From The Alpha and the Omega - Chapter Eight
by Jim A. Cornwell, Copyright © 1995, all rights reserved
"KING OF THE WEST 2019 JUNE"

    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 King Of The West 2019 for May or continue to King Of The West 2019 for July.

KING OF THE WEST 2019 JUNE


2019 JUNE


6/1/2019 Oil down $0.14 to $53.36, DOW down 355 to 24,815.

6/1/2019 Mexico eyes steps to cut immigrant flows to U.S. border, official says by Frank Jack Daniel
FILE PHOTO: Mexico's Deputy Foreign Minister for North America, Jesus Seade reacts during the delivery of the United States-Mexico-Canada
Agreement (USMCA) deal at the Senate building in Mexico City, Mexico May 30, 2019. Picture taken May 30, 2019. REUTERS/Henry Romero
    MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Mexico wants to sharpen existing measures in its bid to narrow a flood of Central American migrants to the U.S. border, a top Mexican official said on Friday, ahead of planned meetings in Washington over tariffs threatened by President Donald Trump.
    Trump on Thursday said he would introduce the tariffs, starting at 5% on June 10 and quickly ratcheting higher if Mexico did not substantially halt illegal immigration, largely from Central America, across the U.S.-Mexican border.
    “To avoid these flows that go from Central America to the United States in large numbers I think we can make progress with traditional mechanisms and better exercise existing rules,” said Jesus Seade, Mexico’s deputy foreign minister for North America.
    Asked if Mexico might agree to be classified as a “safe third country” where asylum seekers would have to lodge claims instead of the United States, he replied, “That is not something we are working with.”
    Seade declined to give further details of what more Mexico could do to stem immigration, citing the delicate nature of the talks in Washington.
    Trump’s ultimatum is the biggest foreign policy test yet for Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador and a tall order for security forces already struggling to reduce migrant flows and combat record levels of gang violence and homicide.
    Trump’s pressure has spurred Mexico to step up the number of undocumented immigrants it detains and deports in recent months, but numbers reaching the U.S. border have also risen.
    Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard traveled to Washington on Friday and is to be joined by Seade on Sunday.    On Wednesday they will meet a U.S. delegation led by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to resolve the dispute.
    Seade said the Mexican team was setting up other meetings for Monday and Tuesday, and had spoken ahead of the trip with the United States Trade Representative.
    “I had a good conversation with (USTR) Robert Lighthizer, but in reality the issue at hand has more to do with immigration,” he added.
    Trump has pledged to end the wave of tens of thousands of asylum seekers, including many Central American families fleeing poverty and violence, who make the arduous journey north to seek refuge in the United States.
    In the biggest migrant surge on the U.S-Mexican border in a decade, U.S. officials say 80,000 people are in custody, with an average of 4,500 mostly Central American migrants arriving each day, overwhelming the handling resources of border officials.
    The number of migrants arrested on the southwest border last month was 98,977, a record.
    As part of the U.S. effort to stem the flow, Kevin K. McAleenan, the acting secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Guatemala government agreed to boost law enforcement cooperation, the DHS said on Friday.
    “Included in the agreement is a provision on law enforcement training to improve criminal investigations that disrupt human trafficking and drug smuggling networks,” the DHS said in a statement.
    Such networks are often run by transnational criminal groups that profit from human suffering, it added.
    A Mexican government source said McAleenan and Guatemala’s government agreed on the presence of DHS “advisers” in the Central American nation, but Mexico was not part of the pact.
    Since taking office in December, Lopez Obrador has urged Trump to help him tackle migration by promoting economic development in El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras.
(Writing and additional reporting by Anthony Esposito; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)

6/1/2019 U.S. limits protections for some migrant children by Kristina Cooke and Mica Rosenberg
    (Reuters) – U.S. immigration authorities on Friday said the government would limit which migrant children who enter the country alone qualify for special protections in the United States, the latest move by the Trump administration to tighten immigration restrictions.
    President Donald Trump has become increasingly aggressive in his fight to stem the surge of migrants crossing the U.S. border from Mexico.    On Thursday he announced plans to slap tariffs on goods from Mexico if it does not act to stop the flow of migrants.
    Children who are not accompanied by an adult have a special status under U.S. law, which allows them to make their claims to a United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) asylum officer, in a non-adversarial setting, instead of an immigration judge.    If they are denied, they get a second chance in immigration court.
    USCIS spokeswoman Jessica Collins said the agency was rescinding a memorandum put in place by the administration of Democratic President Barack Obama that allowed children to keep their special status even if they turned 18 or reunited with a parent or legal guardian before filing an asylum application.
    Trump has repeatedly said many of the protections for migrants are “legal loopholes” that have spurred much of the migration of children.
    U.S. border patrol agents have apprehended almost 45,000 unaccompanied children at the southwest border since October.    Most of them are teenagers and have often endured trauma and abuse in their home countries and on the journey north.
    USCIS said it was returning to a previous policy from 2009.    Immigration advocates said the move could have a wide impact as many unaccompanied minors reunite with parents in the United States.
    “Congress must reform the law to address the underlying issues fueling the border crisis and encouraging unaccompanied minors to make the dangerous journey to the United States,” Collins said.
    The new guidance, first reported by BuzzFeed News, is the latest example of moves by the Trump administration to tighten immigration policy in the absence of Congressional action.    It goes into effect on June 30, USCIS said.
    Maria Odom, vice president for legal services at Kids In Need of Defense, who was the agency’s ombudsman when the 2013 memo was issued, said it was often not practical for children to quickly file for asylum.
    “We have many kids who are so traumatized, and it takes a considerable amount of time to get them to talk,” she said.    Children also are often moved from shelter to shelter when they initially arrive in the United States.
    The memo was issued by the outgoing director of USCIS, Francis Cissna, the latest casualty of Trump’s purge of high-level officials of the Department of Homeland Security over concerns they were not doing enough to stem the flow of migrants.    Trump has also threatened tariffs on all Mexican goods if Mexico does not do more to stop migration to the United States.
    Cissna, who was popular with immigration restrictionists, made a number of rule changes during his tenure that have made it more difficult for legal immigrants to come to and stay in the United States. Cissna’s resignation is effective June 1.
(Reporting by Kristina Cooke and Mica Rosenberg; Editing by Leslie Adler)

6/1/2019 Rep. Nunes: Mueller appearance meant to ‘light the fuse for impeachment’ by OAN Newsroom
    Congressman Devin Nunes is demanding the complete release of all underlying documentation from the Mueller probe.
Rep. Devin Nunes speaks at CPAC in National Harbor, Md., February 24, 2018. (Joshua Roberts/Reuters)
    The California lawmaker made the demand Friday, saying the backup and source documents could provide additional information which Mueller may have left out of his report.
    On Thursday, Nunes criticized Mueller for touting the amount of Russian prosecutions his investigation netted, without mentioning Democrats and the Clinton campaign’s ties to Moscow.
    Nunes went on to say, Mueller was dishonest in saying his department could not indict a sitting president, and said if it were true, the president should have “been done after day two.”

6/1/2019 Attorney John Durham takes over for Special Prosecutor John Huber by OAN Newsroom
    Attorney General William Barr delivers a blow to republicans waiting for the results of Special Prosecutor John Huber’s investigation.
John Durham, shown in 2006, will examine the origins of the Mueller investigation
of Russian interference in the 2016 election. (Bob Child/AP)
    Barr announced Friday, U.S. Attorney John Durham will be taking over for Huber to look at possible FISA abuses and surveillance of the Trump campaign.
    Huber was tasked with the investigation back in March of 2018, by then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
    His activity was kept under wraps for months, leading many Republicans to question if he was making any progress.
    Barr has since confirmed those suspicions, and said Huber was on stand-by while the office of inspector general conducted its review of the matter.
[Its about time Huber, since his investigation was a joke, either sold out, or was threatened or he was a former DOJ lover and did not investigate their action.    Of course Sessions was part of the problem and Huber was supposed to investigate the Clinton Uranium One issue and the Clinton Foundation funding.].

6/1/2019 Italy revokes lease for site of Bannon’s right-wing academy
FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump's former chief strategist Steve Bannon poses
in Piazza Navona in Rome, Italy March 2, 2018. REUTERS/Tony Gentile/File Photo
    MILAN (Reuters) – Italy’s culture ministry has said it will revoke the lease on a state-owned monastery where a right-wing Roman Catholic institute close to former Trump White House adviser Steve Bannon had planned to train political activists.
    In a statement on Friday, the ministry said it would revoke the concession on the mountaintop property outside Rome granted to the Dignitatis Humanae Institute, citing violations of various contractual obligations including a failure to pay concession fees and do maintenance work.
    Benjamin Harnwell, director of the institute based in the Trisulti monastery, had told Reuters in September that Bannon was helping to craft the curriculum for a leadership course aimed at right-wing Catholic activists to be held in the 800-year-old monastery.
    Bannon, who has launched a campaign to build a populist movement across Europe, has also been raising funds for the institute, Harnwell said.
    An official at Italy’s culture ministry, Gianluca Vacca, said in the statement that inspections ordered by authorities had found a number of irregularities with the concession that allowed the institute to use the property.
    “Proceeding with the revocation is thus a duty,” Vacca said.
    The project for a right-wing leadership academy had been criticized by Italy’s left parties and local media had raised doubts over whether Harnwell’s institute fulfilled the requirements of its agreement with the government.
    Vacca, a member of the anti-establishment 5-Star party which has been ruling Italy in a coalition with the far-right League since last year, said there were no political motives behind the decision to revoke permission for the institute.
    He said the procedure to award the concession to Harnwell’s association – whose board of advisers is chaired by Cardinal Raymond Burke, a leading Vatican conservative – had been completed under the previous, center-left government.
(Reporting by Silvia Aloisi; Editing by Peter Graff)
[Now you know why the Pope does not tell Italy about all the sins they are commiting against God, because if he did they would shut him down as a right-wing institute.].

6/1/2019 Turnout at France’s ‘yellow vest’ protest hits fresh low
FILE PHOTO: A protester wearing a yellow vest holds a French flag as he walks among tear gas during the traditional May Day labour
union march with French unions and yellow vests protesters in Paris, France, May 1, 2019. REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes/File Photo
    PARIS (Reuters) – The number of “yellow vest” demonstrators marching against high living costs in France dwindled on Saturday following several weeks of waning turnout, more than six months into the protests against President Emmanuel Macron.
    Police fired teargas at some protesters in the southern city of Toulouse.    But the demonstrations – on the 29th weekend in a row since they first erupted last November, leading on some occasions to riots – passed off largely peacefully.
    Some 9,500 people took to the streets across France on June 1, the Interior Ministry estimated, with 1,500 in Paris.    That was down from the 12,500 nationwide last Saturday, and a far cry from the close to 300,000 that first occupied roundabouts and blocked roads in what began as an outcry against fuel tax hikes.
    The latest anti-government protests coincided with a long holiday weekend for many French and with soaring temperatures, though numbers also fell throughout May.
    That will provide some relief for Macron, who was forced to put some reforms on hold and make costly concessions to try and contain the unrest and find ways to boost purchasing power.
    Even so the government is still on tenterhooks.    A 5.9 percent hike in the power prices of state-controlled utility EDF – the highest increase in years – came into force on Saturday, after the government earlier postponed it due to the protests.
    A second increase to French electricity prices in August cannot be ruled out but is not desirable, Junior Environment Minister Emmanuelle Wargon said on Friday.
    French police have come under scrutiny from rights groups over the use of heavy duty crowd control weapons including “flash ball” riot guns that fire rubber ball-shaped projectiles.
    “Since I saw a young woman get injured, I can’t let go,” Roland, a 71-year-old protester in Paris said.
(Reporting by Emmanuel Jarry, Antony Paone and Pascale Antonie, Writing by Sarah White; Editing by Stephen Powell)

6/1/2019 U.S. begins collecting higher tariffs on Chinese goods arriving by sea
Containers are seen at a port in Huaian, Jiangsu province, China May 5, 2019. Picture taken May 5, 2019. REUTERS/Stringer
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States began collecting higher, 25% tariffs on many Chinese goods arriving in U.S. seaports on Saturday morning in an intensification of the trade war between the world’s two largest economies and drawing retaliation from Beijing.
    U.S. President Donald Trump imposed the tariff increase on a$200 billion list of Chinese goods on May 10, but had allowed a grace period for sea-borne cargoes that departed China before that date, keeping them at the prior, 10% duty rate.
    The U.S. Trade Representative’s office in a May 15 Federal Register notice set a June 1 deadline for those goods to arrive in the United States, after which U.S. Customs and Border protection would begin collecting the 25% duty rate at U.S. ports.    The deadline expired at 12:01 a.m. EDT on Saturday.
    The tariff increase affects a broad range of consumer goods, and intermediate components from China including internet modems and routers, printed circuit boards, furniture, vacuum cleaners and lighting products.
    Earlier on Saturday, China began collecting higher retaliatory tariffs on much of a $60 billion target list of U.S. goods.    The tariffs, announced on May 13 and taking effect as of midnight in Beijing (1600 GMT), apply additional 20% or 25% tariffs on more than half of the 5,140 U.S. products targeted.    Beijing had previously imposed additional rates of 5% or 10% on the targeted goods.
    No further trade talks between top Chinese and U.S. negotiators have been scheduled since the last round ended in a stalemate on May 10, the same day when Trump announced higher tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods and then took steps to levy duties on all remaining Chinese imports.
    China ordered the latest tariff increases in response to Trump’s move.
    Trump has accused China of breaking a deal to settle their trade dispute by reneging on earlier commitments made during months of negotiations.    China has denied the allegations.
    Beijing has grown more strident in recent weeks, accusing Washington of lacking sincerity and vowing that it will not cave to the Trump administration’s demands.
    Its rhetoric has hardened particularly since Washington put Chinese company Huawei Technologies Co Ltd on a blacklist that effectively bans the firm from doing business with U.S. companies.
(Reporting David Lawder in Washington and Stella Qiu and Se Young Lee in Beijing; editing by Grant McCool)

6/1/2019 WH moving forward with NK talks, after failed Hanoi summit by OAN Newsroom
    Despite recent set backs with North Korea, President Trump is continuing to seek dialogue with the country’s leader.
    Reports Saturday said the administration’s nuclear envoy is planning on pushing forward with negotiations.
    The move is an effort to defuse tensions following a failed summit in Hanoi, Vietnam in February.
FILE – In this June 12, 2018, file photo, North Korea leader Kim Jong Un, left, and U.S. President Donald Trump
shake hands at the conclusion of their meetings at the Capella resort on Sentosa Island in Singapore. The series of
photos on the front page of the ruling workers’ party newspaper showed something North Koreans never would have imagined
just months ago, their leader Kim Jong Un warmly shaking hands with President Donald Trump. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, Pool, Fie)
    Both sides have put the blame on the other, with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un giving the president until the end of the year to lift sanctions on the country.
    Meanwhile, President Trump said North Korea has not made the proper concessions, but is optimistic about future talks with country, in hope of achieving denuclearization on the peninsula.
    All eyes have been on North Korea, as reports suggest chairman Kim could have executed his envoy from the prior summit.
    While the reports are yet to be confirmed, critics said it highlights the harsh reality of the humanitarian crisis in the country.

6/1/2019 VP Pence: Trump admin. still pressing forward on China by OAN Newsroom
    Vice President Mike Pence said Huawei operating as a 5G network is a “fundamental compromise” of national security.
    In a recent interview, Pence said the administration knows it can meet the global need for a 5G with a company that respect U.S. values, privacy, and individual rights.
Vice President Mike Pence speaks at the 49th Washington Conference on the Americas, Tuesday, May 7, 2019,
at the U.S. State Department in Washington. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
    He said while there has been great progress, China has started to “step backward,” but with the recent tariffs on Beijing the U.S. is in a “very strong position.”
    Pence also said, the president hopes that a deal can be reached with China, but wants to reset their relationship to make American jobs and workers first priority.

6/2/2019 Trump tells UK to ‘walk away’ if EU does not give what it wants in Brexit: Sunday Times
FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump looks at supporters before boarding Air Force One after addressing a Trump 2020
re-election campaign rally in Montoursville, Pennsylvania, U.S. May 20, 2019. REUTERS/Carlos Barria/File Photo
    LONDON (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump said Britain should refuse to pay its 39 billion pound EU divorce bill and “walk away” from Brexit talks if Brussels does not give the UK what it wants.
    In an interview with the Sunday Times newspaper ahead of his state visit to Britain starting Monday, Trump said the next British leader should send arch-Brexiteer Nigel Farage to conduct talks with the EU.
    Trump said Britain must leave the EU this year.
    “They’ve got to get it done,” he said.    “They have got to get the deal closed.”
    “If they don’t get what they want, I would walk away.    If you don’t get a fair deal, you walk away.”
    Trump repeated his backing for those candidates to succeed Prime Minister Theresa May who have said Britain must leave on the due date of Oct. 31 with or without a deal.
    Those candidates include former foreign secretary Boris Johnson, whom Trump praised in an interview with the Sun newspaper on Friday, along with former Brexit minister Dominic Raab and interior minister Sajid Javid.
    Trump also said it was a mistake for the Conservatives not to involve Farage, the Brexit Party leader, in negotiations with Brussels after his success in European Parliament elections last month.
    “I like Nigel a lot.    He has a lot to offer – he is a very smart person,” Trump said.    “They won’t bring him in but think how well they would do if they did.    They just haven’t figured that out yet.”
    On the Brexit divorce bill, Trump said: “If I were them, I wouldn’t pay 50 billion dollars.    That is a tremendous number.”
    Trump also said he would have “to know” veteran Socialist Labour opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn before authorizing U.S. intelligence to share its most sensitive secrets with a hard-left government.
    He warned British ministers they must be careful not to jeopardize intelligence-sharing by letting Chinese firm Huawei Technologies Co Ltd into Britain’s new 5G mobile phone network.
(Reporting by Stephen Addison; Editing by Chris Reese)

6/2/2019 Corbyn accuses Trump of interfering in UK politics with Johnson comments
FILE PHOTO: Britain's opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn leaves his home, following the results of
the European Parliament elections, in London, Britain May 27, 2019. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls
    LONDON (Reuters) – UK Labour opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn said on Saturday U.S. President Donald Trump’s comments endorsing Conservative front-runner Boris Johnson as the next prime minister were an “unacceptable interference” in Britain’s affairs.
    In an interview with the Sun newspaper ahead of his three-day state visit to Britain next week, Trump said of the former foreign secretary: “I think Boris would do a very good job.    I think he would be excellent.”
    Other Conservative lawmakers in the leadership race had sought his backing, he said, although not environment minister Michael Gove, who has criticized his stance on Iran.
    Veteran Socialist Corbyn, who has declined an invitation to attend a state banquet with Trump during the visit, said:    “President Trump’s attempt to decide who will be Britain’s next prime minister is an entirely unacceptable interference in our country’s democracy.”
    He added in a statement on Saturday: “The next prime minister should be chosen not by the U.S. president, nor by 100,000 unrepresentative Conservative party members, but by the British people in a general election.”
    After failing three times this year to get parliament to back her plan for leaving the European Union, Prime Minister Theresa May said last week she would step down as leader of the governing Conservative Party on June 7 to open the way for a contest to succeed her.
    So far, 12 Members of Parliament have said they will stand in the leadership election.    They will be whittled down by their fellow lawmakers to a final two before the grassroots party members make the final choice.
    Trump praised Johnson on his last visit to Britain in July 2018, saying that he thought he had the skills needed to be prime minister, shortly after Johnson resigned in protest at May’s handling of Brexit.
    Johnson, who has said he would be prepared to take Britain out of the EU without a deal on Oct. 31, has not commented on Trump’s latest endorsement.
    Corbyn himself has been widely accused of failing to clarify Labour’s position on Brexit by not saying outright whether or not it is decisively in favor of a second referendum on Brexit.
    Trump also praised current foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt, also a Conservative leadership candidate, for his pledge to increase British defense spending.
    He arrives in Britain on Monday for a state visit at the invitation of Queen Elizabeth before attending World War Two commemorations in France and visiting Ireland.
    It is only the third state visit of a U.S. president to Britain.
(Reporting by Stephen Addison; Editing by Clelia Oziel)

6/2/2019 b>Secy. Pompeo says U.S. ‘ready to sit down’ with Iran without pre-conditions by OAN Newsroom
    Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says the U.S. is “ready to sit down” with Iran with “no pre-conditions” about its nuclear program but first needed to see the country behaving like “a normal nation.”
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo attends a press conference with Swiss foreign minister Ignazio Cassis at the CastelGrande
as part of Pompeo’s visit in Bellinzona, Switzerland, Sunday, 2 June 2019. (Samuel Golay/Keystone via AP)
    Speaking in Switzerland Sunday, Pompeo repeated long-standing accusations Iran is bent on destabilizing the region, but stressed the U.S. would continue working to rein in what he called “malign activity.”
    He held out the possibility of talks with the Islamic Republic as President Trump has suggested in the past.    This comes as Iran has repeatedly said it would not talk to the U.S. while it is under renewed sanctions.
    “And the world should be mindful that we are watching closely how Iran is complying with the requirements that were set out in the JCPOA not only the heavy water issue, but the amount of highly enriched uranium which they are accumulating,” said Pompeo.    “We are watching closely as they put centrifuges into work and whether they are actually beginning to spin those centrifuges and load those centrifuges.    We are very mindful of these issues.”br>     Meanwhile, Iran’s president said Switzerland would be pleased to serve as an intermediary, but not a “mediator” between Washington and Tehran.

6/2/2019 DHS Acting Secy: DHS, HHS working to address issues at border by OAN Newsroom
    Acting Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan said additional funding is needed to effectively handle the border crisis.
Acting Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan testifies before the Senate Homeland Security Committee
on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, May 23, 2019, during a hearing on border security. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
    In an interview Sunday, McAleenan said he’s been talking about conditions at the border since December, adding it’s at a ‘breaking point’ and conditions are not appropriate.
    He said one answer is the supplemental $4.5 billion request before congress, 3.3 billion of which will go to health and human services to provide more space.    He said the department of defense is also stepping in to help with the overcrowding.
    “We are actually working with DOD on that.    They’re going to help us with 7500 additional spaces to prevent people from being too crowded in our facilities,” said McAleenan.    “We’ve already put up a thousand temporary facility spaces on the border in Texas.    We’re going to add Arizona this month.    We’re driving as hard as we can to provide a better scenario.”
    McAleenan said the DHS is moving unaccompanied minors to HHS facilities every day, but congressional funding is needed to handle the issue effectively.

6/2/2019 Pres. Trump: Mexico is ‘abuser’, wall coming along quickly by OAN Newsroom
    President Trump blames Democrats for ‘doing nothing’ when it comes to border security.
President Donald Trump talks with reporters before departing on Marine One for the Air Force Academy
graduation ceremony, Thursday, May 30, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
    In a series of tweets Sunday morning, the president said the crisis at the border could be easily fixed, if Democrats would vote with republicans and fix the loopholes.
    He accused Mexico of being an “abuser” of the U.S. saying either they stop the flow of illegal immigrants and drugs, or American companies will be brought back through taxation.
    He went on to say construction of a wall is moving along, despite Democrat lawsuits. Mexico’s president on Saturday said his country could be ready to step up measures, to contain a surge in migration, and reach a deal with the U.S.

6/2/2019 Pres. Trump defends China, Mexico tariffs by OAN Newsroom
    The president is defending his decision to use tariffs as a negotiating tool, despite criticisms from those in the mainstream media.
President Donald Trump speaks at the U.S. Air Force Academy graduation Thursday, May 30, 2019 at Air Force Academy, Colo. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
    In a flurry of tweets Saturday, President Trump said the Washington post got the story wrong as usual.    In regard to China, the president says the cost of tariffs will not be felt by the American people.
    He said China is subsidizing the goods to keep them coming, but it won’t be enough.    The president explains how companies are coming back to the U.S. in order to avoid the 25% tariffs.
    He said the same thing will happen to Mexico with those tariffs.    The White House is pushing the move, saying the time has come to take action against Mexico.    The president said tariffs are necessary to curb drug and human trafficking. He said the world will soon learn whether its the cartels running Mexico.

6/2/2019 Rep. Omar politicizes VA. Shooting by OAN Newsroom
    Congresswoman Ilhan Omar is being criticized for her ignorant remarks in the wake of the tragedy in Virginia.
    The Minnesota lawmaker tweeted just hours after the shooting on Friday, using the murder to call for gun control.
Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., speaks during the fourth annual Citywide Iftar Dinner on
Saturday, May 18, 2019, in Austin, Texas. (Nick Wagner/Austin American-Statesman via AP)
    Omar calls on the public to confront the NRA to end gun violence in the country.    However, the gun used in the attack was a legally purchased 45 caliber handgun.
    The gun is widely accepted even among gun control advocates, and was obtained through a background check.    Critics said this is the latest form of gun control misinformation.
    Last Thursday, former President Obama was caught falsely making claims about gun measures in the U.S. a crowd in Brazil.

6/2/2019 U.S. Chamber of Commerce considering legal action to fight Mexico tariffs by OAN Newsroom
    The U.S. Chamber of Commerce said it’s pushing back against President Trump’s tariffs on Mexican goods.
    Reports Friday said the world’s largest business organization is considering all options to stop the tariffs, including legal challenges.
A worker stacks a box of freshly harvested Chiquita bananas to be exported, at a farm in Ciudad Hidalgo, Chiapas state, Mexico,
Friday, May 31 2019. If the tariffs threatened by United States President Donald Trump on Thursday were to take effect, Americans may
see higher prices in grocery stores. The U.S. imports $12 billion of fresh fruits and vegetables from Mexico. (AP Photo/Marco Ugarte)
    Chamber Executive Vice President Neil Bradley said the top priority for both the chamber and the Trump administration, is passing the U.S.-Mexico-Canada free trade agreement.
    He said the tariff announcement is a “huge obstacle” in getting the agreement ratified in both the U.S. and Mexico “One of the most positive things that’s happened in the last several weeks in terms of passage of USMCA was lifting the tariffs on steel and aluminum,” said Bradley.    “That gave a jolt toward our efforts and the efforts of others to secure ratification.    Now we just took an enormous step backwards.”
    Bradley said it’s difficult to see congress passing the USMCA an environment where tariffs are hitting all goods imported from Mexico.    He added he would like to persuade the Trump administration there are better ways to deal with immigration.

6/2/2019 Donald Trump wades into Britain’s Brexit crisis by Steve Holland and Guy Faulconbridge
FILE PHOTO: Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May and U.S. President Donald Trump hold a joint news conference at Chequers,
the official country residence of the Prime Minister, near Aylesbury, Britain, July 13, 2018. REUTERS/Hannah McKay
    WASHINGTON/LONDON (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump arrives in Britain on Monday on a state visit laden with diplomatic peril, having already humiliated outgoing Prime Minister Theresa May over Brexit and challenged her to be tougher in dealing with China’s Huawei.
    Trump and his wife, Melania, will be treated to a display of British royal pageantry during the June 3-5 visit: lunch with Queen Elizabeth, tea with heir Prince Charles, a banquet at Buckingham Palace and a tour of Westminster Abbey, coronation church of English monarchs for 1,000 years.
    Beyond the pomp, though, the proudly unpredictable 45th U.S. president also brings demands: He has praised a more radical Brexit-supporting potential successor to May and his envoys have urged a tougher British stance toward telecoms giant Huawei.
    May said it was a “significant week for the special relationship and an opportunity to further strengthen our already close partnership.”
    She also said the UK-US security relationship was “deeper, broader and more advanced than with anyone else” in comments released by her office before Trump’s arrival.
    In an interview with the Sunday Times newspaper, Trump said the next British leader should send arch-Brexiteer Nigel Farage to conduct talks with the EU. Britain must leave the EU this year, Trump said.
    “They’ve got to get it done,” he said.    “They have got to get the deal closed.”
    “If they don’t get what they want, I would walk away.    If you don’t get a fair deal, you walk away.”
    Trump repeated his backing for those candidates to succeed May who have said Britain must leave on the due date of Oct. 31 with or without a deal.
    Those candidates include former foreign secretary Boris Johnson, whom Trump praised in an interview with the Sun newspaper on Friday, along with former Brexit minister Dominic Raab and interior minister Sajid Javid.
    Trump said it was a mistake for the Conservatives not to involve Farage, the Brexit Party leader, in talks with Brussels after his success in European Parliament elections last month.
    “I like Nigel a lot. He has a lot to offer – he is a very smart person,” Trump said.    “They won’t bring him in but think how well they would do if they did.    They just haven’t figured that out yet.”
    On the Brexit divorce bill, Trump said: “If I were them, I wouldn’t pay 50 billion dollars.    That is a tremendous number.”
    A meeting with either Johnson, favorite to succeed May, or Farage, a bombastic anti-establishment campaigner, would be seen as a snub for May who is bowing out after failing to negotiate a Brexit deal that parliament could ratify.
    British officials are privately concerned that Trump could heap further ignominy on May, who battled in vain to unify her ruling Conservatives behind a deal and cried while announcing the end of her premiership in Downing Street last month.
BREXIT
    On his last visit to the United Kingdom, in July last year, Trump shocked Britain’s political establishment by hammering May’s Brexit negotiation for being too weak with the EU and by praising rival Johnson as a “great” potential prime minister.
    Trump’s national security adviser John Bolton said on Thursday the United States did not want to “get in the middle” of Brexit or a discussion of the next government’s policies.
    Bolton dismissed concerns about Brexit: “You know, America declared its independence once – we made out okay,” he quipped.
    Brexit is the most significant geopolitical move for the United Kingdom since World War Two and if it ever happens then London will be more reliant on the United States as ties loosen with the other 27 members of the EU.
    At a meeting with May, Trump will warn Britain that security cooperation could be hurt if London allows China’s Huawei a role in building parts of the 5G network, the next generation of cellular technology.
    The Trump administration has told allies not to use its 5G technology and equipment because of fears it would allow China to spy on sensitive communications and data. Huawei denies it is, or could be, a vehicle for Chinese intelligence.
    Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told Britain last month it needed to change its attitude towards China and Huawei, casting the world’s second largest economy as a threat to the West similar to that once posed by the Soviet Union.
    Britain’s so-called special relationship with the United States is an enduring alliance, but some British voters see Trump as crude, volatile and opposed to their values on issues ranging from global warming to his treatment of women.
BLIMP
    A blimp depicting Trump as a snarling, nappy-clad baby will fly outside Britain’s parliament during the visit while protesters plan a “carnival of resistance” in central London.
    “Trump is coming to Britain to commemorate the defeat of fascism after D-Day while at the very same time pursuing a dangerous far-right agenda and fanning the flames of hatred,” said Matt Bonner, its designer.
    The first day of the visit, Monday, culminates in a lavish state banquet at Buckingham Palace – where men wear white tie coats with tails and women evening gowns.
    Jeremy Corbyn, the socialist leader of Britain’s opposition Labour Party, who has declined an invitation to attend the state banquet, scolded Trump for getting involved in British politics.
    “President Trump’s attempt to decide who will be Britain’s next prime minister is an entirely unacceptable interference in our country’s democracy,” Corbyn said.
    The second day will focus on politics, including a breakfast with business leaders, talks with May in 10 Downing Street, a news conference and a dinner at the U.S. ambassador’s residence.
    On Wednesday, Trump joins the queen and veterans to mark the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings in the southern English city of Portsmouth, and also makes a trip to Ireland. He will attend official D-Day ceremonies in France on Thursday.
(Writing by Guy Faulconbridge, Editing by William Maclean and David Evans)

6/3/2019 Top Dems want public support for impeachment by Lisa Mascaro, ASSOCIATED PRESS
    WASHINGTON – The threat of impeachment hangs over the White House, but it also vexes House Democrats wary of taking the next steps against President Donald Trump without broader public support.
    Leading Democrats provided a snapshot Sunday of the party wrestling with the impeachment questions posed by special counsel Robert Mueller’s findings in the Russia investigation. One top leader, Rep. Jim Clyburn of South Carolina, the Democratic whip, said the president might well face an impeachment inquiry in the House.    Another, Rep. Adam Schiff of California suggested it’s not likely soon, if at all.
    “We’re not there yet,” Schiff said on ABC’s “This Week.”
    Speaker Nancy Pelosi has stopped short of pursuing an impeachment inquiry against Trump despite an increasing number of lawmakers, including some 2020 presidential contenders, clamoring to do so.    She’s wary of embarking on a politically divisive debate that she worries would all but drown out the House’s policy agenda and campaign promises.

6/3/2019 Donald Trump rocks the boat as he arrives for banquet with British queen by Steve Holland and Hannah McKay
U.S. President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump arrive for their state visit to Britain,
at Stansted Airport near London, Britain, June 3, 2019. REUTERS/Hannah McKay
    LONDON (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump began a state visit to Britain on Monday but the pomp and formal banquet with Queen Elizabeth looked set to be overshadowed by his views on Brexit, the UK’s next leader and a security row over China’s Huawei.
    Trump and his wife, Melania, will be treated to a full display of British royal pageantry during the June 3-5 visit: lunch and a formal dinner with Queen Elizabeth, tea with heir Prince Charles, and a tour of Westminster Abbey, coronation church of English monarchs for 1,000 years.
    Beyond the ceremony, though, the proudly unpredictable 45th U.S. president is likely to rock the boat with the United States’ closest ally, whose political establishment has been in chaos for months over Britain’s departure from the European Union.
    Trump has praised a more radical Brexit-supporting potential successor to Prime Minister Theresa May, and his envoys have urged a tougher British stance toward Chinese telecoms giant Huawei.
    “I look forward to being a great friend to the United Kingdom, and am looking very much forward to my visit,” Trump wrote on Twitter minutes before Air Force One landed.
    In a sign of how he would not shy away from causing controversy on the trip, he used the same message to take a swipe at long-term opponent London Mayor Sadiq Khan, describing him as a “stone cold loser.”
    Britain is hoping the visit will cement the so-called special relationship between the countries and lay the platform for a post-Brexit trade deal, which Trump has said could be worked out in the near future.
    On Monday, Trump will receive the full royal treatment from his hosts.    After being greeted by the queen and heir-to-the-throne Prince Charles at Buckingham Palace, he will enjoy lunch with the 93-year-old monarch and other senior royals.
    The queen’s second son Prince Andrew will then accompany Trump to Westminster Abbey where the president will lay a wreath at the Grave of the Unknown Warrior before the day culminates with a lavish state banquet at Buckingham Palace – where men wear white tie coats with tails and women evening gowns.
UNCONVENTIONAL
    But away from the pageantry, Trump is set to make his trip the most unconventional state visit in recent memory.     Trump has already waded far into Britain’s turbulent domestic politics. More than a dozen candidates are vying to replace May, who announced last month she was quitting as prime minister after failing to get her EU divorce deal through parliament.     The president has repeated his backing for candidates who have said Britain must leave the bloc on the due date of Oct. 31 with or without a deal.     They include former foreign secretary Boris Johnson, whom Trump praised in an interview with the Sun newspaper on Friday, former Brexit minister Dominic Raab and interior minister Sajid Javid.     He also called for arch-Brexiteer Nigel Farage, a scourge of May’s ruling Conservative Party, to conduct talks with the EU.     Brexit is the most significant geopolitical move for the United Kingdom since World War Two and if it ever happens then London will be more reliant on the United States as ties loosen with the other 27 members of the EU.
    At a meeting with May, Trump will also warn Britain that security cooperation, a cornerstone of the western intelligence network, could be hurt if London allows China’s Huawei a role in building parts of the 5G network, the next generation of cellular technology.
    The Trump administration has told allies not to use its 5G technology and equipment because of fears it would allow China to spy on sensitive communications and data. Huawei denies it is, or could be, a vehicle for Chinese intelligence.
    U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told Britain last month it needed to change its attitude toward China and Huawei, casting the world’s second largest economy as a threat to the West similar to that once posed by the Soviet Union.
BLIMP
    Britain’s relationship with the United States is an enduring alliance, but some British voters see Trump as crude, volatile and opposed to their values on issues ranging from global warming to his treatment of women.
    Hundreds of thousands protested against him during a trip last year and a blimp depicting Trump as a snarling, nappy-clad baby will fly outside Britain’s parliament during the visit.    Other protesters plan a “carnival of resistance” in central London.
    Jeremy Corbyn, the socialist leader of Britain’s opposition Labour Party, who has declined an invitation to attend the state banquet, scolded Trump for getting involved in British politics.
    “President Trump’s attempt to decide who will be Britain’s next prime minister is an entirely unacceptable interference in our country’s democracy,” Corbyn said.
    The second day of the trip will focus on politics, including a breakfast with business leaders, talks with May in 10 Downing Street, a news conference and a dinner at the U.S. ambassador’s residence.
(Writing by Guy Faulconbridge and Michael Holden; Editing by Jon Boyle)

6/3/2019 Reeling from tariff threat, Mexico begins immigration talks in Washington by Frank Jack Daniel
Border gates are seen at the World Trade Bridge border with Mexico, in Laredo, Texas U.S. June 2, 2019. REUTERS/Carlos Jasso
    MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Fighting to stave off punitive tariffs announced by U.S. President Donald Trump, a senior Mexican delegation was set to begin high level talks on Monday in Washington, where it will be pushed to do more to hold back Central American migrants.
    Trump says he will apply tariffs of 5% on all Mexican goods on June 10, and increase the rate in coming months to 25% if Mexico does not substantially halt illegal immigration across the U.S.-Mexican border, which is at a decade high this year.
    Global equities tumbled after Trump’s unexpected threat last week against the United States biggest trade partner, as investors feared his aggressive trade diplomacy could tip the United States and other major economies into recession.
    With just a week until the first tariffs bite, the delegation led by Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard may have a hard time convincing U.S. officials that Mexico is doing enough on immigration to avoid punishment, despite having signaled in recent days it was prepared to further tighten security.
    The U.S.-Mexican talks begin on Monday with a meeting between Mexican Economy Secretary Graciela Marquez and U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross. On Wednesday, Ebrard meets U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
    Trump on Sunday called Mexico an “abuser” of the United States and said he wanted action, not talk.    Mexico has signaled it would retaliate to the tariffs, with targets likely to include farm products on Trump supporting states.
    In a possible sign of U.S. priorities in the talks, which are due to run through at least Wednesday, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) acting Secretary Kevin McAleenan said on Sunday that Mexico should deploy more personnel to interdict illegal migrants along a 150 mile (241.4 km) stretch of border with Guatemala.
    That border is a remote region of mostly jungle and river, and has traditionally been hard to police.    The causes of Central American immigration are mainly related to lack of economic opportunity and rampant violence.
    McAleenan also said Mexico should bolster its own immigration screenings along its southern border, crack down on networks transporting migrants and enable more migrants to wait in Mexico while they apply for asylum in the United States.
    Since January the government of President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has ramped up detentions and deportations, but that has not been enough to stop the growing tide of families reaching the United States, mainly from Guatemala and Honduras.
    In May, numbers are expected to have outpaced the 99,000 people apprehended at the border in April, with many of those crossing in groups of families who will mostly be released to await asylum hearings in the United States.
    In its biggest concession to Trump so far, Mexico agreed in December to receive some Central Americans seeking asylum in the United States to await the resolution of their cases.
    So far more than 6,000 people have been sent into Mexico under the program, which operates at three crossings and is commonly known as “Remain in Mexico.”
    DHS intends to increase the number of returns under “Remain in Mexico,” a spokeswoman said on Saturday, saying there were plans to expand the program, although new crossings had not been officially designated.
    A more radical idea that has long been promoted by the DHS and may again be on the table in talks this week despite previously being a red line for Lopez Obrador, is to make Central Americans apply for Mexican asylum, not U.S. asylum.
    Under this policy, Mexico could be declared a “safe third country.”    Rights groups argue that leaving asylum seekers in Mexico puts them at risk, since it suffers from similar levels of violence to the places they are fleeing.
    The ultimatum from Trump is the biggest foreign policy test to date for Lopez Obrador.    Aside from struggling to combat migrant flows, Mexican security forces are also fighting endemic gang violence.
    In a series of tweets on Sunday, Trump extended his demands on Mexico beyond immigration, demanding it stopped an “invasion” of drug dealers and cartels.
        In April, Trump took a step back from an earlier threat to completely close the U.S. border with Mexico to fight illegal immigration, under pressure from companies worried it would cause chaos for businesses.
    Mexico’s economy, which is heavily reliant on exports to the United States, shrank in the first quarter and would suffer a lot more if Trump were to jack tariffs up all the way to 25 percent.
    Trump’s aggressive trade diplomacy, both with Mexico and China, has scared investors away from riskier assets in global markets, as they fear it could tip the United States and other major economies in to recession.
(Additional reporting by Kristina Cooke in San Francisco; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)

6/3/2019 Deal or no deal, we leave EU on Oct. 31: UK PM candidate Johnson by William James
Former British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, who is running to succeed Theresa May as Prime Minister,
leaves his home in London, Britain, May 30, 2019. REUTERS/Hannah McKay
    LONDON (Reuters) – Boris Johnson, frontrunner to be Britain’s next prime minister, promised on Monday to lead the country out of the European Union on Oct. 31 with or without an exit deal, launching his leadership bid in a campaign video.
    Prime Minister Theresa May is due to resign on Friday having failed to deliver Brexit on schedule.    She leaves behind her a divided nation and parliament with no consensus on the way ahead for the world’s fifth largest economy.
    Johnson, a former foreign minister who resigned in protest at May’s handling of Brexit, is the bookmakers’ favorite to win a crowded contest and take over the running of the country at its most important strategic juncture in decades.
    “If I get in we’ll come out, deal or no deal, on October the 31st,” he was seen telling a member of the public in a campaign video released on Twitter.
    The launch coincided with the arrival in Britain of U.S. President Donald Trump, who has thrown his weight behind Johnson by saying he would do a “very good job” as British leader.
    The race to replace May has so far focused on candidates’ approach to a no-deal exit from the EU – with a clear dividing line between those who would countenance leaving the bloc without a formal transition agreement, and those who say it would be too economically dangerous.
    Leadership rival Jeremy Hunt, one of the staunchest opponents of no deal, told the BBC that it should only be used “in extremis” but that he believed he could negotiate a better deal before Oct. 31 – the country’s current exit date.
CUT TAXES, GET MORE MONEY
    Johnson is himself a divisive figure.
    Having led the 2016 campaign to leave the EU he is feted by those who see him as a colorful straight-talker, prepared to speak truth to a political establishment that has betrayed swathes of the electorate.
    But critics say the former Mayor of London, educated at the exclusive Eton College and Oxford University, is an opportunist member of the political elite seeking to get the top job at any cost.    He is due to appear in court over claims he lied during the Brexit referendum campaign – something his lawyers have dismissed as a political stunt.
    Monday’s video, featuring clips of Johnson talking to voters and a monologue delivered straight to camera, is his first real salvo in the leadership battle which so far has 13 contenders and could take two months to determine the winner.
    In it, he is seen touching on issues known to be important to the 160,000 or so Conservative members who will have the final vote on Britain’s next leader, once the candidate list has been whittled down by Conservative lawmakers.
    “Cut some taxes and you get more money in,” he tells another member of the public, while also arguing for more investment in education, infrastructure and healthcare.
    “Now is the time to unite our society, and unite our country.    To build the infrastructure, to invest in education, to improve our environment, and to support our fantastic NHS (National Health Service),” he said.
    “To lift everyone in our country, and of course, also to make sure that we support our wealth creators and the businesses that make that investment possible.”
(Reporting by William James, editing by Elizabeth Piper and Toby Chopra)

6/3/2019 House Intel panel to discuss ‘deepfakes’ by OAN Newsroom
    House lawmakers are expected to discuss the threat of so-called ‘deepfakes’ at an upcoming hearing on national security.    According to a congressional aide Monday, the Intelligence Committee will look at videos which are manipulated using artificial intelligence next week.
    This comes as Republicans and Democrats want to combat the spread of disinformation ahead of the 2020 elections.    The issue gained attention after a deceptively edited video of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi appearing to slur her words recently went viral.
    Although the video wasn’t made with artificial intelligence technology, experts warn the tactic could be weaponized by foreign governments to influence future elections.
Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats is pictured. (Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP Photo)
    “Advances in areas such as artificial intelligence, communication technologies, biotechnology and materiel sciences are changing our way of life,” stated Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats.    “But our adversaries are also investing heavily into these technologies, and they are likely to create new and unforeseen challenges to our health, economy, and security.”
    Next Thursday’s hearing will be the first time Congress specifically focuses on the issue of ‘deepfakes’ after failing to get much attention.

6/3/2019 President Trump will continue ‘Ultimate Deal’ to establish peace in the Middle East by OAN Newsroom
    President Trump recently weighed in on what some are calling “the deal of the century.”    While speaking from the White House Sunday, the president confirmed his administration will press forward with its Middle East peace deal despite the region’s complex political situation.
    The president said his administration is doing the best they can to establish peace terms, however, they must wait to see what happens.
    The peace initiative — called the ‘Ultimate Deal’ — aims to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict through careful designation of power and sovereignty.    This is an objective the president said has recently been made more difficult due to Israel’s second election.
President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump arrive at Stansted Airport in England, Monday, June 3, 2019
at the start of a three day state visit to Britain. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)
    “We are doing our best to help the Middle East get a peace plan…I think we have a good chance, but we will see what happens,” stated President Trump.    “In the meantime, Israel is all messed up with their election…so we are not happy about that, but if we can get a Mideast peace plan, that would be good.”
    The plan was developed last year and is led by White House adviser Jared Kushner.

6/3/2019 NASA sets sights on Moon missions, picks 3 firms for lunar deliveries by OAN Newsroom
    As part of one of the first ever commercial lunar missions, NASA has officially chosen the companies that will deliver science and technology payloads to the surface of the Moon.
    The administration selected Astrobiotic of Pittsburgh, Intuitive Machine of Houston, and Orbitbeyond of Edison, New Jersey.    Each company will carry a variety of instruments that will conduct experiments and technology demonstrations on the lunar surface.
    The $250 million contract also paves the way for the Artemis program, which is a mission aiming to land the next man and the first woman on the Moon in 2024.
    This comes after President Trump submitted a 2020 budget amendment, which provides a $1.6 billion increase for NASA’s Moon effort budget.
    “It will allow us to accelerate our development of the space launch system and O’Ryan,” explained NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine.    “It will support the development of a human landing system and it will support precursor capabilities on the lunar surface, including increased robotic exploration of the moons polar regions.”
    The three companies have said they are “thrilled” to have been selected by NASA, with one saying it was a “giant leap for the commercial space” industry.
This file photo, made available by NASA, shows the Earth behind the surface of the moon during the Apollo 8 mission. (William Anders/NASA via AP, File)

6/3/2019 President Trump firm on Mexico tariffs by OAN Newsroom
    President Trump is standing firm with his decision to impose tariffs on Mexico if they don’t do more to stop the flow of illegal immigration.     While speaking on the White House lawn Sunday, the president said it’s necessary to increase pressure on Mexico to keep Americans safe from illegal drugs as well as people who have not been properly vetted.     His statements come just days after he announced the White House would impose a five-percent tariff on all Mexican imports beginning on June 10th.    That rate would then increase until the immigration problem is solved.
President Donald Trump speaks to the media as he departs the White House,
Sunday June 2, 2019, in Washington, en route to London. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
    “Mexico is making hundreds of billions of dollars, for many many years, and they have to do something about the border,” stated President Trump.    “Everyone’s coming through Mexico including drugs, including human trafficking…we’re going to stop it or we’re not going to do business, and that’s going to be it.”
    American and Mexican officials are meeting this week at the White House with hopes of coming to an agreement before the tariffs are implemented.    If a deal is not reached, however, the president said his plan will be enforced.

