From The Alpha and the Omega - Chapter Eight
by Jim A. Cornwell, Copyright © 1995, all rights reserved

    This file is attached to from ďBeast That Came Out Of The SeaĒ - Chapter Eight by Jim A. Cornwell, Copyright © 1995, all rights reserved.
    This link will return you to King Of The West 2019 for September or continue to King Of The West 2019 for November.



10/1/2019 Oil down $1.84 to $54.07, DOW up 97 to 26,917.

10/1/2019 Trump contacted foreign officials over probe of Russia inquiry origins -Justice Dept
FILE PHOTO: U.S. Attorney General William Barr participates in a presentation ceremony of the Medal of Valor
and heroic commendations to civilians and police officers who responded to mass shootings in Dayton, Ohio and El Paso, Texas
during a ceremony in the East Room of the White House in Washington, U.S. September 9, 2019. REUTERS/Erin Scott
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) Ė U.S. President Donald Trump has contacted other countries to introduce Attorney General William Barr and a Justice Department official who is conducting an inquiry into the origins of Special Counsel Robert Muellerís Russia probe, a Justice Department spokeswoman said on Monday.
    Spokeswoman Kerri Kupec did not name the countries in her statement.    But an Australian government spokesperson was quoted as saying Trump had spoken to Prime Minister Scott Morrison by phone, and the Washington Post reported that Barr had made overtures to British intelligence officials and met with Italian officials to seek their help in the inquiry.
    John Durham, the U.S. attorney in Connecticut, is reviewing American intelligence agenciesí examination of Russian interference in the 2016 election, which led to the Mueller probe denounced by Trump as a partisan witch hunt.
    ďMr. Durham is gathering information from numerous sources, including a number of foreign countries,Ē Kupec said.    ďAt Attorney General Barrís request, the president has contacted other countries to ask them to introduce the Attorney General and Mr. Durham to appropriate officials
    An Australian government spokesperson said Morrison confirmed in a phone call with Trump that his government was ready to ďhelp shed further light on the matters under investigation,Ē Australian Broadcasting Corp reported.
    The New York Times reported on Monday that Trump had urged Morrison to help Barr in the Durham investigation.
    The Post, which cited unnamed people familiar with the matter for its report, said Barr had made overtures to British intelligence officials, and last week traveled to Italy, where he and Durham met senior Italian government officials and Barr asked them to help Durham.
    The Post said Barrís involvement was likely to spur further criticism by Democrats who are pursuing an inquiry into impeachment of Trump.
    The House of Representatives initiated the impeachment inquiry against the Republican president last week after a whistleblower report raised concerns that Trump tried to leverage nearly $400 million in U.S. aid in exchange for a political favor from Ukraineís leader in July.
(Reporting by Sarah N. Lynch; Writing by Mohammad Zargham; editing by Grant McCool and Jonathan Oatis)
[This is what the Left fears the most the investigation by Barr, Durham and Horowitz as they are uncovering their crimes against the U.S. and is the biggest reason they have created and pushed this phony impeachment and fake whistleblower because they know their time is short when the truth comes out.].

10/1/2019 McConnell: If House impeaches, trial follows - Senate would have Ďno choiceí but to proceed by Ledyard King, USA TODAY and Joe Sonka, Louisville Courier Journal
    WASHINGTON Ė Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Monday the Senate would have ďno choiceĒ but to hold a trial on whether to remove President Donald Trump from office if the House votes to put forward articles of impeachment.
    The Kentucky Republican told CNBC that the obligation to hold a trial is part of Senate rules and it would take a two-thirds vote of the chamber to change that.
    ďI would have no choice but to take it up based on a Senate rule on impeachment,Ē McConnell said.
    The Senate majority leaderís comments come days after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced an impeachment inquiry over whether Trump improperly pressured Ukraine to investigate political rival Joe Biden.
    Trump has denied exerting any pressure or doing anything improper.
    While the U.S. Constitution places the responsibility of holding an impeachment trial in the hands of the Senate, there has been some speculation that McConnell might refuse to hold a trial.
    It would take a simple majority of the House (218 votes) to submit articles of impeachment to the Senate.    Impeachment would be akin to an indictment in a court proceeding.    A trial would then be held in the Senate, where it would take at least two-thirds (or 67 votes) of the chamber to convict Trump and remove him from office.    The chief justice of the Supreme Court presides over the trial.     House lawmakers would act as prosecutors and senators as the jury for a trial.    How long a trial would take is unclear. As majority leader, McConnell would have some latitude in setting up ground rules for a trial, including timing.
    ďSo I would have no choice but to take it up,Ē McConnell said.    ďHow long youíre on it is a whole different matter
    When the House impeached President Bill Clinton more than two decades ago, it took nearly two months for the GOP-led Senate to acquit him.
    Matt Glassman, a senior fellow at the Government Affairs Institute at Georgetown University, told The Courier Journal that ďthereís a big difference between Ďtaking it up,í as McConnell says, and conducting a full trial that ends in a guilty or not guilty vote
    After taking up the House articles of impeachment, Glassman said the Senate could hypothetically vote on a motion to table or dismiss them, citing the failed motion of former Sen. Robert Byrd, D-W.Va., to dismiss the charges against Clinton in his 1999 impeachment trial.
    However, Glassman believes that Republicans and the White House have political incentives for a trial and vote on whether or not to acquit the president, as the majority will control how the trial is conducted and few expect there to be enough votes to convict.
    ďI think he would like the headline ĎTrump acquittedí more than the headlines ĎSenate dismissesí or ĎSenate blocks trial,íĒ Glassman said.
    While he believes it is plausible that a Republican majority in the Senate could allow Hunter Biden, the former vice presidentís son, to be called as a witness or ďconspiracy theoriesĒ to be introduced into evidence, Glassman says it is more likely that a few moderate Republican senators will insist on a more ďdignified trialĒ that doesnít resemble a kangaroo court.
    ďI assume theyíll allow something that has a semblance of fairness simply because of the political blowback of not doing that,Ē Glassman said.
    Reach Joe Sonka at or 502-582-4472.
Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky, attends a Judiciary Committee hearing in July. As Senate majority leader, McConnell would have
some latitude in setting up ground rules for an impeachment trial of the president. WIN MCNAMEE/GETTY IMAGES

10/1/2019 WTO slashes forecast for trade growth as conflicts mount
FILE PHOTO: The World Trade Organization (WTO) headquarters are pictured in
Geneva, Switzerland, July 26, 2018. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse/File Photo
    BRUSSELS/BERLIN (Reuters) Ė The World Trade Organization cut its forecast for growth in global trade this year by more than half on Tuesday and said further rounds of tariffs and retaliation, a slowing economy and a disorderly Brexit could squeeze it even more.
    The WTO said it now expected global merchandise trade to increase by 1.2% this year, compared with its April estimate of 2.6%.    That growth was 3.0% in 2018. For 2020, growth 2.7% is forecast, down from a previous estimate of 3.0%.
    ďThe darkening outlook for trade is discouraging, but not unexpected,Ē WTO Director-General Roberto Azevedo said in a statement, urging WTO members to resolve trade disagreements and cooperate to reform the WTO.
    The Geneva-based body said its reduced forecasts reflected estimates for slower expansion of the global economy, partly due to trade tensions, but also because of cyclical and structural factors and, in Europe, Brexit-related uncertainty.
    The WTO gave a forecast range for trade growth this year of 0.5% to 1.6% and for 2020 of 1.7% to 3.7%, with the upper end of the ranges reachable if trade tensions eased.
    ďRisks to the forecast are heavily weighted to the downside and dominated by trade policy,Ē the WTO said.
    The United States and China have been locked in a trade war for over a year.    They have levied punitive duties on hundreds of billions of dollars of each otherís goods, roiling financial markets and threatening global growth.
    U.S. President Donald Trump has also imposed tariffs on products from other countries, notably on steel and aluminum, in a bid to cut the trade deficit of the worldís largest economy.    The WTO figures implied he had had limited success.
    The WTO said on Tuesday that North America showed the fastest growth of exports of any region in the first half of the year, at 1.4%, although the rise of imports into North America were also greater than elsewhere, at 1.8%.
(Reporting by Philip Blenkinsop in Brussels and Tassilo Hummel in Berlin; editing by Larry King)

10/1/2019 Former State Dept. officials set to testify regarding probe into Ukraine whistleblower complaint by OAN Newsroom
    The majority of Congress is on recess, but the House Intelligence Committee is planning to press forward on hearings and depositions related to the Ukraine whistleblower complaint.
    One Americaís Marty Golingan has more on what lies ahead this week for former and current Trump officials.

10/1/2019 Gabbard calls out 2020 hopefuls, criticizes candidates for fundraising off impeachment by OAN Newsroom
Presidential hopeful Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) is pictured at a campaign stop
in Peterborough, N.H., March 22, 2019. (Charles Krupa/AP Photo)
    Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard is calling out her fellow presidential hopefuls for campaigning off the latest impeachment push.    In a tweet Monday, Gabbard accused her colleagues of ďundermining the credibility of the inquiry in the eyes of the American people
    This comes as a number of candidates have tried to financially capitalize off the latest development. Senator Elizabeth Warren, for instance, has put out a number of impeachment ads on social media.    Meanwhile, Senator Kamala Harris has been sending out links to a donations page.
    Representative Gabbard has been fighting off calls for impeachment for the past several weeks, while many of her rivals have been fundraising off it.
    Just one day after making those comments, however, Gabbard said she did support impeachment. She referenced the release of the whistleblower complaint as her reasoning.    Every single 2020 presidential hopeful now supports an impeachment inquiry against President Trump.

10/1/2019 Homeless Crisis: Los Angeles looks to governor to declare state of emergency by OAN Newsroom
Tuesday, Sept. 17, 2019, file photo is a homeless camp in downtown Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes, File)
    Los Angeles officials are calling for a state of emergency as California continues to face the largest homeless crisis in the country.     County supervisors believe the city is long overdue for a solution, and are urging California Governor Gavin Newsom to follow through on an initiative to control whatís become a growing epidemic.
    ďApparently thereís something like 60,000 people who were displaced in the Bahamas,Ē said Board of Supervisors member Janice Hahn.    ďWe have 60,000 people every night sleeping on our streets, yet we donít have that sense of urgency
    This comes after Governor Newsom announced plans back in May to devote billions of dollars toward homeless programs.
    ď$1 billion is an unprecedented down payment on getting serious about this,Ē said the governor.    ďItís about the state acknowledging that cities canít do this alone
    Los Angeles County has seen its homeless population skyrocket 12 percent over the last year.    City Council members are now pushing for more state and federal funding after devoting millions of dollars to combat homelessness did not suffice as a long-term solution.
    President Trump also weighed in on the issue while campaigning in Iowa in June.    The president criticized Californiaís Democrat leaders for their handling of the homeless crisis.
    ďThe Democratic run cities of Los Angeles and San Francisco ó do you see whatís happening to those cities?Ē he asked.    ďPeople are getting sick just by walking down the street
    The Trump administration has reportedly been looking at various measures to address homelessness in California.

10/1/2019 Biden urges impeachment, deflects from Ukraine dealings OAN Newsroom
Former Vice President and Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden. (AP Photo/John Locher)
    Former Vice President Joe Biden appears to be trying to deflect attention from his alleged corruption in Ukraine by joining calls for impeachment.    He announced on Tuesday that heís in favor of impeaching President Trump if the president does not cooperate with Congressí official inquiry.
    Despite his urgent calls for President Trump to be removed from office, Biden fell among the vocal majority of the Senate rejecting former President Bill Clintonís impeachment in 1998.    At that time, Biden supported the American peopleís choice to elect Clinton into office and voiced caution when deciding to proceed with the hearing.
    ďThe American people donít think that they have made a mistake by electing Bill Clinton,Ē said Biden.    ďWe in Congress had better be very careful before we upset their decision and make darn sure that we are able to convince them, if we decide to upset their decision, that our decision to impeach him was based upon principle and not politics
    The former vice presidentís new stance contrasts with what he said in a recent interview, where he claimed the Trump-Ukraine phone call transcript may reveal an impeachable offense.    Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky insisted that he wasnít pressured during the call.    He said that his administration started a corruption probe into Biden prior to his conversation with President Trump.
    Biden is now accusing the president of violating his constitutional responsibility.
    ďThe thing I learned ó we learned, we all learned recently ó is that statement, that the 2000-word statement released was that he talked about getting the Justice Department engaged in this,Ē he said.    ďI mean, itís such a blatant abuse of power that it just ó I donít think it can stand
    Biden claims he is a victim of abuse of power by President Trump and has not addressed his effort to blackmail Ukraine to dismiss its chief prosecutor.    Whether the American people will support him in 2020 in light of yet another one of his flip-flops on hot topic issues remains to be seen.

10/1/2019 Giuliani: Corrupt media ignore reports of Bidenís corruption in China, Ukraine by OAN Newsroom
Rudy Giuliani, attorney for President Donald Trump. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa, File )
    Rudy Giuliani took to Twitter on Tuesday, saying the majority of big media outlets donít cover Joe Bidenís pay-to-play corruption schemes in Ukraine and China.    He claimed Biden was selling his office while he was vice president.
    This comes just one day after the 2020 Biden campaign asked the mainstream media to bar Giuliani from their television news segments.    The presidentís attorney also presented new evidence of Bidenís alleged wrongdoing.
    ďThe day after Biden strong-armed the president to remove Shokin, they show up in the prosecutorís office, the lawyers for Hunter Biden show up in the prosecutors office, and they give an apology for dissemination of false information,Ē explained Giuliani.    ďIf you met this guy, heís not very good at corruption, because heís poor ó unlike the prosecutor who tanked the case on Biden, whoís driving around in a Bentley
    Giuliani also slammed the mainstream media for accusing the Trump administration of corruption, saying such outlets blatantly ignore reports of actual corruption.

10/1/2019 Secretary of State Pompeo concerned over subpoena by OAN Newsroom
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
    Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said he is concerned over certain aspects of a subpoena, which was recently issued by three House committees.    In a statement released on Tuesday, Pompeo claimed the request aims to ďintimidate, bully and mistreat the distinguished professionals of the Department of State
    ďI will not tolerate such tactics, and I will use all means at my disposal to prevent and expose any attempts to intimidate the dedicated professionals whom I am proud to lead and serve alongside at the Department of State,Ē Pompeo said.
    These remarks come after the heads of the House Foreign Affairs, Oversight and Intelligence Committees subpoenaed Pompeo on Friday in search of documents related to President Trumpís call with his Ukrainian counterpart President Volodymyr Zelensky.
    The committee heads have requested depositions from five State Department officials, but subpoenas have yet to be issued.    In his response to the committees, Pompeo requested that these officials and their witnesses be given more time to ďretain and to consult with private counselĒ so as to safeguard ďpotentially privileged and classified information

10/1/2019 Senate Democrats in GOP states worry impeachment inquiry could backfire in 2020 by OAN Newsroom
    Senate Democrats in Republican-leaning states are worried the impeachment inquiry could ruin any chances of the Democrat Party winning back the majority in the upper chamber in 2020.
    Montana Senator John Tester said itís vital that House Democrats focus on President Trumpís July phone call with his Ukrainian counterpart because he claims the president is the master of pivoting and deflecting.
    ďMy belief is that now that the speaker has decided to impeach, they need to make sure it is very, very focused,Ē he stated.    ďThey need to get to the bottom of the information as promptly as they can and they need to move
    West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin echoed the same remarks as Tester, adding, Democrats should stay away from old issues and focus on investigating the Ukraine phone call because it deals with a foreign entity.
Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) is pictured. ( AP Photo)
    However, Democrat Senator Doug Jones said he does not believe the whistleblower complaint is grounds for impeachment.    The Alabama lawmaker said the complaint is based on hearsay, and heís skeptical of using secondhand complaints to oust the president.
    ďA lot of the whistleblower complaint is, in fact, hearsay,Ē said Jones.    ďIt is what other people have told him ó that is clear on its face
    Trump tweet: ďSo if the so-called ďWhistleblowerĒ has all second hand information, and almost everything he has said about my ďperfectĒ call with the Ukrainian President is wrong (much to the embarrassment of Pelosi & Schiff), why arenít we entitled to interview & learn everything about....Ē    ď....the Whistleblower, and also the person who gave all of the false information to him. This is simply about a phone conversation that could not have been nicer, warmer, or better. No pressure at all (as confirmed by Ukrainian Pres.). It is just another Democrat Hoax!Ē
    This comes as other liberal Democrats want a broader investigation to include issues relating to the Mueller probe and other accusations.
    House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the investigation would solely focus on the Ukraine conversation and not any other complaints against the president.
    ďThis is the focus of the moment because this is the charge,ď she stated.    ďAll of the other work that relates to abuse of power, ignoring subpoenas of the government of Congress, abuse a contempt of Congress by him ó those things will be considered later
    Pelosi has also said there should be no rush to judgment despite announcing the impeachment inquiry ahead of the release of the transcript and the whistleblowerís complaint regarding President Trumpís Ukraine phone call.
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., speaks during an interview at The Texas Tribune Festival
on Saturday, Sept. 28, 2019, in Austin, Texas. (Nick Wagner/Austin American-Statesman via AP)

10/1/2019 GOP activist launches Clean Up San Francisco Day of Action by OAN Newsroom
Division Street in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg, File)
    A Republican congressional candidate running against House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is launching an action plan to tackle the homeless crisis in Californiaís big cities. Last week, Deanna Lorraine announced that she is organizing a ďClean Up San Francisco Day of ActionĒ to help clean garbage ravaging the cityís streets.
    ďWhat weíre gonna do is weíre gonna be cleaning up the streetsÖcleaning up all this garbage,Ē Lorraine explained.    ďCleanliness is close to godliness, right?Ē
    In a recent press release, the conservative activist and author said the effort is inspired by the Trump administrationís recent actions regarding homelessness in California, specifically regarding the comments President Trump made while visiting the Golden State.
    ďIf you look at San Francisco, itís a total disaster whatís happening,Ē said the president.    ďWeíre going to get involved, very soon, on a federal basis if they donít clean up their act
    Lorraine launched her campaign earlier this year in response to Nancy Pelosiís radical left-wing policies, which she says continue to hurt the people of San Francisco. California has the largest homeless population out of any state in the country, containing more than a quarter of the nationís homeless people.    Many Republicans pin the blame on Democrat policies, particularly the strict housing regulations and welfare programs that drastically raise taxes and increase the cost of living in the state.
    Earlier this month, the Trump administration released a report that urged California officials, specifically in San Francisco and Los Angeles, to deregulate the stateís housing market.    The administration also called for local authorities to crackdown on homeless people sleeping in the streets.    The White House says that following the guidelines laid out in the document would decrease homelessness by an estimated 54 percent in San Francisco and 40 percent in Los Angeles.
    Lorraine said she is willing to take a more hands-on approach to the problems caused by homelessness and make a connection with her community.
    ďWe need to actually get work done,Ē Lorraine said.    ďSometimes, that means actually physically getting dirty
    San Franciscoís Day of Action is scheduled for October 7th.    Lorraine emphasized that this clean up is a bipartisan effort and said that people of all political affiliations are welcome to volunteer.

