This Morning’s Fault Lines Highlights

This morning we spoke with Susan Pai about North Korea and her family’s history escaping from the country. We spoke with Joel Segal about his experience as an aide working with John Conyers. Former NSA whistleblower Bill Binney talked to us about a meeting he had with potential future Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and how this meeting, along with the ‘DNC hacking’ story, have been covered by the media. We also spoke with longtime Alabama reporter Paul Gattis about Roy Moore and the Alabama Senate race, and Michael Krieger from LibertyBlitzkrieg.com about the rise of Bitcoin and recent turmoil in Trump’s cabinet.

Burst Your Media Bubble: Top Stories As Reported

Here’s the way the left, right and foreign press are presenting the news today.

NPR

Senate Republicans ran into problems yesterday with their tax overhaul legislation and leaders hope to hold a vote on the tax package today. The most immediate challenge they face is convincing Republicans like Bob Corker of TN and Jeff Flake of AZ that this tax cut won’t blow a bigger hole in the deficit and national debt.

The Senate committee is opening a preliminary investigation into Senator Al Franken D-MN. Several women have alleged him of sexual misconduct. A spokesman for Democratic Congressman John Conyers says he is in the hospital recovering from a stress-related ailment. He has also been similarly accused.

House Speaker Paul Ryan has spoken to the issue of sexual harassment saying, “I think we’re having a watershed moment in this country…I think we’re all horrified at the stories we’ve been seeing unfold…we need to end it.” He also said elected officials should be held to a high standard. Meanwhile, Republican Senate Candidate Roy Moore continues to deny accusations of sexual misconduct, including assault as he continues to campaign for office.

A case in Washington is raising questions about the Trump administration’s handling of terrorism suspects. The defendant is a US citizen, an unidentified man who has been in US military custody in Iraq for more than 2 months, is suspected of having fought with the Islamic State. The ACLU filed a suit demanding the US government justify holding him without charge or access to a court. He has requested a lawyer and has not been questioned since.

A San Francisco jury has acquitted an undocumented Mexican immigrant of the murder of a CA woman. President Trump had used the case to demand stricter US immigration rules.

President Trump is poised to shrink the boundaries of 2 national monument areas in UT next Monday during a visit to Salt Lake City. Utah’s Republican leaders say President Trump will correct an overreach by 2 Democratic Presidents. He will scale back the Bear’s Ears and the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments. This would open more land to mining and off-road vehicles. Some environmentalists and Native American tribes plan to protest what they call “Trumps monumental mistake.”

Pope Francis is in Bangladesh and has used the word Rohingya for the 1st time today on the trip. He had been advised not to use the word while he was in neighboring Myanmar where hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims are fleeing Myanmar violence. The bigotry against Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar is so pervasive, there was concern he could trigger backlash if he used the word “Rohingya.”

Japan’s Prime Minister says Japan’s emperor Akihito plans to abdicate April 30, 2019. He will be 85 at that time. He will be the 1st Japanese Emperor to abdicate in 200 years. He says his age and health are concerns.

Fox News

An illegal immigrant was found not guilty in San Francisco of murdering Kate Steinle and was acquitted of the more serious charges. President Trump calls it a complete travesty of justice. He was found guilty of possessing a firearm and his attorney said he found it on the pier and it accidentally went off, killing Kate. He could be sentenced to 16 months-3years in prison.

Budget hawks are expressing concern about a congressional committee on taxation report that shows the tax bill will add a trillion dollars to the deficit even after accounting for economic growth. Republicans say they could finish the bill today, but they are not promising anything.

President Trump has lunch today with Defense Sec. James Mattis and Sec. of State Rex Tillerson. There are reports that he could be replaced with CIA Director Mike Pompeo.

There are no reports of damage or injuries from an earthquake in Delaware felt throughout the mid-Atlantic with a magnitude of 4.1.

The search has been called off for a missing Argentine submarine, San Juan after a 15-day search. The US is involved in a multi-national search operation in the south Atlantic which will continue, only now it will focus on finding the sub itself rather than survivors.

A convicted cop killer, Bobby Wayne Stone, is scheduled to die in South Carolina but there has been trouble finding the drugs to do it. The state is legally required to use a lethal drug cocktail but they can’t find a pharmaceutical company who will sell it to them. The sentence could be delayed if they can’t procure the drug, though SC allows an inmate to choose the electric chair.

A British woman is homeless after someone hauled away her mobile home while she was not home. The house has a fireplace and a big screen TV.

BBC

The UN has asked for more money than ever before in its annual humanitarian appeal as the world faces what it says is an unprecedented number of crises. The appeal is for $22.5 billion with close to 140 million people around the globe needing support.

The opposition in Zimbabwe has described the decision by the new president Emmerson Mnangagwa to appoint senior military figures to top jobs in his cabinet as a betrayal of people’s hopes. Mnangagwa named a general as his Foreign Minister and an Air Force Chief as his Agriculture Minister.

Eight former Catalan Ministers are appearing at the Supreme Court in Madrid to appeal for their release from prison so that they can campaign for the regional elections in 3 weeks. They were members of the cabinet that declared Catalonia’s independence in October.

A UN investigation appears to have confirmed that missiles fired into Saudi Arabia by rebels in Yemen were made in Iran. The finding of the UN report has been seen by the Reuters News Agency.

A Belgian theater troop on tour in France has caused a major security alert by running through their lines while on a 100 km train journey from Paris to Troyes. They arrived to find the station evacuated and 30 heavily armed police in bullet-proof vests waiting for them. The title of the play was “Jihad.”

Police in northern India say they have arrested a man who’s smelly socks caused a dispute between him and fellow passengers on a bus.  The incident occurred when he removed his shoes and socks on a bus to Delhi. The stench was so bad that passengers asked him to put them in his bag or throw them.

Football fans are counting down to the draw for the 2018 World Cup in Russia. The elaborate ceremony will be at the Kremlin State Palace in Moscow.

 

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