6/3/2019 Lima Group and EU urge more international involvement in Venezuela
Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland speaks along side Peruvian Foreign Minister Nestor Popolizio and Chilean Foreign Minister
Roberto Ampuero during a news conference at United Nations headquarters in New York, U.S., June 3, 2019. REUTERS/Mike Segar
    (Reuters) – The Lima Group regional bloc and EU-led contact group on Venezuela on Monday called on Latin America and the broader international community to play a more active role in restoring democracy to Venezuela.
    The two groups made their call in a joint statement issued after Lima Group members Canada, Chile and Peru met European Union representatives at the United Nations.
    The 12-nation Lima Group and most Western nations have recognized Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido as the nation’s legitimate interim president.    But President Nicolas Maduro has repeatedly said that he will not step aside.
    “While the solution needs to be a Venezuelan one, the regional impact of the crisis requires the region and the international community to play a more active role in supporting a prompt return to democracy,” said the statement, read out at a news conference by Peruvian Foreign Minister Nestor Popolizio.
    The statement did not give more details and Popolizio, accompanied by Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland and Chilean Foreign Minister Roberto Ampuero, did not elaborate.
    Popolizio said it was important that humanitarian aid to Venezuela not be politicized.    Economic collapse has driven more than 3 million Venezuelans abroad in recent years.
(Reporting by David Ljunggren; Editing by Tom Brown)

6/4/2019 Oil down $0.62 to $52.88, DOW up 5 to 24,820.

6/4/2019 Chicago police: 52 shot over weekend by Don Babwin, ASSOCIATED PRESS
    CHICAGO – Chicago’s police chief on Monday decried a “despicable level of violence” during a weekend in which 52 people in the city were shot, eight of them fatally, and two people were stabbed to death.
    Police believe most of the shootings were gang related, Superintendent Eddie Johnson said.
    The shootings happened from 6 p.m. Friday until midnight Sunday on one of the warmest and sunniest weekends of the year in Chicago.    The city often sees an increase in violence in warmer weather.
    Johnson said the department increased the number of uniformed officers on the street.    He said he believes that effort helped police seize 92 illegal firearms, nearly twice as many as the department seizes in a typical warm weather weekend.    Homicides in Chicago surged to more than 770 three years ago, but have dropped since – to 660 in 2017 and 561 last year.
    Johnson reiterated his complaints about what he said are lax gun laws and court policies that he said turn the county jail into a revolving door for gun offenders.
    “Until we stop giving (gun offenders) the sense that they can do this with impunity, then we are going to continue to have these press conferences,” he said.
[Chicago is definitely not a city that is on my vacation list and after seeing the Jussie Smollet fiasco anything could happen in that city and we can only feel sorry for the law enforcement there.].

6/4/2019 Report: Christopher Steele agrees to be questioned by U.S. officials by OAN Newsroom
    The former British spy who authored the debunked Trump dossier has reportedly agreed to meet with U.S. officials on certain conditions.
    “The Times of London” reported Tuesday that Christopher Steele will meet with U.S. officials in the coming weeks to discuss his dealings with the FBI.    However, he will only meet with investigators if approved by the British government.
    Steele was hired by opposition research firm Fusion GPS, which was paid — in part — by the DNC and Hillary Clinton’s campaign.    The FBI then reportedly used the dossier as evidence to seek a FISA warrant to surveil the Trump campaign.
    The Department of Justice inspector general is reportedly investigating whether the FBI improperly relied on the dossier to obtain a FISA warrant.
Christopher Steele. (Victoria Jones/PA via AP)

6/4/2019 FBI gave Clinton ‘special treatment’ by OAN Newsroom
    A new batch of FBI emails has revealed officials at the bureau were looking to give special treatment to then-presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.
.     Judicial Watch obtained 218 pages of emails Monday between former FBI officials Peter Strzok and Lisa Page.    The emails contained discussions about missing reports and about interviews, commonly referred to as 302’s, pertaining to the Clinton probe.
Peter Strzok is pictured. (AP Photo)
    The emails also showed FBI counsel James Baker speaking with Clinton’s lawyer about “expeditiously” receiving a copy of those reports.
    Those missing reports were ultimately found, and turned over to Clinton’s team before being made public.    Judicial Watch has claimed this is evidence of special treatment.
    Documents obtained by Judicial Watch.

6/4/2019 Federal Reserve officials on trade, inflation by OAN Newsroom
    According to Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell, the Central Bank is monitoring the possible economic impact of trade disputes with China and Mexico.
    During a speech in Chicago today Tuesday, Powell said the Fed is maintaining its data dependent approach to monetary policy.    The fed chair also highlighted the continued strength in the labor market with record low unemployment and stable inflation.
    Inflation has still remained under the bank’s target for two-percent, which is something some experts believe will force a rate cut in the near future.    Powell said the Fed is closely watching the inflation shortfall.
    “We are closely monitoring the implications of these developments for the U.S. economic outlook and, as always, we will act as appropriate to sustain the expansion with a strong labor market and inflation near our symmetric two-percent objective,” he stated.
Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell speaks at a conference involving its review of its interest-rate
policy strategy and communications, Tuesday, June 4, 2019, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Kiichiro Sato)
    Chicago Fed President Charles Evans also addressed the shortfall during an interview Tuesday.    He said he’s “comfortable” with current policy, but is concerned about weak inflation.    He added, the low inflation could be a catalyst for the Fed to reconsider policy, but highlighted the continued supply-side strength in the U.S. economy.
    “The fundamentals of the economy continue to be solid, I think the consumer continues to be in a good position…labor markets continue to be strong,” Evans stated.
    President Trump has called on the Central Bank to cut interest rates, saying there is “no inflation” and the U.S. economy would be “like a rocket ship” if the bank lowered rates.

6/4/2019 President Trump doubles-down on Mexico tariffs amid GOP outcry by OAN Newsroom
    President Trump is taking a stand on his proposed tariffs on Mexico. He said the move is necessary to pressure the Mexican government to stop the flow of migrants heading to the U.S. border.
    While in London Tuesday, the president was asked if he would follow through with the duties on Mexican imports if the immigration crisis is not stopped by Mexico.    He also addressed possible Republican measures which could curb his authority to impose tariffs on Mexico, saying the GOP is foolish to try and stop the penalties.    He had this to say:
    “We are going to see if we can do something, but I think it’s more likely that the tariffs go on…and they’re going to be paid…Look, millions of people are flowing through Mexico, that is unacceptable…it’s a 2,000 mile journey and they’re coming up to our border and our Border Patrol, which is incredible, they’re apprehending them, but our laws are bad because the Democrats don’t want to pass laws…but even beyond the laws, Mexico shouldn’t allow millions of people to try and enter our country, and they could stop it very quickly and I think they will…and if they won’t, we are going to put tariffs on.”
    President Trump’s tariffs on Mexico are set to take effect next Monday if nothing changes on Mexico’s part.
President Donald Trump speaks during a news conference with British Prime Minister Theresa May
at the Foreign Office, Tuesday, June 4, 2019, in central London. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
    Meanwhile, Mexico believes a deal will be made on time to stop the tariffs from taking effect.    While speaking at a press conference Tuesday, Mexican Foreign Minister Marcel Ebrard revealed a plan has been in the works, which he believes will address Washington’s requests.    He added, the proposal is in its final phase and should be ready by Wednesday.
    “I would say that thus far we can conclude two things from what we have seen: first, there will be a negotiation, which we estimate that we will able to find a point of coming together,” stated Ebrard.    “Secondly, today we finish the preparatory work in response to the proposal that Mexico will present with its point of view.”
    Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Mexico’s foreign minister will meet in Washington Wednesday, where they will discuss Mexico’s proposal and ways to combat the immigration crisis.

6/4/2019 Progressive groups pressure Speaker Pelosi to impeach President Trump by OAN Newsroom
    House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is being pressured by activist groups to launch impeachment proceedings against President Trump.
    A letter sent from several progressive organizations Tuesday, including the Women’s March, said Pelosi has not headed the calls of growing numbers of Democrats to take action against the president.    The group cites the so-called Muslim travel ban and family separations at the border as reasons to start the impeachment process now.
    Last week, Pelosi said while nothing is off the table, she wants to make sure any calls for impeachment are compelling enough to meet the approval of the Senate.
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., listens to a question during an address at the
Commonwealth Club Wednesday, May 29, 2019, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)
    “… We do want to make such a compelling case, such an ironclad case that even the Republican Senate, which at the time seems to be not an objective jury, will be convinced of the path that we have to take as a country,” she stated.
    Pelosi went on to say it’s important to get all the facts together, adding, everyone wants justice and everyone wants the president to be held accountable.

6/4/2019 White House directs former officials Hicks, Donaldson not to turn over docs to House Judiciary Committee by OAN Newsroom
    The White House has instructed former officials Hope Hicks and Annie Donaldson to not hand over any documents from their time in the administration to the House Judiciary Committee.
    Jennifer Franco: “House Judiciary Chair Jerry Nadler says the White House has directed former officials Hope Hicks and Annie Donaldson not to comply with congressional subpoenas seeking documents from their time in the Trump administration.”
    The move was reported Tuesday amid a deadline for both individuals to comply with the Democrat-led panel’s subpoenas for testimony and documents House Judiciary chairman Jerry Nadler has reportedly said both would likely be held in contempt if they do not comply with the subpoenas.
    The committee had requested Hicks to testify on June 19th and Donaldson on June 24th, but it appears they will not be fulfilling those requests.
Former White House Communications Director Hope Hicks. (Evan Vucci/AP)

6/4/2019 Senior adviser Jared Kushner defends President Trump in recent interview by OAN Newsroom
    After months of hearing people talk about him in the mainstream media, Jared Kushner defended his honor in an interview with Axios on HBO.    The line of questioning aired Sunday night amid Kushner’s recent public profile regarding the Middle East peace deal, and being a point person for negotiations with Mexico on trade and immigration.
    During the interview, Kushner was asked about the 2016 Trump Tower meeting with him, Donald Trump Jr., Paul Manafort and several Russian nationals. He had this to say:
    “Let me put you in my shoes at that time, OK?    I’m running three companies, I’m helping run the campaign.    I get email that says show up at four instead of three to a meeting that I’ve been told about earlier that didn’t know what the hell it was about.    OK?    I show up at the meeting, I stay for 15 minutes…it’s a clown show…I text my assistant to say you know can you give me a call and get me the hell out of here, this is a waste of time.    I leave.    I never would’ve thought about that meeting again.    OK?    Had there been something that actually was nefarious at the meeting that came up maybe we would’ve done something different, but the reality is that the meeting was a total waste of time.”
FILE – In this Aug. 29, 2018 file photo, White House Adviser Jared Kushner waves as he arrives at the Office
of the United States Trade Representative in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File)
    The president’s son-in-law also said he did not play a role in the security clearance process after reports claimed President Trump overruled White House security officials and granted Kushner a top secret clearance.    He then said the president was doing a lot to advance American interests, and no amount of criticism will change the good he has done for the country.
    “I think he’s here today and I think he’s doing a lot of great things for the country, and that’s what I’m proud of,” Kushner stated.

6/4/2019 House Oversight Committee : We’ll hold off on contempt votes if we get Census docs by OAN Newsroom
    The House Oversight Committee said it will consider postponing contempt votes for Attorney General William Barr and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross if they submit requested documents by Thursday.
    The panel’s Democrat chairman, Elijah Cummings, sent a letter Monday regarding the inclusion of a citizenship question on the 2020 Census.    Democrats have alleged the question goes beyond recording respondents in the census, and could potentially benefit Republicans in terms of electoral maps.
House Oversight and Reform Committee Chair Elijah Cummings, D-Md., watches during a break in testimony
on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. (Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP Photo)
    One America News caught up with Congressman Mark Meadows, who said the threat of a contempt vote is an example of government overreach by the Democrats.
    “It’s a lot of overreach, it’s not a little bit of overreach…I mean these are 2020 subpoenas, these are 2020 contempt of Congress motions, this is all about setting forth a narrative that is against this president and, candidly, it’s not the way that we’ve done business in Congress whether we have had Republican or Democrat presidents…this is unique for this president and it’s unique for the Democrats in the majority,” he stated.
    This comes as the legal battle over the citizenship question plays out in the Supreme Court.    A final decision must be made by the end of this month before census forms begin printing.

6/4/2019 President Trump discusses trade with outgoing British Prime Minister Theresa May by OAN Newsroom
    President Trump is urging outgoing British Prime Minister Theresa May to “stick around” for a trade deal.    The president made the comments Tuesday at a business roundtable at St. James Palace before the two leaders met privately to further discuss trade and security.
    President Trump expressed appreciation for the relationship he’s had with the United Kingdom, and said he’s hoping to strengthen that bond.    The U.S. and Britain are working to strike a bilateral trade agreement, and the President said the deal would be very fair.
Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May and President Donald Trump walk through the Quadrangle of the Foreign Office
for a joint press conference in central London, Tuesday, June 4, 2019. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)
    “It’s an honor to have worked with you and I don’t know exactly what your timing is, but stick around, let’s do this deal,” President Trump told the outgoing prime minister.    “Thank you very much, thank you very much.”
    The president’s comments come after he posted a tweet Monday, saying a big trade deal is possible once the U.K. gets rid of its “EU shackles.”
    Trump tweet “London part of trip is going really well.    The Queen and the entire Royal family have been fantastic.    The relationship with the United Kingdom is very strong.    Tremendous crowds of well wishers and people that love our Country.    Haven’t seen any protests yet, but I’m sure the....”    “....Fake News will be working hard to find them. Great love all around. Also, big Trade Deal is possible once U.K. gets rid of the shackles. Already starting to talk!

6/5/2019 Oil up $0.23 to $53.48, DOW up 512 to 25,332.

6/5/2019 White House stonewalls subpoenas by Mary Clare Jalonick and Lisa Mascaro, ASSOCIATED PRESS
    WASHINGTON – The White House on Tuesday again directed former employees not to cooperate with a congressional investigation, this time instructing former aides Hope Hicks and Annie Donaldson to defy subpoenas and refuse to provide documents to the House Judiciary Committee.
    The letters from the White House to the Judiciary panel are the latest effort by the White House to thwart congressional investigations into President Donald Trump. Trump has said he will fight “all of the subpoenas” as Democrats have launched multiple investigations into his administration and personal financial affairs.
    House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler issued subpoenas for documents and testimony from Hicks, former White House communications director, and Donaldson, a former aide in the White House counsel’s office, last month.    Both are mentioned frequently in special counsel     Robert Mueller’s report, along with former White House Counsel Donald McGahn.    The White House has also directed McGahn to refuse to provide documents or testify before the committee.
    Mueller’s investigation concluded that Russia interfered in the 2016 election in hopes of getting Trump elected, though his report said there was not enough evidence to establish a conspiracy between Russia and the Trump campaign.    Last week, Mueller emphasized he had not exonerated Trump on the question of whether he obstructed justice – in effect leaving it to Congress to decide what to do with his findings.
    In a letter to Nadler, White House Counsel Pat Cipollone said that Hicks and Donaldson “do not have the legal right” to disclose White House documents to the panel.    Cipollone said requests for the records should be directed to the White House, adding that they remain “legally protected from disclosure under longstanding constitutional principles, because they implicate significant executive branch confidentiality interests and executive privilege.”
    In directing witnesses not to comply, the White House has frequently cited such executive privilege, or the power to keep information from the courts, Congress and the public to protect the confidentiality of the Oval Office decision-making process.
    But that only extends so far.    Nadler said in a statement that although the White House had instructed the former aides not to turn over materials, Hicks has agreed to turn over some documents related to her time on Trump’s presidential campaign.    Those materials are not covered by executive privilege.
    Nadler said he thanked Hicks for “that show of good faith.”    But it was unclear how much material the committee would receive.
    The committee is arguing that the documents would not be covered by executive privilege if they left the White House months ago.
    “The president has no lawful basis for preventing these witnesses from complying with our request,” Nadler said.    “We will continue to seek reasonable accommodation on these and all our discovery requests and intend to press these issues when we obtain the testimony of both Ms. Hicks and Ms. Donaldson.”
Former White House Communications Director Hope Hicks, right, was directed not to testify before Congress. ANDREW HARNIK/AP

6/5/2019 White House: Mexico must crack down on mass migration, drugs to avoid tariffs by OAN Newsroom
    White House trade adviser Peter Navarro is urging Mexico to ramp-up security at the southern border to avoid upcoming tariffs.
    In an interview Wednesday, Navarro said the U.S. has proposed a three-part solution for Mexico to tackle the flow of illegal drugs and immigration.    He also called for more security at the Mexico-Guatemala border, and for a crack down on buses and trains that transport migrants through Mexico.
    “I believe that Mexicans are sincere about wanting to do something, but the problem that Mexicans face is that it’s just a lot of money being made on their side of the border,” stated Navarro.    “President Trump is going to impose costs on them, so therefore they will act.”
    The President’s proposed tariffs on Mexico are set to go into effect next Monday if a deal isn’t be reached.
    Meanwhile, another large group of Central American migrants have crossed into Mexico in hopes of reaching the U.S. border.
    Marco Rubio “Today hundreds of migrants from #CentralAmerica crossed into #Mexico.    A group of about 1,000 has started walking en mass towards the U.S. border, where they plan to request asylum Mexican police accompanied them taking no actions to dissuade them.”
    According to Mexican police, at least 1,000 migrants arrived from Guatemala Wednesday, and are now en route to the city of Tapachula. Local and state police are reportedly accompanying the group along their route.
    Mexican officials claim they plan to stop this group as talks on tariffs and immigration between the U.S. and Mexico continue.
Mexican authorities stop a migrant caravan that had earlier crossed the Mexico – Guatemala border, near Metapa, Chiapas state, Mexico, Wednesday, June 5, 2019. (AP Photo/Marco Ugarte)

6/5/2019 House Speaker Pelosi speaks out on meeting with Mexico’s foreign minister, tariffs by OAN Newsroom
    House Speaker Nancy Pelosi commented on her recent meeting regarding the USMCA with Mexican Foreign Minister Carlos Ebrard.
    During a press conference on Capitol Hill Wednesday, Pelosi said Democrat lawmakers made it clear they want to pass the USMCA.    However, she noted they are concerned with enforcement on issues such as workers rights and the environment.
    Pelosi also accused the president of treating Mexico as an enemy in regard to his proposed trade tariffs on the country.    Despite her criticism, the Democrat leader acknowledged immigration reform needs to addressed with Mexico.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif. meets with reporters at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, June 5, 2019. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
    “We do, in our relationship with Mexico, want to find comprehensive immigration reform that helps address the problem — having humanitarian assistance at the border to help meet the needs of the people coming in, and, again, not to be punishing Mexico because in punishing Mexico we’ll be punishing America as well,” stated the House speaker.
    Pelosi also suggested the Senate would “probably” have the votes to override the tariffs if they are enacted.

6/5/2019 House Democrats approve bill granting amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants by OAN Newsroom
    The Democrat-controlled House recently passed legislation, which could potentially impact immigration law for years to come.    In a floor vote Tuesday, the lower chamber approved HR6, which is also known as the ‘Dream and Promise Act.’    The bill provides a legislative fix for DACA recipients, granting permanent residency and an eventual pathway to citizenship for the more than two million so-called Dreamers.
    The DACA program has been in limbo amid its cancellation by President Trump and subsequent legal challenges, but the move goes much further than a DACA fix.    The legislation also provides a permanent safeguard from deportation for immigrants currently residing in the U.S. under Temporary Protected Status and Deferred Enforcement Departure.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif., front left, shakes hands with House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, D-Md. front right, during an
event on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, June 4, 2019, regarding the American Dream and Promise Act which offers a pathway to
citizenship for those with Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), Temporary Protected Status (TPS), and Deferred Enforced Departure (DED)
and similarly situated immigrants who have spent much of their lives in the United States. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
    Temporary Protected Status has allowed foreign nationals from various countries, including El Salvador and Honduras, to seek temporary refuge from violence and natural disasters.    The program is managed by the Department of Homeland Security.    The department has begun terminating these protections because they say most immigrants can now return to their country of origin safely.
    However, the Deferred Enforcement Departure is conducted at the president’s discretion.    Former President George W. Bush enacted protections for Liberians in 2007 due to the Ebola outbreak, but President Trump has ordered protections to wind-down and terminate next year.
    While Democrats are calling the passage of the legislation a victory, the bill is expected to be dead on arrival in the Senate as most Republicans in the upper chamber are against amnesty.

PRESIDENT TRUMP IT IS TIME TO PASS THE INSURRECTION ACT SINCE THE DEMOCRATS IN CONGRESS ARE IGNORING IT AND WILL NOT HEED TO THE CRISIS/INVASION ON THE SOUTHERN BORDER AS YOU CAN SEE ABOVE THEY CONTINUE TO IGNORE IT WITH THE DACA BILL
    The Insurrection Act of 1807 is a United States federal law (10 U.S.C. 251–255) (until 2016, found at 10 US Code, Chapter 15, 331–335, renumbered to 10 USC, Chapter 13, 251–255) that governs the ability of the President of the United States to deploy military troops within the United States to put down lawlessness, insurrection, and rebellion.    The general purpose is to limit presidential power, relying on state and local governments for initial response in the event of insurrection.    Coupled with the Posse Comitatus Act, presidential powers for domestic law enforcement are limited and delayed.
    The Insurrection Act is an umbrella term for a series of statutes that date all the way back to the Founding, and through which Congress has exercised its authority under Article I, Section 8, Clause 15 of the Constitutionto provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions.”    The Constitution’s drafters understood that there would be circumstances in which local authorities were inadequate to protect the populace and enforce the laws, and so went out of their way not only to identify three circumstances in which troops could be used, but also to give the power to delimit those circumstances to Congress, not the president.
    As documented in a comprehensive three-volume history by the U.S. Army’s Center for Military History, the Insurrection Act has therefore been used repeatedly throughout American history to help quell civil unrest—especially before the rise of well-trained (and increasingly well-equipped) modern local police forces.    In virtually every case, the act was used in circumstances in which there was no serious dispute that local authorities were inadequate to the task at hand, and where domestic deployment of federal troops was seen as a means of restoring civil and civilian order, not subverting it.

6/5/2019 President Trump takes aim at minority leader Schumer for accusation of tariff bluffing by OAN Newsroom
    President Trump recently took aim at Chuck Schumer after the Senate minority leader accused the president of “bluffing” in regards to tariffs.
    On Twitter Tuesday, the president proceeded to call Schumer a “creep” after the Democrat leader said the president would back down on imposing new tariffs on Mexico.    He then went on to say Schumer would do anything to see Republicans fail rather than fixing the immigration and drug problem.
    Trump tweet: “Can you imagine Cryin’ Chuck Schumer saying out loud, for all to hear, that I am bluffing with respect to putting Tariffs on Mexico.    What a Creep.    He would rather have our Country fail with drugs & Immigration than give Republicans a win.    But he gave Mexico bad advice, no bluff!
    While speaking from the Senate floor, Schumer criticized the president’s new tariff proposals:
    “These whimsical and erratic proposals by the president, which seem to pop into his head and then he goes forward with them without checking, he’s making a mess of what’s going on at the southern border.    So, I would say to the president, there’s a much better way to address the migration issue than tariffs.”
    The White House is planning on imposing a five-percent tariff on Mexican goods beginning on June 10th if U.S. and Mexican officials can’t reach a deal.    The president is seeking to make Mexico do more to address the migrant crisis.
Senate Minority Leader Sen. Chuck Schumer of N.Y., speaks to reporters following the weekly policy
lunches on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, June 4, 2019. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

6/5/2019 President Trump defends transgender troop ban while supporting LGBTQ rights by OAN Newsroom
    President Trump recently spoke out on his support for LGBTQ rights, while still defending his stance on banning transgender people from serving in the military.
    In an interview that aired Wednesday, British commentator Piers Morgan pressed the president on why he felt the need to enforce that ban after recently tweeting about protecting the LGBTQ community.
    In response the president, said it was because transgender people take massive amounts of drugs” after their operation, which is not allowed in the military.    He then claimed many service members were joining the military requesting operations, but then taking time off for recovery.
FILE PHOTO – Members of the U.S. Army march on 5th Avenue during a parade in N.Y. (Photo/REUTERS/Carlo Allegri)
    “You have to have a standard and you have to stick by that standard — we have a great military and I want to keep it that way,” stated the president.    “And maybe they would be phenomenal, I think they probably would be, but, again, you have very strict rules and regulations on drugs and prescription drugs and all of these different things.”
    While the president’s policy was met by a string of lawsuits from LGBTQ advocacy groups, the transgender troop ban still took effect in April.

6/6/2019 Oil down $1.60 to $51.68, DOW up 207 to 25,540.

6/6/2019 President Trump threatens more tariffs on $300B worth of Chinese goods by OAN Newsroom
U.S President Donald Trump gestures during a meeting with with French President Emmanuel Macron at the
Prefecture of Caen, Normandy, France, Thursday, June 6, 2019. (Ludovic Marin/POOL via AP)
    President Trump is threatening yet another round of tariffs on Chinese goods.
    While speaking to reporters Thursday, the president said he may impose duties on $300 billion worth of Chinese imports.    Although, he didn’t specify which products would be affected.
    Beijing responded by saying they would fight back against the tariffs.
    During talks with the French president Thursday, President Trump clarified when he would make a final decision.
    “We’ll make that decision, I would say, over the two-weeks…one way or the another, I’ll make that decision after the G20,” he stated.    “I’ll be meeting with President Xi and we’ll see what happens, but probably planning it sometime after G20.”
    This comes after President Trump increased tariffs to 25-percent on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods in May after both countries failed to strike a deal on trade.

6/6/2019 Iran failing as a nation, but U.S. could turn that around: Trump by Steve Holland and Marine Pennetier
U.S. President Donald Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron speak during a meeting at the
Prefecture of Caen, Normandy, France June 6, 2019, on the sidelines of D-Day commemorations marking the
75th anniversary of the World War II Allied landings in Normandy. Ludovic Marin/Pool via REUTERS
    CAEN, France (Reuters) – Iran is failing as a nation after Washington imposed powerful sanctions last year, U.S. President Donald Trump said on Thursday, adding that he could turn that around very quickly in talks with the leadership in Tehran.
    Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on Tuesday that Tehran would not be “deceived” by Trump’s offer of negotiations and would not give up its missile program.
    Iran and the United States have been drawn into starker confrontation in the past month, a year after Washington pulled out of a deal between Iran and global powers to curb Tehran’s nuclear program in return for lifting international sanctions.
    “When I became president, Iran was a true state of terror.    They still are and were undisputed champions of terror,” Trump told reporters before holding bilateral talks with French President Emmanuel Macron in Caen, western France, after attending a ceremony to commemorate the 75th anniversary of D-Day.
    “They are failing as a nation, but I don’t want them to fail as a nation. We can turn that around very quickly but the sanctions have been extraordinary (in) how powerful they have been.”
    Trump has condemned the nuclear deal, signed by his predecessor Barack Obama, as flawed for not being permanent and for not covering Iran’s ballistic missile program or its role in conflicts around the Middle East.    He has called on Iran to come to the negotiating table to reach a new deal.
    “I understand they want to talk and that’s fine, we’ll talk.    One thing they can’t have is nuclear weapons,” Trump said.
    President Hassan Rouhani, who has taken a softer stance to Khamenei, suggested last week that Iran might be willing to hold talks if the United States showed it respect and lifted sanctions.
    Trump insisted that Washington had no differences with his European allies over Iran saying that France also did not want Iran to obtain nuclear weapons.
    The European signatories to the 2015 deal – France, Britain and Germany – share the same concerns as the United States over Iran’s ballistic missile program and regional activities.
    However, they have defended the nuclear accord saying that at least it puts curbs on Iran’s nuclear program and can be the basis for future talks.
    “I think we do share the same objectives on Iran.    We want to be sure they don’t get nuclear weapons.    We had an accord until 2025 and we want to go further and have full certainty in the long run,” Macron said.
    “(Then) reduce ballistic activity and contain Iran regionally and we have a fourth objective which is peace in the region.    To build that we need to start a negotiation.    We need to open a new negotiation.”
(Writing by John Irish; Editing by Richard Lough)

6/6/2019 SpaceX crew dismisses setbacks which could postpone mission by OAN Newsroom
    NASA’ s first SpaceX astronauts are looking forward to their mission despite a series of setbacks, which could postpone their Maiden launch.
    The pilots of the Crew Dragon Capsule, which is scheduled to fly to the International Space Station later this year, shrugged off the “glitches as normal occurrences.”
    “This is part of the process.    And, and so it’s not surprising that it’s happened.    We all wish that we haven’t had some of these issues, but they do happen and as long as you’ve got a good process, a good team put together, you can get through them.” — Mike Hopkins, astronaut.
A section of the International Space Station. (AP Photo/NASA)
    The Crew Dragon experienced a successful unmanned launch in March, but a second test in April uncovered issues with the spacecraft’s emergency thrusters.    NASA may choose to postpone the trip to 2020 if these problems are not resolved.

6/6/2019 Explainer: How does the situation on the U.S.-Mexico border compare with the past?
A child, resident of Ciudad Juarez, looks through the bars of a wall from the side of Ciudad Juarez, Mexico,
in this picture taken on the side of El Paso, Texas, U.S. May 25, 2019. REUTERS / Jose Luis Gonzalez
    (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump has made immigration a central theme of his administration but has grown increasingly frustrated with the ballooning numbers of mostly Central American families crossing the U.S.-Mexico border and turning themselves in to U.S. authorities.
    A threat of across-the-board tariffs on Mexican goods starting on Monday unless Mexico does more to stop migrants from reaching the United States has led to high-stakes negotiations between the two governments.
    Trump has often described the situation as an “invasion” and an “onslaught,” blaming it for crime and drugs entering the United States.    But the issue of migration on the southwest border is complex and has evolved over the years. Here are answers to some commonly raised questions:
HOW MANY PEOPLE ARE CROSSING THE BORDER?
    In May, 132,887 people were apprehended at the southwest border, up 30% from April and 229% from May last year.    The percentage of people crossing as families has risen even more dramatically.
IS IT REALLY A RECORD?
    May was the highest monthly level of crossings since March 2006, but crossings are lower than at previous points in history.    The main shift is in demographics.    More than 63% of those apprehended in May were children and people traveling as families.
    Until this year, arrests for illegal entry at the southwest border had been below half a million annually since 2009, the first time it was that low since 1973, according to government data.
WHY ARE OFFICIALS TALKING ABOUT AN ‘UNPRECEDENTED CRISIS’?
    Previous peaks in illegal border crossings were driven by mainly single, adult Mexicans, and U.S. authorities could return them quickly to Mexico with the use of relatively few resources.
    The current surge is primarily families from Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras.    Many seek U.S. asylum, which can take months or years because of crushing backlogs in the U.S. immigration court system.
    U.S. authorities are limited by law to detaining children for 20 days, and the government lacks family detention space, so many are released into the United States.    Since March 19, more than 75,000 family units have been released by Border Patrol.
    But before they are released, Border Patrol has to process the families, and officials say their facilities are overwhelmed. A U.S. government watchdog reported “dangerous” overcrowding at one border patrol facility in El Paso, Texas.
    At least six minors have died while in U.S. custody or shortly after being released within the past year.
WHAT IS DRIVING CENTRAL AMERICAN FAMILIES TO MIGRATE?
    Migrants are fleeing violence, political turmoil and economic distress in their home countries.    U.S. officials say word has spread that the United States is releasing families.
    Democrats in Washington have criticized Trump for cutting aid to the region in apparent retaliation for the flows of migrants, which they say exacerbates the problems and spurs people to flee.
    In Guatemala, for example, one U.S. assistance program under threat was established to keep farmers from abandoning the land and migrating north.
WHAT EFFECT HAVE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION POLICIES HAD?
    Shortly after Trump took office in 2017 after a campaign focused on curbing illegal immigration, border apprehensions dropped dramatically, but they ticked back up by the end of the year.
    Since then, many of the Trump administration policies aimed at reducing illegal entrants have run into legal hurdles.
    The administration’s most divisive policy, “zero tolerance,” was aimed at discouraging families by separating detained parents from their children.    Worldwide condemnation forced the administration to quickly ditch the policy.
    The administration has also tried to discourage migrants by making it more difficult to apply for asylum, but some measures have been blocked in the courts.
    In January, the administration began a policy of sending some asylum seekers back to Mexico to wait out their U.S. court hearings.    While a judge found the policy likely violated immigration law, it remains in place while the administration appeals the ruling.
    Trump declared a national emergency to redirect $6.7 billion from the military and the Treasury to extend a border wall, but a federal judge blocked the initial funds.
HOW DOES TRUMP RESPONSE COMPARE WITH PAST ADMINISTRATIONS?
    Trump has said Congress needs to act to update immigration laws that have been on the books through many administrations.
    Prior administrations sought to boost assistance to migrants’ countries of origin and also constructed barriers along the border.
    Former officials have said Trump could adopt measures used by past administrations, including constructing temporary tent housing and beefing up technology.    Where past administrations bolstered Border Patrol, resources are now needed in immigration courts, healthcare for migrants, logistics and to improve communication and coordination among agencies.
(Reporting by Tom Hals in Wilmington, Delaware, and Mica Rosenberg in New York; Editing by Peter Cooney)

6/6/2019 Mexico offers to send national guard to southern border to stem migration: sources
FILE PHOTO - Soldiers assigned to the newly created National Guard keep watch outside the Siglo XXI immigrant detention center
as part of the security measures by the federal government, in Tapachula, Mexico May 23, 2019. REUTERS/Jose Torres
    MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – In talks with the United States, Mexico has offered to send up to 6,000 members of its national guard to secure its southern border with Guatemala in order to contain migrant flows, according to two people with knowledge of the matter.     The news was first reported by the Washington Post.
    Mexico has sent a delegation of officials to Washington to try to avert U.S. President Donald Trump’s threats to impose import tariffs on Mexican goods if the country does not do more to halt the flow of migrants to the United States.
    During the talks, the United States proposed deporting undocumented Guatemalan migrants to Mexico as part of a deal, but there has been no agreement on this point, according to a Mexican source familiar with the process.
(Reporting by Dave Graham; Editing by Susan Thomas)

6/6/2019 Doubts persist over Trump attendance at French G7 summit: French official
U.S. President Donald Trump looks on during a meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron (not pictured)
at the Prefecture of Caen, on the sidelines of D-Day commemorations marking the 75th anniversary of the World War II
Allied landings in Normandy, France, June 6, 2019. Ludovic Marin/Pool via REUTERS
    CAEN, France (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump did not confirm he would attend August’s summit of the G7 group of rich nations in southwestern France city of Biarritz when he met President Emmanuel Macron on Thursday, a French official said.
    A G7 foreign ministers meeting held in Britanny earlier this year was overshadowed when U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo chose not to attend, underscoring how tough agreeing common ground between allies has become at the annual big power summit.
    Along with the United States, France and Britain, the group includes Japan, Germany, Italy, Canada and the European Union.
    Tensions between the United States and its European allies have meant that where they were once largely in accord, they now seek the lowest common denominator at international gatherings.
    Trump briefly set aside his testy relationship with Macron on Thursday, heaping praise on U.S. war veterans in a speech to mark the 75th D-Day anniversary and steering clear of issues that might rile Europe.
    Macron and Trump have had a difficult relationship, at odds over the American’s unilateralist approach to trade, climate change and a nuclear deal with Iran.
    On Thursday, Trump spoke of an “outstanding” relationship, while Macron described their bond as “extremely strong.”
    However, when asked whether Trump had committed to attending this year’s G7 summit, a French official debriefing reporters after the meeting said that was still unclear.
    “You’d have to ask him (Trump) the question.    It’s important for us that he is in Biarritz and we are hopeful he’ll be there,” the official said.
    In 2018, Trump threw the efforts of other leaders to show a united front into disarray by leaving early, backing out of a joint communique and criticizing his Canadian host.
(Reporting by Marine Pennetier; writing by John Irish, Editing by William Maclean)

6/7/2019 Oil up $0.91 to $52.59, DOW up 181 to 25,721.

6/7/2019 House plans more hearings on Mueller report by OAN Newsroom
    House Democrats have launched more hearings to maintain public attention on the Mueller report.    On Friday, Intelligence Committee chair Adam Schiff said his panel will hold a hearing next Wednesday on counterintelligence implications in the report.
    Specifically, lawmakers will review Russian meddling in the 2016 election and ties to the Trump campaign.    The panel has invited two former FBI officials, who were not involved in the Mueller probe, to testify.
Chairman Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., speaks at a House Intelligence Committee hearing on national security implications
of climate change on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, June 5, 2019. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
    Schiff has continued to push the Russia collusion narrative for weeks as Democrats consider impeaching the president.
    “We still can’t get an answer and I have to say, it’s very concerning that it’s so hard to get an answer to these very basic questions,” he stated.    “It makes you wonder — did someone really drop the ball here or our there findings that they don’t want the Congress to have for whatever reason?    Do they shed negative light on people currently serving the administration?
    The Intelligence Committee hearings come in addition to a series of similar hearings next week by the Judiciary Committee.    Both panels have threatened to subpoena Robert Mueller to testify if necessary.
[Shifty Schiff thinks he is flying high now and I think he is getting desperate since they have to find some kind of crime to impeach Trump because he spent two years telling the fake news that he had proof of Russian collusion, and we will soon see him go down crashing in flames as he has already lost all respect from many in the Congress and Senate and has been asked by members to remove himself from the Committee chair.].

6/7/2019 White House proceeds with Mexico tariffs, could shelf plan if immigration deal reached by OAN Newsroom
    The White House said it’s still planning to tack on a five-percent tariff on imports from Mexico as immigration negotiations continue through the weekend.
    The vice president’s chief of staff — Marc Short — said the White House would post a “legal notification” sometime Friday, confirming the tariffs would take effect this Monday.    However, Short said the notification could be halted or scrapped altogether if there was a breakthrough in negotiations.
Vice President Mike Pence’s Chief of Staff Marc Short, center, speaks to reporters outside the
West Wing of the White House in Washington, Wednesday, May 29, 2019. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
    He also said he was encouraged by Mexico’s progress on the issue:
    I think we’re encouraged that Mexico came prepared to put solutions on the table, but on Wednesday, I think we felt that they were wholly insufficient.    They were a step forward, but insufficient.    As negotiations continued yesterday, we were more encouraged that they came forward with some of the things that we put on the table Wednesday.
    In the meantime, trade talks between the U.S. and Mexico are set to continue as both sides seek to avoid new tariffs threatened by President Trump.
    On Thursday, Mexico proposed sending 6,000 National Guard troops to it’s shared border with Guatemala, and offered to try and reform it’s immigration laws with the Northern Triangle countries.
    Global markets rebounded on hopes a deal could soon be reached before next weeks deadline.
    Trump tweet: “If we are able to make the deal with Mexico, & there is a good chance that we will, they will begin purchasing Farm & Agricultural products at very high levels, starting immediately.    If we are unable to make the deal, Mexico will begin paying Tariffs at the 5% level on Monday!

6/7/2019 2020 hopeful Joe Biden backtracks on prior support of anti-abortion law by OAN Newsroom
    2020 presidential candidate Joe Biden took to Twitter to express his change of heart regarding the Hyde Amendment.    The measure is a pro-life law that bans federal funding for abortion services unless they are under cases of rape, incest or to save the life of a mother.
    In his tweet, the former vice president said he can “no longer support” the amendment, and that he believes “women’s rights and health care are under assault.”
    Joe Biden tweet: “i>Women’s rights and health care are under assault in a way that seeks to roll back every step of progress we’ve made over the last 50 years.    If I believe health care is a right, as I do, I can no longer support an amendment that makes that right dependent on someone’s zip code.”
    The shift comes after multiple 2020 hopefuls called him out on his previous support of the controversial law, expressing their own disapproval of the legislation.    With Biden as the clear front-runner at this point in the race, the other candidates seemed to take the opportunity capitalize on slamming Biden’s support of the law in hopes of closing a gap in the polls.
    “Is Joe Biden wrong?    Yes.    Under the Hyde Amendment, under every one of these efforts to try to chip away or to push back or to get rid of Roe v. Wade understand this — women of means will still have access to abortion…who wont will be poor women.” — Sen. Elizabeth Warren, 2020 presidential hopeful
    Just one day earlier, Biden’s campaign openly backed the vice president’s support of blocking federal funds for most abortions after a resurfaced interview from last month seemed to confuse his supporters on where the vice president stands on the law.
Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden speaks during the
I Will Vote Fundraising Gala Thursday, June 6, 2019, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
    When asked to clarify his stance, one of Biden’s campaign staffers said the vice president has never changed his view and misheard the reporter’s question.    However, his latest tweet confirms that is not the case, and he officially no longer supports the Hyde Amendment.

6/7/2019 Rep. Omar violated Minn. campaign finance laws, must reimburse funds by OAN Newsroom
    Congresswoman Ilhan Omar is running into legal trouble just months after being sworn-in on Capitol Hill.    According to Minnesota state officials Thursday, Omar violated campaign finance rules during her time as a state representative.    The Democrat lawmaker must now pay back her former campaign committee and the state roughly $4,000.
    The investigation began last fall after a Republican state lawmaker filed a formal complaint about Omar’s spending practices.     Investigators uncovered evidence of Omar spending money on travel and hotel expenses for out of state trips, which were not related to her serving in office.     Additional documents showed the lawmaker used campaign money to obtain her immigration records and to file a joint tax return with her husband.    The latter process took place between 2014 and 2015 with Omar’s current husband, while she was reportedly married to another man.
File- This March 12, 2019, file photo shows Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., listening as Office of Management and Budget Acting Director
Russell Vought testifies before the House Budget Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)
    This could land Omar in trouble with the IRS because joint filings are only allowed if a couple is legally recognized as married in the state they are living in.
    The Republican state lawmaker who first filed the complaint responded to the findings by saying “this adds to the litany of disrespect for the law that Representative Omar has.”
    At this time Omar plans to pay back the money and close down the account from her state race.
[She knew what she was doing tax fraud and should be punished to the full extent of the law and the people of Minnesota should be ashamed that they voted in a crook as a congress person, but then some are people who Muslim/Islamic believe that lying is okay if it suits the end result, which is totally un-American.].

6/7/2019 Support for President Trump grows in Rust Belt amid economic success by OAN Newsroom
    President Trump’s focus on the economy is reportedly stirring excitement among workers in the auto-manufacturing industry.
    After decades of stagnation in the Rust Belt, many blue collar workers are saying the president’s economic and trade policies have helped revive their economy.
Chrysler pickups under production. (Photo/Carlos Osorio/AP)
    Many have credited the president’s recent spike in support from Midwestern states ahead of 2020 to his work to reopen manufacturing plants.
    “The idea that somebody would actually fight for us, after being told for years and years, ‘oh you don’t matter, you’re going the way of the buggy-whip.’ He’s won legions of fans for just for doing that.” — Chris Vitale, mechanic – Chrysler.
    Louisiana Senator Bill Cassidy also commended President Trump, saying he helped bring focus to “kitchen table issues” which led to his success in the Rust Belt back in 2016.

6/8/2019 Oil up $1.45 to $54.04, DOW up 263 to 25,983.

6/8/2019 Trump suspends tariffs on Mexico after deal on immigration reached
FILE PHOTO: U.S President Donald Trump delivers a speech during the commemoration ceremony for the 75th anniversary of
D-Day at the American cemetery of Colleville-sur-Mer in Normandy, France, June 6, 2019. REUTERS/Carlos Barria
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump said on Friday that he has indefinitely suspended the threat of tariffs against Mexico after reaching “a signed agreement” on immigration.
    “I am pleased to inform you that The United States of America has reached a signed agreement with Mexico,” Trump said on Twitter.    “The Tariffs scheduled to be implemented by the U.S. on Monday, against Mexico, are hereby indefinitely suspended,” he said.
    “Mexico, in turn, has agreed to take strong measures to stem the tide of Migration through Mexico, and to our Southern Border.    This is being done to greatly reduce, or eliminate, Illegal Immigration coming from Mexico and into the United States,” Trump said.
(Reporting by Eric Beech; Editing by David Alexander)

6/8/2019 House Oversight holding contempt vote on Barr, Ross next week by OAN Newsroom
    The House Oversight Committee will vote next week on whether to hold AG William Barr, and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross in contempt.
FILE – In this May 1, 2019, file photo, Attorney General William Barr testifies before the
Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington. Barr is defending his short summary of special counsel Robert Mueller’s
report on his Russia investigation. Barr says his summary accurately captured the report’s conclusions. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
    Democrats released a memo late Friday, alleging the vote is in response to “direct” and “aggressive interference” by the White House to block their interview of former Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach.
    Lawmakers were seeking to grill Kobach over the Trump administration’s plan to add a citizenship question to next year’s census.
    This, after Ross and Barr declined to respond to a subpoena to produce documents regarding Kobach’s involvement.
    Republicans on the committee have accused the Left of misrepresenting Kobach’s involvement in the case.

6/8/2019 Treasury Secy Mnuchin: Pres. Trump to meet with Pres. Xi this month by OAN Newsroom
    Trade Secretary Steven Mnuchin says China is ready to come back to the table and resume negotiations.
    Speaking from a summit of finance ministers in Japan Saturday, Mnuchin said President Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping are planning to meet at a G-20 summit at the end of this month.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin testifies before the House Committee on Financial Services on
Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, May 22, 2019. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
    The meeting is expected to put trade negotiations back on track, after talks broke down about a month ago amid tariff threats from both sides.
    Several countries at the finance summit this weekend expressed their concern over the dispute’s effect on the world economy.
    “The bad news is that it is unclear how the U.S. and China trade talks will end and unless it is resolved, there is a concern that market confidence could be affected further, this is an issue.” said Taro Aso, the finance minister of Japan.
    Mnuchin dismissed these worries, saying some Asian countries are actually benefiting as companies are moving production out of China.
    President Trump last month said a meeting with Xi would be “very fruitful,” noting the U.S. is in a “great position'” for discussing a potential trade deal.