10/2/2019 Oil down $0.45 to $53.62, DOW down 344 to 26,573.

10/2/2019 Giuliani tears into ex-White House official by OAN Newsroom
    The presidentís personal attorney is igniting a feud with the Trump administrationís former Homeland Security adviser.    Rudy Giuliani took aim at Tom Bossert Tuesday, saying he was bitter from his divorce from the White House.
    Bossert was fired in April of 2018 when then-National Security Adviser John Bolton took over.    Giuliani said Bossert ďcompletely embarrassed himselfĒ recently when he announced Biden had ďbeen clearedĒ in reference to the latest scandal in Ukraine.
FILE Ė Former White House Homeland Security Adviser Tom Bossert speaks during
a briefing at the White House, in Washington, D.C. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)
    This comes after Bossert blamed Giuliani for pushing a theory about Ukraineís role in the 2016 election.
    ďFor clarity, let me just again repeat that it has no validity,Ē said the former White House official.    ďThe United States government reached itís conclusion on attributing to Russia, the DNC hack in 2016, before it even communicated it to the FBIÖlong before the FBI ever knocked on the door at the DNC
    After that interview, Giuliani said Bossert has some nerve questioning his legal strategy when he doesnít know what heís talking about.

10/2/2019 Australia unlikely to provide U.S. with internal government communications with diplomat by OAN Newsroom
    Australiaís Prime Minster said his country is unlikely to provide the U.S. with internal government communications with Australian diplomat Alexander Downer. During an interview Wednesday, Scott Morrison said it would be up to his government officials as to what information they would provide Attorney General William Barr.
    The president recently asked Morrison and other foreign leaders to help Barr with an investigation into the origins of the Russia probe and the 2016 election.
FILE Ė In this Sept. 22, 2019, file photo, U.S. President Donald Trump, right, and Australian Prime Minister
Scott Morrison shake hands after speaking during a joint visit. Morrison said his country is unlikely to provide the
United States with internal government communications with an Australian diplomat who is partially responsible for
triggering the FBI investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. (AP Photo/John Minchillo, File)
    According to reports, Downer is partially responsible for triggering the investigation.    Morrison would not rule out providing diplomatic cables Downer sent, but said it would be unusual thing to do.
    ďI mean we said we were prepared to assist and cooperate with that investigation, which is not unusual, I mean the United States is a significant, in fact our most significant ally.    And weíre used to sharing a lot of information.    Now, Australia would never do anything in contrary to our national interests, but this was a, it wouldíve been I think frankly more surprising had we chosen not to cooperate
    This comes after Morrison refuted claims made by the New York Times that the president pressured him to help in the probe.
RELATED: Australia Foreign Minister Says Helping White House Probe In National Interest

10/2/2019 Pompeo confirms he was listening on call with President Trump, Ukraine by OAN Newsroom
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Rome, Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2019. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)
    Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has confirmed he listened in on the phone conversation between President Trump and his Ukrainian counterpart.    During a joint press conference in Italy Wednesday, Pompeo was asked about his knowledge of the call and his push-back against House Democratís subpoena of documents related to the conversation.
    The secretary said the committee chairmen are violating the separation of powers by contacting State Department employees directly and telling them not to speak to department lawyers about what they know.    He then admitted he was aware of the conversation after telling the mainstream media he had no knowledge of the talks after the fact.
    ďI was on the phone call,Ē said Pompeo.    ďNow I guess Iíve been Secretary of State for a year and a half, I know precisely what the American policy is with respect to Ukraine and itís been remarkably consistent
    Pompeo then blasted Democrats, saying he will not tolerate ďfolks on Capitol Hill bullying and intimidating State Department employees
    These remarks come after the heads of the House Foreign Affairs, Oversight and Intelligence Committees subpoenaed Pompeo on Friday in search of documents related to President Trumpís call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

10/2/2019 Sen. Durbin sabotaging immigration bill by OAN Newsroom
    Illinois Senator Dick Durbin may be sabotaging a bipartisan immigration bill merely to hurt Republicans.    The bill in the Senate would eliminate the cap on the number of immigrants who come from certain countries, which would incentivize high-skilled immigration.
    The proposed legislation could be one of the biggest reforms since the 1965 Immigration and Nationality Act.    However, Durbin may be trying to prevent that from happening.
    Critics say Durbin is attempting to amend the legislation in order to increase the number of green cards issued every year.    That would essentially be a poison pill that would scare Republicans away from supporting the legislation.
Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) speaks during a hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee,
on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2019. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
    ďSo naturally, the Indian population in America likes the bill because theyíve got more people who would come through the line, while others will be held back,Ē said Durbin.    ďSo, Iím hearing from other countries, African countries, Asian countries and others, this isnít fair to give all the green cards to India
    The bill currently has the support of 53 Republican senators and moves the U.S. towards a merit-based system, meaning it would likely be signed into law by the president.

10/2/2019 Special prosecutor in Smollett probe donated $1K to Kim Foxx in 2016 by OAN Newsroom
    There may be a potential conflict of interest between Cook County state attorney Kim Foxx and the special investigator looking into her handling of the Jussie Smollett case.
    A document filed in Cook County court Monday, shows special prosecutor Dan Webbís office made a $1,000 campaign contribution to Foxx in 2016.
    This comes as Webb is currently investigating Foxxís decision to drop charges against former ďEmpireĒ actor Jussie Smollett after he was accused of staging a fake hate crime against himself earlier this year.
    Meanwhile, Foxx is claiming she just learned about the donation last week and is continuing to cooperate with the investigation.

FILE Ė In this Aug. 27, 20119 file photo, Cook County Stateís Attorney Kim Foxx speaks at a news conference in Chicago. The latest
twist in the Jussie Smollett saga is the revelation of a possible conflict of interest by the special prosecutor investigating why
prosecutors dropped charges accusing the actor of staging a racist, homophobic attack on himself. Dan Webb disclosed this week he
once co-hosted a political fundraiser for a figure central to his investigation, Cook County Stateís Attorney Kim Foxx.
A Cook County judge must now decide if bias or the appearance of bias renders Webbís position untenable. (AP Photo/Teresa Crawford File)

10/2/2019 Facebook CEO: If Warren is elected president we will sue the U.S. government by OAN Newsroom
    Facebook is preparing for a fight if Elizabeth Warren is elected president.    According to recently leaked audio recordings from internal company meetings, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said heís prepared to ďgo to the mat and fightĒ if she becomes the new commander-in-chief.
    ďIf she gets elected president, then I would bet that we will have a legal challenge and I would bet that we will win the legal challenge,Ē stated Zuckerberg.    ďAnd does that still suck for us? YeahÖI mean, I donít want to have a major lawsuit against our own government
    Warren responded to Zuckerberg in a series of tweets Tuesday, where she accused the tech giant of engaging in ďillegal anti-competitive practices.Ē    She went on to point out that sheís ďnot afraidĒ to hold Facebook and other tech companies accountable.
    ďI am deeply concerned right now that the space around companies like Amazon, Facebook, Google is now referred by venture capitalists as the kill zone,Ē Warren said in a recent interview.
    On her website, the 2020 Democrat claimed tech companies are to blame for a non-competitive market.    However, Facebook said itís confident it can defeat any attempt at breaking up the company.
FILE -Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testifies before a House Energy and Commerce hearing on
Capitol Hill in Washington about the use of Facebook data. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)

    The following found at
10/2/2019 Schiff, House Intel Chairman, Got Early Account of Whistle-Blowerís Accusations by Julian E. Barnes, Michael S. Schmidt and Matthew Rosenberg, New York Times
Representative Adam B. Schiff, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, knew some details of the allegations against
Mr. Trump before the C.I.A. officer filed a whistle-blower complaint.CreditCreditErin Schaff/The New York Times
    WASHINGTON ó The Democratic head of the House Intelligence Committee, Representative Adam B. Schiff of California, learned about the outlines of a C.I.A. officerís concerns that President Trump had abused his power days before the officer filed a whistle-blower complaint, according to a spokesman and current and former American officials.
    The early account by the future whistle-blower shows how determined he was to make known his allegations that Mr. Trump asked Ukraineís government to interfere on his behalf in the 2020 election.    It also explains how Mr. Schiff knew to press for the complaint when the Trump administration initially blocked lawmakers from seeing it.
    The C.I.A. officer approached a House Intelligence Committee aide with his concerns about Mr. Trump only after he had had a colleague first convey them to the C.I.A.ís top lawyer.    Concerned about how that initial avenue for airing his allegations through the C.I.A. was unfolding, the officer then approached the House aide.    In both cases, the original accusation was vague.
    The House staff member, following the committeeís procedures, suggested the officer find a lawyer to advise him and file a whistle-blower complaint.    The aide shared some of what the officer conveyed to Mr. Schiff.    The aide did not share the whistle-blowerís identity with Mr. Schiff, an official said.
    ďLike other whistle-blowers have done before and since under Republican and Democratic-controlled committees, the whistle-blower contacted the committee for guidance on how to report possible wrongdoing within the jurisdiction of the intelligence community,Ē said Patrick Boland, a spokesman for Mr. Schiff.
    In his whistle-blower complaint, the officer said Mr. Trump pressured the Ukrainian government to investigate a host of issues that could benefit him politically, including one connected to the son of former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr.
    A reconstituted transcript released by the White House of a call between Mr. Trump and President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine backed up the whistle-blowerís account, which was itself based on information from a half dozen American officials and deemed credible by the inspector general for the intelligence community.
    Mr. Trump has focused his ire on Mr. Schiff amid the burgeoning Ukraine scandal, even suggesting he could be arrested for treason.    The president, who has also made thinly veiled threats against the whistle-blower and accused him of being partisan, is likely to use the revelation that the C.I.A. officer first approached the committee to try to undermine the complaint and suggest it was part of a Democratic plot against him.
    The whistle-blowerís decision to offer what amounted to an early warning to the intelligence committeeís Democrats is also sure to thrust Mr. Schiff even more forcefully into the center of the controversy.
    On Wednesday, Mr. Trump said Mr. Schiff should be forced to resign for reading a parody of the Ukraine call at a hearing, an act Mr. Trump has called treasonous and criminal.
    ďWe donít call him shifty Schiff for nothing,Ē said Mr. Trump.    ďHeís a shifty dishonest guy
    Mr. Schiffís aides followed procedures involving the C.I.A. officerís accusations, Mr. Boland said.    They referred the C.I.A. officer to an inspector general and advised him to seek legal counsel.
    Mr. Schiff never saw any part of the complaint or knew precisely what the whistle-blower would deliver, Mr. Boland said.
    ďAt no point did the committee review or receive the complaint in advance,Ē he said.    He said the committee received the complaint the night before releasing it publicly last week and noted that came three weeks after the administration was legally mandated to turn it over to Congress.    The director of national intelligence, Joseph Maguire, acting on the advice of his top lawyer and the Justice Department, had blocked the inspector general for the intelligence community, Michael Atkinson, from turning over the complaint sooner.
The C.I.A. officer expressed concerns that Mr. Trump had abused his power during a call
with President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine.Credit Carolyn Kaster/Associated Press
    The future whistle-blower went to Mr. Schiffís committee after he grew concerned about the first investigation he had touched off.
    The C.I.A. officer first had a colleague take his concerns ó in vague form ó to the C.I.A.ís general counsel, Courtney Simmons Elwood, who began a preliminary inquiry by contacting a deputy White House counsel, alerting the White House that complaints were coming from the C.I.A.
    As C.I.A. and White House lawyers began following up on the complaint, the C.I.A. officer became nervous, according to a person familiar with the matter.    He learned that John Eisenberg, a deputy White House counsel and the legal adviser to the national security adviser, was among those scrutinizing his initial allegation.
    Contacts in the National Security Council had also told the C.I.A. officer that the White House lawyers had authorized records of Mr. Trumpís call with Mr. Zelensky to be put in a highly classified computer system, meaning that the lawyers who were now helping the C.I.A. investigate the officerís allegations were the same ones implicated in them.    The officer has alleged that White House aidesí decision to store the call records more restrictively was itself an abuse of the system.
    The C.I.A. officer decided the complaint he had brought to Ms. Elwood was at risk of being swept aside, prompting him to go to the lawmakers who conduct oversight of the intelligence agencies.
    He followed the advice of Mr. Schiffís aide and filed his complaint to Mr. Atkinson.    And though Mr. Maguire blocked him from forwarding it to Congress, he did allow Mr. Atkinson to notify lawmakers of its existence.
    The complaint was filed in consultation with a lawyer, officials said.    ďThe intelligence community whistle-blower followed the advice of legal counsel from the beginning,Ē said Andrew Bakaj, the lead counsel for the whistle-blower.    ďThe laws and processes have been followed
    Filing a complaint with Mr. Atkinson gave the whistle-blower added protections against reprisals and also allowed him to legally report on classified information.    While House Intelligence Committee members are allowed to receive classified whistle-blower complaints, they are not allowed to make such complaints public, according to a former official.    A complaint forwarded to the committee by the inspector general gives it more latitude over what it can publicize.
    By the time the whistle-blower filed his complaint, Mr. Schiff and his staff knew at least vaguely what it contained.
    Mr. Schiff, after a private letter and phone call to Mr. Maguire, publicly released a letter seeking the complaint and suggested it could involve Mr. Trump or others in his administration.    Mr. Schiff followed up by subpoenaing Mr. Maguire to testify before the intelligence committee.
    Mr. Schiffís intense push took Mr. Maguire and his aides by surprise, current and former intelligence officials said.    In other cases of lawmakers seeking classified material that the intelligence agencies were reluctant to share, including whistle-blower complaints, both sides usually tried to resolve the matter by holding quiet discussions.
    Officials in Mr. Maguireís office, who did not know the details of the complaint, were puzzled why Mr. Schiff went public right away, eschewing the usual closed-door negotiations.
    Congressional officials insisted that Mr. Schiff and his aides followed the rules.    Whistle-blowers regularly approach the committee, given its role in conducting oversight of the intelligence agencies, Mr. Boland said.
    ďThe committee expects that they will be fully protected, despite the presidentís threats,Ē Mr. Boland said, referring to the whistle-blower without identifying his gender.    ďOnly through their courage did these facts about the presidentís abuse of power come to light
Nicholas Fandos contributed reporting.

10/2/2019 Speaker Pelosi, Rep. Schiff address reporters on impeachment inquiry by OAN Newsroom
    House Speaker Nancy Pelosi recently said the Democratís impeachment inquiry into President Trump is a sad time for America.    During a briefing on Capitol Hill Wednesday, Pelosi said the inquiry is an investigation into allegations against the president ó not a full impeachment process.
    The California Democrat said her conference will treat the president with fairness and give him the ability to exonerate himself.    Congressman Adam Schiff joined Pelosi and said he was concerned that the White House may attempt to stonewall the investigation.
    ďAny effort by the Secretary (of State), by the president or anyone else to interfere with Congressí ability to call before it relevant witnesses will be considered obstruction of the lawful functions of Congress,Ē emphasized Schiff.
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., is joined by House Intelligence Committee
Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., at a news conference as House Democrats move ahead in the impeachment inquiry of
President Donald Trump, at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2019. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
    The House Intelligence chairman went on to say Congress is not fooling around and will not drag out the investigation.    He also said efforts by the White House to prevent witness testimony serve to prove that the allegations against the president are true.

