannah McKay
    (Reuters) – The number of people infected with coronavirus in the United Kingdom had risen to 23 on Saturday, after three more patients tested positive, Britain’s health department said.
    “As of 29 February at 9am (0900 GMT), a total of 10,483 people have been tested in the UK, of which 10,460 were confirmed negative and 23 positive,” the department said in a statement.
    Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Friday that slowing the spread of coronavirus was now his government’s top priority, shortly after news that the first Briton had died of the disease after contracting it on a cruise ship moored in Japan. [nL5N2AS46S]
(Reporting by Shubham Kalia in Bengaluru; Editing by Alexander Smith)

    This page created on 2/1/2020, and updated each month by 2/29/2020.

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