6/8/2019 Pres. Trump thanks Mexican president, govt for agreement on immigration by OAN Newsroom
    President Trump thanks Mexico for its cooperation, in coming to an agreement on immigration.
    On twitter Saturday, the president thanked the Mexican president, the Mexican foreign minister, and all the country’s representatives for working long and hard on the agreement.
President Donald Trump waves as he steps off Air Force One after arriving, Friday,
June 7, 2019, at Andrews Air Force Base, Md. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
    Trump tweet: “I would like to thank the President of Mexico, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, and his foreign minister, Marcelo Ebrard, together with all of the many representatives of both the United States and Mexico, for working so long and hard to get our agreement on immigration completed!
    The president’s remarks come after the two nations reached an agreement to help reduce the surge of illegal immigration on Friday.
    On Saturday, President Trump blasted the Left-wing media such as, Comcast, NBC, CNN, the New York Times, and the Washington Post for publishing false reports on his border immigration plan, saying threatening to raise tariffs on Mexico has already yielded results.
    White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders weighed in on the successful agreement, saying President Trump’s work with Mexico is a win for America.    On Twitter, Sanders said despite no help from what she calls the “do-nothing Democrats,” the president secured billions of dollars of funding to build the wall.
    Sarah Sanders: “Despite no help from the do-nothing Democrats in Congress, President @realDonaldTrump secured billions in funding to build the wall and an unprecedented commitment from Mexico to stem the tide of illegal immigration.    That’s leadership and another historic win for America.”
    She also said President Trump secured an unprecedented commitment from Mexico to stem of the tide of illegal immigration, calling it an example of leadership for the nation.

6/8/2019 Merkel’s conservatives hit new low, piling pressure on coalition
FILE PHOTO: German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, Chairwoman of Germany's Christian Democratic Union
party (CDU) attend a party meeting in Berlin, Germany June 2, 2019. REUTERS/Hannibal Hanschke/File Photo
    BERLIN (Reuters) – Germany Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives slumped to a record low and fell further behind the resurgent opposition Greens in a survey published on Saturday, reflecting growing disillusionment with the ruling coalition.
    Doubts are mounting that Merkel’s right-left alliance can last its full term until 2021, largely due to disarray within her Social Democrat (SPD) partners, and many experts now see increasing chances of a federal election next year.
    The Forsa poll put the conservative bloc on 24%, down two points from a week ago.
    The Social Democrats (SPD) remained stuck at their low of 12% – level with the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) – a week after their leader quit because of a dismal performance in regional and European elections.    Many members want to quit government and rebuild in opposition.
    The Greens, buoyed by growing concern across Europe about climate change, which helped propel them to second place in European Parliament elections, remained the most popular party, on 27%.
    “The Greens are benefiting from high voter mobilization, the self-destruction of the SPD and attempts by the conservatives to trump the Greens on climate protection,” said Forsa chief Manfred Guellner.
    If Merkel’s coalition collapses, Germany faces the possibilities of a snap election, a minority government or an unwieldy alliance of three blocs.
    Any of those scenarios would be likely to hasten the exit of Merkel, chancellor for almost 14 years, who has handed over the leadership of her Christian Democrats (CDU) to protege Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer.    Merkel has said she will not stand again as chancellor of Europe’s biggest economy.
    Kramp-Karrenbauer has failed to boost the CDU and in the Forsa poll, only 19% of respondents said they would back her as chancellor in a direct vote, two points down from a week ago.
    The SPD have yet to decide how to elect their next leader and no one has yet stepped forward.
    The weekly Der Spiegel ran a title story on Kevin Kuehnert, the hoody-wearing 29-year-old head of the SPD youth wing, a divisive figure who campaigned against the grand coalition last year and wants to shift the party to the left.
    It quoted some party members as saying they would like him to stand as leader and others saying it would be madness.
    The media-savvy Kuehnert is no stranger to controversy; last month he caused a storm by saying companies such as carmaker BMW should be taken into collective ownership.
(Reporting by Madeline Chambers; Editing by Kevin Liffey)

6/9/2019 Mexico holds off Trump’s fire, but seen vulnerable to new pressure by David Alire Garcia
FILE PHOTO: Supporters of U.S. President Donald Trump stand near the border during a rally as Trump visits the
U.S.-Mexico border in Calexico, California, U.S., April 5, 2019. REUTERS/Sandy Huffaker/File Photo
    MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Mexico avoided the most extreme immigration concession sought by U.S. President Donald Trump in the deal reached to fend off threatened tariffs, but it is left even weaker than before in the face of potential new pressure from Trump as he formally kicks off his reelection campaign this month.
    Under the deal reached on Friday, Mexico agreed to use a large part of its newly formed National Guard to hold back immigrants crossing from Guatemala, and to take in possibly tens of thousands of people seeking asylum in the United States while their cases are adjudicated.
    Led by Foreign Minister Marcel Ebrard, negotiators in Washington resisted Trump’s core demand that Mexico be declared a safe third country, a classification that would oblige Central Americans crossing through Mexico to seek safe haven there, not the United States.
    But the two sides agree more action could be taken if within 90 days the measures do not have the desired result of drastically bringing down the numbers of undocumented migrants reaching the U.S. border from levels that are at a more-than-decade high.    Last month alone 132,000 were apprehended by U.S. authorities.
    Former World Trade Organization head Pascal Lamy called Trump’s approach to coercing its neighbor and ally “hostage-taking,” reflecting widely-held concerns in Mexico that the U.S. president will come back with more threats to extract greater concessions.
    Those fears are sharpened because Trump has used Mexico-bashing to fire up his base on repeated occasions since kicking off his first campaign for the White House in 2015.    All signs are that he intends to keep the focus on immigration and cross-border issues in his second-term campaign, which officially launches on June 18.
    “We think the threats, demands and Trump tweets against Mexico will continue, especially because it’s all tied up with the politics of the 2020 election,” said Gabriela Siller, an economist at Mexican bank Banco Base.
    Siller expects the peso currency to rise when markets open on Monday on relief that a trade war has been averted, but she said the uptick could be short-lived.    The peso, which had been pummeled in recent months on fears over a trade war, on Friday strengthened 0.5% after Trump tweeted that there was a “good chance” a deal would be reached with Mexico.
A SURRENDER
    Vicente Fox, a former Mexican president and long-term critic of President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, tweeted that by allowing the United States to dictate how, for example, Mexico uses its security forces, the government has already ceded some of its sovereignty.
    That sentiment was echoed by center-left politician Angel Avila, on the other side of the political aisle from Fox, who called the deal “a surrender.”
    “Mexico shouldn’t militarize its southern border,” said Avila, who heads the Party of the Democratic Revolution.
    Others, however, think Lopez Obrador had little choice beyond giving some ground in the negotiations, because the threatened tariffs would have caused economic devastation in Mexico, whose economy contracted in the first quarter of this year.
    Francisco Labastida, a former presidential candidate, said the scale of the current immigration crisis was a threat to Mexico itself, and action was needed regardless of Trump.
    “Mexico would have had to change its migration policy for its own reasons due to national security,” he said, arguing that current numbers are unmanageable.
    Carlos Pascual, a former U.S. ambassador to Mexico, praised the deal as preferable to the downward spiral of a tit-for-tat trade war, but acknowledged it left Mexico open to further pressure.
    “Mexico is weak economically and it’s always going to be vulnerable if the United States is willing to use economic policy to enforce national security policy,” he said.
    “There’s no doubt this leaves a Damocles sword hanging over Lopez Obrador’s head,” he said, invoking a metaphor that describes an ever-present peril.
(Reporting by David Alire Garcia; Additional reporting by Miguel Angel Gutierrez and Dave Graham; Editing by Frank Jack Daniel and Leslie Adler)

6/9/2019 UK’s Johnson threatens to withhold $50 billion Brexit payment
FILE PHOTO: Former British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson gives a speech at the JCB Headquarters
in Rocester, Staffordshire, Britain, January 18, 2019. REUTERS/Andrew Yates/File Photo
    (Reuters) – Boris Johnson, the leading candidate to succeed Theresa May as Britain’s next prime minister, said he would withhold a previously agreed 39 billion pound ($50 billion) Brexit payment until the European Union gives Britain better exit terms.
    The EU has repeatedly said it will not reopen discussion of the Brexit transition deal it reached with May last year, which British lawmakers have rejected three times, prompting May to announce her resignation earlier this month.
    May stepped down as leader of the governing Conservatives on Friday.
    Johnson, a former foreign secretary in May’s cabinet, is popular with ordinary Conservative Party members, who will decide between the two candidates who come top in a series of votes by Conservative lawmakers over the coming weeks.
    “I always thought it was extraordinary that we should agree to write that entire cheque before having a final deal.    In getting a good deal, money is a great solvent and a great lubricant,” Johnson told the Sunday Times.
    Britain is due to leave the EU on Oct. 31.    If Parliament does not approve a deal – and the government does not ask the EU for another delay – there risks being major economic disruption from a disorderly departure.
    The 39 billion pounds represents outstanding British liabilities to the EU, which would be paid over a number of years according to the withdrawal agreement negotiated by May.
    Johnson also said border arrangements with Ireland should be settled only as part of a long-term agreement, rejecting a “backstop” which would avoid checks on Northern Ireland’s border but which Conservative lawmakers fear is a backdoor way of requiring Britain to continue to follow EU rules after Brexit.
    The EU has said guarantees to keep the border open between Ireland and Northern Ireland are an essential part of the transition agreement.
    Separately, one of Johnson’s rivals, environment minister Michael Gove, said he would scrap the value-added tax (VAT) levied on most goods and services and replace it with a lower U.S.-style sales tax.
    Gove told the Sunday Telegraph he wanted to use “the opportunity of life outside the EU to look to replace VAT with a lower, simpler sales tax, ensuring our business tax structure is the most competitive in the G20 and reducing marginal tax rates for the poorest families to reward work.”
    VAT is one of Britain’s main taxes, which the government expects to raise 137 billion pounds this year.
    Another leadership contender, Sajid Javid, said he was willing to pay Ireland hundreds of millions of pounds towards the cost of new border arrangements to facilitate a Brexit deal.
(Reporting by David Milliken; Editing by Leslie Adler)

6/9/2019 G20 agrees to wrap up digital tax by 2020: final communique by Stanley White and Jan Strupczewski
Japan's Finance Minister Taro Aso poses next to IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde and
Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda for a family photo during the G20 finance ministers and
central bank governors meeting, in Fukuoka, Japan, June 8, 2019. Franck Robichon/Pool via REUTERS
    FUKUOKA, Japan (Reuters) – Group of 20 finance ministers agreed on Sunday to compile common rules to close loopholes used by global tech giants such as Facebook to reduce their corporate taxes, a final version of the bloc’s communique obtained by Reuters showed.
    Facebook, Google, Amazon, and other large technology firms face criticism for cutting their tax bills by booking profits in low-tax countries regardless of the location of the end customer.    Such practices are seen by many as unfair.
    The new rules would mean higher tax burdens for large multinational firms but would also make it harder for countries like Ireland to attract foreign direct investment with the promise of ultra-low corporate tax rates.
    “We welcome the recent progress on addressing the tax challenges arising from digitization and endorse the ambitious program that consists of a two-pillar approach,” the final version of the communique showed on Sunday.    “We will redouble our efforts for a consensus-based solution with a final report by 2020.”
    Britain and France have been among the most vocal proponents of proposals to tax big tech companies that focus on making it more difficult to shift profits to low-tax jurisdictions, and to introduce a minimum corporate tax.
    This has put the two countries at loggerheads with the United States, which has expressed concern that U.S. Internet companies are being unfairly targeted in a broad push to update the global corporate tax code.
    Big Internet companies say they follow tax rules but they pay little tax in Europe, typically by channelling sales via countries such as Ireland and Luxembourg, which have light-touch tax regimes.
    The G20’s debate on changes to the tax code focus on two pillars that could be a double whammy for some companies.
    The first pillar is dividing up the rights to tax a company where its goods or services are sold even if it does not have a physical presence in that country.
    If companies are still able to find a way to book profits in low tax or offshore havens, countries could then apply a global minimum tax rate to be agreed under the second pillar.
    Earlier this year, countries and territories agreed a roadmap aimed at overhauling international tax rules that have been overtaken by the development of digital commerce.
(Reporting by Stanley White and Jan Strupczewski, Editing by Kim Coghill)

6/9/2019 Lawmakers Push for Michael Cohen to be Charged for Perjury by OAN Newsroom
    Lawmakers are calling for Michael Cohen to be held responsible for lying to Congress.
Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., asks a question during a House Oversight and Reform committee hearing on facial recognition
technology in government, Tuesday June 4, 2019, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
    Republican Congressmen Jim Jordan and Mark Meadows are leading this effort by pushing to examine Cohen’s testimony for evidence of perjury.
    To do so, the Representatives Jordan and Meadows sent a letter to the Chairman of the House Oversight Committee, Elijah Cummings, Friday.
    The letter functioned as an official request for Michael Cohen’s testimony transcript which the lawmakers plan to use against Cohen to point out two instances of lying.
    “You can’t have people coming in front of Congress and lying to us, which is exactly what Cohen did” Representative Jim Jordan said.
    In one instance, Cohen told Congress he would not accept a pardon from President Trump.
    However later evidence showed this was a lie, as Cohen and his legal team considered the pardon an option.
    Cohen also adamantly claimed he never wanted a job in the White House which was disputed by court documents submitted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
    The letter disclosed Jordan and Meadows’ ‘disgust’ and slammed Cummings mishandling of the situation after he said he would hold Cohen accountable more than 100 days ago.
    Jordan has been vocal about the left wing’s continuous attacks on the President, thinking this could play a role in Cummings’ hesitation to dig deeper into Cohen’s’ lies.
    The letter urges Cummings’ to reconsider his decision and to ‘put the institutional interests of the committee’ above his political goals.

6/9/2019 Pres. Trump: I Have to Hit Back Against Fake News by OAN Newsroom
    President Trump responds to claims he’s not acting “Presidential.”
    On Saturday, the President took to Twitter saying, he knows it is not “Presidential to hit back at corrupt media or the people who work for the corrupt media.”
    Trump tweet: “I know it is not at all 'Presidential' to hit back at the Corrupt Media, or people who work for the Corrupt Media, when they make false statements about me or the Trump Administration.    Problem is, if you don’t hit back, people believe the Fake News is true.    So we’ll hit back!
    He added, when they make false statements the “problem is, if you don’t hit back, people believe the fake news is true.    So we’ll hit back!
    This comes after the President called out the New York Times on Sunday, for an article it published on the U.S. border crisis with Mexico.
    In a separate series of tweets, the President disputed the Times’ article for claiming Mexican officials had already agreed to parts of the U.S. -Mexico immigration deal, which was struck between Washington and Mexico on Friday.
    President Trump rejected this, saying, he along with past administrations have all tried to reach a deal on the measures but faced resistance from Mexico until now.
    The President noted the bilateral U.S.-Mexico cooperation is something that hasn’t happened before, adding more measures were agreed upon that have yet to be announced.
    President Trump also said this will put an indefinite suspension on tariff talks against Mexico.
[The do nothing Congress has forced Trump to take action to protect this country from illegal immigration.].

6/10/2019 Democrats open case behind Mueller report - Will challenge president’s refrain of ‘no collusion’ by Mary Clare Jalonick, ASSOCIATED PRESS
    WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump says it’s “case closed,” but Democrats are just getting started with Robert Mueller.
    House Democrats have scheduled a series of hearings this week on the special counsel’s report as they intensify their focus on the Russia probe and pick up the pace on an investigative “path” – in the words of Speaker Nancy Pelosi – that could lead to impeachment of the president.
    In doing so, they are trying to draw the public’s attention on the allegations that Trump sought to obstruct a federal investigation and they want to highlight his campaign’s contacts with Russia in the 2016 election.
    And they will lay the groundwork for an appearance from Mueller himself, despite his stated desire to avoid the spotlight.
    The hearings will focus on the two main topics of Mueller’s report, obstruction of justice and Russian election interference.
    The House Judiciary Committee plans to cover the first at a Monday hearing on “presidential obstruction and other crimes.”    The House Intelligence Committee on Wednesday intends to review the counterintelligence implications of the Russian meddling.    Mueller said there was not enough evidence to establish a conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Russia, but he said he could not exonerate Trump on obstruction.
    On Tuesday, the House has scheduled a vote to authorize contempt cases against Attorney General William Barr and former White House counsel Donald McGahn for failing to comply with subpoenas from the Democratic-controlled House.
    Barr defied a subpoena to provide an unredacted version of Mueller’s report, along with underlying evidence.    McGahn, who is frequently referenced in the report, has defied subpoenas to provide documents and testify before the House Judiciary Committee.
    Language in the resolution would make it easier for committee chairmen to take the Trump administration to court.
    Those chairmen could take legal action to enforce subpoenas in the future without a vote of the full House, so long as the chairmen have approval from a five-person, bipartisan group where Democrats have the majority.
    With Trump pledging that “we’re fighting all the subpoenas,” Democratic leaders want to avoid repeated floor votes on contempt resolutions that detract from their legislative agenda.
    During a meeting with the House Judiciary Committee chairman, New York Rep. Jerrold Nadler, and other committee heads last week, Pelosi made the case that she would rather see Trump voted out of office and “in prison” than merely impeached, according to a report in Politico.
    Maryland Rep. Jamie Raskin, who pleaded with Pelosi last month to start an inquiry, said the votes and hearings are going to be enough, for now.
Democrats will start down an investigative “path” – in the words of
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi – that could lead to impeachment. MATT SLOCUM/AP FILE
[The Democrats and Nervous Nancy, as you can see above are trying to find some kind of collusion or obstruction from the Mueller report, which has none and are about to start their dog and pony show to appease their rabid congress base who want impeachment and it will only show nothing, which is what the "Do Nothing Congress" is already doing.].

6/10/2019 Mexican president praises foreign minister after U.S. agrees to drop tariffs by OAN Newsroom
    Mexico’s president has commended his foreign minister, following successful negotiations which led to the U.S. dropping its planned tariffs.
    During a press briefing Monday, President Andes Manuel Lopez Obrador said avoiding the tariffs was more important than playing political games with Washington.
    The White House withdrew the tariff threat over the weekend after Mexico agreed to beef up its own border security and crack down on the caravans attempting to invade the U.S.
Military Police form up on the highway, in Metapa, Chiapas state Mexico, Wednesday, June 5, 2019. A law enforcement
group of police officers, Marines, Military Police and immigration officials arrived at the area to intercept a
caravan of migrants that had earlier crossed the Mexico – Guatemala border. (AP Photo/Marco Ugarte)
    Lopez Obrador said he was happy with the deal:
    “We experienced ten complicated days due to the issue of tariffs, the decision to place those tariffs on the goods produced in Mexico and are sold in the United States…they were difficult days.    Our delegation in Washington did very well, the results were good.”
    The Mexican president said despite their crackdown on immigration, Mexico would continue to respect the human rights of illegal immigrants.
[Trump's tariff threat made Mexico do what the Congress has not done stop the illegation immigration at the southern border.].

6/10/2019 Democrats planning town hall to attack President Trump’s mental health by OAN Newsroom
    House Democrats are planning a Town Hall for psychiatrists to argue President Trump is unfit to hold office based on his mental health. The announcement came Wednesday, when House Budget Committee Chairman John Yarmuth and Representative Jamie Raskin said they would host Dr. Bandy Lee and other psychiatrists in the Capitol Hill panel.
    In what is being touted as a bipartisan event, Dr. Bandy Lee will attempt to present evidence she says shows the president’s mental state is “deteriorating.”    This comes despite President Trump’s cognitive exam in 2018 by Navy Admiral and Dr. Ronny Jackson that found the president to be in outstanding mental health.
    “I had absolutely no concerns about his cognitive ability or his neurological functions.    So, I was not gonna do a cognitive exam, I had no intention of doing one.    The reason that we did the cognitive assessment is plain and simple — because the president asked me to do it.” — Dr. Ronny Jackson
FILE – Rep. John Yarmuth, D-Ky., listens to testimony on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File)
    Professionals within the psychiatric field are calling the Town Hall “unethical” as they say psychiatrists should not be displaying public statements about patient’s health without a one-on-one evaluation, which none of these doctors have done.
    Some are also arguing it violates the American Psychiatric Association’s ‘Goldwater Rule.’    This measure states psychiatrists can comment on general issues if asked, but forbids them to provide professional opinion on a public figure without an examination or approval from the individual.
    Critics also point out Dr. Bandy Lee, who is the lead speaker at the event, has been a long-time critic of the president, and even wrote a book calling him a “danger” to Americans based on his mental fitness.    Lee is also the public face of an anonymous psychiatric panel whose main focus is to screen the president’s mental health.
    All House members will be invited to the event, although organizers say it is unclear how many Republicans would be interested in attending.    There hasn’t been a date set for the event, but Democrats are eyeing July as a possibility.
[All this article did for me was to prove how bad the mental state of the Democrats in Congress has gotten to be.].

6/10/2019 Democrats look to pull back on nuclear funding in National Defense Authorization Act by OAN Newsroom
    A $1 trillion minibus package is headed before the House Wednesday as congressional Democrats look to avoid another government shutdown like the one earlier this year. Democrats hope by combining five bills together, the package can be passed quickly.    However, the minibus is expected to include a defense spending measure, which has become a point of contention between Republicans and Democrats.
    Congressional Republicans have reportedly come out against proposed restriction on America’s nuclear arsenal in the House version of the annual National Defense Authorization Act.
    House Armed Services Committee chairman Adam Smith has voiced his concern that the U.S. arsenal is “too large.”    He said the government spends too much money on so-called “legacy weapons” when there are more modern issues to address.    Smith was expected to put a focus on nuclear weapons when Democrats took control of the House, and has spoken about his desire to scale-down the nuclear triad.
    “I think a deterrent policy — having enough nuclear weapons to ensure that nobody launches a nuclear weapon at you because you have sufficient deterrent — I think we can do that with fewer warheads,” stated Smith.    “Now, I’m not sure whether that means getting rid of one leg of the triad or simply reducing the amount in each leg.”
U.S. Rep. Adam Smith, D-Bellevue, is pictured. (AP Photo / Brandon)
    Smith is looking to kill funding for a low-yield nuclear warhead, a move that was voted against by every Republican on the subcommittee along with other issues.
    Republicans are also opposed to a provision preventing the Trump administration from withdrawing from the Open Skies Treaty, which allows the signers to conduct unarmed observation flights over other countries in an act of transparency.    Republicans have accused Russia of denying U.S. requests to fly over some parts of the country.
    The bill authorizes a total of $733 billion in defense spending, which is $17 billion less than the Senate’s version of the same bill.    The trillion dollar spending package is expected to pass in the Democrat-controlled House, but will likely face a battle in the Republican-controlled Senate as senators craft their own proposals.
    A hearing is also scheduled to take place this month before the House Ways and Means Committee over the progressive ‘Medicare for All’ proposal.    The proposal is seen as a win for progressives, who have been working to get additional Democrat support for the single-payer health care system.

6/10/2019 Pentagon gets 8.8% discount in $34 billion F-35 jet deal by Mike Stone
FILE PHOTO: A Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II aircraft takes part in flying display during the 52nd Paris Air Show
at Le Bourget Airport near Paris, France, June 25, 2017. REUTERS/Pascal Rossignol/File Photo
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Department of Defense has a “handshake” agreement with Lockheed Martin Co to cut 8.8 percent from the price of its latest order of F-35A fighter jet, shaving a year from the time frame in which each aircraft will cost less than $80 million, a Pentagon official said on Monday.
    The Pentagon said over three years the agreement will be worth $34 billion for 478 F-35 fighter jets.    It is preliminary and a final deal is expected to be sealed in August for the 12th batch of jets, one of the most expensive aircraft ever produced.
    The preliminary agreement details the first year, and lays out agreed upon options for two additional years.    The options are there because official purchases cannot be made until the U.S. Congress approves an annual budget for those years.
    This year’s agreement will lower the cost of each F-35A, the most common version of the aircraft, to $81.35 million, Under Secretary of Defense Ellen Lord said, down from $89.2 million under a deal inked in August 2018.
    Under the options covering the second and third years of the purchase, the price of each jet will drop below $80 million, Lord said.    In those later years production would be around 160 jets per year.
    The F-35 program has long aimed at growing the fleet to more than 3,000 jets and bringing the unit price of the F-35A below $80 million through efficiencies gained by ordering larger quantifies.
    “I am proud to state that this agreement has achieved an estimated 8.8% savings from Lot 11 to Lot 12 F-35A’s, and an estimated average of 15%” reduction across all variants from Lot 11 to Lot 14, Lord said in the statement.    That savings exceeded expectations in a RAND Corp study.
    “The unit price for all three F-35 variants was reduced and the agreement will include an F-35A unit cost below $80 million in Lot 13, exceeding the Pentagon and Lockheed Martin’s long-standing cost reduction commitment earlier than planned,” the Lockheed Martin F-35 program general manager Greg Ulmer said in a statement.
    While being a major part of Lockheed’s revenue, the F-35 has recently been holding competitions to find less expensive subcontractors to help control costs.
    The new pricing could encourage more foreign customers to join the F-35 program.    Lockheed executives have said that any country with an F-16 jet, the predecessor to the F-35, is a potential customer.    This could put the market size at about 4000 jets, Lockheed CEO Marillyn Hewson recently told an investor conference.
    Vice Admiral Mathias Winter, the head of the Pentagon’s F-35 office, has testified to Congress, that “future potential foreign military sales customers include Singapore, Greece, Romania, Spain and Poland.”
    Foreign military sales like those of the F-35 are considered government-to-government deals where the Pentagon acts as an intermediary between the defense contractor and a foreign government.
    Other U.S. allies have been eyeing a purchase of the stealthy jet including Finland, Switzerland and the United Arab Emirates.
(Reporting by Mike Stone in Washington; Editing by Bill Rigby and David Gregorio)

6/11/2019 Oil down $0.73 to $53.26, DOW up 79 to 26,063.

6/11/2019 California advances immigrant health care - Democrats OK proposal for some young adults by Adam Beam, ASSOCIATED PRESS
    SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Some low-income adults in California living in the country illegally will soon get their health benefits paid for by taxpayers.
    Democrats in the state Legislature on Sunday agreed to make adults between the ages of 19 and 25 eligible for the state’s Medicaid program.    Not everyone will get those benefits, only people whose incomes are low enough to qualify for the program.    State officials estimate the program will cover an additional 90,000 people at a cost of $98 million.
    “California believes that health is a fundamental right,” said state Sen. Holly Mitchell, a Los Angeles Democrat who led the budget negotiations.
    The move continues to stake California’s position as a bulwark against the policies of Republican President Donald Trump.    While the Trump administration has worked to weaken the health care law signed by former President Barack Obama, the budget agreement approved Sunday and expected to pass the state Legislature later this week would strengthen California’s commitment to the law known as the Affordable Care Act.
    In addition to covering some adults living in the country illegally, California’s proposed $213 billion budget would make the state the first in the country to help families earning as much as six times the federal poverty level pay for their monthly health insurance premiums.    That means families of four earning $150,000 a year would be eligible for help of about $100 a month.
    But to pay for part of it, the state will begin taxing people who don’t have health insurance.    It’s a revival of the individual mandate penalty that had been law nationwide under Obama’s health care law until Republicans in Congress eliminated it as part of the 2017 overhaul to the tax code.
    Republicans on the legislative committee negotiating the budget voted against the proposal, arguing it was not fair to give health benefits to people who are in the country illegally while taxing people who are here legally for not purchasing health insurance.
    The budget agreement still must be approved by the full state Legislature.    State law requires lawmakers to enact a budget by midnight on June 15.    If they don’t, lawmakers would lose their pay.    Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom has 12 days to act on the budget once lawmakers pass it.
    In a news release, Newsom said the budget initially approved by lawmakers on Sunday is balanced and “creates historic reserves” and said he looks forward “to continuing to work with the legislature.”
    The health care proposals are a win for the first-term governor, who proposed both of them.    Several lawmakers in the Democratic-dominated state Legislature wanted to go further by offering health coverage to all adults living in California illegally.    But Newsom opposed that, noting it would cost $3.4 billion.
Health care proposals agreed to by California Democratic lawmakers represent a
victory for first-term Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom. RICH PEDRONCELLI/AP
[Another Democrat method to tax Californians again without any vote on it, they should have had a Proposition H vote, but it looks like they will need Preparation H cream, to soothe their hemrrhoids from their ass screwing.].

6/11/2019 Dean sees ‘map’ for probe by Mary Clare Jalonick, ASSOCIATED PRESS
    WASHINGTON – John Dean, a star witness during Watergate who helped bring down the Nixon presidency, testified Monday that special counsel Robert Mueller has provided Congress with a “road map” for investigating President Donald Trump.
    Dean, who told the House Judiciary Committee he wanted to provide some historical context, compared Mueller’s findings to those of congressional investigators looking into the Nixon administration decades ago.
    The former White House counsel in Richard Nixon’s administration was brought in as a star witness as House Democrats opened three days of sessions aimed at focusing public attention on the findings of the Russia investigation and the president’s actions.
    “We have a responsibility to do this work,” said Chairman Jerry Nadler, DN. Y., as he opened the hearing.
    Ahead of the hearing, Nadler announced that the Justice Department has agreed to turn over some of the underlying evidence from Mueller’s report.
    Nadler said the department will begin complying with the committee’s subpoena on Monday.
    In response to the agreement, Nadler said Democrats would not vote on holding Attorney General William Barr in criminal contempt, for now.
[The Nadler Circus continues as desperate to save face for no collusion no obtruction by putting on a show for more Congress do Nothing responsibility days.].

6/11/2019 President Trump: Mexico is doing more for the U.S. at the border than Democrats by OAN Newsroom
    President Trump recently doubled down on his criticism of Democrat’s and their lack of action on the border crisis.    On Twitter Tuesday, the president said, “Mexico is doing more for the U.S. and the border than Democrats in Congress!”    This comes as House Democrats work to stop border wall construction.
    The U.S. secured an agreement with Mexico on Friday, averting tariffs in exchange for increased border security. President Trump spoke     Tuesday about a part of that deal, which still needs to be approved by Mexico’s legislature.
    “Without the tariffs, we would have had nothing….we had nothing two week ago,” he stated.
Mexican soldiers ride in the back of a pick up truck as they escort the caravan carrying Mexico’s Minister of Defense, in Tapachula,
Mexico, Tuesday, June 11, 2019. Mexican officials say they are beginning deployment of 6,000 National Guard troops for immigration enforcement,
an accelerated commitment made as part of an agreement with the United States last week to head off threatened U.S. tariffs on imports from Mexico. (AP Photo/Marco Ugarte)
    The President tweeted Monday, saying tariffs will be reinstated if Mexico’s legislature doesn’t vote to approve the deal.
    Trump tweet: “We have fully signed and documented another very important part of the Immigration and Security deal with Mexico, one that the U.S. has been asking about getting for many years. It will be revealed in the not too distant future and will need a vote by Mexico’s Legislative body!..”    “....We do not anticipate a problem with the vote but, if for any reason the approval is not forthcoming, Tariffs will be reinstated!

6/11/2019 White House responds to Biden’s critical speech of President Trump by OAN Newsroom
    White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders recently responded to Joe Biden’s criticism of the White House as he campaigns in Iowa. On     Tuesday, Sanders downplayed Biden’s speeches, which launched personal attacks on the president.    She called him an “existential threat.”
    The press secretary called it “truly laughable,” and said the Obama-Biden White House needs to answer for the threats it caused in regard to its foreign policy.
    “The idea that he would say that the president poses any type of threat is truly laughable considering he was part of the administration that allowed Russia to interfere in our election,” she stated.    “He was part of the administration that allowed Iran to continue to flourish — they gave $1.8 billion dollars to help fund Iran and their continued bad behavior.”
White House press secretary Sarah Sanders talks with reporters outside the White House,
Tuesday, June 11, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
    Sanders went on to say it’s Biden who has “a lot of explaining to do.” She also touched on the resident’s “unprecedented success” in many areas, including “combating the problems particularly across the globe and on the foreign policy standpoint.”
    The press secretary then stated she doesn’t know if the President Trump will address Biden’s remarks while in Iowa Tuesday.

6/11/2019 McAleenan: DHS needs help, Sen. Graham’s border proposal would help stem crisis by OAN Newsroom
    Acting Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee to push for action on the border crisis.
    On Tuesday, McAleenan applauded Mexico’s work to help stop illegal immigration, but said we need more domestic policies to help address the issue at home. He noted 72-percent of all border actions in May were related to unaccompanied minors, and that at least 48,000 families that applied for asylum at the border were fraudulent.
Acting Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee
on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, June 11, 2019. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
    During the hearing, Senator Lindsey Graham said the current efforts to beef up border security are not enough.    He said the government must to do more to limit the incentives for migrants to come here illegally.
    “All the money in the world is not going to fix this problem in Central America.    As long as you can get to the United States and not be sent back, life here is always going to be better than life there.    Our goal is to improve life there and give people some hope in their own country.” — Sen. Lindsey Graham.
    McAleenan also said Senator Graham’s border proposal could make Homeland Security’s job easier, and cut back on illegal migration.     Graham’s plan includes legislation to force migrants to apply for asylum in their home countries, and would extend time to process illegal migrants from 20 days to 100.
Chairman Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-SC., second from the right, point to poster boards held up by members of
his staff during questioning of Acting Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan at the
Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, June 11, 2019. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

6/11/2019 House Oversight Committee to vote on contempt of Congress against Barr, Ross by OAN Newsroom
    Democrats on the House Oversight Committee are moving forward with their own contempt of Congress charges.    Chairman Elijah Cummings scheduled a vote on a resolution against Attorney General William Barr and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross for a committee meeting Wednesday.
    Barr and Ross are accused of ignoring subpoenas for information related to how the citizenship question was added to the 2020 Census.The deadline for that information was last Thursday.
House Oversight and Reform Committee Chairman Elijah E. Cummings (D-Md.) leads a committee hearing. (J. Scott Applewhite/AP Photo)
    Part of what Democrats were demanding was revealed Friday in a memo accusing the White House of blocking the committee from talking to Kris Kobach, the former Kansas secretary of state.    However, the Oversight Committee’s GOP members have accused Democrats of miss-stating how Kobach was involved in the census question.
    The resolution also includes allegations of new evidence from late-researcher Tom Hofeller, who revealed he thought a citizenship question would benefit Republicans and non-Hispanics whites.    Activists have claimed that proves the president’s administration of wants to suppress minority voters, but that is a claim both the president and his administration have vehemently denied.    Instead, they have argued adding the question is meant to protect them and the Voting Rights Act.
    If the resolution is passed, it will then have to go to the full House for consideration.
[Barr and Ross refused because of court case information, and besides the Democrats are doing this to get it out on the news services trying to build a case against it in the Justice System.].

6/11/2019 Report: Ocasio-Cortez eying Senate by OAN Newsroom
    Freshman Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is causing headaches for the establishment Democrats in the House and those headaches may get even worse.    Party leaders reportedly expect the New York lawmaker to challenge one of the state’s senators.
    The socialist ideology has been soaring in popularity, especially among younger voters.    Ocasio-Cortez is reportedly looking to capitalize on that momentum in order to elevate her to the Senate.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., listens during questioning at a House Oversight and Reform committee hearing on facial
recognition technology in government, Tuesday June 4, 2019, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
    The freshman lawmaker has already put pressure on her colleagues to shift more to the left, and has already made her voice known in regard to the Democrat primary.
    “If your pride is being a moderate centrist candidate then go out and say that — say I’m proud to be a centrist, I’m proud to be funded by Wall Street, I’m proud to not push as hard as I can on woman’s rights,” stated Ocasio-Cortez.    “…Don’t kind of come out here and then say you’re a progressive candidate, but at the same time not support repealing something as basic as the Hyde Amendment.”
    Senator Kirstin Gillibrand is up for reelection in 2024, but her senior colleague may be the more immediate target.    Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer is up for reelection in 2022.

6/11/2019 U.S. formally asks UK to extradite WikiLeaks’ Assange by Mark Hosenball
FILE PHOTO: WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange gestures during a news conference at the
Ecuadorian embassy in central London August 18, 2014. REUTERS/John Stillwell/File Photo
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Justice Department has formally asked Britain to extradite WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to the United States to face charges that he conspired to hack U.S. government computers and violated an espionage law, the U.K has confirmed.
    “Mr Assange was arrested in relation to a provisional extradition request from the United States of America.    He is accused of offenses including computer misuse and the unauthorized disclosure of national defense information,” a spokesperson for the Home Office, Britain’s internal security department said.
    “We have now received the full extradition request,” the official told Reuters.
Lawyers for Assange had no immediate comment.
    U.S. and British security sources said U.S. prosecutors sent the formal extradition request to UK authorities last week, shortly before the expiration of a legal deadline.    The formal submission of the request was first reported on Tuesday by the Washington Post.
    On April 11, police forcibly removed the WikiLeaks founder from the Ecuadorean Embassy near Harrods department store in central London.    Assange took refuge in the embassy there in 2012 while being sought by Swedish authorities for questioning in a sexual assault investigation.
    Sources familiar with the U.S. extradition request said that it is based on an indictment federal prosecutors in Alexandria, Virginia filed against Assange in May. That indictment added 17 criminal counts to an earlier indictment, filed under seal in March 2018.
    The new charges include violation of a U.S. espionage statute.    The previous indictment alleged that Assange conspired with former U.S. soldier Chelsea Manning to hack into a U.S. government computer system.
    Manning was arrested and convicted by military court martial for leaking hundreds of thousands of U.S. government reports to WikiLeaks.    But her 35-year prison term was reduced to seven years by President Barack Obama and she was released from custody.
    However, Manning has now been jailed for refusing to testify before a Virginia-based federal grand jury which is continuing to investigate WikiLeaks. She faces potential daily fines if she continues to refuse to testify.
    After his removal from the Ecuadorean Embassy, Assange was jailed by a British court for 50 weeks for jumping bail while being sought by Swedish authorities in the sexual assault case.
    Britain will now consider the U.S. extradition request and any possible new request from Sweden.    A European government source familiar with British extradition procedures said it could take anywhere from two to five years for the U.S. request for Assange’s extradition to be resolved.
(Reporting by Mark Hosenball; Editing by Kevin Drawbaugh and David Gregorio)

6/11/2019 Oil steadies as demand concerns counter OPEC cuts by Stephanie Kelly
FILE PHOTO: Pumpjacks are seen against the setting sun at the Daqing oil field in
Heilongjiang province, China December 7, 2018. REUTERS/Stringer
    NEW YORK (Reuters) – Oil prices were steady on Tuesday, weighed by concerns about a global economic slowdown that could dent crude demand, but supported by expectations that OPEC and its allies will extend their supply curbs.
    Brent crude futures settled unchanged at $62.29 a barrel, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures edged up 1 cent to end at $53.27 a barrel.
    Prices fell after U.S. crude stockpiles unexpectedly rose by 4.9 million barrels in the week to June 7 to 482.8 million, industry group the American Petroleum Institute said on Tuesday.
    U.S. government data is due to be released at 10:30 a.m. EDT (1430 GMT) on Wednesday.
    Both Brent and WTI are down roughly 20% from their 2019 peak reached in April.    Concern about slowing demand and economic growth has had a large impact on sentiment amid a trade war between the United States and China.
    The U.S. Energy Information Administration cut its 2019 world oil demand growth forecast by 160,000 barrels per day to 1.22 million bpd.
    “The demand outlook is central to the oil market these days,” said John Kilduff, an analyst at Again Capital LLC.    “The global economic data has been chock full of negative surprises, of late, attributable to the fallout from the U.S.-China trade war.”
    Beijing said it will allow local governments to use proceeds from special bonds as capital for major investment projects, in a bid to support the slowing economy amid an escalating trade war with the United States.
    Supporting oil prices on Tuesday was optimism that the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and other producers such as Russia would extend an output cut deal that has been in place since the beginning of the year to prop up prices.    The group, known as OPEC+, is due to meet in late June or early July to decide whether to extend the pact.
    Russian energy minister Alexander Novak said on Monday there is still a risk that oil producers pump out too much crude and prices fall sharply, suggesting Moscow might support an extension.    The comments, along with remarks from Saudi Arabia, bolstered expectations the deal will be renewed.
    Russia’s average oil output stood at 11.04 million bpd on June 1-10, up from an average of 10.87 million bpd on June 1-3, two sources familiar with official data said on Tuesday. Oil output in the first three days of June was the lowest since mid-2016, according to Reuters calculations.
(GRAPHIC-Russian, U.S. & Saudi crude oil production link: https://tmsnrt.rs/2EUHeFO).
(Additional reporting by Alex Lawler in London and Henning Gloystein in Singapore; editing by Marguerita Choy and Phil Berlowitz)

6/12/2019 Oil up $0.01 to $53.27, DOW down 14 to 26,049.

6/12/2019 VP confirms embassy ban on pride flags by Nicolas Wu, USA TODAY
    WASHINGTON – In a television interview Monday evening, Vice President Mike Pence confirmed reports that American embassies had been banned from flying the pride flag on their flagpoles.
    In an interview with NBC News, Pence said, “I’m aware that the State Department indicated that on the flagpole of our American embassies that one flag should fly, and that’s the American flag, and I support that.”
    The Trump administration came under fire at the beginning of June for allegedly banning U.S. embassies from flying the pride flag.     American diplomats told NBC News that some embassies had requested to fly the pride flag alongside the American flag on their flagpoles and were denied.    June is Pride Month, a celebration of the LGBTQ community.
    Multiple embassies still flew the pride flag or held their own observations of Pride Month, according to The Washington Post.
    Pence noted that the Trump administration placed no restrictions on the display of other flags or other pride memorabilia elsewhere in embassies.
[V.P. Pence is right.    We live in the U.S.A., not Gayland.].

6/12/2019 Oil falls over 2% on weaker demand growth, gain in U.S. crude stocks by Julia Payne
FILE PHOTO: A pumpjack is seen at the Sinopec-operated Shengli oil field in Dongying, Shandong province, China January 12, 2017. REUTERS/Chen Aizhu
    LONDON (Reuters) – Oil prices fell more than 2% on Wednesday, weighed down by a weaker demand outlook and a rise in U.S. crude inventories despite expectations of extended supply cuts led by OPEC.
    Brent crude futures, the international benchmark for oil prices, were down $1.69, or 2.71%, at $60.60 a barrel by 0907 GMT.
    U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures were down $1.56, or 2.93%, at $51.71
.
    The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) cut its forecasts for 2019 world oil demand growth and U.S. crude production on Tuesday.
    A surprise increase in U.S. crude stockpiles also kept oil prices under pressure.
    “Investors have been concerned about the recent rise in stockpiles in the U.S.,” ANZ bank said in a note.
    U.S. crude inventories rose by 4.9 million barrels in the week ended June 7 to 482.8 million barrels, data from the American Petroleum Institute (API) showed on Tuesday.    That compared with analyst expectations for a decrease of 481,000 barrels. [API/S]
    Trade tensions between the United States and China, the world’s two biggest oil consumers, also weighed on prices.    U.S. President Donald Trump said he was holding up a trade deal with China.
    European shares pulled back from three-week highs on Wednesday as this month’s recovery rally ran out of steam on the back of soft Chinese factory activity and trade frictions.
    Hedge fund managers are liquidating bullish oil positions at the fastest rate since the fourth quarter of 2018.
    With the next meeting of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries set for the end of June, the market is looking to whether the world’s major oil producers will prolong their supply cuts.
    OPEC, along with non-members including Russia, have limited their oil output by 1.2 million barrels per day since the start of the year to prop up prices.
    Goldman Sachs said in a note that an uncertain macroeconomic outlook and volatile oil production from Iran and others could lead OPEC to roll over supply cuts.
    “We expect such an outcome to only be modestly supportive of prices with our third-quarter Brent forecast at $65.5 per barrel,” Goldman added.
    The energy minister of the United Arab Emirates, Suhail bin Mohammed al-Mazroui, said on Tuesday that OPEC members were close to reaching an agreement on continuing production cuts.
    OPEC is set to meet on June 25, followed by talks with its allies led by Russia on June 26.    But Russia suggested a date change to July 3 to 4, sources within the group previously told Reuters.
(Additional reporting by Jane Chung; Editing by Richard Pullin and Joseph Radford)
[NOTE IRAN CANNOT SELL THEIR OIL AND WILL ONLY MAKE $21 USD PER BARREL THE SQUEEZE IS ON.].

6/12/2019 House Intel Committee holds open hearing on counter-Intel from Mueller report by OAN Newsroom
    The House Intelligence Committee has remained committed to pouring over the findings of the Mueller report.    On Wednesday morning, the committee kicked off an open hearing with testimony from two former counter-intelligence officials from the FBI.
    The hearing is the first in a string of planned hearings on the outcome of the report.    Critics have said this is just another attempt by the Democrats to push the Russia collusion narrative despite the former special counsel finding no evidence to substantiate those claims.
From left, Rep. Mike Conaway, R-Texas, Ranking Member Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., and Chairman Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif.,
speak before a House Intelligence Committee hearing. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
    Ranking committee member Devin Nunes called out Democrat’s inability to let go of the “collusion delusion” despite the accusations being exposed as a hoax.
    “The entire scheme was has no imploded and the collusion accusation has become exposed as a hoax,” he stated.    “One would think that the Democrats would simply apologize and get back to lawmaking and oversight, but it’s clear they couldn’t stop this grotesque spectacle even if they wanted to…the collusion hoax now defines the Democratic Party.”
    Nunes went on to say Democrats have abandoned their lawmaking duties entirely, and are only capable of continuously attacking the administration.

6/12/2019 Secretary Pompeo urges world leaders to find solutions to Venezuela’s hunger crisis by OAN Newsroom
    Secretary of State Mike Pompeo implored world leaders to continue to stand against Venezuela’s Maduro’s regime amid the country’s ongoing economic and humanitarian crisis.    At a World Food Prize event Monday, Pompeo highlighted the need for progress in agriculture to help hungry nations. He pointed to starvation in Venezuela as evidence.
    “More than 60-percent of the country goes to bed hungry each and every night, and many have resorted to rummaging through garbage bins to feed themselves and their children,” he explained.    “Malnourishment is so widespread that Venezuelans refer to it as the Maduro diet.”
    Hunger in Venezuela is such a problem that soup kitchens have rapidly cut down on food donations due to President Nicolas Maduro cutting off humanitarian aid.    The Trump administration has sent aid to neighboring Colombia in an effort to get food to Venezuelans after aid being sent to Venezuela was blocked because Maduro claimed it was sent to embarrass his regime.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks to members of the media at the US State Department, Monday, June 10, 2019. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
    Maduro partially opened the border between Venezuela and Colombia, leading thousands of people to crowd the border for food. However, Pompeo believes the U.S. government alone can’t solve the issue.
    “We all have an obligation to work each of these problems, it isn’t just a human tragedy when we see hunger,” he stated.    “When it takes hold of a country, it can perpetuate a destructive cycle of crime and violence and instability.”
    Venezuelans are also seeing a gas shortage with wait times lasting up to a week, which has led to people trying to rob those at the pump.
    Looting isn’t the only form of violence in Venezuela.    According to a report released by the Venezuelan Observatory of Violence, almost 1,500 minors were violently killed in 2018 — many of which were killed by military working under Maduro.
Venezuelans line up to cross the Simon Bolivar international bridge into Cucuta, Colombia, Saturday, June 8, 2019.
Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro ordered the partial re-opening of the border that has been closed since February when he stationed
containers on the bridge to block an opposition plan to deliver humanitarian aid into the country. (AP Photo/Ferley Ospina)

6/12/2019 White House asserts executive privilege over documents related to 2020 Census by OAN Newsroom
    The Trump administration has asserted executive privilege over documents related to the 2020 Census citizenship question.
    The move happened Wednesday just as the House Oversight Committee was holding meeting on holding Attorney General William Barr and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross in contempt.    The Department of Justice sent a letter to the committee stating Barr and Ross will not comply with the subpoenas.