10/2/2019 San Francisco Mayor moves to block anti-NRA resolution by OAN Newsroom
FILE Ė In this Jan. 30, 2019, file photo, Mayor London Breed speaks during her state
of the city address in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu, file)
    The National Rifle Association is celebrating San Franciscoís decision to retract a recent resolution, which instructed the city to investigate and end any possible ties with the gun group.
    The NRA filed a lawsuit against San Francisco in September after its liberal Board of Supervisors unanimously decided to uproot all ties the city may have with the pro-gun organization. The resolution labeled the NRA as a ďdomestic terrorist organizationĒ and banned the group from doing business with the city.
    ďWe believe that the NRA is a hugely destructive force in this country,Ē said 6th District Supervisor Matt Haney.    ďThere are thousands of gun deaths every yearÖand the NRA, every step of the way, has sown division and sought to keep these weapons on the street
    The gun advocacy group voiced their disagreement by issuing a lawsuit about a week after the resolution was first introduced.    They called it a blacklisting measure in disguise, meant to silence them and violate their First Amendment rights.
    The NRAís lawsuit forced San Francisco Mayor London Breed to formally disavow key parts of the resolution Tuesday to avoid a possibly unfavorable decision by the courts.
    The self-proclaimed Second Amendment defenders are now setting their sights on Los Angeles after the liberal city implemented a similar law.

10/2/2019 Snowden will make first major appearance since U.S. lawsuit at conference next month
FILE PHOTO: Edward Snowden speaks via video link during a news conference in
New York City, U.S. September 14, 2016. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
    NEW YORK (Reuters) Ė Fugitive U.S. intelligence whistleblower Edward Snowden will speak next month by video at Web Summit in Lisbon, billed by the organizers as the worldís largest annual tech conference.
    Organizers of Web Summit said it would be Snowdenís largest live audience to date and his first before a major audience since the release last month of his memoir.
    The conference said Snowden would take questions from a moderator onstage about his work for the NSA, from which he leaked a vast trove of classified secrets in 2013, resetting the worldís view of tech-enabled spying.
    Web Summit said it welcomed talks by security and privacy experts.
    Snowden, who had revealed details of secret surveillance programs by U.S. intelligence agencies, had been granted asylum by Russia and has been living there since 2013. He cannot travel to the West for fear of arrest in countries that have extradition treaties with the United States.
    Many civil rights activists see him as a hero, but at home in the United States authorities want him to stand trial for espionage.
    The United States has sued to prevent Snowden profiting from his book because he did not seek intelligence agency review of its contents.
    The conference, which organizers say is the largest in the world in terms of attendance, expects to draw 70,000 people in person.    Snowdenís appearance will also be streamed to the public.
(This story corrects headline and 2nd paragraph to say the appearance is Snowdenís first before a large audience since the release of his memoir)
(Reporting by Joseph Menn; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)

10/2/2019 Pompeo blasts China over Uighur Muslims during Vatican visit by Philip Pullella and David Brunnstrom
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo attends the launch of a Vatican - U.S. Symposium on Faith-Based Organizations (FBOs),
at the Old Synod Hall in the Vatican, October 2, 2019. Andreas Solaro/Pool via REUTERS
    VATICAN CITY (Reuters) Ė U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Wednesday blasted China over its treatment of Uighur Muslims, during a Vatican conference taking place in the shadow of a political crisis back home.
    Pompeo reserved his toughest criticism for China in a keynote speech at a Vatican conference on religious freedom.    The others were Cuba, Iran, Pakistan and Myanmar.
    ďWhen the state rules absolutely, it demands its citizens worship government, not God.    Thatís why China has put more than one million Uighur Muslims Ö in internment camps and is why it throws Christian pastors in jail,Ē he said.
    ďWhen the state rules absolutely, God becomes an absolute threat to authority,Ē he said.
    China has been widely condemned for setting up complexes in remote Xinjiang that it describes as ďvocational training centersĒ to stamp out extremism and give people new skills.
    ďToday we must gird ourselves for another battle in defense of human dignity and religious freedom.    The stakes are arguably higher than they were even during the Cold War, because the threats are more diverse and more numerous,Ē he said at the conference organized by the U.S. embassy to the Vatican.
    Pompeo, who is due to meet Pope Francis on Thursday morning, later visited the Sistine Chapel and other parts of the Vatican museums.
    His trip, which will also include a visit to his ancestral home in the rugged Abruzzo region northeast of Rome and stops in Montenegro, North Macedonia and Greece, has been overshadowed by an impeachment inquiry at home targeting President Donald Trump.
    Democratic opponents have accused Trump of soliciting foreign interference in the 2020 U.S. election for his personal political benefit.
    At issue is a July 25 phone call in which Trump asked Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy to investigate Democratic Presidential candidate Joe Biden and his son Hunter in coordination with U.S. Attorney General William Barr and Trumpís personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani.
    Bidenís son had served as a director for a Ukrainian gas company.
    U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot Engel and two other Democratic committee chairmen have accused Pompeo of ďstonewallingĒ the impeachment inquiry, and called him a ďfact witnessĒ in the investigation, based on media reports that he had listened in on Trumpís call with Zelenskiy.
    Pompeo has not commented on Wall Street Journal report saying he took part in the phone call.
    On Tuesday, he sternly objected to a move by the U.S. House of Representatives to obtain depositions from five current and former State Department officials as part of an impeachment inquiry.
(Reporting by Philip Pullella; Editing by Giles Elgood)

10/2/2019 Wall Street falls as U.S. data stokes economic worries
Traders work on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., October 2, 2019. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
    (Reuters) Ė Wall Streetís main indexes suffered their sharpest one-day declines in nearly six weeks on Wednesday after employment and manufacturing data suggested that fallout from the U.S.-China trade war is further hurting the U.S. economy.
    The Dow Jones Industrial Average <.DJI> fell 494.22 points, or 1.86%, to 26,078.82, the S&P 500 <.SPX> lost 52.59 points, or 1.79%, to 2,887.66 and the Nasdaq Composite <.IXIC> dropped 123.44 points, or 1.56%, to 7,785.25.
(Reporting by Noel Randewich; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)

10/2/2019 Report: Whistleblower approached House Intel Committee aide before filing complaint by OAN Newsroom
    President Trump Trump has suggested Adam Schiff helped write the whistleblower complaint.    This comes as a new report shows the CIA officer behind it approached the House Intelligence Committee before formally filing the complaint.
    On Wednesday, the New York Times revealed that before going to Congress the unknown CIA officer had a colleague convey the accusations to the agencyís top lawyer.    Concerned that nothing was happening, the whistleblower himself then approached a House Intelligence Committee aide.
    The aide, following the committeeís procedures, suggested finding a lawyer to advise on filing the complaint and also shared his findings to Schiff. Chairman Schiff reportedly does not know the identity of the whistleblower.    The Intelligence Committee responded to the report, saying it did not review the official complaint before it was filed.
    Meanwhile, President Trump continued to slam Democrats as well as the credibility of the whistleblower, while meeting with his Finnish counterpart at the White House.    He told reporters in the Oval Office Wednesday that while the whistleblower complaint was inaccurate and dishonest, he believes they should be protected if they are legitimate.
President Donald Trump speaks during news conference with Finnish President Sauli Niinisto
in the East Room of the White House, Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
    The president went on to specifically slam House Intelligence Committee chairman Adam Schiff for his continued misinterpretation of the July phone call and his continued efforts to push impeachment.
    ďHe made it up, every word of it, made up and read to Congress as though I said it,Ē said President Trump.    ďAnd Iíll tell you what, he should be forced to resign from Congress, Adam Schiff, heís a low lifeÖhe should be forced to resign
    The president said Democrats should focus on American issues such as infrastructure and drug prices instead of coming up with stories in an effort to remove him from office.

10/3/2019 Oil down $0.98 to $52.64, DOW down 494 to 26,079.

10/3/2019 Oil slips further below $58 as economic gloom weighs by Alex Lawler
FILE PHOTO: The sun sets behind an oil pump outside Saint-Fiacre, near Paris, France
September 17, 2019. REUTERS/Christian Hartmann/File Photo
    LONDON (Reuters) Ė Oil slipped further below $58 a barrel on Thursday, pressured by concerns about global economic growth, oil demand and signs of excess supply despite OPEC-led cuts.
    Euro zone business growth stalled in September, a survey on Thursday showed, a day after the U.S. announced import tariffs on European Union products. U.S. crude inventories rose 3.1 million barrels last week, more than forecast.
    ďIt is simply impossible to predict where the next significant price support will come from as the focus is firmly on economic developments,Ē said Tamas Varga of oil broker PVM.
    ďAnd those are anything but optimistic,Ē he added.
    Brent crude oil futures fell 33 cents to $57.36 a barrel by 0910 GMT, after tumbling 2% in the previous session. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude dropped 1 cent to $52.63.
    Lending oil some support were hopes that the United States and China might make progress in resolving their trade dispute and figures showing output in the United States Ė which has been the fastest source of supply growth Ė fell in July.
    ďNext week U.S.-China trade talks remain the unknown variable which could lend a modicum of support,Ē said Stephen Innes, market strategist at AxiTrader.    The talks are set to resume on Oct. 10.
    This year, Brent has risen about 7%, supported by supply cuts led by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies including Russia, plus involuntary outages such as a drop in Iranian exports due to U.S. sanctions.
    Nonetheless, concern about the worsening economic outlook has overshadowed support from the supply side and the prospect of further output disruption in the Middle East appears of limited concern to investors.
    Brent spiked to $72 a barrel on Sept. 16 following attacks on Saudi Arabian oil installations that shut more than half of the countryís output.    But Brent is now below the pre-attack level after the Saudi authorities resumed output.
    ďCrude oil does not want to price a geopolitical premium,Ē said Olivier Jakob, analyst at Petromatrix.    ďWith the lack of strong economic data it is difficult to develop a bullish theme
(Additional reporting by Roslan Khasawneh; Editing by Aditya Soni)

10/3/2019 Democrats turn up heat on White House - ĎWeíre not fooling aroundí: Leaders warn they will subpoena records on Ukraine by Maureen Groppe and David Jackson, USA TODAY
    WASHINGTON Ė House Democrats threatened to subpoena the White House in an escalating battle over documents and witness testimony in the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trumpís dealings with Ukraine.
    The chairmen of three committees said in a joint statement Wednesday that the administration must release documents by Friday.
    Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, said the White House has ďrefused to engage with Ė or even respond toĒ the committeesí requests.
    ďThe White Houseís flagrant disregard of multiple voluntary requests for documents Ė combined with stark and urgent warnings from the Inspector General (of the intelligence community) about the gravity of these allegations Ė have left us with no choice but to issue this subpoena,Ē Cummings wrote in a memo to committee members that was released along with a draft subpoena.
    Trump attacked House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi when asked Wednesday whether heíd comply.
    ďI always cooperate.    This is a hoax,Ē Trump said in an afternoon news conference with Finlandís president.    ďBut weíll work together with Shifty Schiff and Pelosi and all of them, and weíll see what happens
    Earlier, Trump live-tweeted a news conference by Pelosi and Schiff soon after the draft subpoena was released.
    Trump challenged Pelosiís stated desire to work on issues such as trade and prescription drug prices, saying Democrats are too obsessed with impeachment.
    Pelosi is ďincapableĒ of working on other issues, Trump tweeted.    ďIt is just camouflage for trying to win an election through impeachment.    The Do Nothing Democrats are stuck in mud!Ē
    Pelosi said Democrats can work with the administration on infrastructure, drug costs and other issues.
    ďClean government?Ē she added.    ďThatís more of a challenge
    Tuesday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo pushed to delay testimony by five State Department officials whom House Democrats asked to depose.    He accused Democrats of trying to ďintimidateĒ and ďbullyĒ career professionals in their quest to impeach Trump.
    Wednesday, Pompeo acknowledged that he listened in on the controversial phone call between Trump and Ukraineís leader, Volodymyr Zelensky, a conversation that sparked the House Democratsí impeachment inquiry.
    That call prompted a whistleblower to file an anonymous complaint alleging that Trump was ďusing the power of his office to solicit interference from a foreign country in the 2020 U.S. election
    Rudy Giuliani, Trumpís personal attorney, publicly acknowledged that he pressed Ukrainian government officials to open an investigation into former Vice President Joe Biden, a leading candidate for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination.    He said he contacted Ukrainian officials at the direction of the State Department and he briefed U.S. diplomats on his conversations.
    House Democrats opened the impeachment inquiry last week, focused on examining the ďextent to which President Trump may have jeopardized national securityĒ by pressing Ukraine to investigate Biden and by withholding military assistance to help Ukraine counter Russian aggression.
    ďWeíre not fooling around here,Ē Schiff said Wednesday.    ďItís hard to imagine a more corrupt course of conduct
    Schiff repeated a warning Democrats have made that attempts by the White House to block the investigation will be considered evidence of obstruction and will imply that the allegations being investigated ďare, in fact, correct
    If the White House isnít forthcoming, Schiff said, Democrats ďwill have to decide whether to litigate or how to litigate
    ďWe donít want this to drag on months and months and months, which appears to be the administrationís strategy,Ē he said.
    Democrats subpoenaed Pompeo for documents last week and issued a subpoena to Giuliani on Monday.
    Pelosi ďhands out subpoenas like theyíre cookies,Ē Trump said.    ďĎYou want a subpoena? Here you go.    Take them.í    Like theyíre cookies
    Cummingsí memo to other members of the committee said thereís no time for the panel to vote on the subpoena ďwithout causing undue delay to the investigationĒ because lawmakers are in a two-week recess. Instead, Cummings said, the subpoena will be issued under the rules of the House in consultation with the leaders of the House foreign affairs and intelligence committees, which also are investigating Trump.
Contributing: Deirdre Shesgreen

10/3/2019 GOP House Intel Committee members speak out against chairman Adam Schiff by OAN Newsroom
    The Republican members of the House Intelligence Committee are not holding back after it was revealed chairman Adam Schiff may have gone over their heads with the whistleblower complaint.
    Congressman Devin Nunes, who serves as the ranking member, vented his frustrations Wednesday.    He said, ďin light of this news, its hard to view impeachment as anything aside from an orchestrated farce
    His concerns were echoed by fellow Republican member Elise Stefanik, who accused Schiff of ďmanipulating the informationĒ and ďplaying partisan political gamesĒ with it.    She also voiced her support for a growing movement to have Schiff resign from his position as chair.
Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y., questions Acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire as he testifies before
the House Intelligence Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Sept. 26, 2019. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
    The bombshell revelation in question came via the New York Times on Wednesday.    The newspaper claimed the whistleblower may have first shared his concerns with a House Intelligence aide, who then tipped off Schiff.
    Keep in mind that just two weeks ago, Schiff claimed his team did not have direct contact with that individual.     ďWe have not spoken directly with the whistleblower,Ē he claimed.    ďWe would like to
    Former White House deputy assistant Fred Fleitz took to Twitter to break down the possible legal repercussions of this report.    He noted that Schiff may be in violation of committee rules as any ďclassified information received from outside sources must be shared with both sides
    However Fleitz, who has previous experience with both the CIA and the House Intelligence Committee, was already suspicious about Schiffís possible role in the complaint even before the report dropped.    He was attacked by the mainstream media for his stance.
    ďWhen I saw this one, I thought it was very unusualÖnot just that it was extremely well written, but it had legal references and footnotes,Ē he explained.    ďThat was a little bit unusual, but I compared that with the fact that Adam Schiff was talking about the subject matter of this complaint throughout the month of August
    Of course, the response by the whistleblowerís legal team and Schiffís office was swift.    They denied the individual had help from anyone else, but his lawyer in writing the complaint.    However, the jury is still out on what Schiff knew and when, and if he exerted any influence over the situation before the complaint came to light.
    ďWell, I think that its a scandal that he knew before.    Iíd go a step further, I think he probably helped write it.Ē ó President Trump
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., listens at a news conference with Speaker of the House
Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif. at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2019. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

10/3/2019 President Trump calls on China to look into Biden business deals in Beijing by OAN Newsroom
    President Trump recently touched on the criticism over Joe Bidenís shady business deals during his time in the Obama administration.    While speaking to reporters on the South Lawn Thursday, the president suggested China open an investigation into Joe Bidenís son Hunter.
    Reports this week drew fresh scrutiny over the Biden family regarding their trip to China in 2013.    Joe Biden has been accused of using the trip to set up a meeting with a prominent banker in order to land his son a spot on the board of a Chinese equity fund.
    President Trump also suggested Bidenís deals in China are the reason why Beijing has been taking advantage of the U.S. on trade
    ďChina should start an investigation into the Bidens because what happened in China is just about as bad as what happened with Ukraine,Ē said the president.
President Donald Trump speaks to the media on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Thursday, Oct. 3, 2019, before
boarding Marine One for a short trip to Andrews Air Force Base, Md., and then on to Florida. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
    ďIím sure that President Xi does not like being under that kind of scrutiny where billions of dollars are taken out of his country by a guy that just got kicked out of the NavyÖyou know what they call that?Ē he asked reporters.    ďThey call that a payoff
    Bidenís campaign responded in a statement after the presidentís remarks, accusing the president of ďclutching to conspiracy theories that have been debunked by credible news organizations
[Even when Biden is caught on video doing his own "Quid Pro Quo" Joe stating he got the prosecutor fired or he would hold the 1 billion dollars from Ukraine he will deny it and many of the Fake News stations have not shown the public the video, which should tell all where the corruption in the U.S. is.].