House Oversight and Reform Committee Chairman Elijah E. Cummings, D-Md., listens to an objection by
Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, left, the ranking member, as they debate whether to hold Attorney General William Barr and
Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross in contempt for failing to turn over subpoenaed documents related to the
Trump administration’s decision to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census, on Capitol Hill
in Washington, Wednesday, June 12, 2019. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
    Chairman Elijah Cummings called the move another instance of stonewalling, while ranking Republican Jim Jordan questioned why Democrats would not want to know who is in the country illegally.    The panel will continue with the contempt vote later Wednesday.

6/12/2019 Nearly 1.7K alleged child predators arrested in nationwide operation by OAN Newsroom
    A nationwide crackdown on online child sex offenders has led to thousands of arrests.    On Tuesday, the Department of Justice announced the two-month initiative, which successfully brought nearly 1,700 alleged abusers into custody during the months of April and May.
    The Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) task forces reportedly initiated the sting, known as Operation Broken Heart, which investigated over 18,000 complaints of internet-related abuse.    Those arrested are suspected of producing or possessing child pornography, engaging in child sex trafficking, enticing minors online for sexual purposes or traveling across state lines to sexually abuse children.    The ICAC task forces identified over 300 potential offenders and nearly 360 minors who suffered from child exploitation.
The Department of Justice building is shown. (Reuters/Photo)
    The task forces, located in all 50 states, is comprised of over 45,000 law enforcement officers, prosecutors and other professionals trained on techniques to investigate and prosecute ICAC-related cases.
    “Law enforcements have come together as you can see, all these different agencies and all these different departments that have come together to tackle one issue, and that’s to prevent people from preying on our kids,” stated Constable Alan Rosen of the Houston Police Department.
    Officials have urged parents and the public to keep an eye out for potential child exploitation.
    “The suspects that do this look like you and I,” said Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo.    “They can be your neighbor, your preacher, a person of the faith — please report any crime.”
    According to the Department of Justice, the ICAC is responsible for nearly 100,000 arrests since the program was created in 1998.

6/12/2019 Rep. Jordan speaks out on contempt vote against White House officials by OAN Newsroom
    Republicans are speaking out on a recent announcement by House Democrats in regard to the census.    The House Oversight Committee announced they plan to vote to hold members of the administration in contempt for their refusal to comply.
    The cabinet members being targeted are Attorney General William Barr and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross.    The panel’s chairman, Elijah Cummings, has claimed the administration is withholding information about the inclusion of the citizenship question on the 2020 Census.
Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, questions former White House counsel for the Nixon Administration John Dean during a
House Judiciary Committee hearing on the Mueller Report on Capitol Hill in Washington, Monday, June 10, 2019. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
    The panel’s ranking Republican, Jim Jordan, said the latest effort by Democrats is unwarranted:
    “Wilbur Ross came and testified for seven hours, and laid everything out.    The bottom line here is that Democrats are — this a question I think that every American should ask Democrats — why in the world don’t you want to know how many citizens there are in the country?    It’s a question that gets asked on the annual survey.    We’ve been doing that for 50 something years, I think.    So, I don’t know why it wouldn’t be on the census…
    The Department of Justice said it will request the president invoke executive privilege over key documents if the panel moves forward with contempt.    Nonetheless, the committee is expected to hold the vote Wednesday.

6/13/2019 Republicans in Congress push back on Trump weapons packages to Saudi Arabia, UAE by Mike Stone
FILE PHOTO - U.S. Representative Michael McCaul (R-TX), the Chairman of the Homeland Security Committee,
speaks to the news media after attending a closed House Republican Conference meeting with the U.S. President Donald Trump
among others at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., U.S., June 19, 2018. REUTERS/Leah Millis
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Republican members of Congress pushed back on Wednesday against President Donald Trump’s plan to sell $8 billion in weapons to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, saying it was “unfortunate” the administration used an emergency declaration to avoid Congressional review.
    Members of Congress had been blocking sales of military equipment to Saudi Arabia and the UAE for months, angry about the deaths of civilians in their air campaign in Yemen, as well as human rights abuses such as the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi at a Saudi consulate in Turkey last year.
    The Trump administration is pressing Riyadh to show “tangible progress” toward holding to account https://www.reuters.com/article/us-saudi-khashoggi-usa/u-s-pushes-for-saudi-progress-on-khashoggi-probe-before-anniversary-of-killing-idUSKCN1TC2RY those behind Khashoggi’s killing, a senior administration official said on Tuesday.
    The ranking Republican on the U.S. House of Representatives Foreign Affairs committee, Michael McCaul, said at a hearing on Wednesday that he supports “the efforts of Saudi Arabia to defend themselves against Iran,” but “the recent use of this emergency authority, in my judgment, was unfortunate.”
    Another Republican, Representative Ann Wagner, asked for a better understanding of the administration’s move to sidestep congressional oversight given Saudi Arabia’s human rights abuses.
    Citing an Iran-related emergency, the Trump administration told congressional committees on May 24 that it would go ahead with 22 military deals worth $8.1 billion to Saudi Arabia, UAE and Jordan, circumventing a long-standing precedent for lawmakers to review major weapons sales.    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-saudi-arms/defying-congress-trump-sets-8-billion-plus-in-weapons-sales-to-saudi-arabia-uae-idUSKCN1SU25R
    Strains between Washington and Tehran have increased in recent weeks, a year after Trump, a Republican, abandoned a 2015 nuclear accord between Iran and world powers to curb Tehran’s nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief.
    Trump’s administration announced that it was sending 1,500 additional troops to the Middle East, which it described as an effort to bolster defenses against what it sees as a threat of potential attack by Iran.
    Iran has warned against any military aggression. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-iran-japan-usa/japans-abe-warns-of-armed-conflict-amid-soaring-u-s-iran-tension-idUSKCN1TD0RJ
    “Iran will never initiate a war but will give a crushing response to any aggression,” Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on Wednesday.
    In a memorandum justifying the emergency declaration, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said, “Iranian malign activity poses a fundamental threat to the stability of the Middle East and to American security at home and abroad.”
    Democrats on the committee called the emergency declaration phony.
    Defending the administration’s position at Wednesday’s hearing, assistant secretary of state for Political-military affairs Clarke Cooper said: “This is an emergency, this is a one time event.”
    However, Cooper later said a “one time event is conditions based,” and that this was the fifth time in history that such an emergency was used to push through the sale of weapons.
    Cooper said that some of the weapons have already been sent to the customer since the emergency declaration and before Wednesday’s hearing.    “Anything that’s what’s called ‘off then shelf’ then it’s already moving” to customers, Cooper said.
    But Cooper said “there was nothing new in these 22 sales,” indicating that the packages had been previously notified to Congress, but did not progress through the established channels for weapons sales notifications.
    U.S. Senators have drafted 22 “resolutions of disapproval.”    The resolutions https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-saudi-arms/republican-democratic-senators-seek-to-block-trump-saudi-arms-sales-idUSKCN1T61PL are intended to “protect and reaffirm Congress’ role of approving arms sales to foreign governments.”
    Companies that would benefit include Raytheon Co precision-guided munitions (PGMs), support for Boeing Co F-15 aircraft, and Javelin anti-tank missiles, which are made by Raytheon and Lockheed Martin Corp.
(Reporting by Mike Stone in Washington, editing by Grant McCool)

6/13/2019 Oil down $2.13 to $51.14, DOW down 44 to 26,005.

6/13/2019 Trump keeps census file with executive privilege - House panel responds with contempt votes by Bart Jansen, USA TODAY
    WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump asserted executive privilege Wednesday to keep secret documents related to adding a citizenship question to the census, as a House panel held two Cabinet members in contempt for defying subpoenas for the documents.
    In a further escalation of conflicts between Congress and the administration, the Oversight and Reform Committee voted 24-15 to hold Attorney General William Barr and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross in contempt for refusing to provide documents about how and why a citizenship question was added to the 2020 Census.
    The Judiciary Committee already found Barr in contempt for defying a subpoena for the full report from former special counsel Robert Mueller, who investigated Russian interference in the 2016 election.
    The Constitution calls for the census to count everyone in the country every decade.    The administration’s decision to ask people whether they are citizens in 2020 has been contentious because of Democratic concerns it could discourage participation.    Republicans said the census included a citizenship question from 1820 to 1950 and that such a question appeared on more detailed questionnaires in more recent decades.
    Assistant Attorney General Stephen Boyd told Oversight and Reform Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings, DMd., in a letter Wednesday that Trump was asserting executive privilege to prevent the release of key documents listed in the subpoena, including a Dec. 12, 2017, letter to the U.S. Census Bureau.    Trump also asserted executive privilege over the rest of the subpoenaed documents, while officials determine whether they should be kept secret.
    “By proceeding with today’s vote, you have abandoned the accommodation process with respect to your requests and subpoenas for documents concerning the secretary’s decision to include a citizenship question on the 2020 Census,” Boyd said.
    Cummings opened the committee debate at 10 a.m., but said he would postpone the contempt vote so lawmakers could study the letters exchanged over executive privilege. But he said the bipartisan subpoenas were issued more than two months ago.
    “It appears to be another example of the administration’s blanket defiance,” Cummings said.    “This begs the question: what is being hidden?
    Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio, the top Republican on the committee, said Democrats were moving on the contempt vote in an attempt to influence the Supreme Court, which is considering a case dealing with the census question.
    “This is just another attempt to muddy the waters,” Jordan said.    “It’s not what we should be doing.”
    The census count is used to apportion seats in Congress, providing figures to map House districts and contributing to enforcement of the Voting Rights Act by showing the Justice Department where minorities live.
House Oversight and Reform Committee Chairman Elijah E. Cummings, D-Md., considers a contempt vote Wednesday. J. SCOTT APPLEWHITE/AP

6/13/2019 France’s Le Pen unveils new far-right European Parliament group
Italian Member of the European Parliament for Lega Nord Marco Zanni, French far-right National Rally (Rassemblement National)
party leader Marine Le Pen, German MEP and AFD leader Jorg Meuthen and Belgian MEP and Flemish right wing Vlaams Belang
party member Gerolf Annemans address a joint news conference on the formation of a new far-right European Parliament group to represent
nationalists' interests at the EU Parliament in Brussels, Belgium June 13, 2019. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir - RC186C3E2850
    BRUSSELS (Reuters) – France’s Marine Le Pen unveiled a new far-right group in the European Parliament on Thursday, uniting eurosceptics from across the continent who aim to devolve power from Brussels back to capitals.
    Calling itself the Identity and Democracy (ID) group, the new alliance brings together Le Pen’s National Rally, Italian Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini’s League party and Germany’s Alternative for Germany (AfD) plus nationalists from Austria, Finland and Denmark, among others.
    “We have changed the political chessboard of the European Union,” Le Pen said of ID, which will hold 73 of 751 seats and is the fifth-largest grouping in the newly elected Parliament, just behind the Greens.
    It replaces the Europe of Nations and Freedom group, which held 36 seats in the last EU legislature.
    While parties committed to strengthening the EU won two-thirds of seats in last month’s Europe-wide election, nationalist leaders hailed their strong gains as a vindication.
    “We are still a minority but we are a larger minority than ever before,” Finns Party leader Jussi Halla-aho told reporters in Brussels.
    The parties have bridged differences to unite around the broad goals of returning power to EU member states, curbing immigration and preventing the spread of Islam in Europe.
    Joerg Meuthen, co-leader of AfD, summed up the alliance’s aims as: “No to more competencies to the EU, no to further harmonization, no to the undermining of the nation state.”
    But different social and economic policies, including budgetary discipline, means they may struggle to put forward a coherent policy agenda.
    With Britain’s Brexit party and other eurosceptic parties scattered across different political groups in the EU assembly, ID will also lack enough seats to block or hold up legislation.
    Salvini’s foreign affairs advisor Marco Zanni, whose League party is one of the three biggest in the Parliament, said they were courting other parties like Spain’s Vox to join.
    “The message to all of those parties who have a radically different view of Europe, if we can work together … that would benefit all of us,” Zanni said.
(Reporting by Alissa de Carbonnel; Additional reporting by Gabriela Baczynska and Daphne Psaledakis; Editing by Catherine Evans)

6/13/2019 DOJ to question senior CIA officials regarding origins of Russia probe by OAN Newsroom
    The Justice Department will interrogate senior CIA officers as part of an investigation on the origins of the Russia probe.    Attorney General William Barr reportedly assigned Connecticut prosecutor John Durham to interview the CIA’s senior counterintelligence official as well as a senior analyst who examined the Kremlin’s alleged influence in the 2016 election.
    Durham is an attorney and career prosecutor who has gained praise by major conservatives, who believe he will aid in Barr’s efforts to finally get the truth out
.
    “Like many other people who are familiar with intelligence activities, I had a lot of questions about what was going on and I assumed I’d get answers when I went inz,” said Barr.    “I have not gotten answers that are at all satisfactory and, in fact, I probably have more questions…
Attorney General William Barr, gestures as he speaks during a graduation ceremony for students of the Federal Bureau of Investigations National Academy at the FBI training facility in Quantico, Va., Friday, June 7, 2019. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)
    Officials say the probe is not a criminal inquiry, but Durham has the authority to investigate possible criminal activity if discovered.
    Although the Department of Justice has not yet filed a formal request, intelligence officials have reportedly been informed and are willing to cooperate.    CIA Director Gina Haspel said the agency will work with Durham to shed light on the unlawful surveillance of the Trump campaign, but will keep sources and CIA collection methods confidential.
    The interviews come after President Trump empowered the attorney general to declassify major players involved in the Mueller report.
    “The Mueller report, I wish, covered the origins of how it started — the beginnings of the investigation and how it started — it didn’t cover that,” explained the president.    “This has been a very bad thing for the United States…it’s been a total waste of time.”
    Barr’s “all encompassing” review aims to uncover how the Obama-era FBI and CIA came to the conclusion that Russian operatives aided the Trump campaign in the 2016 elections.

6/13/2019 Trump admin. blames Iran for oil tanker attacks in Gulf of Oman by OAN Newsroom
    Secretary of State Mike Pomepo issued a stern warning to Iran after blaming the country for attacking two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman.    While speaking from the State Department Thursday, he listed recent provocations by the Islamic Republic. He also said the country is a threat to international peace and security.
    Pompeo called on other nations to join the U.S. in efforts to safeguard global commerce and regional stability, and promised that the U.S. will defend its forces and interests.
    Trump tweet: “It is the assessment of the U.S. government that Iran is responsible for today's attacks in the Gulf of Oman...."@StateDept @SecPompeo
    “Iran is lashing out because the regime wants our successful maximum pressure campaign lifted.    No economic sanctions entitle the Islamic Republic to attack innocent civilians, disrupt global oil markets and engage in nuclear blackmail.    The international community condemns Iran’s assault on the freedom of navigation and the targeting of innocent civilians.” — Mike Pomepo, Secretary of State
    The attacks came as Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s was visiting Iran with the hopes to broker a peace agreement.    President Trump tweeted he appreciates Abe’s efforts, but said Iran nor the U.S. is ready to make a deal.
    Trump tweet: “While I very much appreciate P.M. Abe going to Iran to meet with Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, I personally feel that it is too soon to even think about making a deal. They are not ready, and neither are we!
An Iranian navy boat sprays water to extinguish a fire on an oil tanker in the sea of Oman, Thursday, June 13, 2019. Two oil tankers near
the strategic Strait of Hormuz came under a suspected attack Thursday, setting one of them ablaze in the latest mysterious assault
targeting vessels in a region crucial to global energy supplies amid heightened tension between Iran and the U.S. (AP Photo/Tasnim News Agency)

6/13/2019 President Trump condemns Democrats’ contempt vote as an ‘attack’ on GOP by OAN Newsroom
    The president recently spoke out on the House Oversight Committee’s vote to hold the attorney general and secretary of commerce in contempt.
    In a series of tweets Thursday, President Trump said “the radical left” is playing a “tough game” and only seeks to embarrass his administration as well as Republicans.    He also pointed out that Democrats are getting no work done on important American issues.
    Trump tweet: “.....much tougher game than the Republicans did when they had the House Majority. Republicans will remember!    This has already been argued before the U.S. Supreme Court, but the House doesn’t want to wait. This is a common thread between all of the Committees - do whatever you...”    “....can to embarrass the Trump Administration (and Republicans), attack the Trump Administration. This is campaigning by the Dems.”
    Attorney David Bruno, "So true!    In the meantime they are getting NO work done on Drug Pricing, Infrastructure & many other things.”
    This comes after the committee’s vote on Wednesday, which found the two officials in contempt of Congress by a vote of 24-to-15 over the citizenship question in the 2020 Census.
President Donald Trump listens during a briefing on efforts to combat the opioid crisis in the Roosevelt Room
of the White House, Wednesday, June 12, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
    On Wednesday, Republican Mark Meadows said the committee’s ruling was dangerous.
    “When we rush to hold people in contempt it has a chilling effect on anybody wanting to go the extra mile to actually provide documents,” he stated.    “It becomes very very troubling in terms of the cooperative ability that this committee has has long espoused.”
    The president has since asserted executive privilege over materials related to the citizenship question, which initially triggered the contempt vote.

6/13/2019 Sen. Bernie Sanders outlines ’21st Century Bill of Rights’ by OAN Newsroom
    Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders recently outlined his ’21st Century Bill of Rights’ as the 2020 campaign rages on.
    While speaking at George Washington University Wednesday, Sanders said he is proposing a Bill of Rights which entitles every American to a decent job with a living wage, affordable housing aling with other rights.
    The 2020 candidate is hoping his populist appeal could help win working class voters, which flocked to President Trump in the 2016 election.
Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., speaks at George Washington University in Washington, Wednesday, June 12, 2019,
on his policy of democratic socialism, the economic philosophy that has guided his political career. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
    Sanders said his campaign is trying to complete what former President Franklin D. Roosevelt started.
    “A Bill of Rights that establishes, once and for all, that every American regardless of his or her income is entitled to the right to a decent job that pays a living wage, the right to quality health care, the right to a complete education,” he stated.
    Senator Sanders went on to say his campaign will outline more details regarding the specifics of the policy over the next year.
[Medicare for all, a good income job, free education, free, free and it would take $150 trillion to cover what he is promoting and there is no such thing as Democratic Socialism, only Marxist Socialism, which has failed in every country it has raised its ugly head.].

6/14/2019 Oil up $1.14 to $52.28, DOW up 102 to 26,107.

6/14/2019 US blames ship attacks, regional tension on Iran - Pompeo: Tanker strikes a ‘threat’ to global peace by Jon Gambrell, ASSOCIATED PRESS
    DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – The U.S. blamed Iran for suspected attacks on two oil tankers Thursday near the strategic Strait of Hormuz, denouncing what it called a campaign of “escalating tensions” in a region crucial to global energy supplies.
    The U.S. Navy rushed to assist the stricken vessels in the Gulf of Oman off the coast of Iran, including one that was set ablaze.    The ships’ operators offered no immediate explanation on who or what caused the damage against the Norwegian- owned MT Front Altair and the Japaneseowned Kokuka Courageous.    Each was loaded with petroleum products, and the Front Altair burned for hours, sending up a column of thick, black smoke.
    Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the U.S. assessment of Iran’s involvement was based in part on intelligence as well as the expertise needed for the operation. It was also based on recent incidents in the region that the U.S. also blamed on Iran, including the use of limpet mines – designed to be attached magnetically to a ship’s hull – to attack four oil tankers off the nearby Emirati port of Fujairah, and the bombing of an oil pipeline in Saudi Arabia by Iranianbacked fighters in May, he said.
    “Taken as a whole these unprovoked attacks present a clear threat to international peace and security, a blatant assault on the freedom of navigation and an unacceptable campaign of escalating tension by Iran,” Pompeo said. He provided no evidence, gave no specifics about any plans and took no questions.
    Iran denied being involved in the attacks last month and its foreign minister called the timing of Thursday’s incidents suspicious, given that Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was meeting Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in Tehran.
    “The supreme leader’s government then insulted Japan by attacking a Japanese- owned oil tanker just outside Iranian waters, threatening the lives of the entire crew, creating a maritime emergency,” Pompeo added.
    Iran previously used mines against oil tankers in 1987 and 1988 in the “Tanker War,” which saw the U.S. Navy escort ships through the region.
    The suspected attacks occurred at dawn Thursday about 25 miles off the southern coast of Iran.    The Front Altair, loaded with naphtha from the United Arab Emirates, radioed for help as it caught fire.    A short time later, the Kokuka Courageous, loaded with methanol from Saudi Arabia and Qatar, also called for help.
    In Washington, senior U.S. officials said the U.S. had photographed an unexploded mine on the side of one of the tankers.    The officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the sensitive matter, said the U.S. will reevaluate its presence in the region and is considering a plan to provide military escorts for merchant ships.
Two oil tankers near the strategic Strait of Hormuz were hit on Thursday, an assault that left one ablaze and adrift. AP/ISNA

6/14/2019 UK court sets Assange U.S. extradition hearing for February 2020 by Andrew MacAskill
A demonstrator holding a placard protests outside of Westminster Magistrates Court, where a case hearing for U.S. extradition
of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange is held, in London, Britain, June 14, 2019. REUTERS/Hannah Mckay - RC17C61BCDA0
    LONDON (Reuters) – The full extradition hearing to decide whether Wikileaks founder Julian Assange should be sent to the United States to face accusations including spying charges will take place in February next year, a London court ruled on Friday.
    Assange, 47, faces 18 counts in the U.S. including conspiring to hack government computers and violating an espionage law.    He could spend decades in prison if convicted.
    “It is important that people aren’t fooled into believing that WikiLeaks is anything but a publisher,” said Assange, who appeared by videolink from a London prison, dressed in a grey T-shirt and wearing black-framed glasses.
    “The U.S. government has tried to mislead the press,” he told Westminster Magistrates’ Court.
    As Ben Brandon, the lawyer representing the United States, ran through a summary of the charges against him including that he had cracked a U.S. Defense network password, Assange said: “I didn’t hack anything.”
Australian-born Assange came to prominence when WikiLeaks published hundreds of thousands of secret U.S. diplomatic cables in 2010, angering Washington which said he had put lives at risk.
        His supporters hail him as a hero for exposing what they describe as abuse of power by modern states and for championing free speech.
    He spent almost seven years holed up in cramped rooms at the Ecuadorean embassy in London where he fled in 2012 to avoid extradition to Sweden where he was wanted for questioning over allegations of rape.
    He was dragged from the embassy on April 11 and jailed for 50 weeks for skipping bail.
    The United States has since charged Assange with numerous offences including espionage, saying he unlawfully published the names of secret sources and conspiring with ex-Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning to obtain access to classified information.
    Brandon said Assange’s actions had been dangerous and “by publishing the unredacted material Mr Assange created grave and imminent risk that many intelligence sources, including journalists, human rights defenders and political activists would suffer serious physical harm or arbitrary detention.”
    However, Assange’s lawyer Mark Summers said the charges were an “outrageous and full fronted assault on journalist rights and free speech” and that his client did not have access to a computer to allow him to follow the case.
    He told the court that Assange, who had been too ill to attend the previous hearing in May, was receiving healthcare. He did not elaborate.
    Judge Emma Arbuthnot said the full extradition case would be heard in the week starting Feb. 25 next year.
(Writing by Michael Holden; editing by Stephen Addison)

6/14/2019 President Trump has no plans to dismiss White House Counselor Kellyanne Conway by OAN Newsroom
    Allegations of misconduct against Kellyanne Conway come to a head, following claims of Hatch Act violations.    In an interview Friday, the president declared he has reviewed Conway’s alleged misconduct and will not fire the White House counselor despite calls from a government watch dog group to do so.
    “No, I’m not going to fire her, I think she’s a terrific person, she’s a tremendous spokesperson,” he stated.    “She’s been loyal…she’s just a great person.”
    The remarks came after the Office of Special Counsel sent an official report to the White House Thursday, urging Conway be removed from the federal government. U.S. officials alleged Conway repeatedly violated the lesser-known Hatch Act, which is a law prohibiting federal officials from using their authority to interfere with or sway elections.
    The 17 page document reportedly outlined more than half a dozen television interviews and tweets from Conway, which reportedly violated the act by projecting opinion on current presidential candidates in her official capacity.    However, the president said he received a very strong briefing on the matter and “based on” what he’s seen believes she should not be dismissed.
    “I would certainly not think based on what I saw yesterday — how could you do that?” he asked “They have tried to take away her speech, and I think you’re entitled to free speech in this country.”
In this April 30, 2019 photo, White House counselor Kellyanne Conway talks with reporters
outside the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
    The White House has called the counsel’s allegations “deeply flawed” and argued the law was applied too broadly in Conway’s case, which potentially interferes with First Amendment rights.
    Conway has firmly denied these violations and called them “political fuel” back in May.
    “We’ve got outside groups who have political agendas trying to file actions against me…doesn’t make them true and it doesn’t make them relevant,” she stated.
    Moving forward, the House Oversight Committee will hold a hearing on Conway’s actions June 26th.    It’s unclear whether she will appear amid the president’s ongoing refusal to allow current and former White House advisers to testify to Congress.

6/14/2019 President Trump: Don McGahn’s testimony does not matter because it’s false by OAN Newsroom
    President Trump is dismissing Don McGahn’s interview with Robert Mueller as evidence of obstruction during the Russia probe.    In the ABC interview this week, the president said the former White House counsel’s testimony “doesn’t matter” since it was falsified.
    Previously, McGahn stated under oath the president continuously told him to have special counsel Robert Mueller removed due to perceived conflicts of interest and asked to create documents backing up that claim.
President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting with governors on “workforce freedom and mobility” in the
Cabinet Room of the White House, Thursday, June 13, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
    However, President Trump vehemently denied doing this.    He said he was never going to fire Mueller, and never suggested doing so.    The president then gave possible explanations as to why McGahn would possibly lie.
    “Because he wanted to make himself look like a good lawyer, or he believed it because I would constantly tell anybody that would listen — including you, including the media — that Robert Mueller was conflicted,” he stated.
    The president went on to say he decided to opt out of an interview with Mueller’s investigators after realizing they were “looking to get him” and his staff for “lies or slight misstatements.”

6/14/2019 Congressional Democrats warn of ‘deepfake’ videos by OAN Newsroom
    Congressional Democrats are sounding the alarm over the possible use of artificial intelligence and ‘deepfakes’ to influence U.S. politics.
    During a House hearing on so called ‘deepfakes’ Thursday, Congressman Adam Schiff urged social media companies to protect users from false information ahead of the 2020 elections.    He said doctored videos should be prevented from going viral online.
    “What enables ‘deepfakes’ and other modes of disinformation to become truly pernicious is the ubiquity of social media and the velocity at which false information can spread,” said Schiff.
Chairman Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., speaks at a House Intelligence Committee hearing on national security implications
of climate change on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, June 5, 2019. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
    In response, cybersecurity experts urged tighter government oversight of social media.
    “Right now, I would be very worried about someone making a video on electoral systems being out or broken down on election day 2020.    We should already be building a battle drill, a response plan about how we would handle that in the government, in the state governments, and the DHS as well as with the social media companies.” — Clint Watts, Senior Fellow – Center for Cyber and Homeland Security, George Washington University.
    Experts say the advances in ‘deepfake’ technology could deal a fatal blow to the credibility of national governments.
[Adam Schiff you are too late the ""Fake News" groups have been putting out false information for over the last ten years using social media companies and are still continuing to the 2020 elections.].

6/14/2019 Report: Swalwell tweets more on President Trump than Democrat rivals by OAN Newsroom
    Democrat Eric Swalwell may be down in the polls, but he is up on top when it comes to posting tweets with President Trump as the main topic.
    Researchers looked at campaign accounts from nearly two dozen candidates from January through May of 2019.    Their analysis, posted by Mercury News, showed nearly one out of every four tweets by Swalwell included something about the president or had the president’s Twitter handle.
    California’s 15th Congressional District representative has tweeted more about President Trump since then, including one posted Wednesday about opposition research.
    Eric Swalell: “Let me make it clear for @realDonaldTrump, I will never take dirt from a foreign adversary — EVEN if it means beating someone as corrupt as you.    *But Trump said every Congressman would take the help.    So, every @HouseGOP member should have to answer this: is Trump right?
    Swalwell has admitted to reporters his goal is to shame the president, blaming the tweets on his own experience as a prosecutor.
Democratic presidential candidate Eric Swalwell speaks during the Iowa Democratic Party’s Hall of
Fame Celebration, Sunday, June 9, 2019, in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
    Senator Bernie Sanders was in second with how many times he tweeted the president’s name or handle, while South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg was in last.
    Swalwell is one of the younger millennial candidates at 38-years-old.    Buttigieg is a year younger at 37-years-old.    The minimum age to run for the White House is 35.
[Swalwell is going after Trump because he was on the committes during Hillary’s illegal activities and he is involved so you can see why he using the fake news press dissing Trump as much as he can and he has no chance to run as a final presidential candidate.].

6/14/2019 Oil rises but ends week lower on demand fears despite Mideast tensions by Scott DiSavino
FILE PHOTO: Pumpjacks are seen against the setting sun at the Daqing oil field in Heilongjiang province,
China December 7, 2018. Picture taken December 7, 2018. REUTERS/Stringer
    NEW YORK (Reuters) – Oil rose about 1% on Friday after attacks on two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman this week raised concerns about potential supply disruptions, but prices remained on track for a weekly loss on fears that trade disputes will dent global oil demand.
    Brent futures settled 70 cents, or 1.1%, higher at $62.01 a barrel, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures rose 23 cents, or 0.4%, to close at $52.51.
    The attacks on oil tankers near Iran and the Strait of Hormuz pushed up oil prices by as much as 4.5% on Thursday.
    It was the second time in a month tankers have been attacked in the world’s most important zone for oil supplies as tensions increase between the United States and Iran.    Washington blamed Iran for Thursday’s attacks, prompting a denial and criticism from Tehran.
    On Friday, a U.S. official said Iranian military fast-boats in the Gulf of Oman were preventing two privately-owned tug boats from towing away one of the damaged tankers.
    “The possibility of what we’ve seen (in the Middle East) over the past few days could intensify into the weekend and traders are reluctant to be short in front of that,” said Anthony Headrick, energy market analyst at CHS Hedging LLC in Inver Grove Heights, Minnesota, noting “The recent headline of restricting those tug boats got some traders off the fence to cover shorts.”
    Still, Brent registered a weekly decline of around 2%, putting it down for a fourth week in a row, while U.S. crude lost almost 3%.
    “The deteriorating demand outlook is holding back prices, despite these tensions,” said John Kilduff, a partner at Again Capital LLC in New York.
    Slowing economic conditions have eaten into demand growth, overshadowing ongoing tensions between the U.S. and Iran, Kilduff said.    As a result, prices may be stuck in a holding pattern.    “We are stalemated here.”
    The International Energy Agency cut its demand growth forecast for 2019 by 100,000 barrels per day (bpd) to 1.2 million bpd, citing worsening prospects for world trade.
    However, the Paris-based agency said it expects demand growth to climb to 1.4 million bpd in 2020.
    On Thursday, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) cut its 2019 forecast for growth in global oil demand even lower than the IEA, to 1.14 million bpd.
    On the supply side, U.S. sanctions on Iran and Venezuela, an output cut pact by OPEC plus its allies, fighting in Libya and attacks on tankers in the Gulf of Oman added only limited uncertainty to supply, the IEA said.
    Surging U.S. supply, as well as gains from Brazil, Canada and Norway, would contribute to an increase in non-OPEC supply of 1.9 million bpd this year and 2.3 million bpd in 2020.
    U.S. energy firms reduced the number of oil rigs operating for a second week in a row, General Electric Co’s Baker Hughes energy services firm said in its closely followed report on Friday. [RIG/U]
Graphic: Position of evacuated tankers in Gulf of Oman (https://tmsnrt.rs/2X6nIQF)
    Tensions in the Middle East have escalated since U.S. President Donald Trump withdrew from a 2015 multinational nuclear pact with Iran and reimposed sanctions, especially targeting Tehran’s oil exports.
    Iran, which has distanced itself from the previous attacks, has said it will not be cowed by what it describes as psychological warfare.
    U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the United States has assessed that Iran was behind the attacks on Thursday.
    The U.S. military later released a video that it said showed Iran’s Revolutionary Guard removing an unexploded mine from the side of a Japanese-owned oil tanker.
(Additional reporting by Jessica Resnick-Ault in New York, Aaron Sheldrick in Tokyo and Ahmad Ghaddar in London; Editing by Marguerita Choy and David Evans)

6/15/2019 Oil up $0.31 to $52.51, DOW down 17 to 26,090.

6/15/2019 Justice backs refusal to turn over Trump’s taxes by Michael Balsamo, ASSOCIATED PRESS
    The Justice Department issued a legal opinion Friday finding that Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin was right to withhold President Donald Trump’s tax returns from a House committee that subpoenaed them.
    The House Ways and Means Committee subpoenaed six years of Trump’s tax returns in May, but the Treasury Department refused to provide the documents.    At the time, Mnuchin said the request lacked a “legitimate legislative purpose.”
    The 33-page opinion from the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel argues that the committee’s chairman, Rep. Richard Neal, D-Mass., wanted to make the president’s tax returns public and because of that plan, the request was not to carry out a legitimate legislative function.
    But Neal has said the law is clear the information must be released to Congress, the documents were sought to aid a committee investigation into whether the IRS is doing its job properly to audit a sitting president, and obtaining them would be a “necessary piece” of the committee’s work.
    The Chairman’s request that Treasury turn over the President’s tax returns, for the apparent purpose of making them public, amounted to an unprecedented use of the Committee’s authority and raised a serious risk of abuse,” the opinion said.
    Democrats sought Trump’s tax returns under a 1924 law that directs the IRS to furnish such information when requested to the chairs of Congress’ taxwriting committees.    Besides Trump, every president since Richard Nixon has made his tax returns public.
    Neal said last month that he didn’t plan to hold Mnuchin in contempt, saying the committee might instead pursue a legal fight to force the Treasury Department to turn over the documents.
    A spokeswoman for the House Ways and Means Committee said the legal opinion was still being reviewed and declined to comment further.    Representatives for the Treasury Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
    The Justice Department’s backing of Treasury’s refusal to provide the president’s tax returns is likely to further tensions between congressional Democrats and Attorney General William Barr, whom they’ve accused of trying to stonewall Congress’ constitutional oversight power.
    The House Judiciary Committee voted last month to hold Barr in contempt after he failed to comply with a subpoena for an unredacted version of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report on the Russia investigation and underlying investigative records.    Earlier this week, the House Oversight Committee voted to hold Barr and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross in contempt for failing to comply with subpoenas for documents related to a decision adding a citizenship question to the 2020 census.
    Sen. Ron Wyden, the top Democrat on the Senate Finance Committee, said the opinion “reads like it was written by Donald Trump’s personal lawyer” and said it “further reflects Attorney General Barr’s willingness to protect the president at all costs.”
Attorney General William Barr has been accused of trying to stonewall Congress’ constitutional oversight power. NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/GETTY IMAGES
[As you can see that the Do Nothing Congress is spending your tax dollars for frivilous law suits which they have no right to have, now geting Bill and Hillary's tax records for the Clinton Foundation and Uranium One would be more approriate to find illegal activities.].

6/15/2019 Trump migration deal meets mounting resistance in Mexico by Dave Graham
Mexican president Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador looks on during a news conference at
National Palace in Mexico City, Mexico, June 14, 2019. REUTERS/Carlos Jasso
    MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Resistance is growing in Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador’s ruling coalition to a migration deal struck last week with U.S. President Donald Trump to avert punitive trade tariffs as the implications of the accord become clearer.
    Senior lawmakers in Lopez Obrador’s leftist National Regeneration Movement (MORENA) have pushed back against the suggestion Mexico could submit to Trump’s demand to become a buffer zone to keep migrants out of the United States who are traveling up from Central America.
    That opposition could aggravate tensions between Mexico and Trump in a simmering border row that has threatened to tip Latin America’s second-largest economy into recession.
    Trump has vowed to slap tariffs of at least 5% on all Mexican goods sold to the United States if Lopez Obrador’s government does not meet his migration demands.    The tariffs could rise to as high as 25 percent, he said.
    Few details were made public when the deal was announced on Friday, but this week officials revealed Mexico might change its laws to placate Trump if it cannot contain rising migrant numbers within a 45-day window set out under the agreement.
    That could turn Mexico into a so-called ‘safe third country,’ forcing it to handle asylum applications from migrants who reached the United States via Mexico because they had first set foot on Mexican soil.
    Mexico’s Congress has not warmed to the idea.
    Porfirio Munoz Ledo, a MORENA veteran who is president of the lower house of Congress, said Washington’s safe third country demand would be an unacceptable loss of sovereignty.
    “They want to turn this country into a cage,” he said in Congress on Wednesday.    Later, he told Mexican radio that Trump was using “economic terror” to pressure Mexico and that the country should not give in.
    MORENA’s leader in the Senate, Ricardo Monreal, said on Monday that a safe third country agreement would be “inadmissible” for the legislature.
    Lopez Obrador has largely left it to his foreign minister Marcelo Ebrard, who negotiated the agreement with the United States, to answer questions about the deal.
    But he has also defended the accord, declaring himself “very happy” with it “because we avoided an economic crisis.”
    There are signs the public is less convinced.
    Roy Campos, head of polling firm Mitofsky, said the deal was “not well received.”    The pollster’s daily barometer of support for Lopez Obrador has slipped by over a percentage point to 63.3% in the week since the agreement was announced.
    Prior to the deal, his ratings had risen for two weeks.
SWORD OF DAMOCLES
    Arrests at the U.S. border with Mexico have surged this year, mostly of migrants from a trio of violent and impoverished Central American nations: Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador.
    Some have traveled in large caravans that have sparked angry outbursts from Trump, and many have taken children, hoping to have their cases for asylum heard in U.S. immigration courts.
    The jump in apprehensions has stretched U.S. border facilities and its courts, undermining Trump’s promise to halt illegal immigration to the United States.
    As part of the deal, Mexico said it will send 6,000 members of a newly-created National Guard to the border with Guatemala.    Reuters witnesses on the border on Friday could not detect any signs of the National Guard’s deployment having begun.
    That plan, too, has come under fire from critics.
    “The National Guard is meant to be a solution for something else,” lawmaker Munoz Ledo said this week.    “It’s designed to deal with organized crime, not with migrants.”
    Lopez Obrador has pitched the National Guard as the centerpiece of his pledge to bring down violence fueled by feuding drug cartels that hit record levels in Mexico last year.
    Munoz Ledo’s concerns were echoed by officials inside the Interior Ministry, which was sidelined during Mexico’s negotiations with U.S. officials in Washington last week.
    Asked on Mexican radio on Thursday if the National Guard plan would work, Interior Minister Olga Sanchez was skeptical.
    “It’s impossible for any national guard to halt a caravan of 2,000 or 3,000 peopleHow will it stop them?
    Mexico had miscalculated in conceding to Trump, and would have done better to call his bluff to see if he was willing to launch a trade war that also threatened U.S. interests, said Andres Rozental, a former Mexican deputy foreign minister.
    Trump now senses Mexico’s weakness and will surely seek to apply more pressure on any issues that play well with his base as he gears up for re-election in November 2020, he said.    Trump is due to launch his campaign for a second term on Tuesday.
    “We will have the sword of Damocles hanging over us until the election next November,” Rozental told Reuters.
(Reporting by Dave Graham; Additional reporting by Daina Beth Solomon and Miguel Angel Gutierrez in Mexico City and Hugh Bronstein in Tapachula; Editing by Rosalba O’Brien)

6/14/2019 House Armed Services Committee approves $733B defense spending bill by OAN Newsroom
    The House Armed Services Committee has approved a $733 billion dollar defense spending bill.    During a heated 21-hour markup session, which ended Thursday morning, the committee voted mostly along party lines to move the bill to a floor vote.
    The legislation makes changes to U.S. nuclear missile policy, sets limitations on the use of the Guantanamo Bay detention center, and does provide a 3.1-percent pay raise for troops.    The bill also provides for the creation of the U.S. Space Corps, which is a slimmed down version of President Trump’s Space Force idea as a division of the Air Force.
    Perhaps the most divisive issues in the proposed legislation are the provisions which would prevent any defense department funds, including funding for drug enforcement, from being used on the border wall.    It also prohibits Pentagon funds from being used to house children separated from their parents.
Border Patrol agents stand with Army soldiers at the U.S.-Mexico border at a news conference in Sunland Park, N.M., Thursday, June 6, 2019.
Soldiers in teams of two monitor the infrared and optical cameras and report suspected illegal crossings to Border Patrol agents. (AP Photo/Cedar Attanasio)
    Republicans on the committee attempted to strip those provisions away, arguing in favor of the president’s use of such discretionary funds for national security purposes.    However, they were out voted by Democrats.
    The bill now heads to the full House for a vote.    It’s unclear if Democrats have the support of more liberal members of their conference due to the bill’s price tag, or that of Republicans who may also vote against it.    The Senate also has it’s own version of the defense spending bill.

6/15/2019 Florida Judge Dismisses ‘Unwanted Advances’ Lawsuit Against President Trump by OAN Newsroom
    A federal court in Florida drops a lawsuit accusing President Trump of unwanted advances.
President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting with governors on “workforce freedom and mobility” in the Cabinet Room of the White House, Thursday, June 13, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
    The suit was filed back in February by a former White House staffer named Alva Johnson, who claimed the President forcibly grabbed and kissed her without consent during a meeting with supporters in 2016.
    Friday, Florida judge William Jung dismissed the case, saying the Johnson included too many unrelated accusations in her suit.
    Outgoing Press Secretary Sarah Sanders has denied the accusations in the past, saying her testimony was contradicted by eyewitnesses.
    However, Jung said he would allow Johnson to refile the suit within 30 days provided she include only relevant accusations.

6/15/2019 White House Announces Pres. Trump’s Initiative to Limit Auto Imports by OAN Newsroom
    The White House press office released a letter friday, addressed to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate President Chuck Grassley regarding national security concerns stemming from auto imports.
President Donald Trump speaks in the Rose Garden of the White House, Friday, June 14, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
    The letter reportedly confirmed President Trump has initiated an effort to bring down the high volume of auto imports from the European Union, Japan, and Mexico in order to reinforce the domestic auto market.
    The letter says, Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer will lead the effort by pursuing a negotiation of agreements with those foreign industries.
    The import of automobiles and certain automobile parts is reportedly threatening the national security of the United States by driving down the number of ‘American-owned producers’ of the global automobile market over the past three decades’, according to the White House.
    A progress report on those negotiations is expected within 180 days.

6/15/2019 Pres. Trump Thanks Supporters for Approval Ratings by OAN Newsroom
    The President touts recent poll numbers which show he has more than a 50% approval rating.
    Trump tweet: “Despite the Greatest Presidential Harassment of all time by people that are very dishonest and want to destroy our Country, we are doing great in the Polls, even better than in 2016, and will be packed at the Tuesday Announcement Rally in Orlando, Florida. KEEP AMERICA GREAT!
    In a tweet Saturday, the President said he has prevailed despite ‘the greatest Presidential harassment of all time by people that are very dishonest’.
    He added, his campaign is currently doing even better in the polls than in 2016.
    The President’s comments comes ahead of his official 2020 campaign kick-off.
    President Trump is expected to launch his campaign on June 18th during an event in Orlando, Florida.

6/16/2019 Pres. Trump Praises Florida Sanctuary City Ban by OAN Newsroom
    President Trump praises Florida Governor, Ron Desantis, on his latest state legislation, a sanctuary city ban.
    Trump tweet: “Florida Governor Ron DeSantis just signed Bill banning Sanctuary Cities in State, & forcing all law enforcement agencies to cooperate with Federal Immigration authorities. Bill prohibits local Gov’t from enacting Sanctuary policies that protect undocumented immigrants...@FoxNews
    Saturday, the President said ‘more and more states want to do this, but their governors and leaders don’t have the courage to do so’ in a tweet.
    He went on to applaud the policy claiming, it will help put an end to illegal migration, drug trafficking, and human smuggling.
    The President said more states may take notice and begin to mandate similar sanctuary bans if significant results follow.
    The measure was signed off last week and its expected to take effect in July.
    It will require local law enforcement to cooperate with federal border protection, ICE, agents.
    Currently, Florida does not have any designated so-called ‘sanctuary cities’, however, the measure is expected to combat the state’s city governments which have reportedly protected undocumented immigrants from deportation in the past.
[Sounds good to me, because I am about to take a vacation to Florida for a week and it is good to know that my family will be safe in certain cities, and hopeful many other states also.    I originally thought about going to California but after I have seen what it is turning into there is no way to go there.].