10/3/2019 Trump 2020 campaign video exposes Democrat hypocrisy on impeachment by OAN Newsroom
    President Trumpís reelection campaign released a new video exposing Democrat hypocrisy on impeachment.    The video, shared via the presidentís Twitter account Wednesday, shows top Democrat officials saying impeachment proceedings serve to overturn the results of a federal election.
    The video shows Joe Biden, Chuck Schumer, and Nancy Pelosi saying impeachment is an unconstitutional seizure of power.    Their comments come from the late 90s push to impeach then-President Bill Clinton.
President Clinton and First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton at a Democratic National Committee event during his Senate impeachment trial in 1999 (Reuters/Photo)
    The video exposes the double-standard and political biases among Democrats on key policy decisions.
    President Trump said that after failing to hijack the 2016 election, the Democrats are now trying to steal next yearís vote.

10/3/2019 Judicial Watch releases documents on Rosenstein, Mueller communications by OAN Newsroom
    The Judicial Watch is working to expose possible corruption in the appointment of Special Counsel Robert Mueller.    On Thursday, the government watchdog released 145 pages of former Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosensteinís communications from 2017.    The communications included several ďoff the recordĒ conversations and one email that read, ďThe boss and his staff do not know about our discussions
    The timing of these communications is critical because it overlaps with President Trumpís dismissal of James Comey and his appointment of Robert Mueller.
    Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said this explains why the left is fighting to stop President Trump from looking into the Russia probe.
    ďYou notice this with the Ukraine argument ó they donít want the president to investigate what went on,Ē reiterated Fitton.    ďThey want to criminalize investigations of this activity
    The documents also showed Rosensteinís off the record communications with left-wing media outlets, who praised him for appointing Mueller.
    ďI appreciate your support,Ē Rosenstein wrote.    ďThis was supposed to be a low-profile job

10/4/2019 Oil down $0.19 to $52.45, DOW up 122 to 26,201.

10/4/2019 Ukraine must investigate Joe Bidenís son, says ex-Ukrainian PM by Anton Zverev and Ilya Zhegulev
Former U.S. Vice President and Democratic presidential hopeful Joe Biden makes a statement during
an event in Wilmington, Delaware, U.S., September 24, 2019. REUTERS/Bastiaan Slabbers
    MOSCOW/KIEV (Reuters) Ė Ukraine must investigate the activities of U.S. presidential candidate Joe Bidenís son to establish whether his role in a Ukrainian gas company complied with the countryís laws, Mykola Azarov, Ukraineís former prime minister, said in an interview.
    Azarov did not specify to which Ukrainian laws he was referring.
    Hunter Bidenís role in the company, Burisma Holdings Limited, is in focus after the White House released a memo showing U.S. President Donald Trump asked his Ukrainian counterpart, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, in a July phone call to get prosecutors to look into his activities.    Zelenskiy agreed.
    ďItís a fact (his directorship and fees) and not made up.    It should be investigated so that the Ďiís can be dotted and the Ďtís crossed,Ē Azarov told Reuters.
    A spokesperson for Joe Bidenís campaign declined to comment on Azarovís investigation call and none of Hunter Bidenís critics have provided any evidence that he broke Ukrainian law.
    Ukraineís National Anti-Corruption Bureau has said it is investigating activity at Burisma between 2010-2012, but that it is not looking into changes to its board in 2014, when Hunter Biden joined.
    Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives are pursuing an impeachment inquiry against Trump, a Republican, after a whistleblower complained about his call with Zelenskiy.
    Lawmakers are looking into whether Trumpís actions jeopardized national security and the integrity of U.S. elections, saying he appeared to be soliciting a political favor from a foreign leader to get re-elected.
    Azarov lives in Moscow, but says he remains well-connected with parts of Ukraineís political establishment, adding he would like to return one day.
    Hunter Biden was a director on Burismaís board from 2014 until at least 2018, according to documents filed by the company in Cyprus, where it is registered.
    Azarov, who was prime minister from 2010-2014, is himself wanted by Ukrainian authorities.    An Interpol red notice issued in 2015 at the request of Ukrainian authorities cited accusations, including embezzlement and misappropriation.
    Interpol canceled that red notice in 2017 after Azarov successfully challenged it, according to an Interpol document viewed by Reuters.    Interpol said it did not comment on individual cases.
    Azarov has denied any wrongdoing.
    Reuters cannot determine whether there is any active investigation into Azarov in Ukraine.    A spokesman for Azarov said he was no longer regarded as a suspect by Ukrainian authorities, though a notice on the Ukrainian Interior Ministryís website updated on Friday said he was still wanted by the countryís security service.
    Azarov said he was not aware of any evidence suggesting wrongdoing on Hunter Bidenís part, but said it was in the Ukrainian public interest to ascertain the legality of his activities.
    In particular, he said it was important to investigate what Biden had done for Burisma to justify his remuneration from Burisma.
    The younger Biden has said he consulted for Burisma, but critics have suggested he was not doing actual work in return for his compensation, an allegation he denies.
    ďI think itís essential (heís investigated),Ē Azarov told Reuters in Moscow, where he fled after street protests toppled Russia-friendly President Viktor Yanukovich in 2014.
    ďIf, using his knowledge, he played an active role then thereís nothing scandalous about it,Ē Azarov said.    ďBut if he was simply on the books and getting money, then that could be seen as a violation of the law
    Burisma was not available for comment.
    Ukrainian prosecutors have said they are not investigating Hunter Biden, but are looking into the legality of Burismaís activities before Biden joined its board.    Burisma, which denies any wrongdoing, has faced allegations of dodging taxes and of improperly securing licenses for gas deposits.
    Azarov said that he believed allegations from Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani and others that Joe Biden had gotten Ukraineís prosecutor general fired to protect his son Hunter were ďabsolute nonsenseĒ but must also be investigated.
.     He did not provide the basis for his views.
    The former U.S. vice president has denied using his influence in 2016 to get Ukraineís then-prosecutor general, Viktor Shokin, fired to prevent him investigating his sonís involvement and has said he and his son have done nothing wrong.
(Additional reporting by Maria Tsvetkova and Matthias Williams in Kiev; Writing by Andrew Osborn; Editing by Alistair Bell, Dan Grebler and Gareth Jones)

10/4/2019 Ukraine prosecutor general reopens cases involving Hunter Biden company by OAN Newsroom
Ruslan Ryaboshapka speaks to the media in Kyiv, Ukraine, Friday, Oct. 4, 2019. (Ukrainian Presidential Press Office via AP)
    Ukraineís Prosecutor General Ruslan Ryaboshapka announced Friday that his office plans to reopen several cases tied to Hunter Bidenís business dealings in the country. He said and his team are set to audit all high profile cases closed or reviewed by his predecessors.
    Recent reports said at least 15 of the cases are disputes involving the energy company where Joe Bidenís son previously served as a board member.    The top prosecutor said his office is seeking ďto make a decision on casesÖwhere illegal procedural decisions were taken
    ďFrom the proceedings we have reviewed, there are over 15 proceedings where Burisma, (Hunter) Biden or other Burisma founders might be involved,Ē Ryaboshapka said.    ďWe will let you know as soon as we have an understanding of the situation
    The prosecutor general adamantly denied that the president or any Ukraine officials pressured him to reopen the cases.    His words follow the transcript of a July phone call, which revealed President Trump asked his Ukrainian counterpart to investigate Bidenís actions.
    ďNo foreign and domestic politicians, officials, or other people ever called me and tried to influence my decisions on any particular criminal proceedings,Ē Ryaboshapka emphasized.
    The prosecutor also stated he is thus far unaware of any evidence suggesting Bidenís son committed wrongdoing.

10/5/2019 Ukraine must investigate Joe Bidenís son, says ex-Ukrainian PM by Anton Zverev and Ilya Zhegulev
Former U.S. Vice President and Democratic presidential hopeful Joe Biden makes a statement during
an event in Wilmington, Delaware, U.S., September 24, 2019. REUTERS/Bastiaan Slabbers
    MOSCOW/KIEV (Reuters) Ė Ukraine must investigate the activities of U.S. presidential candidate Joe Bidenís son to establish whether his role in a Ukrainian gas company complied with the countryís laws, Mykola Azarov, Ukraineís former prime minister, said in an interview.
    Azarov did not specify to which Ukrainian laws he was referring.
    Hunter Bidenís role in the company, Burisma Holdings Limited, is in focus after the White House released a memo showing U.S. President Donald Trump asked his Ukrainian counterpart, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, in a July phone call to get prosecutors to look into his activities.    Zelenskiy agreed.
    ďItís a fact (his directorship and fees) and not made up.    It should be investigated so that the Ďiís can be dotted and the Ďtís crossed,Ē Azarov told Reuters.
    A spokesperson for Joe Bidenís campaign declined to comment on Azarovís investigation call and none of Hunter Bidenís critics have provided any evidence that he broke Ukrainian law.
    Ukraineís National Anti-Corruption Bureau has said it is investigating activity at Burisma between 2010-2012, but that it is not looking into changes to its board in 2014, when Hunter Biden joined.
    Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives are pursuing an impeachment inquiry against Trump, a Republican, after a whistleblower complained about his call with Zelenskiy.
    Lawmakers are looking into whether Trumpís actions jeopardized national security and the integrity of U.S. elections, saying he appeared to be soliciting a political favor from a foreign leader to get re-elected.
    Azarov lives in Moscow, but says he remains well-connected with parts of Ukraineís political establishment, adding he would like to return one day.
    Hunter Biden was a director on Burismaís board from 2014 until at least 2018, according to documents filed by the company in Cyprus, where it is registered.
    Azarov, who was prime minister from 2010-2014, is himself wanted by Ukrainian authorities.    An Interpol red notice issued in 2015 at the request of Ukrainian authorities cited accusations, including embezzlement and misappropriation.
    Interpol canceled that red notice in 2017 after Azarov successfully challenged it, according to an Interpol document viewed by Reuters.     Interpol said it did not comment on individual cases.
    Azarov has denied any wrongdoing.
    Reuters cannot determine whether there is any active investigation into Azarov in Ukraine.    A spokesman for Azarov said he was no longer regarded as a suspect by Ukrainian authorities, though a notice on the Ukrainian Interior Ministryís website updated on Friday said he was still wanted by the countryís security service.
    Azarov said he was not aware of any evidence suggesting wrongdoing on Hunter Bidenís part, but said it was in the Ukrainian public interest to ascertain the legality of his activities.
    In particular, he said it was important to investigate what Biden had done for Burisma to justify his remuneration from Burisma.
    The younger Biden has said he consulted for Burisma, but critics have suggested he was not doing actual work in return for his compensation, an allegation he denies.
    ďI think itís essential (heís investigated),Ē Azarov told Reuters in Moscow, where he fled after street protests toppled Russia-friendly President Viktor Yanukovich in 2014.
    ďIf, using his knowledge, he played an active role then thereís nothing scandalous about it,Ē Azarov said.    ďBut if he was simply on the books and getting money, then that could be seen as a violation of the law
    Burisma was not available for comment.
    Ukrainian prosecutors have said they are not investigating Hunter Biden, but are looking into the legality of Burismaís activities before Biden joined its board.    Burisma, which denies any wrongdoing, has faced allegations of dodging taxes and of improperly securing licenses for gas deposits.
    Azarov said that he believed allegations from Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani and others that Joe Biden had gotten Ukraineís prosecutor general fired to protect his son Hunter were ďabsolute nonsenseĒ but must also be investigated.
    He did not provide the basis for his views.
    The former U.S. vice president has denied using his influence in 2016 to get Ukraineís then-prosecutor general, Viktor Shokin, fired to prevent him investigating his sonís involvement and has said he and his son have done nothing wrong.
(Additional reporting by Maria Tsvetkova and Matthias Williams in Kiev; Writing by Andrew Osborn; Editing by Alistair Bell, Dan Grebler and Gareth Jones)

10/4/2019 FBI Director Wray, AG Barr warn against new encryption on Facebook Messenger by OAN Newsroom
    The head of the FBI is speaking out against Facebookís decision to add encryption to its Messenger program.    While speaking to law enforcement officials in Washington Friday, FBI Director Christopher Wray said law enforcement agencies could lose the ability to find criminals online and bring them to justice.
    The new encryption would shield communication between users from surveillance and the content would also be inaccessible by the company, meaning agencies canít get access even with a warrant.
    Director Wray continued by saying Facebookís plan would create a lawless space for child predators without fear of consequences.
FBI Director Christopher Wray speaks during a press briefing at the White House in Washington, D.C. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
    ďFacebook would transform from the main provider of child exploitation tips to a dream come true for predators and child pornographers,Ē he stated.    ďA platform that allows them to find and connect with kids and like minded criminals with little fear of consequences
    Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg defended the decision to encrypt messages, saying the platform will still be able to identify child predators by using the same tools it uses to combat election interference.    Despite this, Attorney General William Barr and officials from the U.K. are pushing Facebook to drop its encryption plans.
FILE Ė In this Thursday, Oct. 3, 2019, file photo Attorney General Barr William Barr pauses as he speaks at the Securities and Exchange
Commission (SEC) Criminal Coordination Conference at the SEC in Washington. Barr wants Facebook to give law enforcement a
way to read encrypted messages sent by users, re-igniting tensions between tech companies and law enforcement. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File)
[NSPCC -The National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children is a charity campaigning and working in child protection in the United Kingdom and the Channel Islands.].

10/4/2019 Son of House Speaker Pelosi made money in Ukraine, used her in ads by OAN Newsroom
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., speaks during a news conference and with local officials about
Venezuelan democracy efforts on Thursday, Oct. 3, 2019, in Weston, Fla. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)
    House Speaker Nancy Pelosi may soon be facing similar allegations to Joe Biden.    A recent report suggested Pelosiís son Paul may have used her position to benefit financially. A promotional video from 2013 resurfaced on Thursday, brought to public attention by journalist Patrick Howley.
    The video shows Nancy Pelosi speaking about her efforts in office to push for clean energy.    Her message is followed by a promotional statement from her son Paul, who was a board member of Viscoil and an executive at its related company NRGLab.
    ďMy name is Paul PelosiÖand Viscoil is here today to talk about accelerating the future,Ē said Pelosi Jr.    ďThatís what Viscoil does ó it uses technology to maximize the use of natural resources, like oil and other resources
    Pelosiís son traveled to Ukraine in 2017 on behalf of the Corporate Governance Initiative, where he now serves as executive director.    The official reason given for his visit was to discuss a youth soccer partnership program with the Ukrainian government, but clips of that trip have reportedly been removed from online.
    One of those clips was saved by The American Mirror on Twitter.
    Hunter Biden faces similar allegations, which claim he used his fatherís position to make lucrative business deals in Ukraine and China.

10/4/2019 President Trump: Far-left maniacs control Democrat Party, seek to destroy America by OAN Newsroom
    President Trump jokingly dismissed the Democrat push for impeachment by saying he could stay in office for another 16 years.    While speaking in central Florida Thursday, the president said Democrats have started the inquiry because they canít win next yearís elections fairly.
    ďAnyway, but if you wanna drive them (Democrats) crazy, just say 8 more years or 12 more yearsÖ16 would do it good,Ē joked President Trump.
    He went on to stress that the Democrat Party is controlled by far-left ďmaniacs,Ē whose policies could ďdestroy America
In this Sept. 30, 2019 photo, Vice President Mike Pence and President Donald Trump participate in an Armed Forces welcome ceremony
for the new chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Mark Milley, at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall, Va. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
    ďOne of these people gets in ó your 401Ks are going to hell, the stock market is going to hell,Ē warned the president.    ďFrankly I think, and I hate to say it, the countryís going to go to hellÖtheyíre consumed by rage and radicalism and insatiable lust for power
    President Trump said another four years of his administration would boost economic growth and prosperity, and improve Americaís standing in international affairs.

10/4/2019 Exclusive: Trump campaign targeted by Iran-linked hackers Ė sources by Christopher Bing and Raphael Satter
FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a bilateral meeting with Iraq's President Barham Salih on the sidelines of the
annual United Nations General Assembly in New York City, New York, U.S., September 24, 2019. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst/File Photo
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) Ė A hacking group that appears to be linked to the Iranian government attempted to break into President Donald Trumpís re-election campaign, but did not succeed, sources familiar with the operation said on Friday.     Earlier in the day, Microsoft Corp said that an unnamed presidential campaign was targeted by hackers, which the software company linked to Iran.
    The Trump campaignís Director of Communications Tim Murtaugh said, ďWe have no indication that any of our campaign infrastructure was targeted
(Reporting by Raphael Satter and Christopher Bing; Additional reporting by Ginger Gibson; Editing by Chris Reese)

10/4/2019 Trump says U.S. has granted Polish entry into visa waiver program
U.S. President Donald Trump talks to reporters as he departs for travel to Florida from the
South Lawn of the White House in Washington, U.S., October 3, 2019. REUTERS/Leah Millis
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) Ė U.S. President Donald Trump told reporters on Friday that he had officially allowed Polish entry into a U.S. visa waiver program.
    Trump said last month that he would grant Poland access to the State Departmentís Visa Waiver Program, which allows citizens of participating countries travel to the United States for business or tourism for up to 90 days without a visa.
    Poland has long sought entry into the visa waiver program.
    Trump has also pledged to move 1,000 U.S. troops to Poland, with the Polish government paying to build facilities for them.
(Reporting by Steve Holland; Writing by Makini Brice; Editing by Susan Fenton and Bill Berkrot)

10/4/2019 U.S. top court to weigh prohibition on encouraging illegal immigration by Andrew Chung
FILE PHOTO: People are pictured on the stairs outside of the U.S. Supreme Court
in Washington, D.C., U.S., June 17, 2019. REUTERS/Leah Millis/File Photo
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) Ė The U.S. Supreme Court on Friday agreed to hear a bid by President Donald Trumpís administration to resurrect a federal law that makes it a felony to encourage illegal immigrants to come or stay in the United States after it was struck down by a lower court as a violation free speech rights.
    In a case involving a California woman named Evelyn Sineneng-Smith convicted of violating the law, the justices will review a ruling by the San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals invalidating it for infringing on rights guaranteed under the U.S. Constitutionís First Amendment.
    Federal prosecutors in 2010 brought charges against Sineneng-Smith, a U.S. citizen who ran an immigration consultancy in San Jose, accusing her of making money by duping illegal migrants into paying her to file frivolous visa applications while remaining in the country indefinitely.    Her business primarily served Filipinos who worked as home healthcare providers.
    Sineneng-Smith was convicted in 2013 of violating provisions of the decades-old federal law that bar inducing or encouraging an illegal immigrant to ďcome to, enter or resideĒ in the United States, including for financial gain. She also was convicted of mail fraud and was sentenced to 18 months in prison and three years of supervised release.
    The 9th Circuit in 2018 ruled that the law must be struck down because it is overly broad and criminalizes even simple speech that is protected by the First Amendment.    For instance, a grandmother could theoretically be charged under the law for telling her grandson whose visa has expired, ďI encourage you to stay,Ē the 9th Circuit noted.
    The court begins its next nine-month term on Monday.
    In Trump administrationís appeal to the Supreme Court, Solicitor General Noel Francisco said the law is important to stopping those who enrich themselves by encouraging illegal immigration.    The law targets only communication that fosters unlawful activity, which is not protected by the First Amendment, Francisco said in a filing.
    Sineneng-Smithís lawyers, urging the court to deny the case, argued that the law goes well beyond forbidding speech essential to a crime and covers both criminal and non-criminal immigration infractions. There are better ways to catch wrongdoers, her lawyers said, including provisions barring transporting or harboring illegal migrants.
    Trumpís hardline stance toward immigration Ė legal and illegal Ė has been a fundamental part of his presidency and his 2020 re-election bid.
(Reporting by Andrew Chung; Editing by Will Dunham)

10/4/2019 Rep. Tlaib suggests arresting cabinet members, holding them in Detroit by OAN Newsroom
Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., questions CDC Principal Deputy Secretary Dr. Anne Schuchat as she speaks before a House Oversight
subcommittee hearing on lung disease and e-cigarettes on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2019. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
    Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib is saying members of the Trump administration who refuse to testify before Congress can be arrested and held in her district.    Speaking to constituents at a town hall meeting in Detroit this week, the Michigan lawmaker said Democrats on Capitol Hill are currently discussing how to detain cabinet members.
    Tlaib made this comment after one of her constituents suggested sending the United States Marshals Service to track down and arrest the cabinet members.
    ďWe can hold all those people right here in Detroit ó weíll take care of them and make sure they show up to the committee hearings,Ē said the congresswoman.    ďIíll make sure that youíre in charge
    Tlaib also said lawmakers are unsure of the official process for compelling members of the Trump administration to comply with subpoenas.
ďThis is the first time weíve ever had a situation like this,Ē she said.    ďIs it the D.C. police that goes and gets them? ó We donít know

10/4/2019 President Trump: Democrats want anything they can get because theyíll lose in 2020 by OAN Newsroom
President Donald Trump talks to reporters on the South Lawn of the White House,
Friday, Oct. 4, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
    President Trump is doubling down on his criticism of Democrats, claiming their continued impeachment efforts will deliver a victory for the GOP in 2020.    The president said ďthe do nothingĒ Democrats are wasting everyoneís time and energy.    He warned that if they continue to focus on the impeachment inquiry, they will lose the 2020 election.
    ďThis is the greatest witch hunt in the history of our country,Ē said President Trump.    ďI do believe that because of what theyíre doing with PelosiÖtheyíre going to pay a tremendous price at the polls
    House Democrats launched a formal impeachment inquiry in September, which revolves around the presidentís July phone call with his Ukrainian counterpart.    Theyíre pushing to investigate whether the president sought personal political gain by urging Ukraineís president to investigate Joe Biden.    The White House has since released a transcript of the call and the Intelligence Committee has made the whistleblower complaint public.
    White House lawyers argue House Speaker Nancy Pelosi must have the full House vote to formally approve an impeachment inquiry.    They claim that without the vote, President Trump and his aides do not have to cooperate with the inquiry.
    The president said the Democrats have been trying to impeach him ever since he got elected ó and have failed every time.
    ďThese people are looking for anything they can get, because they know theyíre going to lose the election ó weíre in election season now,Ē said President Trump.
    He said Democratsí continued impeachment efforts will eventually lead them to handing the House back to the GOP.
    ďNancy Pelosi will lose her speakership right after the election when the Republicans take over the House,Ē reiterated the president.

10/5/2019 Oil up $0.51 to $52.82, DOW up 373 to 26,574.

10/5/2019 Trump suspends entry of immigrants who cannot pay for healthcare
U.S. President Donald Trump delivers remarks at Young Black Leadership Summit at the
White House in Washington, U.S., October 4, 2019. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) Ė U.S. President Donald Trump on Friday signed a proclamation suspending entry of immigrants who will not be covered by health insurance within 30 days of entering the United States or do not have the means to pay for their healthcare costs themselves.
    The proclamation, issued by the White House, said it would not affect any individualís eligibility for asylum or refugee status.    The measure will take effect on Nov. 3, it said.
    Trump has made cutting legal and illegal immigration a centerpiece of his presidency.    The Trump administration said last month that it planned to allow only 18,000 refugees to resettle in the United States in the 2020 fiscal year, the lowest number in the history of the modern refugee program.
    ďWhile our healthcare system grapples with the challenges caused by uncompensated care, the United States Government is making the problem worse by admitting thousands of aliens who have not demonstrated any ability to pay for their healthcare costs,Ē Trump said in the proclamation.
    He said the suspension applied only to people seeking to enter the United States with an immigrant visa.
    The document listed the types of insurance considered approved, such as employer-sponsored plans and the Medicare program for the elderly.
    But it said for people over the age of 18, coverage under the Medicaid program for the poor is not approved.
(Reporting by Mohammad Zargham; Editing by Eric Beech and Sandra Maler)

    The following found at
Fargan Bastage@SaMoHtLaErEhT 10/1/2019 Adam Schiffty Schiff sent a staffer to Ukraine.    The question is whether former Hunter Biden employer Burisma paid Thomas Eager to attend the Atlantic Council in Eurasia.    The list of donors to AC is interesting including HRC 2016 donor Pinchuk (10mill)Ö [
    Victor Pinchuk is a Ukrainian businessman and oligarch and as of January 2016, Forbes ranked him as 1250th on the list of wealthiest people in the world, with a fortune of US$1.44 billion.]
    Thomas Eager is a fellow of the Atlantic Council of which Hunter Biden's former employer Burisma is a donor.
    Pinchuk is tied to Crowdstrike, the US based IT Co who was hired by DNC who found Russia hacked the servers.    None of these connections look odd at all.    Especially since Schiff sent Eager prior to the whistle blower complaint.

    The following found at
9/30/2019 Ukraine Mystery: Schiff Staffer Made August Visit for Think Tank Backed by Hunter Bidenís Old Employer by Aaron Klein
A staffer for Rep. Adam Schiffís House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence took a trip to Ukraine last month sponsored and organized by the Atlantic Council think tank.
    The Atlantic Council is funded by and routinely works in partnership with Burisma, the natural gas company at the center of allegations regarding Joe Biden and his son, Hunter Biden.
    The Schiff staffer, Thomas Eager, is also currently one of 19 fellows at the Atlantic Councilís Eurasia Congressional Fellowship, a bipartisan program that says it ďeducates congressional staff on current events in the Eurasia region
    Eagerís trip to Ukraine last month was part of the fellowship program and included nine other House employees.    The bi-partisan visit, from August 24 to August 31, was billed as a ďUkraine Study Trip,Ē and culminated in a meeting with former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko.
    The dates of the pre-planned trip are instructive.    Eagerís visit to Ukraine sponsored by the Burisma-funded Atlantic Council began 12 days after the so-called whistleblower officially filed his August 12 complaint about President Donald Trumpís phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
    Schiffís House Intelligence Committee reportedly reached a tentative agreement in recent days for the so-called whistleblower to testify.
    The complaint surrounds Trumpís request for Ukrainian assistance in investigating possible corruption related to the Burisma company and Joe and Hunter Biden.
    Also mentioned by Trump during the phone call with Zelensky are questions about CrowdStrike, the outside firm utilized to conclude that Russia hacked the Democratic National Committeeís servers since the DNC would not allow the U.S. government to inspect the servers.
    CrowdStrike founder Dmitri Alperovitch is a nonresident senior fellow of the Cyber Statecraft Initiative at the Atlantic Council.
    Eager did not immediately return Breitbart phone and email requests for comment.
    The email request inquired whether Eager, during his trip sponsored by the Atlantic Council, personally held any meetings in Ukraine related to the whistle blower complaint filed about two weeks before the visit.
    Besides funding from Burisma, the Atlantic Council is also financed by Google Capital, billionaire activist George Sorosís Open Society Foundations as well as the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, Inc. and the U.S. State Department.
    As Breitbart News reported last week, Google, Sorosís Open Society Foundations, the Rockefeller Fund and an agency of the State Department each also finance a self-described investigative journalism organization repeatedly referenced as a source of information in the so-called whistleblowerís complaint alleging Trump was ďusing the power of his office to solicit interference from a foreign countryĒ in the 2020 presidential race.
Schiff signed form
    Schiffís signature appears on the required post-travel disclosure form filed with the House Committee on Ethics documenting the visit to Ukraine.    The form signed by Schiff says that Eagerís trip to Ukraine was paid for by the ďAtlantic Councilís Eurasia Center
The form bearing Schiffís signature (above) describes the visit thusly:
    Series of meetings and visits with govít officials, party officials, civil society and private sector reps in Ukraine to learn about ongoing political and military issues, including conflict in the East.
    The costs for Eagerís visit listed on the form are $2202.91 for transportation, $985.50 for lodging, and $630.15 for meal expenses.
    Geysha Gonzalez is the Atlantic Council officer listed on the form.    She is deputy director of the Atlantic Councilís Eurasia Center.
    Speaking to Breitbart News, Gonzalez confirmed that Eager started his one-year fellowship with the organization in January and that Eager is still a fellow.
    Gonzalez said the pre-planned trip was part of the fellowship program, which also includes a full year of round tables and other educational events.    She said it was not within her portfolio to comment on issues of funding from Burisma or other donors.
    The itinerary of the trip shows a meeting with Poroshenko as well as discussions with local activists, politicians and residents.
    Besides Eager, nine other Congressional staffers were listed as participating in the visit. Republicans were represented by Laura Detter, legislative assistant to Rep. Scott Perry (R-PA), Zachery Laven, legislative assistant to Rep. David Schweikert (R-AZ), Michael McCabe, legislative assistant to Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA) and Sarah Miller, legislative assistant to Rep. Brian Mast (R-FL).
McCain adviser and dossier
    The Atlantic Councilís Gonzalez is also one of eleven members of the rapid response team for the Ukrainian Election Task Force, which says it is working to expose ďforeign interference in Ukraineís democracy
    Another member of the team is David J. Kramer, a long-time adviser to late Senator John McCain who served at the McCain Institute for International Leadership as senior director for human rights and democracy.
    Kramer revealed in testimony that he held a meeting about the anti-Trump dossier with a reporter from BuzzFeed News who he says snapped photos of the controversial document without Kramerís permission when he left the room to go to the bathroom.    That meeting was held at the McCain Institute office in Washington, Kramer stated.
    BuzzFeed infamously published the Christopher Steele dossier on January 10, 2017 setting off a firestorm of news media coverage about the document.
    The Washington Post reported last February that Kramer received the dossier directly from Fusion GPS after McCain expressed interest in it.
    In a deposition taken on Dec. 13, 2017 and posted online earlier this year, Kramer revealed that he met with two Obama administration officials to inquire about whether the anti-Trump dossier was being taken seriously.
    In one case, Kramer said that he personally provided a copy of the dossier to Obama National Security Council official Celeste Wallander [My comment: Celeste Ann Wallander, an American international relations authority with a focus on Russia and Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Russia and Eurasia on the National Security Council.    Another question was John McCain in on this conspiracy?].
    In the deposition, Kramer said that McCain specifically asked him in early December 2016 to meet about the dossier with Wallander and Victoria Nuland, a senior official in John Kerryís State Department.
Burisma and Atlantic Council
    Besides funding the Atlantic Council, Burisma also routinely partners with the think tank.
    Only four months ago, the company co-hosted the Councilís second Annual Kharkiv Security Conference.
    Burisma further co-hosted a U.S.-Ukraine Business Council event with the Council last year in Washington, DC.    David Kramer of the dossier episode is a senior adviser to the Business Council.
    Busirma and the Atlantic Council also signed a cooperative agreement to develop transatlantic programs with Burismaís financial support reportedly to focus ďon European and international energy security
    Burisma advertises that it committed itself to ď15 key principles of rule of law and economic policy in Ukraine developed by the Atlantic Council
Common Funding Themes
    There are common threads that run through an organization repeatedly relied upon in the so-called whistleblowerís complaint about Trump and CrowdStrike.
    One of several themes is financing tied to Google, whose Google Capital led a $100 million funding drive that financed Crowdstrike.     Google Capital, which now goes by the name of CapitalG, is an arm of Alphabet Inc., Googleís parent company.    Eric Schmidt, the chairman of Alphabet, has been a staunch and active supporter of Hillary Clinton and is a longtime donor to the Democratic Party.
    CrowdStrike was mentioned by Trump in his call with Zelensky.    Perkins Coie, the law firm that represented the DNC and Hillary Clintonís campaign, reportedly helped draft CrowdStrike to aid with the DNCís allegedly hacked server.
    On behalf of the DNC and Clintonís campaign, Perkins Coie also paid the controversial Fusion GPS firm to produce the infamous, largely-discredited anti-Trump dossier compiled by former British spy Christopher Steele.
    CrowdStrike founder Alperovitch is a nonresident senior fellow of the Cyber Statecraft Initiative at the Atlantic Council, which takes a hawkish approach toward Russia.    The Council in turn is financed by Google Inc. and Burisma.
    Besides Google and Burisma funding, the Council is also financed by billionaire activist George Sorosís Open Society Foundations as well as the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, Inc. and the U.S. State Department.
    Google, Sorosís Open Society Foundations, the Rockefeller Fund and an agency of the State Department each also finance a self-described investigative journalism organization repeatedly referenced as a source of information in the so-called whistleblowerís complaint alleging Trump was ďusing the power of his office to solicit interference from a foreign countryĒ in the 2020 presidential race.
    The charges in the July 22 report referenced in the whistleblowerís document and released by the Google and Soros-funded organization, the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP), seem to be the public precursors for a lot of the so-called whistleblowerís own claims, as Breitbart News documented.
    One key section of the so-called whistleblowerís document claims that ďmultiple U.S. officials told me that Mr. Giuliani had reportedly privately reached out to a variety of other Zelensky advisers, including Chief of Staff Andriy Bohdan and Acting Chairman of the Security Service of Ukraine Ivan Bakanov
    This was allegedly to follow up on Trumpís call with Zelensky in order to discuss the ďcasesĒ mentioned in that call, according to the so-called whistleblowerís narrative.    The complainer was clearly referencing Trumpís request for Ukraine to investigate the Biden corruption allegations.
    Even though the statement was written in first person Ė ďmultiple U.S. officials told meĒ Ė it contains a footnote referencing a report by the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP).
    That footnote reads:
    In a report published by the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) on 22 July, two associates of Mr. Giuliani reportedly traveled to Kyiv in May 2019 and met with Mr. Bakanov and another close Zelensky adviser, Mr. Serhiy Shefir.
    The so-called whistleblowerís account goes on to rely upon that same OCCRP report on three more occasions.    It does so to:
  • Write that Ukraineís Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko ďalso stated that he wished to communicate directly with Attorney General Barr on these matters
  • Document that Trump adviser Rudi Giuliani ďhad spoken in late 2018 to former Prosecutor General Shokin, in a Skype call arranged by two associates of Mr. Giuliani
  • Bolster the charge that, ďI also learned from a U.S. official that Ďassociatesí of Mr. Giuliani were trying to make contact with the incoming Zelenskyy team.Ē    The so-called whistleblower then relates in another footnote, ďI do not know whether these associates of Mr. Giuliani were the same individuals named in the 22 July report by OCCRP, referenced above
    The OCCRP report repeatedly referenced is actually a ďjoint investigation by the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) and BuzzFeed News, based on interviews and court and business records in the United States and Ukraine
    BuzzFeed infamously also first published the full anti-Trump dossier alleging unsubstantiated collusion between Trumpís presidential campaign and Russia.    The dossier was paid for by Hillary Clintonís campaign and the Democratic National Committee and was produced by the Fusion GPS opposition dirt outfit.
    The OCCRP and BuzzFeed ďjoint investigationĒ resulted in both OCCRP and BuzzFeed publishing similar lengthy pieces on July 22 claiming that Giuliani was attempting to use connections to have Ukraine investigate Trumpís political rivals.
    The so-called whistleblowerís document, however, only mentions the largely unknown OCCRP and does not reference BuzzFeed, which has faced scrutiny over its reporting on the Russia collusion claims.
    Another listed OCCRP funder is the Omidyar Network, which is the nonprofit for liberal billionaire eBay founder Pierre Omidyar.
    Together with Sorosís Open Society, Omidyar also funds the Poynter Institute for Media Studies, which hosts the International Fact-Checking Network that partnered with Facebook to help determine whether news stories are ďdisputed
    Like OCCRP, the Poynter Instituteís so-called news fact-checking project is openly funded by not only Sorosí Open Society Foundations but also Google and the National Endowment for Democracy.
CrowdStrike and DNC servers
    CrowdStrike, meanwhile, was brought up by Trump in his phone call with Zelensky.
    According to the transcript, Trump told Zelensky, ďI would like you to find out what happened with this whole situation with Ukraine, they say CrowdStrike Ö I guess you have one of your wealthy peopleÖThe server, they say Ukraine has it
    In his extensive report, Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller notes that his investigative team did not ďobtain or examineĒ the servers of the DNC in determining whether those servers were hacked by Russia.
    The DNC famously refused to allow the FBI to access its servers to verify the allegation that Russia carried out a hack during the 2016 presidential campaign.    Instead, the DNC reached an arrangement with the FBI in which CrowdStrike conducted forensics on the server and shared details with the FBI.
    In testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee in January 2017, then-FBI Director James Comey confirmed that the FBI registered ďmultiple requests at different levels,Ē to review the DNCís hacked servers.    Ultimately, the DNC and FBI came to an agreement in which a ďhighly respected private companyĒ ó a reference to CrowdStrikeówould carry out forensics on the servers and share any information that it discovered with the FBI; Comey testified.
    A senior law enforcement official stressed the importance of the FBI gaining direct access to the servers, a request that was denied by the DNC.
    ďThe FBI repeatedly stressed to DNC officials the necessity of obtaining direct access to servers and data, only to be rebuffed until well after the initial compromise had been mitigated,Ē the official was quoted by the news media as saying.
    ďThis left the FBI no choice but to rely upon a third party for information.    These actions caused significant delays and inhibited the FBI from addressing the intrusion earlier,Ē the official continued.
Biden, Ukraine and Burisma
    Ukraine in 2016 removed a key prosecutor probing alleged corruption involving Burisma, the same firm paying Hunter Biden.    Joe Biden two years later admitted to personally threatening to withhold loan guarantees from Ukraine unless the prosecutor in question, Viktor Shokin, was removed.
    Biden publicly boasted about his role in the removal of Shokin during a panel discussion sponsored by the Council on Foreign Relations in 2018.
    ďI remember going over (to Ukraine), convincing our team Ö that we should be providing for loan guarantees. Ö And I was supposed to announce that there was another billion-dollar loan guarantee.    And I had gotten a commitment from (then Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko) and from (then-Prime Minister Arseniy) Yatsenyuk that they would take action against the state prosecutor (Shokin).    And they didnítÖĒ Biden said.
    ďThey were walking out to a press conference.    I said, nah, Ö weíre not going to give you the billion dollars.    They said, ĎYou have no authority.    Youíre not the president.í Ö I said, call him.    I said, Iím telling you, youíre not getting the billion dollars.    I said, youíre not getting the billion. Ö I looked at them and said, ĎIím leaving in six hours.    If the prosecutor is not fired, youíre not getting the money.í    Well, son of a bitch.    He got fired.    And they put in place someone who was solid at the time
    After it was revealed that Hunter Biden joined the board of Burisma Holdings in 2014, ethics experts were quoted by the news media as raising questions about potential conflicts of interest.
    Aaron Klein is Breitbartís Jerusalem bureau chief and senior investigative reporter.    He is a New York Times bestselling author and hosts the popular weekend talk radio program, ďAaron Klein Investigative Radio.Ē    Follow him on Twitter @AaronKleinShow.    Follow him on Facebook.
    Joshua Klein contributed research to this article.
[I first heard of the above information on 10/5/2019 from Pierson Sharpe of the One America Newsroom while he hosted ďThe Daily LedgerĒ about Adam Shiffís ties to Ukraine, and Thomas Eager, Atlantic Council, Burisma, Porshenko, David Kramer and John McCain, Buzzfeed, CrowdStrike founder Alperovitch, DNC connections to FBI, CIA, NSA, Google Alphabet chairman Eric Schmidt connection to Burisma, Hillary Clinton, and the OCCRP (Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project) of George Soros who added information into the Whistleblowers report and Sharpe defined the same information that you read in the above articles.].
    The Atlantic Council is an American Atlanticist think tank in the field of international affairs, founded in 1961, provides a forum for international political, business, and intellectual leaders, and manages ten regional centers and functional programs related to international security and global economic prosperity and headquartered in Washington, D.C., and is a member of the Atlantic Treaty Association.
    On February 22, 2019, the Atlantic Council released its Declaration of Principles at the Munich Security Conference, outlining common values that all western liberal democracies should adhere to.    Produced in response to a perceived movement toward more authoritarianism by western democracies, the declaration was signed by scores of former government officials and other experts.
    In July 2019 Russia said the activities of the Atlantic Council "pose a threat to the fundamentals of the constitutional system and the security of the Russian Federation."    Russia added the Atlantic Council to its list of ďundesirableĒ organizations, preventing it from operating within Russia.