6/16/2019 Senior EU diplomat, back from Iran, shows support for nuclear deal
FILE PHOTO: Helga Schmid, Secretary General of the European External Action Service (EEAS), addresses the
4th Europe-Iran Forum in Zurich, Switzerland October 4, 2017. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann/File Photo
    BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The EU’s second most senior diplomat affirmed the bloc’s support for the nuclear deal between world powers with Iran, including via the use of a new payment system for barter-based trade designed to circumvent U.S. sanctions.
    Helga Schmid, the secretary general of European Union external action service, visited Tehran last week.    She helped negotiate the deal in 2015.
    Its status has been precarious since President Donald Trump pulled the United States out last year and toughened its sanctions regime against Tehran.
    The European Union’s foreign service said that, in Tehran, Schmid had reiterated the bloc’s commitment to the deal, which has been “delivering on its primary goal … to ensure that Iran does not acquire material or equipment to develop a nuclear weapon.”
    She had also discussed “EU efforts … to enable the continuation of legitimate trade with Iran,” including working to put into operation the Instex payment channel set up by France, Britain and Germany to facilitate non-dollar trade.
(Reporting by Alissa de Carbonnel; editing by John Stonestreet)

6/16/2019 Guatemala votes for new president amid tensions over violence, migration by Sofia Menchu and Adriana Barrera
People attend voting at a polling station during the first round of presidential election
in Guatemala City, Guatemala, June 16, 2019. REUTERS/Saul Martinez
    GUATEMALA CITY (Reuters) – Guatemalans on Sunday began voting for a new president, who will face the challenge of curbing drug gang violence that has convulsed the country and helped spur illegal immigration to the United States, fueling tensions with President Donald Trump.
    Nineteen candidates are competing in the election, which is expected to yield no outright winner, forcing the top two contenders to face off in a second round on Aug. 11.
    Former first lady Sandra Torres, of the center-left UNE party, has led the race to succeed President Jimmy Morales, a conservative former television host whose term has been blighted by accusations of corruption made by U.N.-backed investigators.
    Torres, who wants to send troops onto the streets to fight drug gangs, and to tackle poverty with welfare programs, has support of around 20 percent of the electorate, polls show.
    “We have to sort out our problems here, and part of the reason for the migration is the lack of jobs, the gap in wages between the United States and here,” Torres said as she arrived to cast her vote in Guatemala City.    “We need to work with the business community to revive the economy and create jobs.”
    Her closest rivals, trailing by a few percentage points, are conservatives Alejandro Giammattei, who is running in his fourth campaign, and Edmond Mulet, a former United Nations official whose candidacy has gained traction in the run-up to the vote.     Mulet, who arrived to vote driving a white car with his wife and son, stressed that he had run an austere campaign, and said he was hopeful of making the second round run-off.
    Rampant violence and widespread discontent over corruption and impunity in the country of 17 million have prompted more and more Guatemalans to flee for the United States.
    The surge of departures has undermined Trump’s pledge to curb illegal immigration, and the U.S. president has responded by threatening to cut U.S. aid to Central America.
    That prospect has caused alarm in Guatemala, where the legacy of the bloody 1960-1996 civil war continues to cast a long shadow over the country’s development.
    Polling stations close at 6 p.m. (0000 GMT) and results are due to begin to coming in from around 7 p.m. (0100 GMT).
COALITION PROSPECTS
    To avoid a run-off, one of the candidates needs to win more than 50 percent of the vote, a result pollsters deem highly unlikely.    Securing victory will likely depend on candidates’ ability to build a coalition for the second round.
    In research report on Friday, Eurasia Group said Torres would struggle to win a run-off, given her high rejection rate and the ability of her likely opponent to unify the conservative vote and secure support from the country’s powerful elites.
    Morales, who is barred by law from seeking re-election, took office in 2016 vowing to root out corruption after his predecessor was brought down by a probe led by the U.N.-backed International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG).
    Instead, Morales himself became a target of a CICIG probe into allegations of campaign finance wrongdoing and was subject to impeachment proceedings in 2017.
    He survived the attempt to oust him, and then engaged in a bitter dispute with the CICIG before finally terminating its mandate, effective from September.
    “Guatemala needs a transparent government, more security,” said Dalila Lorenzana, a 46-year-old homemaker, after voting.    “And for the CICIG to stay in Guatemala and a stronger economy.”
    Questions of legitimacy have dogged the 2019 contest since two of the front-runners were forced out, including Thelma Aldana, a former attorney general who tried to impeach Morales with the CICIG.    The government accused Aldana of corruption, leading to her exclusion last month.
    Allegations of shady dealings have permeated the election, which has been fought out amid intensifying efforts by Trump to turn Mexico and Guatemala into buffer zones to keep undocumented migrants out of the United States.
    Presidential hopeful Mario Estrada and congressional candidate Julio Jose Rosales were arrested during the campaign and charged with having links to Mexico’s Sinaloa drug cartel.
(Reporting by Sofia Menchu; Editing by Steve Orlofsky and Nick Zieminski)

6/16/2019 Deadline looms for agreement on Swiss-EU ties by Michael Shields
FILE PHOTO: An EU flag flies beside Switzerland's national flag near the German-Swiss border in Rheinfelden, Germany, March 11, 2019. REUTERS/Arnd WIegmann/File Photo
    ZURICH (Reuters) – Swiss ties with the European Union, its biggest trading partner, face a critical test this week as Brussels decides whether the two sides have made enough progress on a stalled draft treaty to head off punitive measures set to start at the end of June.
    After more than four years of negotiations produced a draft text in November, the Swiss government this month tentatively endorsed the accord but said it needed clarifications on three areas — protecting Swiss wages, regulating state aid, and spelling out citizens’ rights — before it could sign off.
    European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker — whose term ends on Oct. 31 — responded that he was prepared to clear up any questions but wanted this done by Tuesday, when the Commission reviews relations with Switzerland.
    The Commission’s main leverage is its recognition of Swiss stock exchanges as equivalent to EU bourses, which allows them to access the bloc’s single market and which is due to expire at the end of June.
    Finding language to address Swiss concerns on state aid and the rights of EU citizens living in Switzerland — but without reopening the draft accord for renegotiation — does not look insurmountable, people close to the situation say.
    But tackling Swiss measures to protect Europe’s highest wages from EU workers crossing the border on cheaper temporary assignments — a main bone of contention for a decade — looks like a harder nut to crack.
    The head of the Swiss SGB labor union federation, Pierre-Yves Maillard, stuck to a hard line, telling the SonntagsZeitung paper it would be impossible to find a solution by autumn.
    “The government can speak to Brussels in the weeks ahead and discuss a treaty, but there is no basis at present to find a concrete solution or even wrap up a treaty,” he added.
    Complicating matters are Swiss parliamentary elections on Oct. 20, with mainstream parties loath to hand the anti-EU Swiss People’s Party (SVP) a treaty deal that the SVP could use as a stick with which to beat the three other coalition members.
(Reporting by Michael Shields; Editing by Keith Weir)

6/16/2019 France plans to scrap 1 billion euros of tax breaks for companies
FILE PHOTO: Gerald Darmanin, French Minister of Public Action and Accounts, attends a news conference on
tax collection reform at Bercy Finance Ministry in Paris, France, February 4, 2019. REUTERS/Charles Platiau
    PARIS (Reuters) – France plans to scrap 1 billion euros ($1.1 billion) of tax breaks for companies to help fund a pledged 5-billion-euro reduction in personal income taxes, Budget Minister Gerald Darmanin said on Sunday.
    The government will finance the remaining 4 billion euros through lower spending, Darmanin said during an interview for the Grand Jury show with reporters from LCI television, RTL radio and Le Figaro newspaper.
    Darmanin said 95% of taxpayers would see a reduction in their income taxes from January.
    In his response to months of anti-government protests, French President Emmanuel Macron said in late April he would cut income tax by a further 5 billion euros.
    The planned reduction came on top of a 10 billion-euro package of concessions to protesters in December aimed at boosting the income of the poorest workers and pensioners.
(Reporting by Dominique Vidalon; Editing by Mark Potter)

6/16/2019 New York Times Under Fire from Pres. Trump and Don Jr by OAN Newsroom
    The President called for a poll to see which media outlet is more ‘deceitful’: The New York Times or The Washington Post.
    Trump tweet: “A poll should be done on which is the more dishonest and deceitful newspaper, the Failing New York Times or the Amazon (lobbyist) Washington Post! They are both a disgrace to our Country, the Enemy of the People, but I just can’t seem to figure out which is worse? The good.....
    On Twitter Sunday, he said "they are both a disgrace to our country, the enemy of the people, but I just can’t seem to figure out which is worse.”
    This comes after President Trump alluded to a reelection win in the 2020 presidential race, saying "the good news is that at the end of six years after America has been made great again and I leave the beautiful White House, both of these horrible papers will quickly go out of business and be forever gone” he said on Twitter Sunday.
    Plus, President Trump isn’t the only person sounding the alarm against fake media and, specifically, The New York Times.
    Donald Trump junior slammed the New York Times Saturday over its recently debunked piece on the delay of placing Harriet Tubman on the 20 dollar bill.
    He said, if the publication is really a so-called ‘paper of record’ it’s only because they continue to set records for the amount of fake news they print.
    The comment refers to a Times article published Friday, which claimed an anonymous employee at the Treasury Department said the bill’s design was delayed for political reasons.
    In fact, the bill’s release was pushed back from 2020 to 2028, however, an agency spokesperson says that’s because Treasury Secretary, Steven Mnuchin, is focusing on the new bill’s security features and anti-counterfeiting measures.
    Plus, The Bureau of Engraving and Printing Director, Len Olijar, also said it takes years to finalize a redesigned bill, citing the 100 dollar note which took nearly a decade to complete in response to the controversy.

6/16/2019 Mexico detains 791 undocumented migrants, National Guard starts to patrol southern border by Roberto Ramirez
FILE PHOTO: A personnel of the National Migration Institute (INM) checks passenger's ID as a member of the Military Police keeps
watch at a checkpoint on the outskirts of Tapachula, in Chiapas state, Mexico June 6, 2019. REUTERS/Jose Torres/File Photo
    TAPACHULA, Mexico (Reuters) – Mexican officials detained nearly 800 undocumented migrants on Saturday, the government said, in one of the biggest swoops against illegal immigration in recent months, as members of the National Guard began patrolling the southern border.
    Mexico’s National Migration Institute (INM) said in a statement late on Saturday that 791 foreign nationals were found in four trucks stopped in the eastern state of Veracruz, confirming earlier reports about a mass detention.
    The apprehension came as Mexico steps up efforts to reduce a surge of migrants toward the U.S. border under pressure from U.S. President Donald Trump, who vowed to hit Mexican goods with tariffs if Mexico does not do more to stem illegal immigration.
    As part of those efforts, Mexico has pledged to deploy 6,000 National Guard members along its border with Guatemala.
    Although there have been few signs of that deployment so far, a Reuters reporter near the border in Tapachula this weekend saw a handful of security officials wearing National Guard insignia and spoke to others in military outfits who said they were part of the guard.
    Mexico made a deal on June 7 with the United States to avert the tariffs, setting the clock ticking on a 45-day period for the Mexican government to make palpable progress in reducing the numbers of people trying to cross the U.S. border illegally.
    There has been a jump in apprehensions at the U.S.-Mexico border this year, angering Trump, who has made reducing illegal immigration one of his signature policy pledges.
    Most of those caught attempting to enter the United States are people fleeing poverty and violence in three troubled Central American nations, Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador.
    Mexico’s decision to tighten its border and respond to Trump’s threats has caused tensions within the government, and on Friday, the head of the INM, Tonatiuh Guillen, resigned.
    He was replaced by Francisco Garduno, who had previously served as the head of Mexico’s prison system.
(Reporting by by Roberto Ramirez in Tapachula and Dave Graham in Mexico City; Editing by Nick Zieminski and Sonya Hepinstall)

6/17/2019 Spain joins France and Germany in race to build Europe’s next combat jet by Michel Rose
Visitors look at the French-German-Spanish New Generation Fighter (NGF) model during the 53rd International Paris
Air Show at Le Bourget Airport near Paris, France, June 17 2019. REUTERS/Pascal Rossignol
    PARIS (Reuters) – Spain on Monday joined a Franco-German project to build a next-generation fighter jet, an initiative touted as key to ensuring Europe can defend itself without depending on allies in an increasingly uncertain world.
    Dassault Aviation and Airbus will build the warplane which is expected to be operational from 2040, with a view to replacing Dassault’s Rafale and Germany’s Eurofighter over time.
    The European project faces competition from Britain, which last year launched its own plans for a new combat jet dubbed “Tempest.”    Industry executives have urged European capitals to move swiftly or risk losing out in a global market to bigger players led by the United States, or even China in the future.
    The defense ministers of France, Germany and Spain signed an accord launching a trilateral framework of cooperation at the Paris Airshow, sat in front of a mock-up of the jet and with French President Emmanuel Macron applauding behind them.
    France’s Safran and Germany’s MTU Aero Engines will jointly develop the new warplane’s engine.
    Dassault and Airbus have delivered a joint industrial proposal to the governments of France and Germany.
    “The first demonstrator phase marks another decisive step,” they said in a joint statement.
    France had explored working with Britain on the project, bringing together Europe’s two biggest military powers.
    But in July 2017, Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel announced plans for the new Future Combat Air System (SCAF), including a fighter jet and a range of associated weapons such as drones.
    Britain’s unveiling last July of its plans for a next-generation aircraft to rival the United States’ F35, the world’s most advanced warplane, laid bare European divisions and deepening scepticism about the future of European defense cooperation as Britain negotiates its exit from the European Union.
    BAE Systems, Italy’s Leonardo, engine maker Rolls-Royce and missile maker MBDA are running the British project.
    “Competition amongst Europeans when it weakens us against the Americans, the Chinese, is ridiculous,” Macron told reporters at the air show when asked about the two combat jet programs.
    The French and German governments expect to invest an initial 4 billion euros ($4.5 billion) in the combat jet by 2025, with France, the project leader, contributing 2.5 billion euros, according to the French defense ministry.
    Paris and Berlin target the first flight of a prototype around 2026.
(Reporting by Michel Rose, Sophie Louet; Writing by Richard Lough; Editing by Mark Potter)

6/17/2019 Kremlin, White House respond to NYT report by OAN Newsroom
    The New York Times recently reported the U.S. allegedly penetrated key power grids in Russia in an attempt to prevent disinformation campaigns targeting U.S. elections.    According to the report, U.S. officials hacked into Russia’s electrical systems and placed harmful malware to be activated at a later time.    The computer virus was allegedly created to send a message to Moscow to not interfere in U.S. elections.
    The Kremlin is now speaking out on the report and is not denying the allegations.    On Monday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters, based on the Times report, a cyber war is a possibility.    He added, Russia had been affected by online foreign actors in the past, and the Russian federation is constantly working to keep the economy and sensitive parts of the country safe.
Kemlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov is pictured. (Sergei Karpukhin/Reuters/Photo)
    Back in January, FBI Director Christopher Wray said the U.S. was increasing cyber pressure on Russia as disinformation campaigns escalated during the 2018 midterm elections.
    “And there were a number of success stories, only some of which we could really ever share, where the social media companies, based on tips that we provided, were able to take action much more effectively, much more quickly to block and prevent some of the information warfare that the Russians were engaged in,” he stated.    “And I think we’re gonna need to see more and more of that, but now that we’ve got some momentum, we’re looking forward to growing that partnership.”
    The Times report said the malware was implanted back in 2012, but have only now shifted commands to go on the offensive.    It also said U.S. officials have avoided briefing President Trump on the matter over fears he may stop the operations.
    The president tweeted about the report over the weekend, calling it fake news.    He said not only is the report factually incorrect, it amounts to a virtual act of treason by what he called “a once great paper.”    President Trump said the publication is now made up of cowards, who are without a doubt “the enemy of the people.”    He claimed the Times is so desperate for a story, they will do whatever it takes without thinking of the consequences — even if they are bad for the country.
[FAKE NEWS ALERT WASHINGTON TIMES DESPERATE and FBI Director Christopher Wray was brought in after McCabe was dumped and we are beginning to be concerned if he is protecting the former corruption since he is not providing the information for the Barr and Durham investigation.    We will see in time where he stands].

6/17/2019 Sen. Cassidy proposes bill to prevent taxpayer-funded health care for illegal immigrants by OAN Newsroom
    Louisiana Senator Bill Cassidy and his colleagues recently introduced the Protect Medicaid Act.    The legislation, which was introduced Sunday, prohibits federal money from being spent on administering state Medicaid benefits paid for by American citizens to non-citizens.
    Last month, President Trump praised Cassidy for his health care suggestions.
    Bill Cassidy, M.D.: “Whenever @realDonaldTrump has a health care question, I’m his go-to. I am proud to be working alongside the President in the fight to decrease surprise medical billing, lower drug prices, and return transparency to our health care system.”
    Federal law currently prevents illegal immigrants from receiving Medicaid, however, states such as California exploit a loophole by utilizing state funds to offer Medicaid benefits to illegal aliens.    California Governor Gavin Newsom’s plan could allow up to 90,000 illegal immigrants to receive Medicaid coverage.
    “I believe in universal health care regardless of preexisting conditions, ability to pay, and regardless of your immigration status,” he stated.
Bill Cassidy (R-La) on Capitol Hill on Tuesday. (Alex Brandon/AP Photo)
    California currently provides Medi-Cal to the offspring of illegal aliens until age 19.    Newsom’s plan is expected to cover 90,000 people at a cost of $98 million annually.
    In a statement Sunday, Cassidy called Newsom’s proposal unfair.    He said it’s a “giant magnet” for illegal immigration, and will hurt citizens who depend on Medicaid.    The new benefits create another incentive for illegals to enter the country and to California in particular, which already has nearly a quarter of the nation’s illegal alien population.
    If a state such as California chooses to give Medicaid benefits to illegal aliens, Cassidy’s bill stipulates that the state does so on its own budget.

6/17/2019 Sen. McConnell to introduce bill to fund humanitarian border aid by OAN Newsroom
    Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is introducing a freestanding bill to tackle the humanitarian crisis at the border head-on.
    During an interview Monday, he said Mexico is doing more to help the border crisis than Democrats.    The Kentucky lawmaker plans to introduce his bill next week to commit about $5 billion to solve humanitarian issues at the southern border.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., joined at left by Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., speaks to reporters following
a weekly GOP policy conference, at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, June 11, 2019. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
    McConnell said this is not border wall funding, but specifically to take on issues like the lack of border security resources.    He has continuously challenged Democrats to take action, and recently gave remarks about it on the Senate floor.
    “When will our Democratic colleagues get serious about this?” asked the Senate majority leader.    “I think the entire country is hoping that Democrats remember their job is governing, not resisting.”
    McConnell also said Democrats suffer from “Trump derangement syndrome,” which he said makes them “reflexively” oppose anything the president supports.

6/17/2019 President Trump: Record crowd expected for Fla. campaign kickoff in Orlando by OAN Newsroom
    Supporters of President Trump are already lining up for his official reelection campaign kickoff rally in Orlando, Florida.    The president said he expects the event to be record breaking as more than 100,000 people are already slated to attend.
    The Trump team is also helping event goers who don’t have tickets by building several large outdoor movie screens to enhance visibility during the rally.
    On Twitter Monday, President Trump touted the success of the country and assured “it will only get better!
Supporters of President Donald Trump line up on Monday, June 17, 2019, in Orlando, Fla.,
more that 24 hours before a rally for the presdient. (AP Photo/John Raoux)
    Trump tweet: “Big Rally tomorrow night in Orlando, Florida, looks to be setting records. We are building large movie screens outside to take care of everybody. Over 100,000 requests. Our Country is doing great, far beyond what the haters & losers thought possible - and it will only get better!
    One America News will have full coverage of President Trump’s campaign kickoff event Tuesday night at 8PM EST / 5PM PST.

6/18/2019 Oil down $0.26 to $51.67, DOW up 23 to 26,113.

6/18/2019 Exclusive: U.S. preparing to send more troops to Middle East – sources
Flight deck of the U.S aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) is seen as sailors swip the deck
for foreign object and debris (FOD) walk-down on the flight deck of the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier
USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) in Arabian Sea, May 19, 2019. Garrett LaBarge/U.S. Navy/Handout via REUTERS
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States is preparing to send additional troops to the Middle East in response to mounting concerns over Iran, which Washington blames for attacks on oil tankers last week, two U.S. officials told Reuters on Monday, speaking on condition of anonymity.
    The officials did not say how many troops would be deployed or detail the timing of the deployment, which has not been previously reported.    If confirmed, it would be in addition to the 1,500 troop increase announced last month in response to tanker attacks in May that it also blamed on Iran.
    The Pentagon declined comment.    It was unclear when a new deployment might be announced.
    U.S. concerns about the threat to U.S. forces and interests in the region have increased steadily in recent weeks, particularly after the attacks on two oil tankers at the entrance to the Gulf on Thursday.
    The United States last week released a video it said showed Iran’s Revolutionary Guard were behind Thursday’s attacks near the Strait of Hormuz on the Norwegian-owned Front Altair, which was set ablaze, and the Japanese-owned Kokuka Courageous.
    The U.S. military released additional imagery on Monday.
    “Iran is responsible for the attack based on video evidence and the resources and proficiency needed to quickly remove the unexploded limpet mine,” Central Command said in a statement.
    Iran strongly denies the accusations.
(Reporting by Phil Stewart; Editing by Sonya Hepinstall)

6/18/2019 White House will not invite Israeli officials to Bahrain event: senior U.S. official
FILE PHOTO: White House senior adviser Jared Kushner (L) speaks with United States Ambassador to the
United Nations Nikki Haley and lawyer Jason Greenblatt (R) before a meeting of the United Nations Security Council at
UN headquarters in New York, U.S., February 20, 2018. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson/File Photo
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The White House will not invite Israeli government officials to a Bahrain conference devoted to gaining support for a Palestinian economic plan in order to keep the event apolitical, a senior administration official said on Monday.
    The official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Palestinian business representatives are expected to attend the event in Manama on June 25-26, but not Palestinian government officials, who have boycotted a peace initiative led by White House senior adviser Jared Kushner.
    As a result, the administration decided not to extend an invitation to Israeli government officials to a conference expected to be attended by envoys from Arab governments as well as European nations.
    “We’re inviting the Israeli business people and Palestinian business people.    We’d like to make it as apolitical as possible,” the official said.
    When the Bahrain conference was announced last month, U.S. officials initially suggested privately that Israeli government attendance in Bahrain would be an opportunity for Israel and some of its Gulf Arab neighbors to display in public the behind-the-scenes contacts that have grown in recent years, especially on security matters over their common enemy Iran.
    After the White House announced last week that Egypt and Jordan had agreed to attend, some Israeli diplomats said Israeli government officials were also likely to attend. But no formal invitation materialized.
    In Manama, Kushner and President Donald Trump’s Middle East envoy Jason Greenblatt are to unveil the economic part of Trump’s long-awaited Israeli-Palestinian peace plan.
    The plan, touted by Trump as the “deal of the century,” is to encourage investment in the West Bank and Gaza Strip by Arab donor countries before grappling with thorny political issues at the heart of the conflict.
    Palestinian President Mohammed Abbas has heaped scorn on the conference and urged Arab governments not to attend.
(Reporting By Steve Holland and Matt Spetalnick; Editing by Phil Berlowitz)

6/18/2019 Oil prices slip for second day on global growth fears by Ahmad Ghaddar
FILE PHOTO: A pumpjack is seen at sunset outside Scheibenhard, near Strasbourg, France, October 6, 2017. REUTERS/Christian Hartmann
    LONDON (Reuters) – Oil prices fell for a second day on Tuesday on signs that global economic growth is being hit by the U.S.-China trade war, though losses were capped by Middle East tensions after last week’s tanker attacks.
    Brent crude futures were trading 42 cents down at $60.52 a barrel by 0932 GMT. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures lost 26 cents to $51.67.
    The New York Federal Reserve on Monday said that its gauge of business growth in New York state posted a record fall this month to its weakest level in more than 2-1/2 years, suggesting an abrupt contraction in regional activity.
    U.S. business sentiment has sagged as trade tensions have escalated between China and the United States and on signs of softness in the labor market.
(Graphic: New York Fed Empire business survey – https://tmsnrt.rs/2XOP9Mc)
    Oil prices have fallen by about 20% from April’s 2019 highs, partly because of concerns over the U.S.-China trade war and disappointing economic data.
    U.S. President Donald Trump and China’s President Xi Jinping could meet at the G20 summit in Japan this month.    Trump has said he would meet Xi at the event, though China has not confirmed the meeting.
    Putting further pressure on oil, the U.S. energy department on Monday said that shale oil output is expected to reach a record high in July.
    Fears of a confrontation between Iran and the United States have mounted since last Thursday’s oil tanker attacks, which Washington has blamed on Tehran.    Iran has denied involvement.
    “Oil prices appear unperturbed by the further escalation of the Iran crisis,” said Commerzbank’s Carsten Fritsch.
    Iran on Monday said it would breach internationally agreed curbs on its stock of low-enriched uranium within 10 days, adding that European nations still had time to save a landmark nuclear deal.
    Acting U.S. Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan announced on Monday the deployment of about 1,000 more troops to the Middle East for what he said were defensive purposes, citing concerns about a threat from Iran.
    Saudi Arabian Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih on Monday said that countries need to cooperate on keeping shipping lanes open for oil and other energy supplies to ensure stable supplies.
    He also said that Saudi exports and production are expected to remain at “about the same level” as the past few months.
    Market participants are also awaiting a meeting between the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and other producers including Russia, a group known as OPEC+, to decide whether to extend a production cut agreement that ends this month.
(Graphic: U.S., Russian, Saudi crude oil production – https://tmsnrt.rs/2QYNGAd)
(Additional reporting by Aaron Sheldrick in TOKYO; Editing by David Goodman)

6/18/2019 Judicial Watch: Obama State Dept. worked with top Democrats to release Steele dossier by OAN Newsroom
    Government watchdog group Judicial Watch recently released emails from the Obama State Department related to the origins of the “debunked Russia hoax.”
    In a statement Monday, Judicial Watch said Obama-era officials, including John Kerry and Victoria Nuland, worked on the unverified Trump dossier back in 2016.    They coordinated their efforts with Daniel Silverberg, who was a top aide to Democrat House Whip Steny Hoyer at the time.
Former Secretary of State John Kerry is pictured. (Alex Brandon/AP Photo)
    Judicial Watch said Obama officials were sending classified information to their affiliates in Congress.    They also sought to release the dossier shortly after the election.
    “Well that’s inappropriate, because they sent out classified information to people who don’t need to see it for improper purposes, it’s illegal,” explained Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton.    “In fact, one of the emails shows — ‘we made the deadline!’ — it was the day before the inauguration…they tried to get the dirt out on Trump and Russia, that’s what the documents suggest.”
    The watchdog group is also suing the State Department for communication between Nuland and Fusion GPS to obtain further evidence of anti-Trump activity at top levels of the Obama administration.
[THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION IS FROM MY FISA-UNDER SURVEILLANCE 2019 AND 2019A FILES PLUS TWO NEW NAMES FROM THE ABOVE ARTICLE.
Victoria Jane Nuland, the CEO of the Center for a New American Security, and former Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs at the United States Department of State, and held the rank of Career Ambassador, the highest diplomatic rank in the United States Foreign Service.     Vashukevich rose to prominence in February last year when Russian opposition politician Alexei Navalny published an investigation detailing dealings between Deripaska and Sergei Prikhodko, then-Russian deputy prime minister who played a prominent role in shaping Russia’s foreign policy.
‘Sex cult’ tantric yoga retreat in Thailand reopens after rape scandal
    Navalny drew on Vashukevich’s video from summer 2016 when Deripaska was hosting Prikhodko on his yacht and was caught on tape saying that relations between Russia and the US were bad because of then-assistant secretary of State Victoria Nuland.     The reality is that the Clinton-funded dossier started the FBI’s investigation into Trump, at least the official Crossfire Hurricane investigation.
Kathleen Kavalec, was the Deputy Assistant Secretary – Department of State, Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs serving under Victoria Nuland.
Victoria Nuland, was a top Obama State Department official, and potentially Clinton’s secretary of state.    Nuland had a role in pushing Fusion GPS conspiracy theories in the State Department, and in the broader Obama administration.
    She received the Steele dossier just after it was created, via Jonathan Winer, in July 2016.    That was possibly two months before the document was in the hands of the FBI, unless the FBI had it sooner than we currently know.    She then ultimately gave permission for the FBI to make the contact with Steele, which was initiated by Michael J. Gaeta, an FBI agent based in Rome who became Steele’s handler.
    Steele even came to the State Department to directly brief officials on his work, paid for by the Clinton campaign.    Nuland had an awkward exchange with Sen. Richard Burr, where she claimed she “actively” avoided this Steele briefing, but also said she didn’t hear about the briefing until after it occurred.
    Safe to say that if Nuland was tied to the Trump campaign, she would already be indicted for perjury by Mueller’s team of angry Democrats.
Steny Hamilton Hoyer, American attorney and politician serving as U.S. Representative for Maryland's 5th congressional district since 1981 and as House Majority Leader since 2019.    A Democrat, he was first elected in a special election on May 19, 1981, and is currently serving in his 20th term.
Daniel Silverberg, was National Security Advisor at U.S. House of Representatives, presently Washington, District Of Columbia, Law Practice.]

6/18/2019 Mexico pledges 6K troops to help combat illegal immigration amid heightened pressure from U.S. by OAN Newsroom
    Mexico is planning to deploy thousands of troops to its southern border amid heightened pressure from the Trump administration to crack down on the Central American migrant crisis.    According to Mexican officials Monday, the country has already sent over 400 military personnel to the town of Tapachula near its border with Guatemala this past week.
    “Since Saturday 426 soldiers from the National Guard have arrived in Tapachula,” announced Maximilano Reyes, Mexican Undersecretary of State for Latin America and the Caribbean.    “President Obrador and the Foreign Minister have said that 6,000 will be sent in total, but that does not mean that all 6,000 are going to disembark here.”
    This comes after Mexico pledged earlier this month to ramp up its efforts to stop the flow of South American migrants traveling through Mexico and illegally crossing into the U.S.
Mexican authorities stop a migrant caravan that had earlier crossed the Mexico – Guatemala border,
near Metapa, Chiapas state, Mexico, Wednesday, June 5, 2019. (AP Photo/Marco Ugarte)
    While Mexico has agreed to dedicate 6,000 troops to halting its southern border crisis, not all of those personnel will be deployed along its southern region.    Instead, some of those troops will be dispersed across parts of the country’s northern border in hopes of stopping the surge of Central American migrants attempting to cross illegally into the U.S.
    According to reports, Guatemala is now the main source of illegal immigration to the United States with over 200,000 apprehensions made by border agents in the last eight-months.
    In the past, Mexico has seemed unwilling to dedicate the resources needed to handle the migration crisis, and has allowed migrant caravans to march straight towards the U.S. border from Central America with little to no resistance.    Since the signing of the U.S.-    Mexico agreement, however, officials appear to be taking steps to address these issues by providing support to local immigration officials along the country’s southern border.
    “What the National Guard will do is physically and logistically support these detentions,” Reyes explained.    “As you all know, and as many have realized, we have found groups of 50 or 100 people against two, three or four immigration officials, so that doesn’t work.”
    Mexico now has just over 30-days to make good on its promise to curb the illegal immigration crisis.

6/18/2019 NASA reveals details of plans to put astronauts on the Moon by 2024 by OAN Newsroom
NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine is pictured. (AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin)
    NASA recently revealed details on its advanced space exploration plans at the Paris Air Show.
    On Tuesday, NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine announced the agency plans to put astronauts on the Moon by 2024 with its Artemis space exploration program.
    The program will include the first woman to ever step foot on the Moon, and will be the first time humans have landed on the Moon since 1972.    Artemis also aims to use the Moon as a sort of training ground for ultimate exploration of Mars.
    We need to be able to utilize the resources of the Moon to live and work for long periods of time, and maybe even take those resources and create a fueling depot in orbit around the moon ultimately, so that we can go to Mars,” explained Bridenstine.
    The announcement of these plans follows President Trump’s recent addition of $1.6 billion to NASA’s 2020 budget in order to accelerate a return to the Moon.

6/18/2019 Colo. lawmakers introduce bill to create Olympic Oversight Committee by OAN Newsroom
    Lawmakers and Olympians recently came together to push for new legislation to increase accountability on the U.S. Olympic Committee in the wake of the Larry Nassar scandal.
    At a press conference in Denver this week, Colorado Congresswoman Diana Degette joined Judge Rosemarie Aquilina, who sentenced the disgraced doctor, to introduce a bill which would set up an oversight panel to monitor the committee.
    “This is why I’m here, to keep the conversation going, so that we never forget the importance of protecting our athletes,” stated Judge Aquilina.
    The panel would consist of 16 members made up of Olympians and Paralympians.    The group would be tasked with evaluating how governing groups respond to harassment claims by athletes, and making sure they have the funding to conduct investigations into allegations of assault and misconduct. The panel would also hold subpoena power.
    Critics say the USOC lacks accountability, pointing out only one committee official was fired in the wake of the charges against Nassar and only after they were exposed for covering up reports of his misconduct for months.
    “Our committee’s investigations found that these officials were more worried about the committee’s finances and reputation than they were about our athletes’ safety,” stated Representative Degette.    “When the very body that Congress created to care for our athletes becomes more concerned about winning and protecting a brand than the athletes themselves, then it is time for a change.”
U.S. Rep. Diana DeGette, D-Colo., center is flanked by U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner, R-Colo., left, and Judge Rosemarie Aquilina during a news
conference to announce a plan to introduce legislation aimed at reforming the U.S. Olympic Committee Monday, June 17, 2019, in Denver.
Nearly a dozen Olympic athletes were on hand to lend their support to the measure, which DeGette plans to introduce this week. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
    Colorado GOP Senator Cory Gardner was also in attendance at the event to sound off on his support of the measure.
    “…And with this legislation, we have something that everybody can be proud of — that Congress is taking the right steps outside of politics, but inside of solutions to find the right answers to protect our sports, to protect our athletes and to protect our leadership in these Olympic games,” he stated.
    The push to pass the bill comes just six-months after Congress recommended a review of the laws that govern the USOC in hopes of addressing how the committee could better use its authority to protect athletes.    Officials say having independent oversight is an important first step to make sure cases like Nassar’s never happen again.
[Maybe since Republicans are supporting this the corruption that occurred during the 8 years of the Obama administration will finally die off which promoted perverts, homosexuals, transgender and any other ungodly perversion on this country.].

6/18/2019 President Trump speaks with Chinese President Xi by OAN Newsroom
    President Trump recently spoke with Chinese President Xi Jinping regarding trade negotiations.    In a tweet Tuesday, the president said he had a “very good” talk with the Chinese leader via telephone.
    Although no details from that discussion were released, the president said the two will continue talks next week at the G20 summit in Japan.    He added, members of both respective teams will also hold talks prior to the meeting.
    Trump tweet: “Had a very good telephone conversation with President Xi of China. We will be having an extended meeting next week at the G-20 in Japan. Our respective teams will begin talks prior to our meeting.”
    This comes after the president threaten to impose additional tariffs on China if its president did not attend the G20 summit to discuss trade.
FILE – In this Thursday, June 13, 2019, file photo, President Donald Trump speaks during a
meeting in the Cabinet Room of the White House, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)

6/18/2019 Defying Trump, U.S. senator moves toward vote to block Saudi arms sales
FILE PHOTO - Ranking member Bob Menendez (D-NJ) questions U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo during a Senate foreign
Relations Committee hearing on the State Department budget request in Washington, U.S. April 10, 2019. REUTERS/Erin Scott
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Senator Bob Menendez began the formal process on Tuesday of blocking President Donald Trump’s plan to proceed with more than $8 billion in military sales to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates without congressional consent.
    In a Senate speech, Menendez asked the Senate to move to immediate consideration of a resolution disapproving the plan to sell precision-guided munitions to Saudi Arabia.
    It was the first of up to 22 such resolutions objecting to the military sales, which were introduced by Democratic and Republican senators last month, after the Trump administration declared an “emergency” because of actions by Iran in order to sidestep the congressional review process and complete the arms deals.
    Menendez said Saudi Arabia has used the precision-guided munitions, or PGMs, made by Raytheon Co, “in the killing of untold numbers of innocent civilians in their ongoing campaign in Yemen.”
(Reporting by Patricia Zengerle; Editing by Bernadette Baum)

6/18/2019 U.S. agency to vote on auctioning key unused parts of 2.5 GHz band for 5G by David Shepardson
FILE PHOTO: The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) logo is seen before the
FCC Net Neutrality hearing in Washington February 26, 2015. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Federal Communications Commission will vote in July on whether to auction a key band of largely unused 2.5 GHz spectrum to help advance next-generation 5G wireless networks and scrap requirements that it be used for education, the agency said on Tuesday.
    The FCC in May 2018 voted to consider releasing additional key 2.5 GHz mid-band spectrum reserved in the 1960s for what is now known as the Educational Broadband Service.
    FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said in a statement the proposal would give existing users more flexibility in how they use the spectrum.    “Valuable mid-band spectrum available for new mobile services will allow for more efficient and effective use of these airwaves and will advance U.S. leadership in 5G,” he added.
    Pai said last year the FCC was seeking to ensure that existing users would retain spectrum, give some entities a chance to obtain new licenses “and then auctioning off the remaining white spaces.”    Reuters reported the auction plans earlier on Tuesday.
    Sprint Corp uses leased spectrum in the 2.5 GHz band in its existing 4G network and 5G network that it is being rolled out.    That spectrum is a key part of Sprint and T-Mobile US Inc’s proposed $26 billion tie-up and 5G plan, and is not directly affected by the auction, FCC officials said.
    The U.S. Education Department in a June 7 letter told the FCC it should maintain an “educational use requirement” for that spectrum and suggested setting aside revenue from license sales to help students who lack the internet access required to do their homework.
    The FCC proposal would remove that educational requirement, officials told reporters on a conference call.    It did not provide an auction timetable but said the proposal would establish a “competitive bidding window.”    Several FCC auctions are planned this year, the agency added.
    FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr last year noted that the 2.5 GHz band is unused in about half the country, and more than 90% of the licenses held by educational institutions are leased to other entities.
    Carr said those arrangements show “many educational institutions have contracted with those providers so that each can focus on what it does best: the former can educate students, and the latter can build wireless networks.”
    The FCC also plans to vote next month on revising its children’s television programming rules, it said in a statement.
(Reporting by David Shepardson; Editing by Richard Chang)

6/19/2019 Oil up $1.97 to $53.90, DOW up 352 to 26,465.

6/19/2019 Trump orders ICE to begin deportations - Vows to remove millions despite logistical hurdles by Nicholas Wu and Alan Gomez, USA TODAY
    WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump on Monday promised to remove “millions” of undocumented immigrants from the U.S., reviving a pledge from his first week in office fewer than 24 hours before he officially kicked off his 2020 reelection campaign.
    “Next week ICE will begin the process of removing the millions of illegal aliens who have illicitly found their way into the United States,” Trump posted on Twitter on Monday.    “They will be removed as fast as they come in.”
    The president provided few details of the plan and White House officials declined to provide specifics.    Instead, the administration referred USA TODAY to Trump’s tweet and to a June 4 briefing by Mark Morgan, acting director of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency. Morgan signaled then that the agency would increase deportations of families that had received deportation orders.
    “We will be going after individuals who have gone through due process, who have received final orders of deportation,” he said.    “That will include families.    Right now we’re talking about that and what it should look like.”
    The president has previously vowed to remove undocumented immigrants who had been ordered removed from the country by an immigration judge.    It happened just days into his presidency.    On Jan. 25, 2017, he signed an executive order instructing ICE to prioritize the nearly 1 million undocumented immigrants who have such orders of removal.
    Even so, removing “millions” of undocumented immigrants would involve clearing budget and logistical hurdles.
    ICE agents have been following orders, arresting undocumented immigrants who were showing up for their regular, annual check-ins at ICE offices.    But the administration has struggled to deport all of those undocumented immigrants because of historic backlogs in immigration court and the administration’s decision to deploy ICE agents to the southern border to respond to the growing number of Central American asylum-seekers.
    ICE also faces budget constraints from Congress that limit how many people it can deport to about 400,000 a year.    That’s why Sarah Pierce, an immigration policy analyst at the nonpartisan Migration Policy Institute, says Trump’s threat to deport “millions” is “wildly unrealistic.”
    Logistically, she says that’s not possible. And from a public relations standpoint, following the family separation crisis last summer, she doesn’t know why Trump would pursue a strategy that will undoubtedly lead to the arrests of entire families or the separation of undocumented parents from their U.S. citizen children.
    “It’s wild to think that exactly a year since the administration dealt with mass public outcry … that it would again institute a harsh immigration enforcement policy against families and risk that visual of families being separated,” Pierce said.
President Donald Trump tweeted that next week ICE will begin removing the millions of undocumented immigrants who made it into the U.S. EVAN VUCCI/AP
[GOOD JOB TRUMP PROMISE MADE SO LET THE PROMISE BE FULFILLED BY 2020.].

6/19/2019 Eurofighter, NATO launch studies on long-term evolution of fighter
FILE PHOTO: A Eurofighter Typhoon jet lands after tests organised by Armasuisse to replace the fighter jets
of the Swiss Air Force in Payerne, Switzerland April 12, 2019. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse/File Photo
    PARIS (Reuters) – The countries and companies behind Europe’s Eurofighter Typhoon fighter jet have agreed to spend 53.7 million euros ($60.2 million) to study the long-term evolution of the advanced fighter jet and its engine, they said on Wednesday.
    The study contracts will span 19 months for the aircraft, and nine months for the engine, identifying potential technology enhancements for the jet’s mission systems, engine, human machine interface and electronic warfare equipment.
    The work is aimed at keeping the Eurofighter Typhoon fleet operationally effective for combat for decades to come, even as Europe begins work on two rival next-generation aircraft that are slated to enter service in 2040, officials said.
    The Eurofighter consortium includes Airbus, Britain’s BAE Systems and Italy’s Leonardo.
    Airbus and France’s Dassault Aviation have begun work on a new combat air system to be funded by Germany, France and Spain.
    BAE Systems and Leonardo are working on a rival project known as Tempest.
    Italian General Gabriele Salvestroni, general manager of the NATO Eurofighter & Tornado Management Agency (NETMA), said the study contracts marked a new chapter in the jet’s history.
    “The LTE study contracts will set out a clear road map for the future of the platform that will make it relevant and resilient for decades to come,” he said.
    The Eurofighter Typhoon has racked up more than 530,000 flying hours, with 623 aircraft ordered and 558 delivered.
    Peter Maute, Eurofighter director of marketing, said 150 to 200 more aircraft could be sold to international customers in coming years, on top of already approved orders expected from partner countries such as Germany.
    The Eurofighter is competing for orders against the U.S. F-35 fighter jet built by Lockheed Martin and Boeing Co’s F/A-18E/F Super Hornet in Switzerland and Finland.
    Maute said the company was also still engaged in a competition in Canada, and had not yet decided whether to proceed. (Reporting by Andrea Shalal; Editing by Mark Potter)

6/19/2019 President Trump set to rollback Obama-era environmental rules by OAN Newsroom
    President Trump is promising to give power back to states, the coal industry, and miners as he attempts to un-do another Obama-era key policy.
    The Environmental Protection Agency secured the Affordable Clean Energy (ACE) rule Wednesday to limit the federal government’s hold on coal-fired power plants.    The goal is to kill Obama-era regulations backing renewable energy sources, which — in turn — has severely hurt the coal industry.    President Trump has previously noted Obama’s policy had compromising effects on the coal business and economy.
    “I’m getting rid of some of these ridiculous rules and regulations, which are killing our companies, our states, and our jobs,” he stated.    “Just today, we announced our new affordable clean energy proposal that will help our coal-fired power plants and save consumers — you, me, everybody — billions and billions of dollars.”
FILE – In this April 30, 2007, file photo, a shovel prepares to dump a load of coal into a 320-ton truck
at the Arch Coal Inc.-owned Black Thunder mine in Wright, Wyo. (AP Photo/Matthew Brown, File)
    The coal mining industry has reportedly been hit hard recently.    A substantial decline in its production has led to high energy costs and less jobs for miners.    The roll-back sets out to give the industry a fighting chance.
    Specifically, the rule opts out of enforcing states to reduce carbon dioxide emissions 32-percent below 2005 levels by 2030.    Instead, the rule gives states the authority to regulate their coal-fired power plants on a plant-by-plant basis.    They will be able to decide how to control their plant’s release of greenhouse gas emissions, and allows older generators to keep on operating as they “adopt improved” and “more efficient” technology.
    The EPA has noted the looser grip will encourage states “to allow utilities to make heat rate improvements in power plants.”    The roll-back follows the administration’s message of providing “affordable, clean and reliable energy for all Americans.”

6/19/2019 ICE director confirms President Trump’s plan to remove illegal immigrants by OAN Newsroom
    The director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement recently confirmed President Trump’s plans to crackdown on those living in the country illegally.
    On Tuesday, Mark Morgan confirmed his agency is committed to removing as many illegal immigrants as possible with its given resources.    His comments come one day after President Trump tweeted that ICE would begin removing millions of illegal immigrants next week.
    Trump tweet: “Next week ICE will begin the process of removing the millions of illegal aliens who have illicitly found their way into the United States. They will be removed as fast as they come in. Mexico, using their strong immigration laws, is doing a very good job of stopping people.......
    Morgan admitted it’s not possible to remove the estimated 11 million illegal migrants in one quick operation.    However, he said his agency is committed to carrying out the president’s policies, while standing up to those who are against the rule of law.
FILE – In this April 4, 2019, file photo, Mark Morgan testifies before the Senate Homeland Security
and Governmental Affairs Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington. Morgan, the new acting director of U.S. Immigration
and Customs Enforcement is laying the groundwork to step up deportations of families. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen, File)
    “The president is very clear with what he’s tweeting out — he wants to maintain the integrity of the system and he wants to make sure that we’re supporting and enforcing the rule of law, and that’s really what this is about…if you were here in violation of federal immigration law, regardless of what classification or demographic you fall within, that law is going to be applied to you fairly…justice across the board,” explained the ICE directer.
    Morgan said Congress is to blame for tarnishing the agency’s image and limiting its ability to do its job.    Furthermore, he said ICE will continue to prioritize criminals in the deportation process.

6/19/2019 President Trump: ‘Radical Democrats’ driven by hatred, don’t care about U.S. voters by OAN Newsroom
President Trump recently took aim at his Democrat opponents, while officially kicking off his 2020 bid for re-election.
While speaking to supporters in Orlando Tuesday, the president slammed “radical Democrats” who he said are “driven by hatred.”    He also said the left wants to “destroy our country as we know it” by attacking what he described as virtually everyone he knows.
    Trump tweet: “Together, we are breaking the most sacred rule in Washington Politics: we are KEEPING our promises to the American People. Because my only special interest is YOU! #Trump2020
    President Trump’s remarks comes as Democrats pursue the debunked Russia collusion narrative. He had this to say on the issue:
    “The Democrats don’t care about Russia.    They only care about their own political power.    They went after my family, my business, my finances, my employees — almost everyone that I’ve ever known or worked with, but they are really going after you, that’s what it’s all about.    They tried to erase your vote, erase your legacy of the greatest campaign and the greatest election probably in the history of our country.”
    The president also criticized Democrat 2020 hopefuls for not standing up to defend ICE agents.
Trump tweet: “In the ultimate act of moral cowardice, not one Democrat Candidate for president - not a single one - has stood up to defend the incredible men and women of ICE and Border Patrol. They don’t have the character, the virtue, or the spine! #Trump2020

6/19/2019 Sen. Hawley proposes bill to hold tech giants accountable for political bias by OAN Newsroom
    One GOP lawmaker is pushing to end what many are calling political bias by major tech companies.    Missouri Senator Josh Hawley is reportedly proposing a bill which will make it mandatory for social media platforms to prove they are politically “neutral.”
    If a company is unable to show this then it will lose its protections under the Communications Decency Act – Section 230.    Without this act, social media platforms such as Twitter or Facebook could be sued or penalized for content posted by its users.    Hawley believes this legislation will hold companies accountable, and address the alleged conservative censorship on social media.
    “How is it possible for Big Tech platforms to keep the digital public square pruned, if you like, and free of criminal activity or other vices without inserting their own content or political biases into the editorializing that they’re doing?” asked the Missouri lawmaker.
Sen. Josh Hawley has offered fierce critiques of the tech sector and pointed questions for its leaders. (Carolyn Kaster/AP Photo)
Critics, including members of the tech industry, are preparing to fight the bill.    They are claiming the Communications Decency Act has empowered the internet, and taking it away would only enable government censorship of speech.    However, Hawley claims there is a “growing list of evidence” which shows tech companies are making editorial decisions to censor viewpoints of individuals they disagree with.
    The most recent example of this points to the networking site Pinterest.    It was recently under fire for permanently suspending the account of a pro-life group, which it claimed was spreading misinformation.
    If this bill takes affect, companies who lose their protections will be forced to restructure their business model and change the way people are allowed to post.    This means they will most likely implement new algorithms, which will scan content for illegal or libelous material before its posted that way it doesn’t have a chance to spread.