    David J. Kramer in 2018, he was on a list of Americans to be questioned by the Russian government.    David Kramer, the then-Sen. John McCain aide who leaked the Christopher Steele dossier on President Trump, testified in a libel case that he spread the unsubstantiated anti-Trump material all over Washington during the presidential transition.    Kramer was identified as the source of the dossier in a recently unsealed deposition related to the libel case brought by Russian businessman Aleksej Gubarev against Buzzfeed.

    Burisma is a group of energy exploration and production companies based in Kyiv, Ukraine.    The holding company of the group, Burisma Holdings Limited, is registered in Limassol, Cyprus.    Burisma has operated in the Ukrainian gas market since 2002.    It is the largest private natural gas producer in Ukraine.    It is owned by Mykola Zlochevsky through Brociti Investments Limited.
    In February 2016, Burisma acquired a 70% stake in KUB-Gas LLC, a developer of gas fields in Luhansk region.    In 2017, it bought a majority stake in Diloretio Holdings Limited, a company which owned three gas companies in Ukraine.    In April 2019, Burisma acquired Astroinvest-Ukraine, a natural gas trader.
    Burisma is focused to the operations in Ukraine with additional activities in Germany, Mexico, Italy, and Kazakhstan.    It holds 35 gas production licenses in Ukraine in Dnipro-Donets, Carpathian and Azov-Kuban basins.    In addition to the natural gas exploration and production, Burisma provides also gas well services, including hydraulic fracturing.    In Kharkiv, Burisma plans to build an LPG plant with a capacity of 50,000 tonnes per year.
    In 2016, Burisma Group was the second largest privately-owned gas producer in Ukraine after DTEK.    It accounted 26% of all-natural gas produced by privately owned gas producers and more than 5% of total annual gas production in Ukraine.    According to the company, it produced 1.3 billion cubic metres (4.6◊1010 cubic feet) of natural gas in Ukraine in 2018.
    In Kazakhstan, the company has provided drilling services to KazMunaiGas and its subsidiaries, including at the Urikhtau gas field.    In Italy, Burisma develops a geothermal power project.
    Burisma's subsidiaries include EskoĖPivnich, Pari, First Ukrainian Oil and Gas Company, Naftogaz Garant, KUBĖGas and AstroinvestĖUkraine.

    Aleksander Kwasniewski, former President of the Republic of Poland, was appointed to the board in January 2014.    CEO of the company is Taras Burdeinyi[1] and chairman of the board is Alan Apter.    A number of non-Ukrainian directors were appointed in 2014, including Aleksander Kwasniewski, former President of the Republic of Poland, appointed in January 2014.    In February 2016, Joseph Cofer Black, the Director of the American CIAís Counterterrorist Center (CTC) (1999Ė2002) in the George W. Bush administration and Ambassador at Large for counter-terrorism (2002Ė2004) joined Burismaís Board of Directors.    Also Karina Zlochevska, daughter of Mykola Zlochevskiy, is a member of the board.    Other members of the board are Christina Sofocleous, Riginos Charalampous, and Marina Pericleous.
    On 18 April 2014, Hunter Biden, the son of then-US vice president Joe Biden, was appointed to the board of Burisma Holdings.    He left the company in April 2019.    At the same time, one of the board members was Devon Archer, a former senior adviser to John Kerry 2004 presidential campaign.
    Burisma Holdings is owned by Brociti Investments Limited, a Cyprus based company owned by Ukrainian businessman Mykola Zlochevsky, who was minister of natural resources under Viktor Yanukovych.    Brociti acquired Burisma in 2011.    According to the United States Securities and Exchange Commission filings by Sunrise Energy Resources, a company which was controlled by Burisma, before acquisition by Brociti, Burisma was equally owned by Mykola Zlochevsky and Mykola Lisin, an Ukrainian politician who died in a traffic accident in 2011.

    CrowdStrike Holdings, Inc. is a cybersecurity technology company based in Sunnyvale, California. It provides endpoint security, threat intelligence, and cyberattack response services.    The company has been involved in investigations of several high profile cyber-attacks, including the Sony Pictures hack, the 2016 Democratic National Committee email leak, and the Democratic National Committee cyber attacks.
    CrowdStrike released research in 2017 showing that 66 percent of the attacks to which the company responded that year were fileless or malware-free.    The company also compiled data on the average time needed to detect an attack and the percentage of attacks detected by organizations themselves.
    In February 2018, CrowdStrike reported that in November and December 2017 it had observed a credential harvesting operation in the international sporting sector, with possible links to the cyber attack on the opening ceremonies of the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang.    That same month, Crowdstrike released research showing that 39 percent of all attacks observed by the company were malware-free intrusions. The company also named which industries attackers most frequently targeted.    That March, the company released a version of its Falcon product for mobile devices and launched the CrowdStrike store, which opens the Falcon platform to third-party applications.
    In January 2019, CrowdStrike published research reporting that Ryuk ransomware, used by cyber actor Grim Spider to target businesses, had accumulated more than $3.7 million in cryptocurrency payments since it first appeared in August.
    Also in 2019, CrowdStrike released its 2018 Global Threat Report, which ranked cybercriminals in order of fastest actors to operate within a network, with Russia coming in first.    The company also revealed that it tracked 81 named state-sponsored actors in 2018, and at least 28 were conducting active operations throughout the year.    The research showed that of the sophisticated attacks that the company attributed to nation-states, China was responsible for the plurality: more than 25 percent.
    CrowdStrike helped investigate the Democratic National Committee cyber attacks and connected those attacks to Russian intelligence services.    On March 20, 2017, during testimony before congress, James Comey stated "CrowdStrike, Mandiant, and ThreatConnect review[ed] the evidence of the hack and conclude[d] with high certainty that it was the work of APT 28 and APT 29 who are known to be Russian intelligence services."
    In December 2016, CrowdStrike released a report stating that Russian government-affiliated group Fancy Bear had hacked a Ukrainian artillery app.    They concluded that Russia had used the hack to cause large losses to Ukrainian artillery units.    The app (called ArtOS) is installed on tablet PCs and used for fire-control.    The earliest version of the app (supported until 2015) was called POPR-D30 and installed on Android phones and tablets.    CrowdStrike found a hacked variation of POPR-D30 being distributed on Ukrainian military forums that utilized an X-Agent implant.
    The International Institute for Strategic Studies rejected CrowdStrike's assessment of hacking causing losses to Ukrainian artillery units, saying that their data on Ukrainian D30 howitzer losses was misused by CrowdStrike in their report.    The Ukrainian Ministry of Defense also rejected the CrowdStrike report, stating that actual artillery losses were much smaller than what was reported by [CrowdStrike] and were not associated with [Russian hacking].
    Cybersecurity firm SecureWorks discovered a list of email addresses targeted by Fancy Bear in phishing attacks.    The list included the email address of Yaroslav Sherstyuk, the developer of ArtOS.    Additional Associated Press research supports CrowdStrike's conclusions about Fancy Bear.    Radio Free Europe notes that the AP report "lends some credence to the original CrowdStrike report, showing that the app had, in fact, been targeted."
    Following CrowdStrike's investigation of the 2016 Democratic National Committee hacks, journalist Yasha Levine questioned CrowdStrike's methodology, citing it as "forensics in reverse."
    In the TrumpĖUkraine controversy, a transcript of a conversation between Donald Trump, the president of the United States, and Volodymyr Zelensky, the president of Ukraine, Trump asked Zelensky to look into CrowdStrike's activities in Ukraine.
Eric Emerson Schmidt is an American businessman and software engineer.    He is known for being the CEO of Google from 2001 to 2011, Executive chairman of Google from 2011 to 2015 and executive chairman of Alphabet Inc. from 2015 to 2017.

    George Soros, in 1997, Soros closed his foundation in Belarus after it was fined $3 million by the government for "tax and currency violations."    According to The New York Times, the Belarusian president Alexander Lukashenko has been widely criticized in the West and in Russia for his efforts to control the Belarus Soros Foundation and other independent NGOs and to suppress civil and human rights.    Soros called the fines part of a campaign to "destroy independent society."
    In June 2009, Soros donated $100 million to Central Europe and Eastern Europe to counter the impact of the economic crisis on the poor, voluntary groups and non-government organisations.
    Since 2012 the Hungarian Fidesz government labelled George Soros as enemy of the state due to his humanitarian and political involvement in the European refugee crisis.    The government has attacked OSF, the international civil support foundation created by George Soros, and tried to revoke the license of Central European University (Budapest) (which failed mostly due to significant public outrage).    In response Soros called the government "a mafia state."
    As the 2018 election period started the government introduced public posters with the photo of Soros, to create hostility in the general public towards him, using statements such as "Soros wants millions of migrants to live in Hungary," and "Soros wants to dismantle the border fence."    The government also prepared a three-part law plan called "Stop Soros package" (which followed other various law changes in the same year which hindered workings of several international NGOs in Hungary), which would include various steps against NGOs doing volunteer work related to the refugee crisis.    Soros left most of these attacks without comments apart from a few short statements about the invalidity of the accusations.
    Anti George Soros sentiment graffiti in Resen, Macedonia (2018).    It reads: #Stop Soros #I will profit.
    In March 2017, six US senators sent a letter to then Secretary of State Rex Tillerson asking that he look into several grants the State Department and the US Agency for International Development (USAID) have given to groups funded by "left-wing" Soros.    According to the Heritage Foundation, the letter expressed specific concern about Soros' influence on Macedonian politics, a concern which has also been expressed by members of the conservative Macedonian government.    In the same context, Judicial Watch has filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the U.S. Department of State and USAID compelling them to release records regarding $5 million transferred from USAID to Soros' Open Society branch in Macedonia.    The suit alleges that the money was deliberately used to destabilize the Macedonian government.
    In January 2017, the "Stop Operation Soros" (SOS) initiative was launched in Macedonia.    SOS seeks to present "questions and answers about the way Soros operates worldwide" and invites citizens to contribute to the research.    In a press conference held during the same month, Nenad Mircevski, one of the founders of the initiative, stated that SOS would work towards the "de-Soros-ization" of Macedonia.
    On May 16, 2018, Soros' Open Society Foundations announced they will move its office from Budapest to Berlin, blaming the move on an "increasingly repressive" environment in Hungary.

10/5/2019 Joe Biden becomes heated over question regarding Ukraine by OAN Newsroom
    Democrat presidential candidate Joe Biden snapped at a reporter on Friday over a question regarding Ukraine.    The 2020 hopeful became heated after he was asked whether his sonís work in Ukraine could be a conflict of interest.
    The former vice president quickly fired back at the accusation.
    ďThereís been no indication of any conflict of interest from Ukraine or anywhere else,Ē said Biden.    ďIím not going to respond to that
    He became increasingly agitated and attempted to shift focus over to President Trumpís alleged involvement with Ukraine.
    ďLetís focus on the problem,Ē said Biden.    ďFocus on this man (and) what heís doing that no president has ever done
    The president responded to the candidateís comments in a Saturday morning Twitter post.
    Hunter Biden reportedly served on the board of Ukrainian energy company Burisma while his father was steering U.S. policy in the region.    Misconduct accusations allege that the former vice president pressured Ukraine to act in a way that would directly benefit his son.    No evidence of wrongdoing has surfaced thus far.

10/5/2019 Whistleblower Complaint: U.S. Ambassador Sondland to testify next week by OAN Newsroom
The Capitol is seen in Washington, early Friday, Sept. 27, 2019. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
    U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland is expected to appear at a hearing next week, a Friday report said. Sondland is one of the five State Department officials Democrats are planning to question as part of their inquiry.
    Sondland was mentioned in the whistleblower complaint, which said that he and special envoy to Ukraine, Kurt Volker, traveled to Kiev.    Their alleged mission was to ask the Ukrainian president to investigate the actions of former Vice President Joe Biden.
    Earlier this year, the ambassador said he was one of three people leading the charge for diplomacy with Ukraine.
    ďThe three amigos are Secretary Perry, Ambassador Volker and myself,Ē explained Sondland.    ďWe have been tasked with sort of overseeing the Ukraine-U.S. relationship between our contacts at the highest levels of the U.S. governmentÖand the Ukrainian government
    Several House committees recently subpoenaed Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in search of documents related to President Trumpís call with his Ukrainian counterpart President Volodymyr Zelensky.    The subpoena also requested depositions from five State Department officials.
    Pompeo said earlier this week the five officials would not show up for depositions.    He has since said that though the inquiry is a ďsilly gotcha game,Ē he and his department will be responsive.
    ďWeíll obviously do all the things that weíre required to do by law,Ē Pompeo said.    ďWeíre going to be more responsive than the Obama administration was in the years that preceded this particular Congress
    As of now, one official has been questioned by lawmakers and Sondland is set to testify on October 8th.

10/6/2019 Pompeo misses subpoena deadline for Ukraine docs - Accuses House Dems of harassment, abuse by Deirdre Shesgreen and Christal Hayes, USA TODAY
    WASHINGTON Ė Secretary of State Mike Pompeo failed to comply with a Friday deadline to turn over Ukraine-related documents to House Democrats leading an impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump.
    Pompeo said the State Department sent a letter to Congress on Friday night, but not the requested documents, and he accused House Democrats of harassing State Department employees in their quest for information.Sadly there have been congressional inquiries that have harassed and abused State Department employees,Ē Pompeo said in Greece during a news conference with that countryís foreign minister.    ďWeíll obviously do all the things that we are required to do by law,Ē he said, without specifying how long it might take to comply.
    Meanwhile, Trump was seething over the impeachment inquiry and signaled that his administration will not cooperate.    In a series of tweets Saturday, Trump defended his comments and lashed out at critics, including a past foil, Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah.
    ďThis is a fraud against the American people!Ē he tweeted.
    The State Departmentís delay in producing reams of documents related to the agencyís dealings with Rudy Giuliani, Trumpís personal attorney, and Ukrainian leaders came amid a highstakes standoff between the executive branch and Congress.    Democrats are investigating allegations that Trump used the power of his office to press a foreign government for damaging information about a top political rival. Democrats leading the inquiry suggested they were in negotiations with Pompeoís team over the subpoena.
ďSecretary Pompeo has failed to meet the deadline to produce documents required by the subpoena. However, the State Department has contacted the Committees on this matter and we hope the Department will cooperate in full promptly,Ē said a committee official who spoke on the condition of anonymity.
    The committee source said lawmakers still expected to proceed with testimony from several State Department witnesses this week.
    Pompeoís comments alleging ďharassmentĒ of State Department employees sparked fury among some former Obama administration officials, who recalled Pompeoís demands when he was a Kansas congressman.    Pompeo helped lead the House probe into the State Departmentís handling of a terrorist attack on the U.S. compound in eastern Libya where four Americans died, including Ambassador Christopher Stevens.
    Pompeo accused the Obama administration of delay and obstruction as GOP leaders asked the State Department for records related to the attack.    Democrats ďhave played hide the ball and have denied us records that the American people deserve and that our committee needs to complete our investigation,Ē Pompeo said in 2015.
Contributing: The Associated Press
Secretary of State Mike Pompeoís comments alleging harassment of State Department employees
sparked fury among some former Obama administration officials. COSTAS BALTAS/AP

10/6/2019 Impeachment probe shifting fast - Ukraine scandal gave Pelosi opening to proceed by Mary Clare Jalonick and Calvin Woodward, ASSOCIATED PRESS
    WASHINGTON Ė After more than two years of jousting over President Donald Trumpís conduct, the ground has shifted in Congress and a move toward impeachment has broken free of constraints.
    That does not mean the path ahead is all set.
    Last month, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi Ė who for months had been a powerful brake on restive Democrats wanting to impeach Trump Ė launched a formal inquiry toward that end, accusing the president of ďbetrayal of his oath of offiĀce,Ē betrayal of national security and betrayal of the integrity of American elections.
    A look at the matter and whatís known about what happens next:
Next steps
    Six House committees are investigating various aspects of alleged impropriety by the president, with the intelligence committee taking the lead in examining Trumpís actions with Ukraine.
    The investigations are on an expedited basis, though with no specifićc deadline.
    Ultimately, the House Judiciary Committee would be the panel responsible for recommending any articles of impeachment against Trump.
    If the panel backs impeachment articles, the matter goes to the full House for a vote.    Democrats control the House and its committees.
    If a majority of the full House votes for impeachment, the matter goes to the Senate, which is responsible for holding a trial, overseen by Chief Justice John Roberts.    It takes a two-thirds vote in the Senate to force a president from offiĀce Ė a daunting challenge for Democrats if the effŹort goes that far, given Republican control of that chamber.
    Impeaching a president is often misunderstood to mean his removal.    It actually means the House has voted to bring one or more articles of impeachment and send the process forward.    No president has been ousted by impeachment.
Democrats break impasse
    Some Democrats in Congress have long wanted to kick-start the constitutional process to remove Trump, despite the slim odds of success.     But they lacked a critical mass and Pelosiís support.
    Trumpís machinations to avoid culpability from the Russia investigation fed into their push, but that inquiry came to an indistinct conclusion.    Special counsel Robert Muellerís report detailed troubling episodes of presidential misbehavior, but stopped short of recommending charges for obstructing justice or conspiring with Moscow to tip the 2016 U.S. election to Trump.
    Trumpís pre-election payment to a porn actress to maintain her silence and apparent Trump Organization profićteering from his presidency also fueled impeachment sentiment from a segment of the party.    But it took a whistleblowerís still-secret complaint about Trumpís dealings with Ukraine to change the landscape.
    In a nutshell: Thereís little doubt Trump pressed Ukraine to conduct a corruption investigation of Democratic presidential contender Joe Biden and his son Ė the president has defićantly stated that he did.    He also acknowledged that days before a phone conversation with Ukraineís leader in July, he ordered military aid to Ukraine to be frozen.
    The episode raises the possibility that a president used the power of his offiĀce to get a foreign government to help him win reelection.
    Trump denies doing or saying anything improper Ė and even doubled down on Thursday, openly calling on China to investigate the Bidens.    He also plans to challenge the legitimacy of the impeachment inquiry because it wasnít approved in a vote by the full House.    Democrats said there is no requirement for a vote to start impeachment.
What has changed
    Pelosiís buy-in on impeachment proceedings is a huge advance for advocates of that approach after the proceedings in the Judiciary Committee were mostly seen as going nowhere.    As well, Democrats believe the focus on Trumpís dealings with the Ukrainian leader could resonate more than the Mueller report did.
    In terms of congressional process, not much changes, at least at fićrst.    The judiciary panel had begun impeachment hearings and had asked other committees for input.    And itís not clear that Pelosiís ďexpeditedĒ timeline will move things along any more quickly.    The committee chairman, Rep. Jerrold Nadler of New York, has said he wants to make a decision on whether to recommend articles of impeachment by the end of the year.
Last time this happened
    You can fićnd partisans during almost every administration who think the president of the opposing party should be thrown out of offiĀce between elections.    But there hasnít been a serious effŹort to do that since the impeachment of Bill Clinton.
    In 1998 and 1999, the House under Republican control pursued the impeachment of the Democratic president, primarily based on matters arising from his relationships with women outside his marriage.
    The House approved an allegation that Clinton ďwillfully provided perjurious, false and misleading testimonyĒ before independent counsel Kenneth Starrís grand jury investigation.    And it voted to bring forward the accusation that he ďprevented, obstructed and impeded the administration of justice.Ē The Republican- controlled Senate acquitted him.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi had for months been a powerful brake on restive Democrats wanting to
impeach President Donald Trump, until the Ukraine scandal broke. MEG KINNARD/AP

10/6/2019 Attorney: Second whistleblower has firsthand knowledge by OAN Newsroom
The Capitol in Washington is seen at dawn, Thursday, Oct. 3, 2019. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
    The attorney for the original whistleblower, Mark Zaid, appears to be taking on a second whistleblower.    He told the press on Sunday the second person is also an intelligence official who has firsthand knowledge of some of the allegations against President Trump.
    News of a second whistleblower first came to light on Friday in a New York Times report.    This second person has reportedly been interviewed by the head of the Intelligence Committee, but has not yet spoken with Congress.    The attorney said both officials have the full protection of the law against legal retaliation.
    The original whistleblower complaint centered on a July phone call, during which President Trump asked Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden.    House Democrats launched an impeachment inquiry in September to investigate the situation.
    President Trump has refuted any accusations of wrongdoing and took to Twitter in response to this new witness.
    The presidentís personal attorney Rudy Giuliani also weighed in on the appearance of a second whistleblower.
    Giuliani recently announced he may sue House Democrats over the impeachment inquiry, claiming their actions have violated President Trumpís civil and constitutional rights.
    ďThis is worse than McCarthy,Ē said Giuliani.    ďThis is an illicit, rogue impeachment proceeding

10/6/2019 President Trump touts 95% GOP approval rating by OAN Newsroom
President Donald Trump gives a Ďthumbs-upí towards members of the media on the
South Lawn of the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
    President Trump is touting his 95% GOP approval rating, thanking the Republican Party for their support.    The president made the remark in a tweet on Sunday.
    This comes after GOP Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel announced earlier in the day that the Trump campaign is doing better than ever.
    McDaniel said in an interview the RNC and the Trump campaign combined have raised $125 million for the presidentís reelection campaign.
    ďThatís double where former President Obama was heading into his re-election,Ē she added.
    The congresswoman also said the funds show Americaís support for the president.    Republicans lawmakers have claimed the impeachment inquiry has strengthened the presidentís base.

10/6/2019 Whistleblower fallout continues for Joe Biden, President Trump by OAN Newsroom
FILE Ė In this Jan. 30, 2010, file photo, Vice President Joe Biden, left, with his son Hunter, right. (AP Photo/Nick Wass, File)
    The whistleblower story has backfired on leading Democrats and some are questioning the legalities of actions undertaken by both Joe Biden and President Trump.    Both have been accused of using political influence for personal gain.
    Former Vice President Joe Biden is under scrutiny for misconduct allegations regarding his political influence in Ukraine.    Biden may have violated a key U.S. law called the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act of 1977 (FCPA).    The act states that federal government officials are prohibited from helping or intervening to influence a foreign official ďin order to assist in obtaining or retaining business for, with or to any person
    Accusations against the former vice president claim that he openly influenced the Ukrainian government in order to directly benefit his son.    Biden allegedly pressured Ukraine to fire the prosecutor who was investigating Burisma, the energy company where Hunter Biden worked.    The FCPA gives Republicans a strong case for investigating Joe Biden.
    Republicans may also be able to investigate him for money-laundering.    Biden reportedly gave U.S. tax dollars to Ukraine that would ultimately help his son make millions.    Money-laundering by definition is the concealment of money through a complex, untraceable system.    The intent of laundering is to return the money to the launderer in an obscure way.    Republicans may choose to argue that Bidenís misuse of U.S. tax dollars falls under this illegal method of concealment.
    The FCPA seems to vindicate President Trump, who faces similar allegations.    The president has previously stated he was doing his presidential duty by asking Ukraine to investigate Biden.    The president reiterated this right on Twitter, claiming that his role requires him to look into potential corruption.
    Thus far, Bidenís violation of the FCPA has been largely overlooked. Arizona Republican Congressman Paul Gosar has been the most vocal on the issue.    He recently released a press statement, which noted all of the ways Biden violated the law.    The congressman has since called for a ďfull investigationĒ into the former vice presidentís potential corruption.

10/7/2019 Impeachment will fail Ďwith me as majority leader,í McConnell says by Billy Kobin, Louisville Courier Journal USA TODAY NETWORK
    Last week, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said his chamber would have ďno choiceĒ but to hold a trial on whether to remove President Donald Trump from office if the House votes to impeach.
    But in a new campaign ad on Facebook, the Kentucky Republican makes clear that any impeachment attempt will fail as long as he remains in charge of the Senate.    ďNancy Pelosiís in the clutches of a left-wing mob.    They finally convinced her to impeach the president,Ē McConnell says directly to the camera in a 17- second video.
    ďAll of you know your Constitution.    The way that impeachment stops is a Senate majority with me as majority leader."
    ďBut I need your help,Ē he adds, standing in front of a picture of an elephant.    ďPlease contribute before the deadline
    The McConnell campaign, according to Facebookís ďAd Library,Ē started running the digital ad Sept. 30, a few days after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced an impeachment inquiry over whether Trump improperly pressured Ukraineís president to investigate political rival and possible 2020 opponent Joe Biden.
    The ad features the same video, but McConnellís team has paired the video with different captions that all are mostly focused on the topic of impeachment.
    ďYour conservative Senate Majority is the ONLY thing stopping Nancy Pelosi from impeaching President Trump.    Donate & help us keep it!Ē one caption reads.
    McConnell campaign manager Kevin Golden told The Courier Journal the impeachment inquiry is energizing the Senate leaderís supporters.
    ďFew issues energize conservative voters like liberal overreach,Ē Golden said in a statement.    ďAnd the Democrats latest outrageous attempt to impeach President Trump has activated our base to new heights
    Another caption from Team Mitch goes after Pelosiís fellow California Democrat, Rep. Adam Schiff, who chairs the House Intelligence Committee.
    ďBREAKING: Adam Schiff LIED.    His office secretly coordinated with the source of this laughable impeachment inquiry,Ē the caption reads.    ďHelp me stop it
    That caption appears to reference The New York Timesí reporting that Schiff received an early account of the whistleblowerís complaint regarding Trumpís phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
    The complaint from the anonymous whistleblower, reportedly a CIA officer, led to the White House releasing a summary of the July phone call between Trump and Zelensky.
    According to the callís summary, Trump told Zelensky to reopen an investigation into a Ukrainian energy company connected to Bidenís son, Hunter.
    McConnell reportedly told the White House to release the transcript of the phone call, something that McConnell and his spokespeople have not commented on.    On Thursday, Trump added further fuel to the fire by telling reporters that China should also investigate the Bidens.
    The president also claimed Thursday that McConnell put out a statement referring to the presidentís phone call with the president of Ukraine as ďthe most innocent phone call (transcript) that Iíve read
    McConnellís office has not responded to questions about Trumpís assertion, though the Senate leader dismissed criticism of the call and said it is ďlaughable to think this is anywhere close to an impeachable offense
    On the Senate floor, McConnell has defended his record of standing up for Ukraine, especially against the Russian government.
    Democrats and some Republican critics of Trump have said the presidentís requests to Ukraine and China are a blatant attempt to have a foreign power interfere with next yearís election.
    Trump has denied any wrongdoing.
    It would take a simple majority of the House (218 votes) to submit articles of impeachment to the Senate.
    A trial would then be held in the Senate, where it would take at least twothirds (or 67 votes) of the chamber to convict Trump and remove him from office.
    The chief justice of the Supreme Court presides over the trial.    But as majority leader, McConnell would have some power in setting up ground rules for a trial, including timing.
    ďSo I would have no choice but to take it up,Ē McConnell told CNBC last week, referring to the impeachment trial.    ďHow long youíre on it is a whole different matter
    The new campaign ad from McConnell shows the Senate leader sees the impeachment matter as a chance to raise funds for his 2020 reelection campaign.
    Amy McGrath, a former Marine Corps pilot and one of several Democrats in Kentucky vying to unseat McConnell in 2020, endorsed the impeachment inquiry last week.
    McGrath has also urged McConnell to show ďpatriotic courageĒ and get to the truth of the allegations in the whistleblower complaint.    The ďdeadlineĒ mentioned by McConnell in the new video refers to Sept. 30, which was the third-quarter cutoff for donations to Senate, House and presidential candidates.
    Candidates now have until Oct. 15 to file reports with the Federal Election Commission that reveal their fundraising and spending totals.
According to Facebookís Ad Library, McConnellís campaign spent a little over $63,000 on digital ads between Sept. 27 and Oct. 3.
    That represents about 44% of the roughly $143,500 that Facebook data shows Team Mitch spent from May 2018 to Oct. 3, a decent-sized sum in a brief amount of time.
    According to the most recent FEC data, McConnell had a sizable war chest for his 2020 reelection bid, with nearly $7.9 million in cash on hand.
    Reach Billy Kobin at or 502-582-7030. Support strong local journalism by subscribing today:
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., walks past reporters to the Senate chamber on Sept. 9 at the Capitol in Washington
with his arm in a sling after he suffered a broken shoulder in a fall at his home during the August recess J. AP