6/19/2019 CNN cuts away from MAGA rally, network switches feed after crowd chants ‘CNN sucks’ by OAN Newsroom
    A crowd of spectators broke into an anti-CNN chant during President Trump’s kickoff rally in Orlando, Florida Tuesday.     The chant started just minutes into the president’s speech Tuesday after he pointed out the “fake news media” covering the event. He referenced his 2015 campaign announcement, and called it a defining moment in American history.
    The president then asked the people in the room to tell the people in the back about the achievement, referring to the mainstream media.
    Shortly after, CNN cut away from its live broadcast of the rally and moved on to other news. During the broadcast, CNN anchor John Berman said the president reverted to some of the same themes since he began running for president.    Supporters of the president have said that was exactly his point.

6/19/2019 EU leaders haggle over climate, top jobs
FILE PHOTO: Manfred Weber, candidate of the European People's Party (EPP) for the next European Commission President gives a statement
after first poll results of the European Parliament elections in Berlin, Germany, May 26, 2019. REUTERS/Hannibal Hanschke/File Photo
    BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Union’s 28 national leaders meet in Brussels on Thursday to haggle over how ambitious their climate goals should be and who should navigate the bloc in coming years.
    Power centers Berlin and Paris are at odds over who should take over the executive European Commission later this year, with German Chancellor Angela Merkel backing a countryman, the center-right Manfred Weber.
    That post in Brussels acts as the EU’s competition watchdog, monitors member states’ budgets and proposes policies from climate change to tech regulation – all big areas as the bloc struggles with a raft of internal and external challenges.
    French President Emmanuel Macron is leading a camp seeking to block Weber’s candidacy over lack of experience in running a national government.    Paris and Madrid are pushing for more prominent EU jobs to go to liberal and socialist candidates after a continent-wide election last month.
    The other jobs up for grabs include the heads of the new European Parliament and the European Central Bank, as well as the EU’s chief diplomat in Brussels. Seeking to narrow an acute gender gap in the bloc’s leadership is also a factor.
    But Merkel and Macron will be on the same side of the barricades on Thursday when they face off against several EU states – including Poland – holding out firmly against the idea of committing the bloc to net zero carbon emissions by 2050.
    A raft of bilateral and multi-party preparatory meetings will take place in Brussels on Thursday before all the 28 national leaders start their formal talks at 1300 GMT.
    After what might turn into a late-night session, they will meet again on Friday – without Britain’s outgoing Prime Minister Theresa May – to discuss euro zone reforms and Brexit.
    Leaders will steer work due in the second half of the year on how to finance a euro zone budget.    On Brexit, they will restate their line that the stalled divorce treaty cannot be renegotiated regardless of who becomes the next British leader.
    They will say the bloc is ready for the most-damaging scenario of Britain crashing out on Oct.31, a prospect many in the EU hub Brussels see as increasingly likely.
(Writing by Gabriela Baczynska; Editing by Andrew Cawthorne)

6/19/2019 Mexico first to ratify USMCA trade deal, Trump presses U.S. Congress to do same by Miguel Angel Lopez and Dave Graham
FILE PHOTO: Mexico's President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador holds a news conference at
the National Palace in Mexico City, Mexico, June 7, 2019. REUTERS/Edgard Garrido
    MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Mexico on Wednesday became the first country to ratify the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) agreed late last year to replace the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) at the behest of U.S. President Donald Trump.
    By a vote of 114 in favor to 4 against, Mexico’s Senate backed the deal tortuously negotiated between 2017 and 2018 after Trump repeatedly threatened to withdraw from NAFTA if he could not get a better trade agreement for the United States.
    Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador had already anticipated ratification this week in the Senate, where his leftist National Regeneration Movement (MORENA) and its allies have a comfortable majority in the 128-member chamber.
    There has been little parliamentary opposition in Mexico to trying to safeguard market access to United States, by far Mexico’s top export destination, and the trade deal was approved with overwhelming cross-party support in the Senate.
    Mexico sends around 80% of its exports to the United States, and Trump last month vowed to impose tariffs on all Mexican goods if Lopez Obrador does not reduce the flow of U.S.-bound illegal immigration from Central America.
    Lopez Obrador says he wants to avoid conflict with Trump, but noted at the weekend that the tariff dispute showed Mexico needed to become more economically self-sufficient.
    Trump congratulated Lopez Obrador on Twitter for Mexico’s approval.    “Time for Congress to do the same here!” he wrote.
    Lopez Obrador, meanwhile, posted a video on Twitter in which he called the Senate’s approval “very good news” and said it augured well for Mexico’s relations with the United States.
    Canada, which has also fought with Trump over trade, is pressing ahead to ratify the deal.    The main question mark hanging over its ratification is in the United States, where Democratic lawmakers have threatened to block the process.
    Earlier on Wednesday, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said he believed Democrats’ concerns on enforcing labor and environmental provisions in USMCA can be sorted out quickly.    He spoke just hours after Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi said she still has many concerns over USMCA.
    Trump, who had excoriated the 25-year-old NAFTA as a “disaster” for U.S. workers, wants to claim a first major trade deal victory as the campaign for the 2020 presidential election begins.    The Republican formally https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-election-trump/trump-launches-re-election-campaign-presents-himself-as-outsider-and-victim-idUSKCN1TJ10W opened his re-election campaign in Florida on Tuesday and two dozen Democrats are competing for the party’s nomination to run against Trump.
    Trump, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Mexico’s previous president Enrique Pena Nieto signed USMCA on Nov. 30, 2018 after months of often acrimonious talks stretching back to the American president’s first few days in office.
    Lopez Obrador took office on Dec. 1, 2018.
    Three of the four Mexican votes against the deal came from MORENA senators, as did one abstention.    The other vote against the deal was from an independent senator, while two members of the center-right National Action Party (PAN) also abstained. Seven senators were not present for the vote.
(Additional reporting by Sharay Angulo in Mexico City and Bhargav Acharya in Bengaluru; Editing by Tom Brown and Grant McCool)

6/20/2019 Oil down $0.14 to $53.76, DOW up 38 to 26,504.

6/20/2019 Trump ditches Obama rule on coal-fired plants - Environmental groups plan court challenges by Ledyard King, USA TODAY
    WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump is keeping a signature campaign promise to boost the coal industry, but environmentalists say the energy plan his administration rolled out Wednesday would lead to premature deaths and hasten climate change.
    The Affordable Clean Energy (ACE) Rule, an amendment to the Clean Air Act, is expected to extend the lives of potentially scores of aging coal-fired power plants across the country whose carbon emissions are blamed for contributing to global warming.
    It replaces the Clean Power Plan, former President Barack Obama’s aggressive program to confront climate change that never took effect after the Supreme Court prevented its implementation in 2016.
    Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Andrew Wheeler unveiled the ACE rule during a news conference attended by coal miners, congressional lawmakers and energy industry representatives.
    Unlike Obama’s approach, which energy interests viewed as federal overreach, the Trump administration gives states and utilities flexibility to design a plan that proponents say will keep energy costs low while gradually reducing carbon emissions that contribute to global warming.
    Under ACE, states have three years to submit a plan to limit greenhouse gas emissions to the EPA for review.    The agency estimates that approximately 600 coal-fired electric generation units at 300 facilities nationwide will be covered by the rule, though officials could not say how many of them would stay running longer as a result.
    The new rule, Wheeler said, “gives states the regulatory certainty they need to continue to reduce emissions and provide affordable and reliable energy to all Americans.”
    But opponents argue it does little to confront the escalating dangers posed by climate change and will allow power plants to keep spewing air pollutants, such as soot, that lead to asthma and other lung-related diseases.
    Environmental groups and some states already are vowing to sue to stop the plan’s implementation, just as opponents of Obama’s Clean Power Plan did successfully four years ago.
    “Like so many other Trump regulatory rollbacks, these new (ACE) rules will hit the wall in the courts,” David Doniger of the Natural Resources Defense Council wrote recently.    “NRDC, joining forces with state, environmental, and business allies, will challenge the Clean Power Plan repeal and the Dirty Power Plan replacement – and we expect to win.”
    Even if it survives a court challenge, the Trump proposal is not expected to do much to help an industry buffeted by economic forces, energy analysts say.    Low prices for natural gas, the rising popularity and efficiency of renewable energy such as wind, and customer preferences for clean energy are squeezing coal-fired power plants.
EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler speaks Wednesday in Washington on the
plan to loosen regulations on coal plants. ALEX BRANDON/AP

6/20/2019 Dems say Hicks ducked questions - Republicans call panel’s session a waste of time by Bart Jansen and Christal Haye, USA TODAY
    WASHINGTON – Democratic members of Congress accused President Donald Trump’s former spokeswoman Hope Hicks of not answering many of their questions during marathon closed-door testimony Wednesday.
    The House Judiciary Committee subpoenaed Trump’s former White House communication director and campaign spokeswoman because of her proximity to Trump during several episodes that special counsel Robert Mueller’s report described as attempts to thwart the investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election.
    The incidents include Trump helping draft an explanation about a Trump Tower meeting between top campaign officials and Russians and his firing of Attorney General Jeff Sessions and FBI Director James Comey.
    Mueller’s report found no conspiracy between Trump’s campaign and Russia, despite repeated foreign attempts to influence the election on Trump’s behalf.    Mueller said he didn’t have the option to charge Trump with obstruction of justice despite 10 episodes of potential illegalities listed in the report.
    Congressional Democrats on the committee said Hicks’ appearance amounted to her not complying with the subpoena.    They claimed she did not answer questions about her time in the White House or the findings outlined in the Mueller report.
    Lawyers for the administration, who were at Hicks’ side during her testimony, objected to questions and claimed she was immune from answering anything related to her time in the White House, Democrats said.
    She did answer questions about her time on the Trump campaign, and Democrats said every piece of information was helpful for their investigations into the president.
    Some Democrats said the hearing pushed them further down the path toward impeachment proceedings.
    “This is an obstruction of Congress’ ability to do our job and uphold our oath.    It’s unacceptable.    We have to begin an inquiry soon,” said Rep. Veronica Escobar, D-Texas.    “They’re not even allowing her to comment on what’s in a publicly available report, the Mueller report.    It’s unbelievable.”
    Rep. Ted Lieu, D-Calif., tweeted some of the questions that attorneys objected to, including where Hicks’ office was and what the weather was like on her first day of work.    He said he’s ready for a court battle.
    “She is basically relying on the Department of Justice to assert objections every single time it’s related to anything during her tenure in the White House,” he said.
    “There is no such thing as absolute immunity.    The White House is just making stuff up.”
.     Trump complained in a tweet that Democrats have put Hicks “through hell, for 3 years now, after total exoneration by Robert Mueller.”
    Republicans on the committee expressed similar sentiments.
    “It’s unfortunate that Hope Hicks has been dragged down here and forced to go through this,” said Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas.    “I’m amazed that people would be willing to serve in any administration when they’re harassed like this for just doing their jobs.”
    Rep. Doug Collins, the top Republican on the committee, said the hearing was a waste of time, an effort by Democrats to redo the work of Mueller and his team.
    “There’s nothing new here,” said Collins, R-Ga. “Democrats continue to try to relitigate the Mueller investigation.”

6/20/2019 Trump campaign raises $24.8M in less than 24 hours
    WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump raised $24.8 million less than 24 hours after kicking off his reelection campaign, a figure that dwarfs what the top Democratic contenders took in over the course of months.    The total was announced in a tweet on Wednesday morning by Republican Party Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel.    She called it proof that “enthusiasm across the country for this president is unmatched and unlike anything we’ve ever seen.”    The campaign has yet to release a breakdown of how he raised the money.

6/20/2019 President Trump touts DOJ probe into potential spying on Trump campaign by OAN Newsroom
    President Trump said the Department of Justice is working hard to determine whether or not U.S. Intelligence secretly monitored phone calls of the 2016 Trump campaign.     During an interview Wednesday, the president said “if they spied on my campaign it will be one of the greatest revelations in the history of this country.”
    He went on to describe Democrats as “unhinged,” saying if his calls were tapped it would be the “ultimate” discovery.
In this June 18, 2019 photo, President Donald Trump speaks during his re-election kickoff
rally at the Amway Center in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
    “The fact is, they were spying on my campaign, using agencies, intelligence agencies to do it, going after Page and Papadopoulos and probably others,” explained the President.    “We’re trying to find out whether or not they actually listened in on my calls…that would be the ultimate…I think if that happened, we’ll probably find out.”
    The attorney general said the probe will look at whether surveillance of the Trump campaign was lawfully conducted.    He’s working with the Intelligence community to get to the bottom of alleged misuse of the FISA process.

6/20/2019 U.S. officials, world leaders call for caution in aftermath of drone shooting by OAN Newsroom
    Tensions between the U.S. and Iran continue to ratchet up after news an American surveillance drone was shot down by Iranian forces in the Strait of Hormuz.    It marks the first time Iran’s military has directly attacked U.S. military forces.
    Iran said the drone violated its territorial airspace, which is a claim the U.S. military has vehemently denied.    Instead, the U.S. said the incident was an “unprovoked attack in international airspace.”
    In a tweet shortly after the missile strike, President Trump said Iran has made “a very big mistake,” but didn’t indicate what retaliation could be made.
    Trump tweet: “Iran made a very big mistake!
    Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said the situation in the Middle East could “hardly be more fraught,” describing missile attacks in Saudi Arabia carried out by Iranian-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen.    He said the Senate could not pick a worse time for “ill-considered resolutions that would hurt key relationships in the Middle East.”
    “Let’s not cut ourselves off from our partners, let’s not undercut the administration at a time of such delicate diplomacy and tension with Iran,” he stated.    “So, I would ask my colleagues to vote down these resolutions.”
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., walks to his office after speaking on the Senate floor
at the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, June 20, 2019. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
    House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called the shooting a “dangerous situation,” and called on colleagues not to be reckless.
    “I think it’s a dangerous situation..the high-tension wires are up in the region…we have to be strong and strategic about how we protect our interests, we also cannot be reckless in what we do,” she stated.    “I don’t think the President wants to go to war, there’s no appetite for going to war in our country.”
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., meets with reporters before joining congressional leaders at a closed-door security
briefing on the rising tensions with Iran, at the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, June 20, 2019. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
    Internationally, Russian President Vladimir Putin said a U.S. attack in the region would be “catastrophic” and the violence would possibly lead to an increase of refugees from the region.
    “But I think for those who would make such attempts it would also lead to sad consequences,” said the Russian leader.    “It is hard to predict what can follow application of military force.”
    The Chinese Foreign Ministry defended Iran by saying the Islamic Republic has fulfilled its obligations concerning nuclear weapons, and has asked all parties to respect Iran’s “reasonable demands.”
    “We have been calling on all parties concerned to keep level-heads and exercise restraint, and avoid taking measures that could lead to further escalation of the situation,” stated Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lu Kang.    “In particular, we have pointed out that the countries concerned should change the practice of exerting maximum pressure on Iran.”
    According to recent reports, Tehran claimed it would exceed the uranium enrichment limits agreed on during the Iran Nuclear Deal in response to a recent Pentagon plan to deploy an additional 1,000 troops to the region.

6/20/2019 Democrat staffers charged, jailed for doxxing GOP senators by OAN Newsroom
    Another one of Democrat Senator Maggie Hassan’s former aides is facing charges in connection to a 2018 leak of GOP senators’ person information.
    On Wednesday, former employee Samantha Davis was charged for allegedly tampering with evidence and abetting computer fraud.    On that same day, her former co-worker Jackson Cosko was sentenced to four years in prison.
    Davis reportedly gave her colleague and close friend Cosko a key to the senator’s office, where he was able to steal the data.    Davis reportedly agreed to loan him the key, and wipe his fingerprints from the office computers.
Sen. Maggie Hassan, N.H., arrives for a hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
    Cosko also admitted — at first — to sneaking into the senator’s office to retaliate against colleagues he believed got him fired.    Instead, Cosko hacked into the computers to copy GOP senator’s personal information such as phone numbers and home addresses to later post on Wikipedia.    The ex-staffer admitted his actions were fueled by rage over the GOP senators’ roles in Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearings.
    In a victim statement, Senator Rand Paul said Cosko’s actions caused him and his family to worry about their personal safety.    Prosecutors said the former aide also threatened to release medical information of the senator’s children in an extortion attempt.
    Cosko reportedly worked for a number Democrat lawmakers, including Representative Sheila Jackson.
    “This is an unpaid intern who has been in the offices of both senators and House members, and has even been employed by House members,” stated Jackson.    “I strongly condemn the individual’s indefensible and criminal behavior.”
    The district judge who hashed out Cosko’s four year sentence said the ruling is a warning against politically motivated criminal harassment.
[    The following was found at https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2018/oct/3/jackson-cosko-democratic-operative-charged-doxxing/
10/3/2018 Democratic operative charged with 'doxxing' senators by Stephen Dinan, The Washington Times
Jackson Cosko, the Democratic staffer accused of “doxing” Republican senators during the Kavanaugh confirmation fight, was caught after he sneaked into a Senate Democrat’s office this week and tried to use a computer, police said in an affidavit made public Thursday.
    Mr. Cosko, 27, stands accused of a number of federal and local crimes after police say he posted personal addresses and telephone numbers of senators to their Wikipedia pages over the last couple of weeks.
    He appeared for an initial hearing in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., and was ordered detained until a hearing Tuesday.
    He had been working for Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, a Texas Democrat and staunch opponent of Supreme Court nominee Brett M. Kavanaugh, but her office told reporters Mr. Cosko had been fired once they learned of the case against him.
    Police said he had worked for a Senate office before, though he was pushed to resign earlier this year.    A spokesman for Sen. Maggie Hassan, New Hampshire Democrat, confirmed she had employed him and he had been asked to resign “for failing to follow office procedures.”
    10/3/2018 Jackson Cosko, who calls himself a “Democratic Political Professional” with cybersecurity expertise, is accused of crimes for allegedly doxing Republican Senators during the Brett Kavanaugh/Christine Blasey Ford hearings by LouieFisk.
    The United States Capitol Police arrested the suspect who allegedly “posted private, identifying information (doxing) about one of more United States Senators to the internet,” a statement said.
    According to Legistorm, he worked for U.S. Sen. Maggie Hassan (D-NH) and previously worked for Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA).    A September 2018 letter from Sheila Jackson Lee (D -TX) identifies him as a staffer for her office.
doxing search for and publish private or identifying information about (a particular individual) on the Internet, typically with malicious intent.].

6/20/2019 President Trump: You will soon find out if U.S. will retaliate against Iran by OAN Newsroom
    Congressional leaders and military chiefs are gathering in the White House Situation Room for a briefing with President Trump on the Iran situation.    The meeting comes after the president commented on Iran’s attack on a U.S. drone in the Persian Gulf, saying “you will soon find out” whether the U.S. will retaliate.    He made the comment while meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in the Oval Office, and said he doesn’t think the attack was intentional.
    Meanwhile, the Pentagon released a video showing the moment the U.S. drone was shot down by Iran.    The video shows the smoke trail left by the maritime surveillance drone RQ-4 Global Hawk that was shot down in the Persian Gulf Thursday.
    Ryan Browne: “Pentagon releases video purporting to show the smoke trail left after a U.S. RQ-4 unmanned aerial vehicle was shot down by Iran over the Gulf of Oman
    Iran has claimed the drone was over its territory, but the U.S. maintains it did not violate Iran’s airspace. U.S. military officials have since specified the drone was shot down by an Iranian rocket in the international airspace over the Strait of Hormuz.
This map provided by the Department of Defense, Thursday, June 20, 2019, shows the site where they say a U.S. Navy RQ-4 drone
was shot down. The Department of Defense says the drone was flying over the Gulf of Oman and the Strait of Hormuz
on a surveillance mission in international airspace in the vicinity of recent IRGC maritime attacks when it was shot down by
an IRGC surface to air missile fired from a launch site in the vicinity of Goruk, Iran. (Department of Defense via AP)
    “This attack is an attempt to disrupt our ability to monitor the area, following recent threats to international shipping, and the free flow of commerce,” stated Lt. Gen. Joseph Guastella, U.S. Air Force Central Command.    “Iranian reports that this aircraft was shot down over Iran are categorically false.”
    President Trump reiterated that he does not want to go to war with the country, but assured the U.S. will defend itself.
President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in the Oval Office
of the White House, Thursday, June 20, 2019, in Washington. Trump declared Thursday that “Iran made a very big mistake
in shooting down a U.S. drone but suggested it was an accident rather than a strategic error. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

6/20/2019 Bolton to visit Israel for Iran talks by OAN Newsroom
    National Security Adviser John Bolton will travel to Israel next week to discuss rising threats from Iran.    Bolton is expected to meet with his Russian and Israeli counterparts in Jerusalem during his visit.    Last month, the White House said Bolton would be making the trip in June, but didn’t specify a date.
    This comes as the U.S. prepares to send an additional 1,000 troops to the Middle East as tensions with Iran escalate.    The move has prompted concerns over the possibility of war with the regime, but the administration says it’s not what President Trump wants.
File photo – National Security Adviser John Bolton, left, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, right, attend a news conference
between President Donald Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in the Rose Garden at the White House. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
    “It’s been our mission since the beginning of this administration to convince the Iranian regime not to move forward with their nuclear program and not to continue to engage in dealing with their missiles, and all of the other activities, the malign activities that they’ve been engaged in around the world,” stated Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.    “That’s why we put in place the pressure campaign that’s now been ongoing for a year and a couple months — it’s been very effective, and now we need to make sure that we continue to do that.”
    President Trump said he’s monitoring the situation with Iran, and maintains the U.S. is prepared for anything.

6/20/2019 Trump, Trudeau seek collaboration on ‘critical minerals’: White House
Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau leaves after a meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump at the
Oval Office of the White House in Washington, U.S., June 20, 2019. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

6/20/2019 Faced with rising far right, Soros Foundations look West by Thomas Escritt
FILE PHOTO: A Hungarian government billboard that reads: 'Soros wants to transplant millions from Africa and
the Middle East', is shown in Budapest, February 14, 2018. REUTERS/Bernadett Szabo/File Photo
    BERLIN (Reuters) – George Soros’s Open Society Foundations, best known for funding civil rights activists across Eastern Europe and the developing world, are increasingly turning their attention to affluent western Europe in response to the rise of the far right there.
    Officials at the hedge fund magnate and philanthropist’s charity, which disburses around a billion dollars a year, said the nationalist right’s recent electoral successes were triggering the same contraction in the space for independent activism that had earlier been seen in Eastern Europe.
    In southern France, the foundation has stepped in to replace funding to local migrant rights and anti-discrimination groups whose financing was frozen when Marine Le Pen’s then-National Front, since renamed National Rally, took power in a number of municipalities.
    With Germany’s anti-immigration Alternative for Germany set to make gains in regional elections across the country’s east in the autumn, the foundation is preparing to take similar steps, said Selmin Caliskan, a director in its new Berlin office.
    “We are now looking into the possibility of having a support and solidarity emergency fund for civil society actors in eastern Germany who share our values,” she said.
    “Everyone who works there on racism, on anti-Semitism, on helping and supporting migrants and asylum seekers, people like the Red Cross, they all have this concern that their funding will be lost,” she added.
    The enlarged focus – which includes funding organizations devoted to fostering community spirit in poor parts of Northern England that voted strongly for Brexit – reflects a concern that Western Europe is also succumbing to the charms of nationalist strongman leaders like Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban.
    The OSF, which emerged from Soros’s attempts in the 1980s to foster democratization in Hungary, the country of his birth, recently decamped from Budapest, which for three decades had housed one of its headquarters, due to concerns that it was no longer able to operate free of government harassment.
    Goran Buldioski, head of the new Berlin office, recalls counting the ever growing numbers of government-sponsored anti-Soros billboards that mushroomed along his route to work in the final months before the move to Germany.
    But, he said, the 88-year-old Soros’s elevation to global bogeyman of the far right in countries from the United States to Russia and the Philippines had little to do with the foundation or even Soros himself.    The vilification was a “smokescreen” to cover up attacks on local civic organizations, he added.
    But its growing volume of work in western Europe was not coming at the expense of its activities elsewhere, he said.
    “Over the years, we have expanded our work to all of Europe, supporting independent civil society East to West, North to South,” he added in a later statement.    “There has been no shift of our work from Eastern to Western Europe.”
    Salil Shetty, former head of Amnesty International and OSF’s Asia-Pacific head said Germany had a responsibility to which it did not always live up as an outspoken champion of human rights around the world.
    Berlin, always keen to fund democratization and civil society initiatives, was often muted in its criticisms when that harmed the interests of the industrial giants on which Germany’s exporting economy depends.
    “They need to be called out more where there are hard trade-offs – India, China and so on,” he said.
(Reporting by Thomas Escritt; Editing by Mark Heinrich)

6/21/2019 Oil up $3.12 to $56.88, DOW up 249 to 26,753.

6/21/2019 Exclusive: Trump warned Iran via Oman that U.S. attack was imminent, called for talks – Iranian officials
FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump attends a campaign rally in Orlando, Florida, U.S., June 18, 2019. REUTERS/Carlos Barria
    DUBAI (Reuters) – Iranian officials told Reuters on Friday that Tehran had received a message from U.S. President Donald Trump through Oman overnight warning that a U.S. attack on Iran was imminent.
    “In his message, Trump said he was against any war with Iran and wanted to talk to Tehran about various issues … he gave a short period of time to get our response but Iran’s immediate response was that it is up to Supreme Leader (Ayatollah Ali) Khamenei to decide about this issue,” one of the officials told Reuters on condition of anonymity.
    The second official said: “We made it clear that the leader is against any talks, but the message will be conveyed to him to make a decision … However, we told the Omani official that any attack against Iran will have regional and international consequences.”
(This story corrects syntax to say “warning” not “warned” in first paragraph)
(Editing by Kevin Liffey)

6/21/2019 Trump calls off Iran strikes at the last minute: NYT by Roberta Rampton, Phil Stewart and Parisa Hafezi
U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting with Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau
as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and White House national security adviser John Bolton look on in the
Oval Office of the White House in Washington, U.S., June 20, 2019. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
    WASHINGTON/DUBAI (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump approved military strikes against Iran on Friday in retaliation for the downing of a U.S. surveillance drone, but called off the attacks at the last minute, the New York Times reported.
    After weeks of rising tension amid a spate of attacks on oil tankers in the Gulf, Iran said on Thursday it had shot down an unmanned U.S. military surveillance drone, fanning fears of an overt military confrontation between the longtime adversaries.
    In response, the New York Times quoted a senior administration official as saying U.S. warplanes took to the air and ships were put in position for a retaliatory attack only for an order to come to stand down, without any weapons being fired.
    Targets had included Iranian radar and missile batteries, the paper cited senior administration officials involved in, or briefed on, the deliberations, as saying.
    The strikes were set for early in the day to minimize risk to the Iranian military or to civilians, the Times added.
    It was unclear if attacks on Iran might go ahead later, it added, nor was it known whether Trump had changed his mind or whether his administration had become concerned about logistics or strategy.
    Tehran said the unarmed Global Hawk surveillance drone was on a spy mission over its territory, but Washington said it was shot down over international airspace in the Strait of Hormuz.
    Trump said initially the downing of the drone could have been carried out by someone who was acting “loose and stupid,” adding that he suspected it was shot down by mistake.
    “We had nobody in the drone.    It would have made a big difference, let me tell you, it would have made a big, big difference” if the aircraft had been piloted, Trump said as he met Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in the Oval Office.
IRAN SANCTIONS
    The destruction of the drone compounded tensions escalating in the Gulf region, a critical artery for global oil supplies, where six oil tankers have been damaged by explosions in the past six weeks.
    Iran has denied involvement in the tanker attacks, but global jitters about a new Middle East conflagration disrupting oil exports have triggered a jump in crude prices.
    Saudi Arabia, Washington’s main Gulf ally, said Iran had created a grave situation with its “aggressive behavior” and the kingdom was consulting other Gulf Arab states on next steps.
    Tensions with Iran flared with Trump’s withdrawal last year from a 2015 nuclear accord with Iran, and have worsened as Washington imposed fresh sanctions to throttle Tehran’s vital oil trade.    Iran retaliated earlier this week with a threat to breach limits on its nuclear activities imposed by the deal.
    The U.S. sanctions have hammered Iran’s economy, scuttling its oil exports and barring it from the dollar-dominated global finance system.    That has undone the promise of trade rewards from the 2015 deal designed to curb its nuclear ambitions.
DISPUTE OVER DRONE’S LOCATION
    Iranian state media said the “spy” drone was brought down over the southern Iranian province of Hormozgan, which is on the Gulf, with a locally made 3 Khordad missile.
    Lieutenant General Joseph Guastella, the top U.S. Air Force commander in the Middle East, told reporters the drone was shot down at high altitude about 34 km (21 miles) from the nearest point of land on the Iranian coast.
    U.S. Central Command later posted a tweet https://twitter.com/CENTCOM/status/1141854000192589824 that included a map of what Guastella called the drone’s flight path showing it WAS outside Iran’s territorial waters.    “This was an unprovoked attack on a U.S. surveillance asset that had not violated Iranian airspace at any time,” he added.
    Independent confirmation of the drone’s location when it was brought down was not immediately available.
    The Trump administration is pursuing a campaign to isolate Iran and press it toward concessions on its nuclear and missile programs and involvement in regional conflicts.
    Washington said on Monday it would deploy about 1,000 more troops, along with Patriot missiles and manned and unmanned surveillance aircraft, to the Middle East on top of a 1,500-troop increase announced after attacks on Gulf tankers in May.
    Trump has dispatched forces including aircraft carriers, B-52 bombers and troops over the past few weeks.    Iran said last week it was responsible for the security of the Strait of Hormuz, calling on American forces to leave the Gulf.
    In the United States, House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the top Democrat in Congress, said Washington had no appetite for war with Iran and should “do everything in our power to de-escalate.”
    After a White House briefing for lawmakers, Democratic Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, told reporters he was worried Trump “may bumble into a war.”    Schumer said he and his fellow Democrats believed congressional approval was needed to fund any conflict with Iran.
    But Trump’s fellow Republican, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, told reporters: “The administration is engaged in what I called measured responses.”
    While U.S. rhetoric against Iran has sharped, European states – fellow signatories of the nuclear deal with Iran – have been more cautious, saying more evidence is needed to pinpoint responsibility for the tanker strikes.
    They have sought to keep the nuclear deal alive despite the U.S. pullout, but Tehran has told them and other world powers who signed the accord that they must rein in Trump’s aggressive stance toward Iran or it too will bow out of the deal.
(Reporting by Reuters bureaus; writing by)

6/21/2019 President Trump: U.S. was ‘cocked and loaded’ for Iran, but ‘not appropriate response’ by OAN Newsroom
    President Trump recently took to Twitter to explain his decision to cancel the airstrikes against Iran.    He said President Obama made what he called “a desperate and terrible deal with Iran,” which is why he terminated the Iran Nuclear Deal and imposed strong sanctions on the Islamic Republic.    This move has, in turn, caused financial difficulty for the country.
    The president said the U.S. was “cocked and loaded” for a retaliation strike after Iran shot down a U.S. drone over international waters.    However, he decided against it because many civilians would die.    President Trump said he is in no hurry, and is confident that the U.S. military is ready to go if actions are necessary.
President Donald Trump arrives at Andrews Air Force Base after a trip to Florida to kick off his
re-election campaign, Wednesday, June 19, 2019, in Andrews Air Force Base, Md. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
    Trump tweet: “....On Monday they shot down an unmanned drone flying in International Waters. We were cocked & loaded to retaliate last night on 3 different sights when I asked, how many will die. 150 people, sir, was the answer from a General. 10 minutes before the strike I stopped it, not....”    “....proportionate to shooting down an unmanned drone. I am in no hurry, our Military is rebuilt, new, and ready to go, by far the best in the world. Sanctions are biting & more added last night. Iran can NEVER have Nuclear Weapons, not against the USA, and not against the WORLD!
    His remarks come after Tehran admitted to shooting down a U.S. surveillance drone Thursday, and reportedly attacked oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman.    The FAA has since ordered U.S. airlines to make detours around Iranian airspace.

6/21/2019 UN stays silent on U.S. and Iran by OAN Newsroom
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres attends the closing session of the the 108th International Labour Conference
at the European headquarters of the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, Friday, June 21, 2019. (Magali Girardin/Keystone via AP)
    The United Nations chief declined to comment on recent escalations between the U.S. and Iran.
    UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres told reporters Friday he would not discuss the tensions in the Middle East as he attended an event for the International Labor Organization in Geneva.
    This comes as Iran reportedly called on the international community to confront the U.S. for violating their airspace.    Guterres has yet to respond to Iran’s claims.
    A spokesperson announced the official is very concerned with the growing tensions.
    “…of course he said that the worst thing that could happen would be an escalation of the situation in that region, so he is appealing for calm and reason regarding the situation…the last thing we need is another war in that area,” stated spokesman Rheal Leblanc while in Geneva.
    He went on to say Guterres is currently cautioning both sides to use maximum restraint and “nerves of steel” before taking any drastic actions.

6/21/2019 Transcript: Hope Hicks hearing fixed on Steele dossier, Lewandowsky by OAN Newsroom
    The House Judiciary Committee released a transcript of its closed-door testimony with former White House aide Hope Hicks.    The 273 page transcript shows Hicks was highly critical of the FBI’s use of the unverified Steele dossier, and opposed taking opposition research from foreign parties.
    However, lawmakers focused on former Trump campaign aide Corey Lewandowsky, who Hicks was allegedly dating at the time.    House Democrats expressed their frustration with Hicks’s reluctance to answer questions, but Republicans on the committee dismissed Democrat claims as a “political stunt.”
Former White House communications director Hope Hicks departs after a closed-door interview with the House Judiciary
Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, June 19, 2019. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
    “Is the White House standing in the way? — No, I don’t think so.    I think they’re asserting the OLC opinion, which is immunity for senior White House officials.    This has been in both, in all administrations, not just Republican, not just Democratic.    I don’t think they’re standing in the way because she’s actually here testifying and she is answering questions that don’t fall under that opinion.” —Rep. Doug Collins, (R-Ga.)
    Congressman Doug Collins said the Hicks hearing was a waste of time, and said Democrats of the committee tried to misinterpret her words.    He urged committee chair Jerry Nadler to subpoena former special counsel Robert Mueller to testify instead.
    Congressman Devin Nunes also criticized Democrats’ questioning of Hicks.    In an interview Thursday, Nunes said “old pervy” Democrats asked Hicks about her love life during the closed-door hearing.    The interview was supposed to focus on alleged Russian interference in the 2016 election and possible obstruction by the president, but Nunes — who doesn’t sit on the panel — said sources told him Democrats strayed from the topic.    Republicans, including Nunes, have taken issue with Democrats for pushing the Russia collusion narrative.
    “After years of false accusations and McCarthyite smears, the collusion hoax now defines the Democratic Party,” stated Nunes.    “The hoax is what they have in place of a governing philosophy or a constructive vision for our country.”
[ Corey R. Lewandowski, is an American political operative, lobbyist and political commentator, and was a political commentator for One America News Network, Fox News and CNN, as well as a campaign manager of Donald Trump's 2016 campaign for President of the United States from January 2015 to June 2016.].

6/21/2019 Los Angeles officials, activists propose ’empty homes’ tax by OAN Newsroom
    Property owners in one California city could soon have to pay a fine if their housing units are not rented out.    The Los Angeles City Council is currently considering whether to develop an “empty home” tax for unoccupied residential units.
    The potential move comes after it was found that there are about 100,000 housing units currently available in the city, while at the same time there are an estimated 60,000 people who are homeless.
    City Council members and community activists feel the plan could be the right move to solve the city’s homeless problem, and the tax revenue could generate more funds for affordable housing.
FILE – A homeless person sits at his tent along the Interstate 110 freeway downtown Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel, File)
    “We hope that this makes people bring human beings into those units, but if they decide not to, they’ll give some money to the city so we can build housing for human beings,” explained Marqueece Harris-Dawson, (D) Los Angeles City Council member.    “If people have the money to hold a vacant property then they have the money to pay a penalty.”
    Details of the proposed “empty homes” tax, including the dollar amount of the penalties, has yet to be determined.    The move is likely to be put on the ballot next year.
[It can't get any worse for anyone who lives, owns a home, as they tax them to death, and I would bet the homes are empty because of the mass exodus out of California.    So now they want them to fill the homes with homeless, so when are Californians going to wake up and overthrow the people in charge and get their state back.    I lived in Thousand Oaks, Calif. from 1975-1988 and it was a beautiful state, evereything was clean, even restrooms and Interstates, no trash anywhere, and I voted for Ronald Reagan as President, a Republican, and we voted on propositions and all worked best for us then.    What I see there now is disgusting that the liberal Democrats have turned it into a mess, since Brown took over and it is continuing.]

6/21/2019 Venezuelan opposition urges UN human rights chief to expose Maduro’s crimes by OAN Newsroom
    Venezuela’s opposition leader is urging a top UN official to investigate the abuse of human rights by the Maduro regime.    This comes as dozens of protesters took to the streets of Caracas to demand that the Maduro regime release all political prisoners.
    UN Human Rights chief Michelle Bachelet arrived in Venezuela this week for talks with embattled leader Nicolas Maduro and self-proclaimed interim President Juan Guaido.
    Bachelet said she is looking into the allegations of political kidnappings and torture.    Protesters urged the UN official to shed light on Maduro’s repressions for the whole world to see.
Former workers of Petroleos de Venezuela, PDVSA, shout slogans against Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro during a protest outside
of the Vice President’s office, demanding the paid of salaries in Caracas, Venezuela, Thursday, June 20, 2019. (AP Photo/Fernando Llano)
    “Michel Bachelet must fulfill the political part of her visit.    She has access to the Maduro government and she can demand from the regime a safe release of political prisoners, and demand to stop the repressions,” stated Alfredo Romero, executive director of Foro Penal Venezolano.    “The relatives are here to demand justice from the UN envoy for human rights, the highest authority on human rights in the world.”
    The Guaido cabinet said Bachelet could have been presented with a one-sided and unrealistic view of the ongoing political crisis in Venezuela.
U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet listens during a meeting with Venezuela’s Education Minister Aristóbulo Istúriz,
at the Foreign Ministry, in Caracas, Venezuela, Thursday, June 20, 2019. (AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos)

6/21/2019 Exclusive: NATO aims to make space new frontier in defense by Robin Emmott
FILE PHOTO: Banners displaying the NATO logo are placed at the entrance of new NATO headquarters during the
move to the new building, in Brussels, Belgium April 19, 2018. REUTERS/Yves Herman/File Photo
    BRUSSELS (Reuters) – NATO aims to recognize space as a domain of warfare this year, four senior diplomats said, partly to show U.S. President Donald Trump that the alliance is relevant and adapting to new threats after he signed off on the creation of a U.S. Space Force.
    The decision, set to be taken at a Dec. 3-4 leaders summit in London that Trump is due to attend, would formally acknowledge that battles can be waged not only on land, in the air, at sea and on computer networks, but also in space.
    “There’s agreement that we should make space a domain and the London summit is the best place to make it official,” said one senior NATO diplomat involved in the discussions, although cautioning that technical policy work was still underway.
    NATO diplomats deny the alliance would be on a war footing in space, but say declaring it a domain would begin a debate over whether NATO should eventually use space weapons that can shut down enemy missiles and air defenses or destroy satellites.
    The decision to declare space a new frontier for defense may help convince Trump that the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation can be a useful ally in deterring China’s rise as a rival military power, the diplomats said.
    While NATO countries today own 65% of satellites in space, China envisions massive constellations of commercial satellites that can offer services ranging from high-speed internet for aircraft to tracking missiles and armed forces on the ground.
    China is developing weapons it could use in orbit and became the first country to land on the far side of the moon last year.
    Russia, once a strategic partner for NATO but now viewed by many allies as a hostile power, is also a force in space and is one of the few countries able to launch satellites into orbit.
    “You can have warfare exclusively in space, but whoever controls space also controls what happens on land, on the sea and in the air,” said Jamie Shea, a former NATO official and now an analyst at Friends of Europe think-tank in Brussels.
    “If you don’t control space, you don’t control the other domains either.”
    NATO defense ministers are expected to agree to a broad space policy next week at a regular meeting in Brussels, although there will be no decision yet to declare space an operational domain of defense.
    A second diplomat said that while the decision was weighty and had real consequences, it would likely be “a gift to Trump.”
    Trump, who used NATO’s last summit in July last year to harangue European allies over defense spending and accused Germany of being a prisoner of Russian energy, signed a plan in February to start creating the U.S. Space Force.
    Even though the London gathering is some six months away, European allies are already nervous about whether Trump will use the meeting to again question the value of the alliance, of which he is the de-facto head.
WHAT TRIGGERS ARTICLE 5?
    The U.S. military is increasingly dependent on satellites to determine what it does on the ground, guiding munitions with space-based lasers and satellites as well as using such assets to monitor for missile launches and track its forces.
    No longer forced to simply circle the earth’s orbit, satellites can now be maneuvered in space to spy on other space assets.    India launched an anti-satellite missile test in March.
    Italy, Britain and France are Europe’s main space powers, while Germany is drafting new laws and seeking private investment to secure a slice of an emerging space market that could be worth $1 trillion a year by the 2040s.
    France wants more assurances of how its space assets would be used in the event of a crisis.    In other areas of warfare, national assets belonging to NATO allies are put under the command of the supreme allied commander during a conflict.
    Most sensitive of all would be deciding if an attack on a allied satellite constituted an assault on the alliance and whether to trigger NATO’s Article 5 collective defense clause.
    Similar to a decision to make cyber a domain of warfare in 2016, NATO’s decision would initially mean increased military planning, a review of NATO vulnerabilities and scrutiny of how to better protect commercial satellites used by the military.
(Reporting by Robin Emmott; Additional reporting by Sabine Siebold; Editing by Catherine Evans)

6/22/2019 Oil up $0.72 to $57.60, DOW down 34 to 26,715.

6/22/2019 U.S. cities brace for immigration raids, say they will not participate
FILE PHOTO: Migrants from Central America form a human chain to cross the Rio Bravo river to enter illegally
into the United States to turn themselves in to request for asylum in El Paso, Texas, U.S., as seen from
Ciudad Juarez, Mexico June 11, 2019. Picture taken June 11, 2019. REUTERS/Jose Luis Gonzalez/File Photo
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. cities expecting to be hit by a wave of immigration raids intended to deport recently arrived families who are in the United States illegally said on Friday they would not cooperate with federal authorities.
    In a call with reporters earlier this week, Mark Morgan, the acting director of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, said the agency would target for deportation families that have received a removal order from a U.S. immigration court.
    The Washington Post reported on Friday that the operation is slated to launch on Sunday and is expected to target up to 2,000 families facing deportation orders in as many as 10 U.S. cities, including Houston, Chicago, Miami and Los Angeles.
    A spokesman for ICE declined to comment, saying it would not offer details on operations before their conclusion.
    Chicago’s Mayor Lori Lightfoot said she had terminated ICE’s access to Chicago Police Department (CPD) databases related to federal immigration enforcement activities in response to the threat of raids.
    “I have also personally spoken with ICE leadership in Chicago and voiced my strong objection to any such raids.
    Further, I reiterated that CPD will not cooperate with or facilitate any ICE enforcement actions
,” Lightfoot said in a statement.
    The Los Angeles Police Department said in a series of tweets it would not participate or assist in the immigration enforcement actions.
    Houston’s Mayor Sylvester Turner noted in a statement the “rich cultural contributions” of the city’s immigrants, and said: “The city does not try to do ICE’s job, nor does it try to impede ICE.”
    Morgan said earlier this week that ICE wanted to deport families who had recently arrived illegally in the United States to discourage more Central Americans from arriving.
    The number of migrants apprehended crossing the U.S.-Mexico border surged in May to the highest level since 2006.
    Most of the migrants are fleeing violence, poverty and corruption in Central America, and are seeking asylum, a process that can take years.    Many families are released into the United States for the duration of the process because of limits on how long children can be detained.
    The Department of Homeland Security did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
    Separately, the governor of Texas said the state was deploying 1,000 National Guard troops to the border after he said more than 45,000 people were apprehended illegally crossing in the past three weeks.
(Reporting by Kristina Cooke and Makini Brice; Additional reporting by Tim Ahmann; Editing by Chris Reese and Rosalba O’Brien)

6/22/2019 Pres. Trump: Calls for Impeachment Will Help a 2020 Re-Election by OAN Newsroom
    The President claims the left’s continued calls for impeachment will end up working against them in 2020.
President Donald Trump speaks to reporters on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Saturday,
June 22, 2019, before boarding Marine One for the trip to Camp David in Maryland. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
    That’s according to a segment from an upcoming interview with ‘Meet the Press’ released Friday where the President said the impeachment push would make his re-election bid easier.
    He also claimed House Speaker, Nancy Pelosi, has pushed back on the house’s calls for impeachment for that same reason.
    Shortly after, President Trump also referenced Attorney General William Barr and his investigation into the origins of the Mueller probe, reiterating his campaign was the victim of illegal spying from democrats.
    The full interview with the President is set to air on NBC this Sunday.

6/22/2019 Pres. Trump Moves Forward with Additional Sanctions Against Iran by OAN Newsroom
    President Trump says his administration is moving forward with additional sanctions on Iran.
    The news came Saturday outside the White House after the President said issues with Iran are not over oil supply but about making sure the country does not have nuclear weapons.
President Donald Trump speaks to reporters on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Saturday, June 22, 2019,
before boarding Marine One for the trip to Camp David in Maryland. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
    He added, the Iran Nuclear Deal was never authorized by congress and that he could have a deal with the Persian nation very quickly.
    This comes as President Trump explains why he abruptly called off a military strike on Iran this week after their attack on a U.S. drone.
    He said, he called off the air strike because he doesn’t want to kill anyone or anything, unless absolutely necessary.
    Plus, he said ‘If Iran wants to be a wealthy nation again, become a prosperous nation, we’ll call it, ‘Let’s make Iran great again.’    Does that make sense?    Make Iran great again.    It’s okay with me.    But they’re never going to do it if they think in five or six years, they’re going to have a nuclear weapon’ the President added, giving insight to his logic and strategy behind his actions to avoid war with Iran.
    Although, military actions against Iran, is allegedly still on the table until the situation has been solved.

6/22/2019 Iran Threat Remains High as Iranian Cyber Attacks Continue Against U.S. by OAN Newsroom
    Cyber security firms say they’re seeing an uptick in Iranian cyber attacks against the U.S.
    Iran is allegedly targeting U.S. cyber infrastructure in its recent attacks, as tension continues to rise between Washington and Tehran.
In this June 18, 2019 photo, President Donald Trump speaks during his re-election kickoff rally at the Amway Center in Orlando, Fla.
Trump declared Thursday that “Iran made a very big mistake” in shooting down a U.S. drone. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
    Most often, the attacks take the form of a deceptive email, meant to trick users into installing malicious software onto their systems.
    Experts say, the report shows the length to which the Iranian regime is going to find out what the next U.S. move will be.
    The surge in attacks this month took place around the same time the U.S. blamed Iran for the oil tanker attacks.

6/22/2019 Pres. Trump and State Officials Speak on Upcoming Mass Deportation Sweep by OAN Newsroom
    President Trump says ‘when people come into our country illegally, they will be deported.’
    That’s according to a series of tweets by President Trump Saturday, regarding Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s upcoming deportation sweep this week.
    Trump tweet: “The people that Ice will apprehend have already been ordered to be deported. This means that they have run from the law and run from the courts. These are people that are supposed to go back to their home country. They broke the law by coming into the country, & now by staying.”    “When people come into our Country illegally, they will be DEPORTED!
    The President said, the individuals ICE are scheduled to apprehend ‘have already been ordered to be deported’ saying ‘they have run from the law and run from the courts, these are people that are supposed to go back to their home country.’
    ICE will begin its massive deportation sweep Sunday, with reports saying, they plan to remove up to 2,000 illegal migrants across ten major cities.
    Meanwhile, Chicago Mayor, Lori Lightfoot, says the city’s police will not cooperate with ICE in the deportation effort.
    Rather, Lightfoot tweeted on Friday, that she ordered Chicago police and law enforcement officials to block ICE’s access to city department databases related to immigration.
    She also said she personally reached out to ICE leadership in the city to voice her opposition to the raids.
    Other cities where raids are expected to take place include Houston, Chicago, Miami and Los Angeles.

6/23/2019 Migrants describe overcrowded Mexican detention centers as Trump ratchets up pressure by Delphine Schrank
Members of the National Guard stand at the gate as migrants of different nationalities wait outside the Siglo XXI migration
facility to apply for documents to legalize their stay in a country, in Tapachula, Mexico June 20, 2019. REUTERS/Carlos Jasso
    TAPACHULA, Mexico (Reuters) – Mexico’s immigration centers are becoming increasingly squalid and overcrowded as authorities step up the detention of migrants headed for the United States, with inmates languishing for weeks amid medical neglect, according to detainees, lawyers and rights groups.
    Reuters spoke to more than a dozen recent detainees at the Siglo XXI detention center, the country’s largest.    They described being held in the facility in Chiapas state on Mexico’s southern border for long periods without information about their cases.
    The detainees reported severe overcrowding, sparse water and food, and limited healthcare.
    Their accounts were supported by two lawyers representing 26 other inmates, as well as the migration ombudsman at Mexico’s National Human Rights Commission and reports from two migrant rights groups: Fray Matias de Cordova and the Human Rights Observation Mission for the Refugee and Humanitarian Crisis in Southeast Mexico, a collective of 24 aid groups.
    Twelve of the detainees told Reuters they were held for at least three weeks in the center, meant to hold people for a maximum of 15 days until their cases are processed.
    Mexico’s National Immigration Institute (INM), which runs Siglo XXI, did not respond to repeated requests for comment on conditions at the center.
    Asked about the extended detentions, an INM official, who asked not to be identified, said migrant cases were complex and needed to be analyzed on an individual basis.
    Guards at the gates of the center declined to answer questions or to allow a Reuters reporter to speak with its director.
DETENTION NUMBERS TRIPLE
    U.S. President Donald Trump made a crackdown on illegal migration the flagship policy of his 2016 election campaign.    Struggling to get the funds from Congress to build a border wall, and with a significant uptick in Central Americans seeking asylum, he threatened trade tariffs unless Mexico plugged leaks south of the U.S. border.
    In response, Mexico has increased detentions. During the first five months of this year, it has tripled the number of migrants it detained monthly to reach 23,679 in May, according to unpublished government data seen by Reuters.
    That has strained its underfunded network of centers, which already had a reputation for poor conditions.
    Foreigners stopped by Mexican authorities without valid documents can be held in detention while they await transit visas or regularization of their situation.    Edgar Corzo, the migration ombudsman, said that process is meant to take no more than 15 days.
    Thousands have passed this year through the gates of Siglo XXI, which Corzo and the migrant rights groups said had been at or near double its 970-person capacity for months.
    All the people spoken to for this story said detainees slept on thin mattresses or none at all in corridors and bathrooms because of lack of space in cells.
    Corzo said that INM had failed to alleviate the overcrowding despite repeated requests from the human rights commission, which he attributed partly to a lack of resources.
    Inmates said children older than 13 years were separated from parents and lights were kept on all night, disrupting sleep – claims supported by a May 31 report from the migrant aid collective and the migration rights ombudsman.
    They also told Reuters about unsanitary conditions that led to mass outbreaks of diarrhea among child detainees.
OVERFLOWING TOILETS
    Hundreds of detainees have broken out of Siglo XXI in recent weeks after disturbances that inmates told Reuters were triggered by squalid conditions.    INM acknowledged one breakout.
.     Photographs and videos shared with Reuters by one inmate at Siglo XXI purported to show lavatories blocked and overflowing with filth as well as dozens of semi-naked men sprawled on black mattresses in a corridor.
    Reuters was not able to confirm their accuracy.
    Mavi Cruz Reyes, spokeswoman for Fray Matias de Cordova, said the group has documented multiple cases of detention lasting weeks at Siglo XXI.    Detainees frequently are given no access to information about why they are detained, the group said.
    The rights ombudsman told Reuters that some smaller centers among Mexico’s 58 immigrant detention facilities were even more overcrowded than Siglo XXI, holding up to four times capacity.
    Lisdybi Garcia Aguilar, 26, from Cuba, was four months pregnant when migration officials pulled her out of a taxi on April 5 to check her papers, she said.    Garcia was on her way to the immigration office in Tapachula to seek a visa as instructed by migration officials at the border, she added.
    Instead, they took her to Siglo XXI, where her phone and other belongings were confiscated, she said.
    “They told me it was to ‘regularize’ my status, that all would be well and that this wasn’t a prison, it was a lodging area,” Garcia told Reuters after she was freed.    “It was a prison: a prison in every sense of the term.”
    Garcia said her pregnancy is high risk due to endometriosis – a uterine condition – but she was ignored when she pleaded for help during an episode of fainting and acute abdominal pains.    When detainees took her to the clinic, she said the nurse gave her a pill without explaining what it contained.
    Reuters was not able to independently confirm Garcia’s account.    Four other inmates told Reuters they did not receive treatment for episodes that ran from fever to abdominal pains.
    Garcia said she was held at the center for three weeks.    On April 13, she filed for asylum in Mexico with an official from the United Nations Refugee Agency, UNHCR. She showed Reuters an asylum application with that date.
    UNHCR declined to comment on her case but confirmed it had assisted some Siglo XXI detainees with asylum applications.    It said in a statement to Reuters it was concerned about conditions at the site and that detention of asylum seekers should be an exceptional practice as it could lead to their deportation, in violation of international law.
    Cuban asylum applicant Yildiz Gomez, 22, attempted suicide by swallowing a bottle of pills used to treat ear infections after she was hauled back into Siglo XXI, having been about to be freed after three weeks in detention, according to her husband and two inmates. Detainees forced her to throw up.
    On May 8 – after 47 days in detention – Gomez gave up on a legal solution.    Along with dozens of other detainees, she escaped, becoming a fugitive in Mexico.
(Reporting by Delphine Schrank, Editing by Frank Jack Daniel, Daniel Flynn and Rosalba O’Brien)

6/24/2019 Iran increases cyberattacks by Tami Abdollah, ASSOCIATED PRESS
    WASHINGTON – Iran increased its offensive cyberattacks against the U.S. government and critical infrastructure as tensions have grown between the two nations, cybersecurity firms say.
    In recent weeks, hackers believed to be working for the Iranian government have targeted U.S. government agencies, as well as sectors of the economy, including oil and gas, sending waves of spear-phishing emails, according to representatives of cybersecurity companies CrowdStrike and FireEye, which regularly track such activity.
    It was not known if any of the hackers managed to gain access to the targeted networks with the emails, which typically mimic legitimate emails but contain malicious software.
    The cyber offensive is the latest chapter in the U.S. and Iran’s ongoing cyber operations targeting the other, with this recent sharp increase in attacks occurring after the Trump administration-imposed sanctions on the Iranian petrochemical sector this month.
    Tensions have escalated since the U.S. withdrew from the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran last year and began a policy of “maximum pressure.”    Iran has since been hit by multiple rounds of sanctions.    Tensions spiked this past week after Iran shot down an unmanned U.S. drone – an incident that led the U.S. to consider a military strike against Iran on Thursday evening.
    “Both sides are desperate to know what the other side is thinking,” said John Hultquist, director of intelligence analysis at FireEye.
    “You can absolutely expect the regime to be leveraging every tool they have available to reduce the uncertainty about what’s going to happen next, about what the U.S.’s next move will be.”
    CrowdStrike shared images of the spear-phishing emails with The AP.
    The Iranian actor involved in the cyberattack, dubbed “Refined Kitten” by CrowdStrike, has for years targeted the U.S. energy and defense sectors, as well as allies such as Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
[CrowdStrike, Inc., is an American cybersecurity technology company based in Sunnyvale, California, and a wholly owned subsidiary of CrowdStrike Holdings, Inc.    The company provides endpoint security, threat intelligence, and incident response services to customers in more than 170 countries.    The company has been involved in countermeasure efforts to several high-profile cyber-attacks, including the Sony Pictures hack, the 2016 Democratic National Committee email leak, and the Democratic National Committee cyber attacks.    Of course they have no mention of the Iranian incident mentioned in the above article for either of these two companies.
FireEye, is a publicly traded cybersecurity company headquartered in Milpitas, California.    It provides hardware, software, and services to investigate cybersecurity attacks, protect against malicious software, and analyze IT security risks.    FireEye was founded in 2004. Initially, it focused on developing virtual machines that would download and test internet traffic before transferring it to a corporate or government network.    The company diversified over time, in part through acquisitions.    In 2014, it acquired Mandiant, which provides incident response services following the identification of a security breach.    FireEye went public in 2013.    USAToday says FireEye "has been called in to investigate high-profile attacks against Target, JP Morgan Chase, Sony Pictures, Anthem and others."    Yahoo Finance says FireEye is again the fastest-growing cyber security firm, according to Deloitte.
    It is amusing that Associated Press knows so much about cyber security companies but could not report to the Trump administration they were being spied on.].

6/24/2019 U.S. cyber attacks on Iranian targets not successful, Iran minister says
FILE PHOTO: A hooded man holds a laptop computer as cyber code is projected on him in this
illustration picture taken on May 13, 2017.. REUTERS/Kacper Pempel/Illustration
    LONDON (Reuters) – U.S. cyber attacks against Iranian targets have not been successful, Iran’s telecoms minister said on Monday, after reports that the Pentagon had launched a long-planned cyber attack to disable his country’s rocket launch systems.
    Tension is running high between longtime foes Iran and the United States after U.S. President Donald Trump on Friday said he called off a military strike to retaliate for Iran’s downing of a U.S. drone.
    However, Yahoo News reported on Thursday that the United States had launched cyber attacks, even as Trump backed away from a conventional attack.
    The Washington Post said on Saturday that the cyber strikes, which were previously planned, had disabled Iranian rocket launch systems. U.S. officials have declined to comment.
    “They try hard, but have not carried out a successful attack,” Mohammad Javad Azari Jahromi, Iran’s minister for information and communications technology, said on Twitter.
    “Media asked if the claimed cyber attacks against Iran are true,” he said.    “Last year we neutralized 33 million attacks with the (national) firewall.”
    Azari Jahromi called attacks on Iranian computer networks “cyber-terrorism,” referring to Stuxnet, a computer virus widely believed to have been developed by the United States and Israel, which was discovered in 2010 after it was used to attack a uranium enrichment facility in the Iranian city of Natanz.
    The United States has also accused Iran of stepping up cyber attacks.
    Iran’s foreign ministry spokesman, Abbas Mousavi, said Iran’s cyber defense system was strong, and that Iran could legally pursue such aggression in international courts.
    He was quoted by ISNA news agency as saying that Tehran welcomed “defusion of tensions” in the region.     “We do not want rise of tensions and its consequences.”
    Last year, Trump withdrew the United States from a 2015 accord between Iran and world powers that curbed Tehran’s nuclear program in exchange for easing sanctions.    Relations in the region have worsened significantly since then.
    Trump said on Sunday he was not seeking war with Iran and would be prepared to seek a deal to bolster its flagging economy, an apparent move to defuse tensions.
    Trump has suggested that he backed off a military strike against Iran because he was not sure the country’s top leadership had intended to shoot down the drone.    However, an Iranian commander said Tehran was prepared to do it again.
    “Everyone saw the downing of the unmanned drone,” navy commander Rear Admiral Hossein Khanzadi was quoted on Sunday as saying by the Tasnim news agency.    “I can assure you that this firm response can be repeated, and the enemy knows it.”
(Reporting by Bozorgmehr Sharafedin; Editing by Clarence Fernandez, Robert Birsel)

6/24/2019 President Trump signs executive order issuing additional sanctions on Iran by OAN Newsroom
    President Trump has signed an executive order to place more sanctions on Iran until the rogue regime abandons its nuclear ambitions and aggressive actions toward the U.S.
    Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said Monday’s sanctions are being applied on specific individuals and their organizations, including several Iranian government officials and the country’s supreme leader.
    When asked if he had a message for Iran’s supreme leader, President Trump signaled that he’s willing to engage in talks.    He said Iran has the potential to a great country, but said they can’t be allowed to have nuclear weapons.
President Donald Trump signs an executive order to increase sanctions on Iran, in the Oval Office
of the White House, Monday, June 24, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
    “He has the potential to have a great country and quickly, very quickly, and I think they should do that rather than going along this very destructive path….destructive for everybody…we can’t let him have a nuclear weapon,” stated the president.    “He said he doesn’t want nuclear weapons..great thing to say, but a lot of things have been said over the years and it turns out to be not so.”
    President Trump also said America is a peace loving nation and does not seek conflict with Iran, and he looks forward to releasing the sanctions when the Iranian leadership is willing to negotiate.

6/24/2019 Speaker Pelosi: Violation of status is not a reason for deporting illegal immigrants by OAN Newsroom
    According to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi a violation of U.S. immigration laws should not be a reason to deport someone illegally living in the U.S.
    During an event in New York Monday, Pelosi described a phone call she had with the president that caused him to delay scheduled mass deportations.    She said she urged faith-based organizations that support President Trump to help convince him to call off the raids.
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., speaks briefly with reporters at a bipartisan bill signing
ceremony at the Capitol in Washington, Friday, June 21, 2019.. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
    The House speaker told the president his actions were scaring children, and she believes families belong together.    This comes after President Trump canceled the operation over the weekend in response to Democrats’ demands.     Pelosi went on to say the president didn’t reveal what he plans to do about people who break immigration laws. Meanwhile, the House is preparing to introduce a bill this week to provide funding to address the humanitarian crisis at the southern border.
[Well Trump, just as well get ICE ready as they will stall for two weeks and trying to figure out how to stop you.]

6/24/2019 SCOTUS to wrap up term, issue major rulings on gerrymandering & census by OAN Newsroom
    As the Supreme Court’s term comes to a close, the justices are preparing to release the most highly anticipated decisions of the year.     This coming week, the Supreme Court will issue rulings on twelve remaining cases, including two major decisions on and the 2020 Census citizenship question.
    The two cases will determine the legality of redistricting practices ahead of the 2020 election.    A Republican-drawn map from North Carolina in the Rucho v. Common Cause case and a Democrat-drawn map from Maryland in the Benisek v. Lamone case were both challenged on constitutionality, claiming the districts were sectioned off in an extremely partisan way.
    “At this time we have a historic opportunity to do what the courts want us to do. So, what I hope happens that in light of these oral arguments, in light of the decision that’s coming through right now, in light of all that’s going on right now discussing partisan gerrymandering that we will take the responsibility, that we will take the leap of faith and say that we are going to fix this process and fix this process now.” — Rep. Robert Reives, North Carolina General Assembly
FILE – The U.S. Supreme Court is seen at sunset in Washington. D.C. The Supreme Court enters its final week with two issues
to decide that could shape the distribution of political power for the next decade: whether to rein in political boundary-drawing
for partisan gain and allow a citizenship question on the 2020 census. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, File)
    However, perhaps the most controversial decision yet to be announced is if the Trump administration can reinstate a citizenship question to the 2020 Census in the Department of Commerce v. New York case. Critics of the question say those living in the U.S. illegally will not be comfortable to answer the question honestly in fear of deportation, and, in turn, would effect the Democrat Party’s votes in left-leaning states.
    “This is a question that has been included in every census since 1965 with the exception of 2010 when it was removed. We’ve contained this question that has provided data necessary for the Department of Justice to protect voters.    Specifically, to help us comply with the Voting Rights Act, which is something that is important and a part of this process.” — Sarah Sanders, outgoing White House Press Secretary
    The decisions announced this week may give insight to how the justices will rule on other cases in years to come.    After this week, the Supreme Court’s next term will begin in October.
FILE – In this April 23, 2019 file photo, immigration activists rally outside the Supreme Court as the justices hear arguments over
the Trump administration’s plan to ask about citizenship on the 2020 census, in Washington. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

6/24/2019 Google pledges $1B to ease San Francisco Bay Area housing crisis by OAN Newsroom
    San Francisco is home to the highest housing costs in the country, which is mostly due to the explosive growth in Silicon Valley. In an effort o combat the high prices and help with the growing homeless population, tech giant Google has pledged $1 billion to build more housing in the Bay Area.
    The plan includes 15,000 units on its own land, 5,000 additional affordable units over the next decade, and $50 million in grants to help non-profits who are combating homelessness and displacement.    The mayor of San Jose said Google’s commitment is heartening.
    “Well what we’ve seen, so far, from Google is that they’re will to make commitments and put resources behind those commitments,” stated Mayor Sam Liccardo.    “Obviously, time will tell, but I feel like we’re on a good path.”
    However, activists say more needs to be done as the region is struggling with an imbalance between the number of jobs created and the number of houses built.    In just five years, the median home prices in San Francisco surged 45-percent from $900,000 to nearly $1.4 million.
FILE – In this May 1, 2019, file photo, a woman walks past a Google sign in San Francisco. Google is making a $1 billion commitment
to address the soaring price of housing in the San Francisco Bay Area, a problem that the internet company and its Silicon Valley
peers helped create as the technology industry hired tens of thousands of high-paid workers. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu, File)
    The Bay Area currently has the third largest homeless population in the U.S. at more than 28,000 people.
    “I’m not critical of Google because I hate Google.    I’m critical of Google because what they do creates displacement, and it creates a need for housing.    And if they step up to address that, I will accept that, if they don’t, I’m going to continue to speak out against them.” — Sandy Perry, Affordable Housing Network
    Google’s commitment to help the housing crisis is a good start, but it local residents believe it’s only the first of many steps to correct the issue.

6/24/2019 Mexico says it has deployed 15,000 forces in the north to halt U.S.-bound migration by Dave Graham
FILE PHOTO: Members of Mexico's National Guard detain Cuban migrants after they were trying to cross illegally the border
between the U.S. and Mexico, in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico June 21, 2019. REUTERS/Jose Luis Gonzalez/File Photo
    MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Mexico has deployed almost 15,000 soldiers and National Guard in the north of the country to stem the flow of illegal immigration across the border into the United States, the head of the Mexican Army said on Monday.
    Mexico has not traditionally used security forces to stop undocumented foreign citizens leaving the country for the United States, and photographs of militarized police catching Central American and Cuban women at the border in recent days have met with criticism.
    Mexico is trying to curb a surge of migrants from third countries crossing its territory in order to reach the United States, under the threat of tariffs on its exports by U.S. President Donald Trump, who has made tightening border security a priority.
    Responding to weekend reports of heavy-handed interventions by the military, Luis Cresencio Sandoval, the head of the Army, said soldiers were needed to back up migration officials in containment operations.
    Alongside 6,500 members of the security forces sent to Mexico’s southern border area with Guatemala, where many migrants enter, a larger contingent was in the north, he said.
    “In the northern part of the country we have a total deployment of 14,000, almost 15,000 units between the National Guard and the Army,” Sandoval told a regular news conference.
    “If we left it completely in the hands of the National Institute of Migration it wouldn’t be possible,” he added.    “That’s why we’re providing support, it’s a strategy being pursued on both borders.”
    A new militarized police force formed from soldiers, marines and federal police, the National Guard is at the heart of Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador’s plan to restore order in a country convulsed by record levels of violence.
    The force is still taking shape, and due to be headed by a retired general under the aegis of the security ministry.
    Reuters images taken on Friday showed National Guard members detaining Cuban and Central American women trying to illegally cross from Ciudad Juarez, Mexico into El Paso, Texas.
    Former Mexican national security official Gustavo Mohar said Mexico’s security forces had not been used this way before, describing the development as “sad.”
    Mohar blamed the change on Trump’s threats to impose tariffs.    The National Guard should ideally not be implementing migration policy, he argued, while acknowledging that Mexican migration authorities were overwhelmed.
    Mexico on June 7 agreed to reduce significantly the number of migrants reaching the U.S. border within a period of 45 days.
    If that fails, Lopez Obrador’s government has said it will consider changing its laws to satisfy Trump’s demand that Mexico become a buffer zone to stop migrants entering the United States.
    Most of the people caught on the U.S.-Mexico border are from three Central American countries suffering from high levels of gang violence and poverty: Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador.
    Trump has said he will impose initial tariffs of 5% on all Mexican goods if the migrant flow is not curbed.    The tariff could eventually rise as high as 25%, he has said.
(Reporting by Dave Graham, additional reporting by Frank Jack Daniel and Lizbeth Diaz, Editing by Rosalba O’Brien)

6/25/2019 Oil up $0.47 to $57.90, DOW up 8 to 26,728.

6/25/2019 Trump puts sanctions on Iranian supreme leader, other top officials by Steve Holland and Stephen Kalin
FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump gives a thumbs-up to Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, as he leaves after a
meeting at the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, U.S., June 20, 2019. REUTERS/Carlos Barria/File Photo
    WASHINGTON/RIYADH (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump targeted Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and other top Iranian officials with sanctions on Monday, taking a dramatic, unprecedented step to increase pressure on Iran after Tehran’s downing of an unmanned American drone.
    With tensions running high between the two countries, Trump signed an executive order imposing the sanctions, which U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said would lock billions of dollars more in Iranian assets.
    Trump told reporters the sanctions were in part a response to last week’s downing of a U.S. drone by Iran, but would have happened anyway.    He said Khamenei was ultimately responsible for what Trump called “the hostile conduct of the regime” in the Middle East.
    Trump said the sanctions “will deny the Supreme Leader and the Supreme Leader’s office, and those closely affiliated with him and the office, access to key financial resources and support.”
    John Smith, who was director of the U.S. Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) before joining a law firm last year, said the United States had never targeted an Iranian head of state before and that was a sign Trump was getting personal.
    “Generally, when you target a head of state you’re not turning back.    That is when you believe all options are at an end,” Smith told Reuters.
    Some policy analysts say earlier sanctions issued under Trump’s “maximum pressure” campaign are why Iran has felt compelled to adopt more aggressive tactics as its economy feels the crunch.    The Trump administration wants to force Tehran to open talks on its nuclear and missile programs and its activities in the region.     Iran would not accept talks with the United States while it is under the threat of sanctions, Iranian ambassador to the United Nations, Majid Takht Ravanchi, told reporters at the U.N.     The U.S. decision is another indication it “has no respect for international law and order,” he said.
    The U.N. Security Council met behind closed doors on Monday at the request of the United States, whose acting ambassador Jonathan Cohen said evidence showed Iran was to blame for attacks on commercial tankers in the Gulf in May and June and urged the world to tell Tehran its actions were unacceptable.
    Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, responding to the sanctions in a Twitter post, said hawkish politicians close to Trump “despise diplomacy, and thirst for war.”    Last year, Trump withdrew the United States from a 2015 international accord to restrict Tehran’s pathway to a nuclear bomb and has since been ramping up sanctions to throttle the Iranian economy.
    Mnuchin said Zarif would be targeted with U.S. sanctions later this week.
    The latest sanctions are aimed at denying Iran’s leadership access to financial resources, blocking them from using the United States financial system or having access to any assets in the United States.
    “Anybody who conducts significant transactions with these sanctioned individuals may be exposed to sanctions themselves,” the White House said.
OIL IMPORTS
    Tensions worsened in May when Washington ordered all countries to halt imports of Iranian oil.
    “We call on the regime to abandon its nuclear ambitions, change its destructive behavior, respect the rights of its people, and return in good faith to the negotiating table,” Trump said in a statement.
    Iran denies seeking nuclear weapons and refers to a religious decree issued in the early 2000s by Khamenei that bans the development or use of nuclear weapons.
    Sanctions were also imposed on eight senior commanders of Navy, Aerospace, and Ground Forces of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), the U.S. Treasury Department said.
    “These commanders sit atop a bureaucracy that supervises the IRGC’s malicious regional activities, including its provocative ballistic missile program, harassment and sabotage of commercial vessels in international waters, and its destabilizing presence in Syria,” the department said in a statement.
    Trump said the sanctions are a “strong and proportionate response to Iran’s increasingly provocative actions.”
    Iran said on Monday U.S. cyber attacks on its military had failed, as Washington sought to rally support in the Middle East and Europe for a hardline stance that has brought it to the verge of conflict with its longtime foe.
MARITIME SECURITY
    Iran denies responsibility for the attacks on oil tankers in the Gulf.    On Monday, the United States said it was building a coalition with allies to protect Gulf shipping lanes.
    A coalition of nations would provide both material and financial contributions to the program, a senior U.S. State Department official said, without identifying the countries.
    “It’s about proactive deterrence, because the Iranians just want to go out and do what they want to do and say hey we didn’t do it.    We know what they’ve done,” the official told reporters, adding that the deterrents would include cameras, binoculars and ships.
    U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is in the Middle East to discuss Iran with the leaders of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, two Sunni Muslim allies aligned against Shi’ite Muslim Iran.
    “Freedom of navigation is paramount,” Pompeo tweeted from the Saudi city of Jeddah.
    Iran’s Zarif, in his Twitter post, said: “@realDonaldTrump is 100% right that the US military has no business in the Persian Gulf.     Removal of its forces is fully in line with interests of US and the world.”
    It was an apparent reference to a tweet in which Trump said other countries should protect their own oil shipping in the Middle East rather than have the United States protect them.
    The United States accuses Iran of encouraging allies in Yemen to attack Saudi targets.
    In a joint statement on Monday, the United States, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Britain expressed concern over Middle East tensions and the dangers posed by Iranian “destabilizing activity” to peace and security in Yemen and the region.
    The confrontation between Iran and the United States heated up last Thursday when Iran shot down an American drone, saying it had flown over its air space.
    Washington, which said the drone was in international skies, then appeared to come close to attacking Iranian military targets, with Trump saying that he aborted a retaliatory air strike 10 minutes before it was to go ahead.
    Trump said he decided the strike would have killed too many people.
    Both Iran and the United States have said they do not want war and both have suggested they are willing to talk while demanding the other side move first.
    Allies of the United States have been calling for steps to defuse the crisis, saying they fear a small mistake by either side could trigger war.
    “We are very concerned. We don’t think either side wants a war, but we are very concerned that we could get into an accidental war and we are doing everything we can to ratchet things down,” British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said.
    U.S. allies in Europe and Asia view Trump’s decision to abandon the nuclear deal as a mistake that strengthens hardliners in Iran and weakens the pragmatic faction of President Hassan Rouhani.
    France, Britain and Germany have sent an official diplomatic warning to Iran if Tehran reduces its compliance with the accord, two European diplomats said on Monday.
    It was not immediately clear what consequences Iran might face for non-compliance.
(Reporting by Steve Holland and Lesley Wroughton in Washington, Bozorgmehr Sharafedin in London and Stephen Kalin in Jeddah; Additional reporting by Robin Emmott in Brussels, Roberta Rampton in Washington, Parisa Hafezi in Dubai and Michelle Nichols at the United Nations; Writing by Steve Holland, Peter Graff; Editing by Jon Boyle, Howard Goller and Grant McCool)

6/25/2019 Trump privately talks about ending Japan defense treaty: Bloomberg
U.S. President Donald Trump speaks before signing an executive order aimed at requiring hospitals to be more transparent about
prices before charging patients for healthcare services, at the White House in Washington, U.S. June 24, 2019. REUTERS/Erin Scott
    (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump has recently spoken privately about withdrawing from the defense treaty with Japan as he is of the view that the postwar pact treated the United States unfairly, Bloomberg reported late on Monday.
    However, Trump has not taken any steps in this regard and such a move is highly unlikely, it said, citing people familiar with the matter.
    The U.S. president believes the more than six-decades-old treaty is one-sided to the disadvantage of the United States as the Japanese military has no obligation to come to U.S. defense, according to the report.
    Trump also talked about seeking compensation for relocating the U.S. base in Okinawa, Bloomberg said.
    The report comes as Trump is engaged in his “America First” agenda that demands two-way agreements in foreign policy and international trade.
    Separately, on the trade front, the U.S. president has previously said he is unhappy with Japan’s trade surplus with the United States and wants a two-way agreement to address it.
    The White House did not respond to a request for comment on the report outside regular working hours.
(Reporting by Kanishka Singh in Bengaluru)

6/25/2019 SpaceX launches Falcon Heavy rocket with 24 satellites by Bill Tarrant
A SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket, carrying the U.S. Air Force's Space Test Program 2 Mission, lifts off from the Kennedy Space Center in a
time exposure that also shows the two booster rockets landing back at Cape Canaveral, Florida, U.S., June 25,2019. REUTERS/Thom Baur
    (Reuters) – SpaceX launched its Falcon Heavy rocket on Tuesday from Kennedy Space Center in Florida, carrying 24 experimental satellites in what Elon Musk’s rocket company called one of the most difficult launches it has attempted.
    The craft blasted off to cheers from onlookers at 2:30 a.m. (0630 GMT) after a three-hour delay from the original launch time late Monday.
    The boosters separated safely as the craft began its six-hour mission to deploy the satellites.
    The two-side booster rockets returned safely to Earth, landing on adjacent Air Force landing pads, but the rocket’s center booster missed its mark, crashing in the Atlantic ocean.
    Musk, who predicted trouble with landing the center booster on SpaceX’s drone ship in the Atlantic, said on Twitter early Tuesday, “It was a long shot.”
    The mission, dubbed Space Test Program 2 (STP-2), is the third for the Falcon Heavy rocket, which SpaceX describes as the most powerful launch system in the world.
    It was commissioned by the U.S. Department of Defense, the key contractor for commercial space companies such as SpaceX.
    The company is putting satellites into orbit for agencies including NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), defense department laboratories, universities and a non-profit organization, SpaceX said.
    The mission is one of the most challenging in SpaceX history, with four separate upper-stage engine burns and three separate orbits to deploy satellites, the company said on its website.
SOLAR SAIL
    The payloads on the satellites Falcon Heavy is putting into orbit include an atomic clock NASA is testing for space navigation, another testing new telescope technologies, and a solar sail project part-funded by the Planetary Society, a non-profit organization headed by Bill Nye, “The Science Guy” on television presentations.
    The LightSail is a crowdfunded project that aims to become the first spacecraft in earth orbit propelled solely by sunlight, the society, which has championed solar propulsion for decades, says on its website.
    Falcon Heavy is the most powerful operational rocket in the world “by a factor of two,” SpaceX says on its website.    It has the ability to lift into orbit nearly 64 metric tons (141,000 pounds) – more than a 737 jetliner loaded with passengers, crew, luggage and fuel.
    Only the Saturn V moon rocket, last flown in 1973 from the same launch pad, delivered more payload to orbit, it says.
(Reporting by Bill Tarrant and Rich McKay; additional reporting by Joey Roulette; Editing by Mark Potter and Louise Heavens)

6/25/2019 Austrian court clears way for U.S. extradition of Ukrainian tycoon Firtash
FILE PHOTO - Ukrainian oligarch Dmytro Firtash arrives at court in Vienna, Austria, February 21, 2017. REUTERS/Heinz-Peter Bader
    VIENNA (Reuters) – Austria’s Supreme Court on Tuesday upheld a decision granting a U.S. request to extradite Ukrainian tycoon Dmytro Firtash, paving the way for him to face trial in the United States over bribery allegations.
    Firtash, who denies wrongdoing, is a former business partner of veteran U.S. Republican political operative and convicted felon Paul Manafort.    He is also a former supporter of Ukraine’s ousted pro-Russian president Viktor Yanukovich.    Firtash made a fortune selling Russian gas to the Kiev government.
    A U.S. grand jury indicted Firtash in 2013, along with a member of India’s parliament and four others, on suspicion of bribing Indian government officials to gain access to minerals used to make titanium-based products.    Firtash denies wrongdoing.
    The Austrian Supreme Court upheld a previous ruling by a lower court that he can be extradited despite his lawyers arguing that he is the victim of political “persecution” by the United States, which he has never visited.
    Firtash made no comment as he left the court after the ruling.    He is free on bail and, unlike after a previous extradition case, he was not arrested immediately after the verdict was handed down.
    Austrian Justice Minister Clemens Jabloner, a civil servant who is part of a caretaker government in place until an election widely expected in September, must now decide whether to extradite Firtash.
    His ministry was not immediately available for comment.
(Reporting by Francois Murphy; Editing by Gareth Jones)

6/25/2019 Officials accuse acting DHS secretary of leaking info about ICE raids by OAN Newsroom
    Kevin McAleenan is being called out by current and former Trump administration officials for possibly leaking plans of sweeping ICE raids to the Washington Post.
    Over the weekend, sources told news outlets that the acting Department of Homeland Security secretary was against the operation, which would have picked up around 2,000 illegal migrants who have been processed for deportation.
    The plan was reportedly in the works for months, but two weeks ago McAleenan apparently ordered new acting ICE Chief Mark Morgan to stand down and not move forward with the mission until President Trump himself ordered Morgan to proceed with the mass arrests.    According to Fox News, sources claim McAleenan was opposed to the idea from the start and wanted to make sure the plan did not go forward.
    “They came into our country illegally and we’re taking them out legally, we’re bringing them back to their country,” stated President Trump.    “A lot of things are changing, but, again, if Congress gave us something quickly on asylum, something quickly on loopholes, where we get rid of the loopholes, the border would be so beautiful.”
FILE – In this file photo U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents escort a target to lockup during a raid in Richmond, Va. (AP Photo/Steve Helber, File)
    Sources also said the acting secretary traveled with a Washington Post reporter to the U.S.-Mexico border two days before the newspaper published a story detailing aspects of the operation, including the date and time, cities and number of targeted immigrants.    According to the Washington Examiner, it was this leak which prompted President Trump to call off the planned raids.
    Trump tweet: “At the request of Democrats, I have delayed the Illegal Immigration Removal Process (Deportation) for two weeks to see if the Democrats and Republicans can get together and work out a solution to the Asylum and Loophole problems at the Southern Border.    If not, Deportations start!
    One official said McAleenan probably leaked the information so he could “look like a martyr” in case of anticipated criticism.    Another believed the secretary “cares more about what liberals, never Trumpers in Congress, and the media think of him than achieve the expressed mission of his department.”    The Department of Homeland Security declined to comment about the claims against the acting secretary.
FILE – In this June 11, 2019 file photo, acting Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan testifies before
the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)

6/25/2019 President Trump on SCOTUS 2020, says he’d fill potential vacancy during election year by OAN Newsroom
    President Trump said he wouldn’t hesitate to nominate a Supreme Court justice in an election year.    He made the statement in an interview to The Hill, saying he already has a list of potential nominees ready if a spot were to open up.
    This has been hot-button issue since 2016 when former President Barack Obama nominated Judge Merrick Garland to the bench.
    At the time, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell refused to hold a confirmation hearing or vote because it was an election year.    However, McConnell changed his tune when asked if a spot were to open up in 2020 during President Trump’s term.
    President Donald Trump greets people in the audience after signing an executive order that calls for upfront disclosure by hospitals of actual prices for common tests and procedures to keep costs down at the White House in Washington, Monday, June 24, 2019.
    Reporter: “If a Supreme Court justice were to die next year, what would you do?
    McConnell: "We’d fill it.”
    McConnell claimed that since Obama was on his way out, it should have been up to the incoming president to nominate a justice.    He said things would be different this time around since President Trump could be re-elected, and Republicans have control of both the White House and Senate.

6/25/2019 Bolton: President Trump has held the door open to ‘real negotiations’ with Iran by OAN Newsroom
National Security Adviser John Bolton maintains the sanctions on Iran are working as President Trump seeks to lay more sanctions down.     During a press conference in Jerusalem Tuesday, Bolton said all options remain on the table if Iran exceeds its uranium enrichment limit.    However, the national security adviser also said Washington is still willing to hold denuclearization talks with Tehran.
U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton speaks during a press conference in Jerusalem, Tuesday, June 25, 2019. (AP Photo/Oded Balilty)
    “The president has held the door open to real negotiations to completely and verifiably eliminate Iran’s nuclear weapons program, its ballistic missile delivery systems, its support for international terrorism, and other malign behavior worldwide,” said Bolton.    “All that Iran needs to do is to walk through that open door.”
    Iranian President Hassan Rouhani recently spoke out against U.S. sanctions, and signaled diplomacy between Tehran and Washington is currently out of reach.

6/25/2019 White House threatens to veto House bill over lack of critical border funding by OAN Newsroom
    The Trump administration is threatening to veto the House border funding bill. In a statement released Monday, the Office of Management and Budget criticized the Democrats’ $4.5 billion plan for not setting aside enough money for critical border programs.    It goes on to call it a “partisan bill that under funds necessary accounts, and seeks to take advantage of the current crisis by inserting policy provisions that would make our country less safe.”
    The overcrowding at some facilities has reportedly left officials with bare-bones resources to care for unaccompanied migrant children and migrant families.    On Monday, the Border Patrol moved hundreds of migrants kids from a detention center in Texas after attorneys reported on the conditions of the holding areas for detained migrants.     The Department of has warned if Congress fails to agree on legislation soon then it may run out of funding.
    “So think (of it) like a government shutdown, because that’s what it is — we would be out of money for caring for these kids and the HHS shelter program," said Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar.    “And that’s why Congress has got to act now, we got to get the House and Senate to just pass a unified package as quickly as possible…this is not political, this isn’t about immigration policy, this is just about getting these kids cared for getting it funded and moving on.”
    This comes as both the GOP-led Senate and the Democrat-House consider bills to address the border crisis.
Migrants scramble across the Rio Bravo to surrender to the American authorities, on the US – Mexico border
between Ciudad Juarez and El Paso, Saturday, June 15, 2019. (AP Photo/ Photo/Christian Torres)
    Democrat lawmakers are struggling to address the situation at the border as they fight the urge to fund the president’s border policies.    Politico reported that on Monday night the Democrats held a closed-door meeting where progressive and Hispanic lawmakers called to make changes to the bill, so that the president could not use the funds for the wall or other border projects.    Congresswoman Ilhan Omar reportedly took a stand against any further funding for the border, saying “we cannot continue to throw money at a dysfunctional system.”
    House Speaker Nancy Pelosi reportedly urged lawmakers to consider the implications if they fail at passing the bill as they fear the GOP-led Senate’s version for border aid will gain traction.    Pelosi is hoping the her caucus’ border deal will be passed before this Thursday and the next week-long congressional recess.
    Meanwhile, Republicans in the Senate are confident they have the upper hand with their deal. Senator Lindsey Graham is proposing a bill which would mandate migrants apply for asylum in Mexico or their home countries, hire hundreds of new immigration judges, and fix the Flores Agreement by allowing migrant children to be detained with their families up to 100-days instead of 20.
    While the bill has been praised by the Trump administration, Graham and the bill’s co-sponsor — Senator Dick Durbin — said it won’t be ready for mark-up for weeks.    This is well past the president’s two week deadline from last Saturday.
    It’s unknown at this point which bill will get serious consideration from President Trump.
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., is questioned by reporters at the
Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, June 18, 2019. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

6/26/2019 Oil 58.71, DOW down 179 to 26,548.

6/26/2019 France says final G20 communique must mention Paris climate change agreement
FILE PHOTO: French President Emmanuel Macron speaks during a news conference after the
European Union leaders summit in Brussels, Belgium, June 21, 2019. REUTERS/Piroschka van de Wouw
    PARIS (Reuters) – France said it will not accept a final G20 communique that does not mention the Paris climate change agreement, as President Emmanuel Macron hardened his position on climate change ahead of the G20 meeting.
    Japanese media reported on Wednesday that leaders of the G20 top economies will call this week for the promotion of free trade to achieve strong global growth, as the United States and China seek to resume talks to resolve a bitter trade dispute.
    In preparing a joint communique, Japan, the chair of the meetings, seeks common ground between the United States, which opposes language denouncing protectionism, and other nations, which want a stronger warning against the risk of trade tension.
    However, France was adamant that any final G20 communique must also mention the 2016 Paris Climate Change agreement that was set up to protect the environment.
    “I’ve heard a lot of people say ‘I have red lines’, and there are a lot of people who are saying that they no longer want to sign G7 or G20 communiques because there are these red lines,” Macron told an audience of French expats in Tokyo.
    “As for myself, I have one red line.    If we don’t talk about the Paris Agreement and if we don’t get an agreement on it amongst the 20 members in the room, we are no longer capable of defending our climate change goals, and France will not be part of this, it’s as simple as that,” he added.
    France was the driver behind the 2016 Paris Agreement to limit global warming, and the French parliament is now debating an energy bill that targets net zero emissions by 2050.
    The G20 group of 20 major economies hold a summit in Japan this weekend.
(Reporting by Marine Pennetier; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta/Leigh Thomas)

6/26/2019 President Trump speaks out on situation at southern border, calls on Dems for change by OAN Newsroom
    President Trump says a lot of people are starting to realize he was right about having a crisis at the southern border.    He made the remark at the White House Wednesday, and emphasized the situation at the border can be solved if Congress changes asylum laws and closes loopholes in the immigration system.
    Trump tweet: “The Democrats should change the Loopholes and Asylum Laws so lives will be saved at our Southern Border.    They said it was not a crisis at the Border, that it was all just “manufactured.”    Now they admit that I was right - But they must do something about it.    Fix the Laws NOW!
    The president also said he had a good conversation with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi about humanitarian aid legislation, and said he thinks she wants to get something done.
President Donald Trump talks with reporters on the South Lawn of the White House before departing to
Japan for the G-20 summit, Wednesday, June 26, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
    While speaking on the viral photo of a drowned migrant father and daughter in the Rio Grande, the president suggested such deaths wouldn’t happen if Congress fixed the laws.    However, he called out Democrats for refusing to address them:
    “The Democrats refuse to change the loopholes.    They refuse to change the asylum.    In one hour we could have it done.    They want to have open borders and open borders mean crime, and open borders mean people drowning in the rivers and it’s a very dangerous thing.”
    President Trump also said more than 400-miles of the wall will be built by the end of next year.

6/26/2019 President Trump slams Mueller hearing over alleged Strzok, Page cover-up by OAN Newsroom
    President Trump recently responded to the newly announced hearing to special counsel Robert Mueller, saying “it never ends.”
    In an interview Wednesday, the president reiterated his position that there was no collusion and no obstruction regarding the investigation.    He then pointed the finger at the other side of the aisle, saying the real crime was committed by the Democrats.
    The president then called out Mueller’s alleged cover-up of disgraced FBI agents Peter Strzok and Lisa Page.    He said Mueller purged thousands of text messages and emails of the two former officials after they were caught sending anti-Trump messages to each other during the probe.
President Donald Trump speaks at the “Faith & Freedom Coalition 2019 Road To Majority
Policy Conference
,” Wednesday, June 26, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
    “He terminated the emails, he terminated all of the stuff between Strzok and Page…Robert Mueller terminated their text messages…they’re gone, and that’s illegal…that’s a crime…” — President Trump
    In a tweet Tuesday night, President Trump proclaimed “presidential harassment” after news broke of his compliance with a congressional subpoena.
    Trump tweet: “Presidential Harassment!
    Robert Mueller is set to testify in back-to-back sessions on July 17th in front of the Judiciary Committee and the Intelligence Committee.

6/26/2019 Mueller to testify before Congress by OAN Newsroom
    Special counsel Robert Mueller is set to testify on Capitol Hill. House Judiciary chairman Jerry Nadler made the announcement Tuesday.
    The House Judiciary and Intelligence Committees issued subpoenas to the special counsel for his appearance.    The two Democrat-led panels have been looking to question Mueller on his investigation, specifically when it comes to allegations of obstruction.    Meanwhile, Republicans have questions themselves regarding the inception of the investigation.
    Nadler said Mueller has accepted the invitation, and will speak in an open session before the panel.

6/26/2019 House Oversight Committee votes to subpoena White House aide Conway by OAN Newsroom
    After more than half an hour of fiery debates, the House Oversight Committee voted to authorize a subpoena to White House counselor Kellyanne Conway for her testimony regarding her alleged Hatch Act violations.    The committee voted 25 to 16 to compel Conway’s testimony, following an explosive hearing between Democrats and Republicans Wednesday.
    “This is a chilling effect on free speech, it is a direct attack on this president, it is a direct attack on Kellyanne Conway, and, quite frankly, we’re better than this Mr. chairman,” stated Representative Mark Meadows.
    He claimed the hearing was a political spectacle, and said the Hatch Act claims against Conway were unfair.
Conservative Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., objects to the effort by House Oversight and Reform Committee Chairman
Elijah E. Cummings, D-Md., to subpoena presidential counselor Kellyanne Conway for not appearing before the panel
after allegations that she repeatedly violated the Hatch Act, a federal law that limits political activity by
government workers, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, June 26, 2019. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
    “When you go out and you state the fact, that’s not political campaigning — she’s not asking for contributions, she’s not asking for anything…she’s not even campaigning,” Meadows continued. “She has a microphone stuck in her face and she is responding…you’ve done the same thing, Mr. chairman, and so I would just say — let’s be careful about the standard we’re about to hold.”
    He went on to say former Obama-era UN Ambassador Samantha Powers should also be held to the same standard for trashing the president.
    Representative Jim Jordan also spoke out against the allegations, stating this was just another move by the Democrats and their obsession with President Trump.
    “Now today, the Democrats, instead of focusing on issues that matter to Americans, they want to focus on Kellyanne Conway’s tweets,” he stated.    That’s the obsession you have with going after this president.”
    Meanwhile, GOP Representative Justin Amash broke with House Republicans by voting in favor to authorize the subpoena.    He said lawmakers should hear her response to the allegations.    Amash, who has been a vocal critic of the president, was the only Republican to join Democrats in voting to approve the subpoena.
    Conway was not in attendance after the White House granted her immunity on Tuesday.    The Trump administration has showed no sign of taking action against Conway, and called the ruling “unprecedented” and “politically influenced.”
White House counselor Kellyanne Conway talks to reporters outside the White House, Monday, June 24, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

6/26/2019 ICE releases list of illegal immigrants released by sanctuary city policies by OAN Newsroom
    ICE has released a list of illegal immigrants accused of rape and murder, who have been released under sanctuary city policies.    The list, released last week, highlights cases in Oregon and Washington, including a man who plead guilty to raping a dog and a man who is now back behind bars on suspicion of murder.
    Washington recently passed an expansion of its existing sanctuary city policy, which bars local police from helping federal immigration officials in any way. ICE argues that releasing criminals without providing notification endangers local communities.
    Republican lawmakers on Capitol Hill have urged Democrats to address the crisis at the southern border.
Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, center, speaks about immigration on the southern border during a news conference
on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, June 18, 2019. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
“What’s the Democrats response?    The Speaker of the House said walls are immoral.    Congressman Blumenauer said abolish ICE, and there’s been a supplemental waiting for six-weeks to address the crisis.    That’s the problem, and he criticized the administration for trying to do anything and everything they can do to deal with this humanitarian crisis on the border.    Give me a break.” — Rep. Jim Jordan, (R) Ohio.
    Immigration officials say cooperation with lawmakers is an essential part of maintaining public safety.

6/26/2019 House lawmakers propose changes to improve Medicare Part D by OAN Newsroom
    House lawmakers from both sides of the aisle are working to improve Medicare Part D amid the rising cost of prescription medication.
    Representatives Doris Matsui and Brett Guthrie reportedly hashed out ideas during an event Tuesday.    While Democrats like Matsui favor expanding the federal government’s power to bring down prices, Republican lawmakers are looking to enable competition.
    Despite their differences, GOP Representative Guthrie said he is optimistic about the bipartisan effort and offered suggestions to reduce costs for Americans.    He said he hopes to hammer out a deal to be signed by the president by fall.
    This comes as President Trump moves to cut the increasing costs of health care and bring transparency to the health care system.    Earlier this week, the president signed an executive order requiring hospitals and insurance providers to make prices public as well as provide estimates for out-of-pocket costs.
President Donald Trump holds up an executive order during a signing ceremony that calls for upfront disclosure by hospitals of actual
prices for common tests and procedures to keep costs down, at the White House in Washington, Monday, June 24, 2019. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
    “We’re making new affordable health options available to millions of American workers through the association health plans, short-term plans, and health reimbursement arrangements,” stated President Trump.    “We’re working with Congress to stop surprise medical billing…because no American should be blindsided by bills for medical service they never agreed to in advance.”
    Prices have not been readily available to consumers, and list prices often vary between hospitals and insurance providers even within the same region.
    Proponents of the measure say the greater transparency will allow patients to shop around, which could drive competition and lower prices in the long run.

6/26/2019 Venezuela’s Maduro says authorities foiled opposition coup plot
Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro delivers a speech from Miraflores palace in
Caracas, Venezuela May 31, 2019. Miraflores Palace/Handout via REUTERS
    CARACAS (Reuters) – Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said on Wednesday security forces had foiled an opposition coup attempt that included plans to assassinate him and other top political figures and install a jailed former military officer as president.
    A catastrophic economic collapse in the South American nation has fueled malnutrition and disease, prompting an exodus of the population toward Mexico and the United States.    The armed forces have continued to side with the ruling Socialist Party despite calls by opposition leader Juan Guaido to disavow Maduro.
    “We have revealed, dismantled and captured a fascist band of terrorists that planned a coup against Venezuelan society and Venezuelan democracy,” said Maduro in an evening broadcast.
    “They are captured, behind bars, with clear evidence after following this group of criminals and fascists.”
    The plan allegedly involved an attack on the headquarters of the Sebin intelligence agency to release General Raul Baduel, a former defense minister who was arrested on corruption accusations in 2009 after falling out with the Socialist Party.
    Maduro said the plan involved Guaido as well as political leaders from Chile, Colombia and the United States.
    Guaido dismissed the accusations as lies.    Maduro’s critics accuse him of fabricating plots for political effect based on coerced testimony of arrested suspects.
    Guaido, who in January invoked the constitution to assume a rival presidency, called on the armed forces in April to disavow Maduro in an uprising.
(Reporting by Caracas Newrsoom; Editing by Richard Chang)

6/27/2019 Oil up $1.55 to $59.38, DOW down 11 to 26,537.

6/27/2019 NSA nabs personal call data 2nd time by John Bacon, USA TODAY
    The National Security Agency improperly collected phone call records of Americans last fall, months after a previous breach compelled the agency to destroy millions of records from the contentious program, documents released Wednesday revealed.
    The redacted documents, obtained by the ACLU in a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit, do not indicate how many records NSA improperly collected in the October breach, or which telecommunications provider submitted the improper data.
    “These documents provide further evidence that the NSA has consistently been unable to operate the ... program within the bounds of the law,” the ACLU said in a letter to Congress to lobby for an end to the program.
    The letter says elements within the Office of the Director of National Intelligence concluded the October violations had a “significant impact” on privacy and civil rights, but that the Americans affected were not told of the breach.
    Last June, NSA acknowledged that data obtained from a telecommunications service provider included some records the agency was not authorized to receive.    Since it could not feasibly separate what was properly obtained data, the agency said it would delete hundreds of millions of call data records dating back to 2015.

6/27/2019 Dems expect ‘profound’ testimony from Mueller - But special counsel says he won’t drop bombshell by Mary Clare Jalonick, Eric Tucker and Lisa Mascaro, ASSOCIATED PRESS
    WASHINGTON – The chairman of the House Judiciary Committee said he expects special counsel Robert Mueller to have “a profound impact” when Mueller testifies before Congress on July 17, even though Mueller said he won’t provide new information.
    Mueller’s unusual back-to-back testimony before the House Judiciary and Intelligence committees is likely to be the most highly anticipated congressional hearing in years, given Mueller’s silence during his two-year investigation into Russian contacts with President Donald Trump’s campaign. Democrats negotiated for more than two months to obtain the testimony, hoping to focus public attention on the special counsel’s 448-page report that they believe most Americans have not read.
    “I think just if he says what was in the report and says it to the American people so they hear it, that will be very, very important,” Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler said.    “Whether he goes further than that, we’ll see.”
    Nadler said he thinks Mueller will be a compelling witness given the nature of the report, which detailed Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and reviewed several episodes in which Trump tried to influence Mueller’s probe.    He said he believes the hearing will have a “profound impact” because many people haven’t read the report and don’t know what’s in it.
    It will also be the first time Mueller has responded to questions since he was appointed special counsel in May 2017.    Throughout his investigation, Mueller never responded to attacks from Trump, nor did Mueller personally join his prosecutors in court or make announcements of criminal charges from the team.    His sole public statement came from the Justice Department podium last month as he announced his departure, when he sought to explain his decision not to indict Trump or to accuse him of criminal conduct.
    He also put lawmakers on notice that he was not eager to testify and did not intend to say more than what he put in the report.
    “We chose those words carefully, and the work speaks for itself,” Mueller said May 29.    “I would not provide information beyond what is already public in any appearance before Congress.”
    Those remarks did little to settle the demands for his testimony.    The two committees continued negotiations that had already been going on for weeks, saying they still wanted to hear from Mueller no matter how reluctant he was.
    The two committees announced Tuesday that he agreed to come under subpoena.
    “When you accept the role of special counsel in one of the most significant investigations in modern history, you’re going to have to expect that you’re going to be asked to come and testify before Congress,” House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff said.
The debate over special counsel Robert Mueller’s report is getting new life after
he agreed to testify before two House committees. CAROLYN KASTER/AP

6/27/2019 Senate passes $4.6B border aid plan by Andrew Taylor and Alan Fram, ASSOCIATED PRESS
    WASHINGTON – The GOP-held Senate on Wednesday passed a bipartisan $4.6 billion measure to deliver aid to the southern border before the government runs out of money to care for thousands of migrant families and unaccompanied children.
    The sweeping 84-8 vote came less than 24 hours after the Democraticcontrolled House approved a companion measure backed by party liberals that was weighed down by a White House veto threat and bipartisan rejection by the Senate.
    Republicans and the White House prefer the Senate measure.    House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is pressing for quick negotiations to merge the bills, promising that Democrats won’t yield to demands to send the Senate bill to President Donald Trump without changes.
    The Senate vote sent the must-pass legislation measure back to the Democratic- controlled House.    Next steps are unclear, but Pelosi dismissed speculation that the Democratic-controlled House will accept the Senate measure, which cleared a key committee last week with just one dissenting vote.    Asked if the House would pass the Senate bill and send it to Trump, Pelosi said, “No.”
    Pelosi called Trump on Wednesday to discuss the measure.    “There’s some improvements that we think can be reconciled,” Pelosi told reporters.
    Trump said passing the legislation was urgent and appeared to leave the door open for negotiations.
    “We are moving along very well with a bipartisan bill in the Senate,” Trump said.    “It’s very far along.”
    An impasse could imperil passage of the measure, which is needed soon before federal agencies caring for migrants are hamstrung by lack of money.
    Congress plans to leave Washington in a few days for a weeklong July 4 recess, and pressure is intense to wrap up the legislation.
    The Senate vote comes less than 24 hours after the House passed its version along party lines after Pelosi quelled a mini-revolt by progressives and Hispanic lawmakers who won relatively modest changes to the legislation.
    Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., blasted the House bill.
    “It’s a go-nowhere proposal filled with poison pill riders which the president has indicated he would veto,” McConnell said.
    Asked if he’s open to adding some language sought by the House, McConnell said, “We’re working on finishing up this week and getting it to the president.”
    The Senate rejected the House bill by a 55-37 vote.
    Both measures contain more than $1 billion to shelter and feed migrants detained by the border patrol and almost $3 billion to care for unaccompanied migrant children who are turned over to the Department of Health and Human Services.    The Senate measure is not as strict in setting conditions on the delivery of funding to care for unaccompanied children and contains funding opposed by House Democrats for the Pentagon and to ease a payroll pinch at Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi seeks negotiations to merge the House and Senate border-aid bills. JIM LO SCALZO/EPA-EFE
[As usual the bill does not acknowlege the crisis at the border and to revise the immigration laws, so Trump will have to shut down the border or send ICE to remove the illegals.].


6/27/2019 President Trump could delay 2020 census by OAN Newsroom
    In a 5-to-4 decision the Supreme Court ruled that the Trump administration did not give an adequate reason for adding a citizenship question to the 2020 census.    The case will now be kicked back to a lower court.
    The administration had argued the question was needed to enforce the Voting Rights Act, while opponents said it would lead to an inaccurate population count because non-citizens or illegal immigrants may refrain from filling out the census at all.    Chief Justice John Roberts joined liberals in questioning the rationale for the administration’s effort.
FILE – The Supreme Court is seen under stormy skies in Washington, D.C. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)
    Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross directed the census bureau to add the question last year based on a Department of Justice request, which cited the need for accurate citizenship data.    The commerce department has until July 1st to further explain its reasoning for adding the question before the census goes to print.
    House Speaker Nancy Pelosi commented on the high courts decision Thursday.
    “But whether it’s on there or not, that the American people come forward and be counted, it would be a sad occurrence if people said ‘well since it’s on there I’m not going to be counted’ because it means so much in terms of who we are as a nation,” she stated.
    President Trump has said the census would be “meaningless” without the citizenship question.
    “But I think when you have a census and you’re not allowed to talk about whether or not somebody is a citizen or not, that doesn’t sound so good to me,” he stated.
    In a tweet after Thursday’s decision, the president said he asked lawyers to delay the census until the Supreme Court is given additional information.    He then slammed the high court, saying its ridiculous that our government cannot ask a simple question such as whether someone is a citizen.
    Trump tweet: “Seems totally ridiculous that our government, and indeed Country, cannot ask a basic question of Citizenship in a very expensive, detailed and important Census, in this case for 2020. I have asked the lawyers if they can delay the Census, no matter how long, until the.....”    “.....United States Supreme Court is given additional information from which it can make a final and decisive decision on this very critical matter. Can anyone really believe that as a great Country, we are not able the ask whether or not someone is a Citizen. Only in America!
FILE – In this April 23, 2019 file photo, Immigration activists rally outside the Supreme Court as the justices heard arguments over
the Trump administration’s plan to ask about citizenship on the 2020 census, in Washington, D.C.(AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

6/27/2019 White House not blocking Mueller testimony by OAN Newsroom
    The White House announced it has no plans of blocking Robert Mueller from appearing on Capitol Hill for his highly-anticipated testimony.    Mueller will testify in an open session before both the House Judiciary Committee and Intelligence Committee next month.
    While many lawmakers say there are several unanswered questions about Mueller’s investigation, the president’s legal team doesn’t believe he will reveal any new information during his hearing.    However, they don’t think that will stop Democrats from asking Mueller about his decision not to exonerate the president for obstruction.
    “If you look at Volume II of the report, which is the obstruction provision, the whole process is turned upside down. I think the biggest question Bob Mueller’s gonna have to ask himself is, or be asked is, ‘do you really think it’s the job of the Special Counsel to exonerate someone?’” — Jay Sekulow, President Trump’s personal attorney
The subpoena from the House Judiciary and House Intelligence Committees to special counsel Robert Mueller
is photographed in Washington, Tuesday, June 25, 2019. Mueller has agreed to testify publicly before the
House Judiciary and Intelligence Committees after both panels issued subpoenas to him Tuesday evening. (AP Photo/Jon Elswick)
    Trump tweet: “According to Fake News (and low ratings) @CNN, “Democrats say hearings could change impeachment debate.” That’s because they have lost the impeachment debate (80% say NO), and they are hoping that yet another DO OVER, after 2 1/2 years and $40,000,000, will turn things around....”    “....No Collusion, No Obstruction! Robert Mueller said he was done after his last 9 minute news conference, as later corrected. Now the Dems want to give it another try. Does it ever end?
    Mueller’s hearing is scheduled for July 17th.

6/28/2019 Oil up $0.05 to $59.43, DOW down 10 to 26,527.

6/28/2019 Manafort pleads not guilty in New York mortgage fraud case
    NEW YORK – Paul Manafort, the imprisoned former chairman of President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign, pleaded not guilty Thursday to state mortgage fraud charges that could keep him locked up if Trump pardons him for federal crimes uncovered during the probe of Russian election meddling.    Manafort, 70, is serving a 7½ years for misleading the U.S. government about his foreign lobbying work, hiding millions of dollars from tax authorities and encouraging witnesses to lie on his behalf.    He is due back in court in the state case Oct. 9.

6/28/2019 Top official says timid U.N. ‘tribe’ must assert itself amid political nonsense by Tom Miles
The United Nations headquarters building is pictured though a window with the UN logo in the foreground
in the Manhattan borough of New York August 15, 2014. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri/Files
    GENEVA (Reuters) – The United Nations must drop its bureaucratic timidity and stand up to its member states if it is to tackle global problems, a top U.N. official told Reuters in an interview.
    Michael Moller, U.N. director-general in Geneva, said governments were failing to deal with new and existing challenges such as nuclear disarmament, internet regulation and climate-related migration, and the U.N. needed to respond.
    That meant looking to emerging new groupings of decision-makers, such as cities, technology firms or online movements, while national governments are set to see their role shrink.
    “It’s tough for some of these guys to swallow.    And it’s tough, particularly for some of the bigger countries that are used to a very top-down governance,” said Moller.
    Global cooperation has been stuck during Moller’s six years as head of the U.N. in Geneva, the center of humanitarian work and human rights, with gridlock in the U.N. Security Council and stalemate in talks ranging from nuclear disarmament to trade.
    U.S. President Donald Trump has pulled the United States out of the U.N. Human Rights Council, the Iran nuclear deal and the Paris Climate Accord, while Russian President Vladimir Putin said in a Financial Times interview on Friday liberal values were now obsolete.
    Moller declined to name names but suggested that such leaders were resisting the tide of history, and that “tearing down multilateralism in all its forms” did not make sense for any country.
    “If you look at what’s happening, a number of countries are walking away from all the international agreements they can lay their hands on, and a good number of their citizens are not following suit,” he said.
    “Individuals, mayors, businesses just say no, we’re going in a different direction,” Moller said.
    The U.N. should face its critics with facts and statistics to show the extraordinary prosperity and well-being it had achieved for humanity.
    “With the kind of nonsense that the world is facing now, we’re risking throwing away those extraordinary gains because we’re not getting our governance stuff right,” Moller said.
TRIBE OF BUREAUCRATS
    The U.N. and its member states had been “too timid in our collective pushback on what’s happening to human rights” and sometimes fell prey to wishful thinking when trying to mediate peace and stop wars, he said.
    The U.N.’s intended role went far beyond being a neutral discussion arena.    It should be a bridge to bring short-term political systems towards long-term solutions, Moller said.
    The U.N. needed to break out of its bureaucratic aversion to change and be imaginative for the bridge to be effective.
    “Take some risks and be more assertive, basically,” Moller said.    “It’s a hell of a thing to ask because there’s one tribe on the planet that doesn’t like change: it’s us, it’s bureaucrats.”
    Member states had a “defensive reflex” and were retaining tight control of U.N. budgets and activities.
    “The Secretary-General has launched a reform process that is limping,” Moller said.
    “But it’s limping precisely because of the micromanagement by member states that has reached gigantic proportions and is acting as a massive brake on any kind of forward imaginative and innovative movement of the organization.”
    Member states had taken a “slash-and-burn” approach to the U.N. budget over the past decade but the world body was increasingly working with businesses, philanthropists and foundations and money was available, he said.
    Change was possible, Moller said, but much of it may close within the next 10 years if the U.N. cannot work more effectively and collaboratively.    That would represent a huge waste of expertise, he said.
(Reporting by Tom Miles; Editing by Paul Tait)

6/28/2019 Spain’s Sanchez relishes European role but reality bites by Belén Carreño and Ingrid Melander
Spain's Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez attends a news conference after the European Union
leaders summit in Brussels, Belgium, June 21, 2019. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir
    MADRID (Reuters) – Spanish leader Pedro Sanchez shot to prominence on the EU political scene after his victories in national and European elections, but now he faces a reality check that combines troubles at home with the complexity of EU talks.
    Still scrambling to gather enough support to be confirmed as prime minister by a fragmented parliament two months after the election, Sanchez is also learning the ropes for another set of tricky power-sharing talks – that of deciding on EU top jobs.
    Criticized by Spain’s other main parties ahead of a vote in parliament on whether he can stay in the job, the Socialist leader, while praised for his pro-European stance, is also facing some critical voices in Brussels.
    “There’s a gap between how Sanchez’s role in EU talks is described in Madrid and how it is actually seen in Brussels,” a Brussels-based source said.    “Spain is still far from having the same weight as Germany or France.”
    Thanks to his party becoming the biggest national contingent in the European Parliament’s Socialist group in May, Sanchez is one of the coordinators in the talks that will decide who will become European Commission or European Central Bank chief.
    That means he will join other EU leaders at the margins of a G20 summit in Japan this weekend and at Sunday’s EU summit, where the bloc wants to agree on names. He discussed this with EU Council chief Donald Tusk on Friday morning and will have further talks with others, his office said.
    As he travels from one summit to another, sitting at the top negotiating table with France’s and Germany’s leaders, Sanchez visibly enjoys his new role, widely dispensing his smile and readily responding in English to foreign media.
    “The prime minister enjoys being part of the European negotiations.    He feels at ease, he speaks English and he has experience,” one of his closest advisers said.
    Yet, after an EU summit last week failed to reach any deal on the bloc’s top jobs, a diplomat from one of the EU’s biggest countries said Sanchez’s relative lack of experience in such talks was partly to blame.
    Sanchez first became prime minister in June last year when the conservatives lost a confidence vote over a corruption scandal, but only gained more prominence in Brussels with this Spring’s elections.
    “Sanchez was very self-confident during the negotiations.    But he did not understand in the beginning that ‘killing’ (the German conservative candidate for the European Commission Manfred) Weber meant that he ‘killed’ his candidate too,” the diplomat said, referring to Dutch Socialist candidate Frans Timmermans, backed by Sanchez.
    Leaders headed by French President Emmanuel Macron and Sanchez blocked Weber’s candidacy, meaning the other main candidates such as Timmermans were also out.    Spanish diplomatic sources rejected the criticism, saying they were well aware of the consequences.
JUST THE BEGINNING
    Separately, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte criticized Sanchez’s push for a euro zone budget. “It’s not in your interest, why would you do that?” he said in an interview with Euractiv.
    Sanchez and Macron have been pushing, unsuccessfully, for a joint budget for euro zone countries, worth several percentage points of euro zone output, to promote deeper integration and help stabilize the economy.
    Without commenting on these particular points, Sanchez has readily admitted that he does not have the same experience of high-level EU talks as some of the bloc’s veteran leaders.
    “Prime ministers and presidents more experienced than me tell me that this is just the beginning,” he said at the end of last week’s summit, smiling and referring to the EU jobs discussions.
    Sunday’s EU summit, and ensuing talks on European Commissioner jobs, will be key to test the scope of Spain’s new influence, after years where it suffered from a financial crisis and an almost exclusive focus by its leaders on domestic issues.
    “He negotiates for Spain and for the whole Socialist family,” José Manuel Albares, Sanchez’s top international adviser, told Reuters.
    “That is why it’s very important that he defends the euro zone’s budget, labor rights and the fight against climate change on its (the Socialist’s group) behalf.”
    Looming over all this is the fact that Sanchez is only acting prime minister, and still needs to muster enough votes to be officially sworn into the job.
    Talks have proven even more complicated than expected, with potential allies opposing each other and all sides digging in their heels.
    The leader of the Socialists’ biggest potential ally, the anti-austerity Podemos, said on Wednesday the negotiations may take another two months.    If that fails, a new election will take place.
    Sanchez is however far from being the only European leader with a troubled political scene at home, meaning the Spanish problems pale in comparison.
    “Spain benefits from a unique environment that includes the United Kingdom’s exit from the EU and Italy’s weakening influence,” said Pablo Simon, a political science professor at Madrid’s Carlos III university.
(Reporting by Belen Carreno and Ingrid Melander, additional reporting Andreas Rinke from Berlin; Editing by Angus MacSwan)

6/28/2019 Central American migrants plead to seek asylum in U.S., not Mexico by Julio-Cesar Chavez
Activists hold photos of migrant children that died in U.S. custody as they protest at the Paso del Norte international
border bridge, as seen from Ciudad Juarez, Mexico June 27, 2019. REUTERS/Jose Luis Gonzalez Gonzalez
    EL PASO, Texas (Reuters) – Several Central American migrants seeking asylum in the United States were allowed to return there on Thursday after being forced to wait in one of Mexico’s most violent cities, supported by faith leaders who oppose the controversial U.S. migration policy.
    A couple with three young children who fled violence in Honduras and a Salvadoran young man with cognitive disabilities crossed into El Paso from Ciudad Juarez, said Bishop of El Paso Mark Seitz, who helped plead their case with officials at the border.
    Their return came on the same afternoon that the U.S. House of Representatives passed a $4.6 billion aid package to address a migrant surge at the U.S.-Mexico border, galvanized in recent days by a photo of drowned migrants and reports of horrendous conditions for detained children.
    The attention also put renewed concern on the policy that sends asylum seekers to Mexico border cities while waiting for U.S. courts to process their applications, known as Remain in Mexico or Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP).
    The program started in January under the Trump administration and has drawn outrage from U.S. faith leaders, rights groups and others.    It has now affected more than 15,000 asylum seekers, mainly from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras.
(Graphic: Trump ramps up returns of asylum seekers to Mexico)
    Under a deal struck with Mexico on July 7 to stave off tariffs threatened by Trump, MPP is being expanded to more cities and applied to new nationalities including Cubans.
    Although migration officials in El Paso initially said that the Honduran family and Salvadoran man had to continue to wait out the asylum process in Ciudad Juarez just opposite the border, Seitz said that he countered that the migrants had special circumstances and deserved to remain in the United States.
    “Some calls were made higher up, and the word came down that they would be allowed to pass,” he said.    “They’re going to have to prove their cases, but they’ll be able to do it in the loving arms of relatives.”
    The Honduran family, with children ages 3, 5 and 9, had spent three months waiting in Ciudad Juarez, Seitz added.
    “They are a family that has suffered beyond what most of us can imagine, the torture of children, and so on… they’re definitely qualified,” he said.
    Dylan Corbett, executive director of the Hope Border Institute that helped coordinate Seitz’s visit and connects migrants with attorneys, said it was still unclear if the migrants would be able to remain in the United States for the rest of their asylum proceedings.
    In an open letter to U.S. President Donald Trump and other political leaders, a coalition of evangelical churches said it was “deeply troubled” by a policy it said left children vulnerable to violence and trafficking, as well as by reports of “inhumane” conditions in U.S. federal immigration facilities.
    The Catholic diocese of El Paso, Texas separately denounced a critical lack of shelter, food, legal aid and basic services for asylum seekers returned to Mexico under the program and “distressing detention conditions” in the United States before they are returned.
    Their critiques echoed U.S. asylum officers who have said that MPP was contrary to America’s “moral fabric.”
    U.S. border patrol agents say they have apprehended 664,000 people along the southern border so far this year, a 144 percent increase from last year, and the highest number in over a decade. Officials say the system is overwhelmed.
    In its letter, the Evangelical Immigration Table, a coalition including nine major U.S. church groups, said the policy restricts access to U.S. legal counsel and greatly reduces the possibility that migrant families “will be able to receive a truly just and fair chance at receiving asylum.”
PILGRIMS
    In court papers filed on Wednesday, a union that represents asylum officers at U.S. Citizens and Immigration Services, described the program as “fundamentally contrary to the moral fabric of our Nation,” citing the American tradition of sheltering the persecuted stretching back to the arrival of “Pilgrims onto a Massachusetts shore in November 1620.”
    The new acting USCIS head pushed back against the union on Wednesday night on Twitter and later sent an official statement saying the court filing was a “cheap political stunt.”    Ken Cuccinelli, a Trump ally who was appointed on June 10, has echoed the president’s line that the focus should be on weeding out fraudulent asylum claims.
    U.S. officials usually do not comment on pending litigation.
    The union filed briefs in a case supporting a group challenging the legality of MPP in court.    A group of 22 former senior U.S. officials also filed a brief against the policy on Wednesday, as did the United Nation’s refugee agency, which concluded MPP was “at variance” with U.S. international obligations.
    A U.S. appeals court has ruled that the Trump administration may continue sending asylum seekers to wait out their cases in Mexico while the government appeals a lower court ruling that found the policy violated U.S. immigration law.
    Hundreds of asylum seekers are returned every day under the expanded program.    They are likely to wait in Mexico for around two years because of a backlog in U.S. immigration courts.
(Reporting by Julio-Cesar Chavez in El Paso; Additional reporting by Susan Cornwell and Richard Cowan in Washington and Kristina Cooke in San Francisco; Writing by Frank Jack Daniel and Daina Beth Solomon; Editing by Kim Coghill)

6/27/2019 Virginia Beach employee seeks to end gun-free zones after mass shooting by OAN Newsroom
    A petition launched by a survivor of the Virginia Beach shooting is pushing to abolish the city’s gun-free policy.
    Survivor and Virginia Beach engineer Vincent Smith is behind the initiative.    He said he has seen firsthand the vulnerable and dangerous position gun-free policies put on America.
    Smith was in the city municipal building when a tragic mass shooting took place, leaving 12 people dead on May 31st.    He said he believes the incident could have been potentially avoided had employees been allowed to carry firearms.
    “Allowing employees to carry a firearm, if they’re qualified…had I pursued this issue further four-years ago…had I gotten these changes effective on May 30th, we’d be looking at a very different May 31st,” he explained.
Smith started a petition over the weekend to amend Virginia Beach policy, so that properly licensed city personnel may bring their gun to work. Municipal codes currently prohibit Virginia Beach city employees from bringing a gun into government buildings, however, the public is able to walk into city buildings with a gun. Smith said this gap is a major security breach for city-wide employees.
    “People are forced every day to choose between earning a living and saving their life,” he stated.
    The petition has received more than 3,000 signatures.    Virginia Beach Mayor Bobby Dyer said he is focused on uniting the community first and will tackle policy change second.    Meanwhile, police have continued their investigation into the shooter’s motive.
Lisa Dunaway, center, holds hands with other mourners during a vigil in response to a shooting at a municipal building in Virginia Beach,
Va., Saturday, June 1, 2019. A longtime city employee opened fire at the building before police shot and killed him, authorities said. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

6/28/2019 President Trump meets with Russian President Putin on sidelines of G20 Summit by OAN Newsroom
    During the G20 summit, President Trump was asked by reporters whether he would confront Russian President Vladimir Putin about foreign interference in U.S. democracy.    In hopes of finally putting the issue to rest, the president lightly addressed the issue face-to-face with the Russian leader, saying “don’t meddle in the election.”
    Chloe Salsameda: “Pres. Trump turns toward Russian Pres. Vladimir Putin and other Russian officials, saying, don’t meddle in the election.    Don’t meddle in the election.    @OANN”
    This was the two presidents first meeting since the release of the Mueller report.    The White House said after the talks, President Trump and Putin held a phone conversation where they reportedly discussed the “Russian hoax.”
President Donald Trump, right, meets with Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, during a bilateral meeting
on the sidelines of the G-20 summit in Osaka, Japan, Friday, June 28, 2019. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
    During a photo-op, President Trump spoke on the relationship with Russia:
    “Thank you very much everybody, it’s a great honor to be with President Putin.    His representatives, my representatives have many things to discuss, including trade and including some disarmament, some little protectionism perhaps, in a very positive way. And we are going to discuss a lot of different things, with a great reading, with a very, very good relationship and we look forward to spending some very good time together.    Lot of very positive things are going to come out of the relationship.    So, Vladimir, thank you very much!
    President Trump and Putin also bonded over their mutual disdain for the media and negative press.    Meanwhile, the Russian president said he hopes to follow up with President Trump on their discussions in Helsinki last year.    A read-out of the meeting from the White House said the two discussed the situations in Syria, Venezuela, Ukraine, Iran as well as arms control.

6/28/2019 U.S. Special Rep. for Iran: We will sanction any imports of Iranian crude oil by OAN Newsroom
    The Trump administration is giving European nations a choice — do business with Iran or do business with the United States. U.S. Special Representative for Iran Brian Hook gave the ultimatum Friday, while speaking to reporters in London.
    He accused Iran of routinely engaging in “unsafe behavior” at sea, claiming they have used their military to attack commercial ships in recent weeks.    Hook also suggested Iran continuously violates maritime law to hide its oil exports and evade sanctions.
FILE – This June 13, 2019 file image, released by the U.S. military’s Central Command, shows damage and a suspected mine
on the Kokuka Courageous in the Gulf of Oman near the coast of Iran. A series of attacks on oil tankers near the Persian Gulf
has ratcheted up tensions between the U.S. and Iran — and raised fears over the safety of one of Asia’s most vital energy trade routes,
where about a fifth of the world’s oil passes through its narrowest at the Strait of Hormuz. (U.S. Central Command via AP, File)
    “A large number of Iranian tankers have recently disabled their maritime transponders and have effectively gone dark — we should not be surprised that an outlaw regime also violates basic maritime law,” stated Hook.    “Turning off these transponders makes tankers harder to track, and it’s a tactic that Iran has used in the past to disguise the destination of its of its oil shipments.”     The special representative warned the U.S. will sanction any country that imports Iranian oil with no exemptions.
Brian Hook , the U.S. special envoy for Iran, gestures during an interview in Paris, Thursday, June 27, 2019.
Brian Hook is meeting with top French, German and British diplomats in Paris for talks on the Persian Gulf
crisis at a time when European powers are trying to save the 2015 nuclear deal with Tehran. (AP Photo/Nicolas Garriga)

6/28/2019 House passes Senate’s border aid package by OAN Newsroom
    The House passed the Senate’s border aid package ahead of the Independence Day recess.    In a 305-to-102 vote Thursday afternoon, lawmakers passed the upper chamber’s version of the border supplemental spending bill.
    The move comes after the top Republican on the hill, Senator Mitch McConnell, said the upper chamber would not take up the House version of the bill.    The Kentucky lawmaker scolded House Democrats for passing legislation he says is “way to the left of the mainstream.”
    McConnell said the Senate’s plan is a bipartisan compromise to handle the humanitarian crisis at the border.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., holds a news conference ahead of the Fourth of July
break, at the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, June 27, 2019. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
    While speaking on the House floor ahead of the vote, Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the measure is necessary to protect migrant children:
    “In order to get resources to the children fastest, we will reluctantly put the Senate bill on the floor.    As the Senate bill passes, when it does, if it does, it will not be the end of this debate.    It will be the battle cry.    It will be the battle cry as how we go forward to protect children in a way that truly honors their dignity and worth, their spark of divinity that they are all children of God.”
    This measure does not include any funding for the construction of a border wall.    The bill now heads to the President Trump’s desk for his signature.

6/28/2019 President Trump to discuss Iran, trade with German Chancellor Merkel by OAN Newsroom
    President Trump took a moment to praise German Chancellor Angela Merkel on the sidelines of the G20 summit.    During an appearance at the event Friday, the president and Merkel said several items of international interest were on their agenda for discussion, including Iran’s activity in the Middle East as well as issues in West Africa and Ukraine.
    Merkel noted, German companies are investing “a lot” into the U.S.    She said German business investments and bilateral trade with the U.S. are also very important.    President Trump said he and the chancellor have a “terrific relationship.”
President Donald Trump meets with German Chancellor Angela Merkel during a meeting on the sidelines
of the G-20 summit in Osaka, Japan, Friday, June 28, 2019. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
    “We have many things to talk about…but I just want to say, she is a fantastic person, a fantastic woman, and I’m glad to have her as a friend and thank you very much, Angela, thank you,” he stated.
    The president also said he was more interested in meeting with Merkel than watching the Democrat primary debates. He said the small bit of the debate he did see “wasn’t very exciting.”
    President Trump went on to say Democrats spent a lot of time talking about what they want to give to illegal immigrants and not what they’re giving to American citizens.

6/28/2019 ICE Chief: Democrat claims President Trump caused border crisis outrageous, false by OAN Newsroom
    Acting ICE Director Mark Morgan is criticizing congressional Democrats for blaming the border crisis on President Trump.    In an interview Wednesday, Morgan said the Democrat’s claims are outrageous and aren’t helpful in solving the dire security situation at the Mexico border.
    The ICE chief stressed that Customs and Border Protection officials risk their lives every day battling ruthless cartels as well as drugs and human-traffickers to keep America safe.
    Congressional Democrats have said the crisis at the border was created by the harsh treatment of children, but many Americans appear to agree with Morgan and ICE.
FILE – Mark Morgan testifies before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs
Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen, File)
    “We know that Border Patrol already said that there is a crisis going on at the border, even the former head for the Obama administration admitted that,” stated Jason Lo, a local resident of Miami, Fla.    “So, I’m going to say one thing about the children separated at the border: the news says that President Trump is racist now because they’re being separated.    What happened when Barack Obama was doing it?    Nobody called it racist then.”
    Morgan has also called for sweeping immigration reform to end the catch-and-release, and revoke the Clinton-era policy of separations of alien families.

6/28/2019 National Border Patrol Council: 30% drop in migrant arrests since Mexico deal by OAN Newsroom
    The National Border Patrol Council is taking aim at mainstream media for ignoring the administration’s success at addressing the crisis at the southern border.
    In an interview Wednesday, council President Brandon Judd said “it’s very interesting how mainstream media hammers Donald Trump for weaponizing tariffs” when in reality “he’s doing what he needed to.”
    Judd also said since Mexico agreed to help the White House crack down on illegal migration his council has experienced a 30-percent drop in the number of migrant arrests along the southwest border.    He added, in some areas that drop dipped even lower to 65-percent.
A Mexican immigration agent organizes the luggage of detained Central American migrants during a raid on the Latino hotel
in Veracruz, Mexico, Thursday, June 27, 2019. Under increasing U.S. pressure to reduce the flow of hundreds of thousands
of Central Americans through Mexican territory, Mexico’s government has stepped up enforcement. (AP Photo/Felix Marquez)
    “We dropped in arrests from 4,100 per day down to 2,900, so we’ve seen a huge drop and we have seen drops as big as 65-percent in certain areas,” explained the Border Patrol Council head. “And to force them to actually become true border security partners was absolutely brilliant, and we’re already seeing the dividends.”     Judd blamed Congress for the situation at the border, and slammed the House for waiting so long to approve emergency funds to address the crisis.

6/28/2019 Mexican president announces plan to provide 40,000 jobs to migrants
FILE PHOTO: Mexico's President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador deliver a speech to supporters in
Merida, Yucatan, Mexico June 22, 2019. Press Office Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador/Handout via REUTERS
    MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Mexico is finalizing a deal to provide 40,000 factory jobs to migrants in northern states, President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said Friday, addressing a key need for the thousands waiting in Mexico as their U.S. asylum cases are decided.
    Speaking at his daily press conference, Lopez Obrador said he expected an agreement with factories to be signed next week.
    “This agreement is going to be signed, there will be no legal problem,” he said.    “We are arranging this so that they can be hired without much processing.”
    Mexico’s border states have been inundated with migrants who must often wait weeks to seek U.S. asylum under a policy known as “metering,” which limits the number who can apply each day.    After requesting asylum, thousands have been sent back to Mexico while they wait for their cases to be settled, a process that can take months or years.
    The bottleneck shows no signs of easing. Mexico pledged earlier this month to do more to halt the flow of migrants to the United States after U.S. President Donald Trump threatened to slap tariffs on Mexican exports.     Factories in northern Mexico have grappled with labor shortages, so migrants could prove a boon for employers.
    Although Lopez Obrador has doubled the minimum wage along the U.S. border, pay there remains lower than the minimum wage in Central American countries such as Guatemala and Honduras, from which many of the migrants are fleeing.
    What’s more, many migrants lack authorization to work in the country, and border cities including Tijuana and Ciudad Juarez have struggled to house them in shelters as their numbers swell.
    Lopez Obrador added that plans were underway to build shelters and provide additional resources to the overtaxed facilities already in operation.
    “Funds are being authorized so there will be resources in the shelters, so they do not lack food, medicine, medical attention,” he said.
    Lopez Obrador also expressed a desire to guarantee work and shelter for migrants in southern Mexico.
    Immigration centers in the region have become increasingly overcrowded as Mexican officials ramp up the detention of migrants headed for the northern border.
(Reporting by Diego Ore; Writing by Julia Love; Editing by James Dalgleish)

6/28/2019 Senate defeats measure to restrain Trump on Iran
FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump talks to reporters as he departs for travel to the G20 Summit in
Osaka, Japan at the White House in Washington, U.S., June 26, 2019. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Senate on Friday defeated legislation that would have barred President Donald Trump from launching an attack on Iran without first obtaining the approval of Congress, except in self-defense.
    The measure was defeated 50 to 40, ensuring that the measure would not get the 60 needed to pass the Republican-majority Senate as an amendment to an annual defense policy bill.
    Ten senators did not vote.
    U.S.-Iranian military tensions have risen over the past two months, after Trump a year ago withdrew the United States from an international nuclear deal with Tehran and world powers.
    The bill, the National Defense Authorization Act, or NDAA, passed the Senate on Thursday, but Senate leaders made the unusual decision to allow the amendment vote on Friday after a handful of Republicans joined Democrats in calling for debate on the matter.
    They also agreed that the voting, which began at 5 a.m. EDT, would last through most of the day to allow Democrats running for president to return from a debate in Miami. The vote concluded 10 hours later, at 3 p.m. EDT.
    Republican opponents of the legislation argued it would impose unnecessary restrictions on Trump if he faced a threat from Iran.
    Supporters said it was necessary to ensure that Congress retains its constitutional right to authorize the use of military force and to lessen the chance of a miscalculation that could plunge the country into prolonged conflict.
    A week ago, Washington called off air strikes just minutes before impact.
    On Friday, Iran said European countries had offered too little at last-ditch talks to persuade Iran to back off from its plans to breach limits imposed by that agreement.
(Reporting by Patricia Zengerle in Washington; Editing by James Dalgleish)
[Congress needs to read the Constitution again Article 1 vs Article 2, but even worse is Pelosi was in Congress when Obama bypassed them and went straight to Libya to kill Ghaddafi because he screwed up his economy by raising oil prices above $100 a barrel.    Yes, he killed Ghaddafi, which led to the Arab Spring and the creation of ISIS, who were the militants that came in and killed the Ambassador and 3 soldiers in Benghazi Embassy, while Hillary was getting her beauty sleep.    So why did they not make a law back then to keep it from happening anymore.    The Democrats are totally deranged now.].

6/28/2019 Trump administration targets Maduro’s son ‘Nicolasito’ with sanctions by Roberta Rampton
Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro (L) waves as he arrives for a session of the National Constituent Assembly
next to his son and National Constituent Assembly member Nicolas Maduro Guerra, at Palacio
Federal Legislativo in Caracas, Venezuela August 10, 2017. REUTERS/Ueslei Marcelino
    (Reuters) – The Trump administration turned up the pressure on Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro on Friday by targeting his son Nicolas “Nicolasito” Maduro with sanctions, the U.S. Treasury Department said.
    The new sanctions are the latest twist in six months of efforts to oust Maduro, whose 2018 re-election was deigned as illegitimate by the United States and most Western nations.
    Maduro’s son has been involved in propaganda and censorship, has profited from Venezuelan mines, and helped pressure the military to keep humanitarian aid out of the country, the Treasury Department said.
    “Maduro relies on his son Nicolasito and others close to his authoritarian regime to maintain a stranglehold on the economy and suppress the people of Venezuela,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement.
    “Treasury will continue to target complicit relatives of illegitimate regime insiders profiting off of Maduro’s corruption,” said Mnuchin, who is in Osaka, Japan, with President Donald Trump for a G20 summit.
    Trump has thrown his support behind opposition leader Juan Guaido, a member of Venezuela’s National Assembly, who invoked the country’s constitution in January to declare himself interim president.
    Maduro, who is backed by China, Russia and Turkey, has retained the support of the country’s military and other institutions, and calls Guaido a Washington puppet.
The new sanctions come as Trump holds a series of meetings with world leaders on the sidelines of the G20.
    Trump raised the subject of Venezuela with Russian President Vladimir Putin, who backs Maduro, and Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, a Guaido supporter, on the first day of the summit.
    Asked whether momentum had been lost in efforts to oust Maduro, Trump told reporters: “No, not at all.    Things take time.”
VENEZUELA STILL IN TRUMP’S FOCUS
    On the second day of the G20, he is scheduled to speak with Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan and Chinese President Xi Jinping, both of whom support Maduro.
    “Venezuela is going to come up at most of the conversations the president has out there.    That’s because the president has not lost focus on Venezuela,” a senior U.S. administration official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.
    More information will be released in coming weeks about the younger Maduro’s “direct role in corruption,” the administration official said, declining to give further details.
    Maduro appointed his son the head of the Corps of Inspectors of the Presidency and he also is a member of Venezuela’s National Constituent Assembly, a pro-Maduro legislative superbody created by the government in 2017 to override the opposition-controlled National Assembly.
    The United States does not regard the National Constituent Assembly as legitimate and has previously sanctioned other people involved in the body.
    The Treasury designation means that any assets held by the younger Maduro in the United States will be frozen – and will make it difficult for him to move money through the international banking system.
    The senior administration official declined comment on whether the younger Maduro has assets in the United States.
    The Trump administration is continuing to work on sanctions for other individuals connected to Maduro, including magistrates on Venezuela’s supreme court who have not yet been designated, the official said.
    “We will continue to target corruption and squeeze the Maduro regime until it no longer has funds with which to prop itself up,” the official said.
(Reporting by Roberta Rampton; Editing by Bill Trott)

6/29/2019 Oil down $0.96 to $58.47, DOW up 73 to 26,599.

6/29/2019 Pres. Trump: immigrant deaths would go down if walls stopped them from coming up by OAN Newsroom
    President Trump tells reporters if a border wall had been built, it would actually save lives.
    Speaking at the G20 summit in Japan early Saturday, the president called illegal immigration “very unfair,” saying millions have worked and waited to get into the country, while others simply walk in.
    He said if the nation had more effective border walls, it would stop people from making the dangerous journey into the country.
FILE – In this April 5, 2019, file photo, a U.S. Customs and Border Protection vehicle sits near the wall
as President Donald Trump visits a new section of the border wall with Mexico in El Centro, Calif.
A federal judge has denied a request by the U.S. House of Representatives to prevent President Donald Trump from
tapping Defense Department money for a border wall with Mexico. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File)
    He went on to say better border control policies might have actually saved a migrant father and daughter who recently drowned trying to cross the border.
    His remarks came after a photo went viral earlier this week, showing a father and daughter from El Salvador face down in the Rio Grande river, after their attempt to illegally cross the border.

6/29/2019 Pro-life ‘Conscience Protection’ Rule is Delayed Amid Democrat-led Lawsuit by OAN Newsroom
    The Trump administration delays a health care rule protecting religious liberty, to fight a lawsuit brought forth by Democrats.
President Donald Trump speaks during a ceremony where he will sign an executive order that calls for
upfront disclosure by hospitals of actual prices for common tests and procedures to keep costs down,
at the White House in Washington, Monday, June 24, 2019. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
    On Saturday, The Department of Health and Human Services stated the “conscience protection” rule will be postponed.
    The legislation would allow health care officials to refuse to perform procedures that go against their beliefs.    But various Democrat coalitions allege the act promotes discrimination to patients.
    Sources said the rule, is a small part of president Trump’s fight, to rebuild faith and freedom in the U.S.
    “And just today, we finalized new protections of conscience rights for physicians, pharmacists, nurses, teachers, students, and faith-based charities,” said President Trump “Together, we are building a culture that cherishes the dignity and worth of human life.    Every child born and unborn is a sacred gift from God.”
    The rule was supposed to be implemented last week.    The HHS said the earliest date the rule could now go into effect would be November 22nd.

6/29/2019 9th Circuit judge rules against border wall construction in Ariz., Texas, N.M. by OAN Newsroom
    A federal judge rules against the Trump administration’s attempts to build a wall along the southern border.
    In their decision Friday, the U.S. District Court of Northern California added a number of states where construction of the wall will not be allowed.    Those states include Arizona,New Mexico, and Texas.
    The judge also solidified a previous order barring wall construction From may, which pertains to California.
    This comes amid an ongoing battle for funding to build the wall, which the judge in this latest ruling called an attempt to bypass Congress.    The president has since denounced the ruling as being against border security, and in favor of crime.

6/30/2019 Judge: Don’t tap Pentagon for wall by ASSOCIATED PRESS
    OAKLAND, Calif. – A federal judge on Friday prohibited President Donald Trump from shifting $2.5 billion in military funding to build high-priority segments of a border wall in California, Arizona and New Mexico.
    Judge Haywood S. Gilliam Jr. in Oakland acted in two lawsuits filed by California and by activists who contended the money transfer was unlawful and that building the wall would pose environmental threats.
    “All President Trump has succeeded in building is a constitutional crisis, threatening immediate harm to our state,” said California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, who led a 20-state coalition of attorneys general in one lawsuit.
    Speaking Saturday at a news conference at the end of the Group of 20 summit in Japan, Trump called the decision “a disgrace.”
    “So we’re immediately appealing it and we think we’ll win the appeal,” he said.
    The decisions are in line with Gilliam’s ruling last month that blocked work from beginning on two of the highest-priority projects: one spanning 46 miles in New Mexico and another covering 5 miles in Yuma, Arizona.
    The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals also is expected to take up the issue of using military money next week.

    This page created on 6/1/2019, and updated each month by 6/30/2019.

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