10/7/2019 New Trump whistleblower to speak up - Lawyer says his team represents Ďmultipleí witnesses connected to Ukraine phone call by Nicholas Wu, USA TODAY
    WASHINGTON Ė A second whistleblower ďin connection toĒ the allegations surrounding the call between President Donald Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky will be coming forward, according to that personís attorney.
    ďI can confirm that my firm and my team represent multiple whistleblowers in connection to the underlying August 12, 2019, disclosure to the Intelligence Community Inspector General,Ē tweeted attorney Andrew Bajak, whose firm Compass Rose also represents the first whistleblower.
    Mark Zaid, another Compass Rose lawyer, told ABC News about the firmís representation of a second whistleblower.
    ABC News reported that the second whistleblower Ė ďdescribed as an intelligence official Ė has firsthand knowledge of some of the allegations outlined in the original complaint.Ē
    According to ABC, the second whistleblower already had contacted Intelligence Community inspector general Michael Atkinson but had not yet reached out to any of the House Intelligence Community -or other congressional committees involved in the impeachment inquiry.
    Rep. Jim Himes, D-Conn., said on CBS Newsí ďFace the NationĒ that the House Intelligence Committee has not heard from a second whistleblower and added that ďpeople around the president, professionals who are in the Oval Office, who are in the situation room, are watching what is happening and finally saying, ĎMy God, this cannot happen anymore.íĒ    The seven-page whistleblower complaint released to the public Sept. 26 had helped spark an impeachment inquiry by revealing that Trump had pressured the Ukrainian president to open an investigation into his political rival former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden.
    The complaint also said White House officials had tried to ďlock downĒ details of the call.
    Republicans had criticized the first whistleblower for not having firsthand knowledge of the call, though the Intelligence Community inspector general had found the complaint credible, and other information consistent with the complaint was publicly reported.
    Trump has railed against the whistleblower as having the ďfacts wrong about the phone callĒ and tweeted on Saturday evening in response to a New York Times report Friday about a second whistleblower coming forward.
    It is unclear if the whistleblower represented by Zaid is the same person.
    ďThe first so-called second hand information ĎWhistleblowerí got my phone conversation almost completely wrong, so now word is they are going to the bench and another ĎWhistleblowerí is coming in from the Deep State, also with second hand info.    Meet with Shifty. Keep them coming!Ē Trump wrote.
    Zaid later tweeted what appeared to be a response to those who had criticized the first whistleblower for not having firsthand information.
    According to Zaid, the second whistleblower had firsthand possession of ďcertain info,Ē but ďthere is NO legal requirement for any (whistleblower) to have such knowledge.    Law only requires a Ďreasonable belief.íĒ Rep. Chris Stewart, R-Utah, when asked on ďFox News SundayĒ about a second whistleblower related to the Trumpís call with Zelensky, said, ďIt does not matter
    ďThis person is going to come forward and say, ĎYep, the president had this phone call,íĒ Stewart said.    ďAnd yep, we have this transcript.    Why should I care at all?Ē
    ďAnother ĎWhistleblowerí is coming in from the Deep State. ... Keep them coming!Ē President Trump on Twitter.

10/7/2019 Second whistleblower backs original claim - Lawyer says source has Ďfirsthand knowledgeí by Eric Tucker, Richard Lardner and Jill Colvin, ASSOCIATED PRESS
    WASHINGTON Ė A second whistleblower spoke to the intelligence communityís internal watchdog and has information that backs the original whistleblowerís complaint about President Donald Trumpís dealings with Ukraine, according to the lawyer for both.
    Attorney Mark Zaid said in a text message Sunday that the second whistleblower, who also works in intelligence, hasnít filed a complaint with the inspector general but has ďfirsthand knowledge that supportedĒ the original whistleblower.
    The original whistleblower, a CIA officer, filed a formal complaint with the inspector general on Aug. 12 that triggered the impeachment inquiry being led by House Democrats.    The complaint alleged Trump was ďusing the power of his office to solicit interference from a foreign countryĒ in the 2020 election.
    The disclosure of a second whistleblower threatens to undermine arguments made by Trump and his allies against the first whistleblower: that the complaint was improperly filed because it was based on secondhand or thirdhand information.
    Trump and his supporters have rejected accusations that he did anything improper.    But the White House has struggled to come up with a unified response.    No administration officials appeared on the Sunday news shows, but several congressional Republicans came to the presidentís defense during television interviews.
    Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio and Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, two of Trumpís most vocal backers, criticized the way House Democrats are handling the impeachment inquiry.
    Graham said there was nothing wrong with Trumpís July phone call during which the president pressed Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter. The conversation has raised questions about whether Trump was using near $400 million in critical American military aid to Ukraine as leverage to get help on the Biden issue.
    Hunter Biden served on the board of Burisma, a Ukrainian gas company, at the same time his father was leading the Obama administrationís diplomatic dealings with Ukraine.    Though the timing raised concerns among anticorruption advocates, there has been no evidence of wrongdoing by either Biden.    Joe Biden is a leading candidate for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination.
    ďI think this a nightmare for the Biden campaign,Ē Graham said.    Biden wrote in The Washington Post that he had a message for Trump and ďthose who facilitate his abuses of power. Ö Please know that Iím not going anywhere.    You wonít destroy me, and you wonít destroy my family
    As for Trump, rather than visiting his nearby golf course in Sterling, Virginia, for a second day, he stayed at White House.
President Donald Trump and his supporters have rejected accusations that he did anything improper. EVAN VUCCI/AP

10/7/2019 SCOTUS begins new term this week, judges expected to take on several high profile cases by OAN Newsroom
    The U.S. Supreme Court has begun its new term, and is already preparing to take on several high profile cases.    Judges began arguments on two cases Monday.
    The first case being Ramos v. Louisiana, which challenges all criminal convictions that were reached by a non-unanimous jury.    As for the second case, Kahler v. Kansas challenges a state law to abolish the insanity defense in criminal cases.
    This term has been highly anticipated as judges are expected to also address many mainstream issues.
FILE Ė In this June 20, 2019 file photo, The Supreme Court is seen under stormy skies in Washington. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
    The Supreme Court is set to decide whether LGBT workers are covered under basic discriminatory laws.    According to Title Seven of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, workers are protected from discrimination on the base of race, religion or sex, but lower courts remain torn over the law and whether the ďsexĒ category also includes sexual orientation and gender identity.
    Another anticipated ruling is the case against the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program.    This Obama-era legislation, also known as DACA, allows illegal immigrants who were brought into the country as children to stay in the U.S.    The Trump administration attempted to end the program back in 2017, but efforts were blocked by federal courts.
    ďIím gonna deal with DACA with heart,Ē said President Trump.    ďI have to deal with a lot of politicians, donít forget, and I have to convince them that what Iím saying is right and I appreciate your understanding on that
    The administration later urged the Supreme Court to reconsider his proposal, bringing it back for debate this term.

10/7/2019 U.S. diplomats to give closed-door testimony on Ukraine this week by OAN Newsroom
    Top U.S. diplomats will testify this week on Capitol Hill, including former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch and Deputy Secretary of State George Kent. Yovanovitch was removed from her post after she allegedly gave Ukrainian prosecutor Yuri Lutsenko a ďdo not prosecuteĒ list of American allies she felt were above the law.
    Also scheduled to testify is U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland, who made headlines when private text messages between him and top Ukrainian officials were released.    In the messages he confirmed there was never a request for a ďquid pro quo of any kindĒ from the president.    The texts follow the July phone call between President Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, where Trump congratulated Zelensky on his landslide victory.
    ďI actually spoke with President Trump just a few minutes before he placed the call and not only did the president call to congratulate president Zelensky, but also to begin the collaboration of charting the pathway forward with the U.S. support of Ukraine and a White House visit thatís upcoming for President Zelensky,Ē stated Sondland.
    The U.S. Ambassador to the European Union and U.S. Special Envoy to Ukraine Kurt Volker made frequent visits to Ukraine in the hopes of improving U.S. relations.    Volker has been interviewed in regards to the matter and although Democrats attempted to pry him for information they could use in their impeachment inquiry, he maintained the presidentís innocence.
    ďAmbassador Volker ó unbelievably knowledgeable about what was going on in UkraineÖjust a true professional in our diplomatic corps, but not one thing he has said comports with any of the democratic impeachment narrative, not one thing,Ē said Ohio Representative Jim Jordan.
    The diplomats are scheduled to testify before various subcommittees in closed-door sessions this week.

10/7/2019 Kudlow: U.S. and China starting with a clean slate for this weekís trade talks by OAN Newsroom
    White House Economic Adviser Larry Kudlow says the U.S. and China are starting with a ďclean slateĒ for this weekís trade talks.    He told reporters that deputy level talks are underway ahead of principal level talks at the end of the week.    Kudlow also said President Trump remains focused on stopping forced tech transfers and intellectual property theft.
    As reports claim the two sides could agree to a series of smaller deals ahead of a long term agreement, Kudlow said the White House is ďopen to a number of ideas.Ē    He then touted the strength of the U.S. economy even as the tariff battle continues with China.
White House chief economic adviser Larry Kudlow speaks with reporters outside the White House,
Monday, Oct. 7, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
ďThe president is defending the American economy, he will continue to defend the American economy.    Now having said that, the Chinese seem to be a little more cooperative recently.    Theyíve been in the market buying some agriculture.    We like that.    The statements coming out of Beijing have been a little more positive.    Seems like the mood music has improved.    I again, I donít want to predict outcomes, all of these decisions are subject to to what President Trump wants to do.Ē ó Larry Kudlow, Director of the National Economic Council
    High level talks will begin Thursday and will be led by Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.

10/7/2019 Report: Shakeup at Ukraine gas firm by OAN Newsroom
    As the controversy at a Ukrainian gas company unravels, new information has revealed it may be associates of the president who were exerting the most influence.
    The Associated Press recently reported Republican donors and businessmen traveled to Ukraine last spring, pushing for a change in management at the firm.    The associates touted their relationship with President Trump and his attorney, Rudy Giuliani, in an effort to score lucrative contracts.
    However, the plan was foiled when Ukraineís president lost in 2019, but was reignited by Energy Secretary Rick Perry.    The report claimed Perry was seeking to reform a liquefied gas plant in Ukraine, which would corroborate reports he was a leader in the talks.
    ďWe have what are called Ďthe three amigosí and Ďthe three amigosí are Secretary Perry, Ambassador Volker and myself,Ē stated Gordon Sondland, U.S. ambassador to the European Union.    ďAnd weíve been tasked with sort of overseeing the Ukraine-U.S. relationship between our contacts at the highest levels of the U.S. government and now the highest levels of the Ukrainian government
U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry arrives for a meeting with Lithuaniaís President Gitanas Nausedaprior at the
Presidential palace in Vilnius, Lithuania, Monday, Oct. 7, 2019. (AP Photo/Mindaugas Kulbis)
    Perry has since confirmed he was the one who told President Trump to make the controversial phone call to the Ukrainian leader.    Meanwhile, the lawyer for the American businessmen, John Dowd, said it was the Ukrainians who contacted his clients about making a deal.
    This comes as several U.S. diplomats are slated to testify before various subcommittees in closed door sessions this week regarding allegations they helped encourage Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate Hunter Biden.

10/7/2019 Rep. Engel criticizes Secretary Pompeo over Ďlaughableí harassment claims by OAN Newsroom
    House Foreign Affairs Committee chairman Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.) is accusing Mike Pompeo of failing to comply with House inquiries.    While speaking on CBS Newsí ďFace the NationĒ Sunday, Engel rejected Pompeoís claim that House Democrats are harassing members of the Trump administration.
    The New York Democrat said the secretary of state and State Department have not provided Ukraine-related documents to House lawmakers.    Meanwhile, Pompeo claimed his department has responded to Democratsí request without specifying what that response was.
    Engel is now urging the State Department to comply with all congressional subpoenas.
    Pompeo claimed his department is more responsive to congressional requests than the previous administration.    He pointed out it took a very long time for the Obama-era State Department to release documents on Benghazi among other things.
Eliot Lance Engel is the U.S. Representative for New Yorkís 16th Congressional District. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

10/7/2019 Trump threatens to Ďobliterateí Turkish economy over Syria incursion plan by Humeyra Pamuk and Daren Butler
FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump talks to Turkeyís President Recep Tayyip Erdogan at NATO headquarters
in Brussels, Belgium July 11, 2018. Tatyana Zenkovich/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo
    WASHINGTON/ISTANBUL (Reuters) Ė President Donald Trump on Monday launched a harsh attack on NATO ally Turkey, threatening to destroy its economy if Ankara takes a planned military strike in Syria too far even though the U.S. leader himself has opened the door for a Turkish incursion.
    Trump said he would ďtotally destroy and obliterateĒ Turkeyís economy if it took action in Syria that he considered ďoff-limitsĒ following his decision on Sunday to pull out U.S. forces from northeastern Syria.
    The U.S. withdrawal will leave Kurdish-led forces in Syria that have long allied with Washington vulnerable to a planned incursion by the Turkish military which brands them terrorists.
    Trumpís stern words seemed to be aimed at placating critics who accused him of abandoning the Syrian Kurds by pulling out U.S. forces.    Leaders from both parties and both houses of Congress joined in the criticism, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Trumpís fellow Republican.
    ďAs I have stated strongly before, and just to reiterate, if Turkey does anything that I, in my great and unmatched wisdom, consider to be off limits, I will totally destroy and obliterate the Economy of Turkey (Iíve done before!)Ē Trump tweeted.
    Turkeyís lira slid more than 2% to its lowest level in more than a month against the dollar on Monday over concerns about the planned incursion into northern Syria and Trumpís warning.
    Investors have been closely watching tense ties between Ankara and Washington in recent months, with the countries at odds over a range of issues, including Syria and Turkeyís purchase of Russian missile defense systems.
    Turkey has repeatedly threatened to carry out an incursion against U.S.-backed Kurdish fighters in northeastern Syria who have links to Kurdish guerrillas operating next door in Turkey.
    The United States began pulling troops back from the northeast Syrian border on Monday, effectively giving Turkey a green light to move into the area.
    Earlier on Monday, Trump said the United States should leave others from European allies to Iranian foes, ďto figure the situation outĒ in the region.
    He wrote on Twitter that ďit is time for us to get out of these ridiculous Endless Wars, many of them tribal, and bring our soldiers home.    WE WILL FIGHT WHERE IT IS TO OUR BENEFIT, AND ONLY FIGHT TO WIN.    Turkey, Europe, Syria, Iran, Iraq, Russia and the Kurds will now have to figure the situation out
    It is a major policy shift that was denounced as a ďstab in the backĒ by Kurdish-led forces who have been Washingtonís most capable partners in fighting Islamic State in Syria, also known by its acronym ISIS.
    U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a Democrat, called on Trump to ďreverse this dangerous decisionĒ to withdraw, saying in a statement that it threatened regional security and sent a message to Iran and Russia, as well as U.S. allies, that the United States is no longer a trusted partner.
    McConnell, the Republican Senate leader, said in a statement: ďA precipitous withdrawal of U.S. forces from Syria would only benefit Russia, Iran, and the Assad regime.    And it would increase the risk that ISIS and other terrorist groups regroup
    Lindsey Graham, a Republican senator who is generally a vocal Trump supporter, on the Fox News Channel criticized the Syria pullout decision as ďimpulsive
    France warned that the U.S. decision to withdraw from northeastern Syria could open the door to a revival of Islamic State, which has suffered significant battlefield losses to a U.S.-led coalition in the area.
    ďWe are going to be extremely careful that this announced disengagement from the United States and a possible offensive by Turkey does not create a dangerous maneuver that diverts from the goal we all pursue Ė the fight against Islamic State Ė and which is dangerous for the local population,Ē Franceís armed forces minister, Florence Parly, told reporters.
    The United States expects Turkey to take responsibility for captive Islamic State fighters in northeastern Syria if Ankaraís planned incursion seizes areas where the detained militants are held, a senior State Department official said.
    The captives are held in SDF facilities south of a safe zone initially proposed by Turkey.
    Aside from Trumpís threat, the State Department official and the Pentagon both said the United States did not endorse Turkeyís planned offensive.
    ďWe made it clear (to the Turks) that we do not support this operation,Ē the official told reporters.    ďWe think this operation is a very bad idea
    A U.S. official said Turkey had been removed from a military mechanism used to coordinate air operations over northern Syria and that Turkey would no longer have access to U.S. intelligence and surveillance feeds in the region.
    U.S. relations with Turkey under Trump have been rocky.
    Last year, he imposed tariffs on Turkish steel and aluminum products over Ankaraís detention of a U.S. pastor whose case was supported by members of his Christian conservative base.
    For graphic on where Kurds live, click on
(Reporting by Humeyra Pamuk and Daren Butler; Additional reporting by Orhan Coskun, Can Sezer, Tuvan Gumrukcu and Ece Toksabay and Ezgi Erkoyunlu in Turkey, Tom Perry in Beirut and Makini Brice and Phil Stewart in Washington; Writing by Alistair Bell; Editing by Howard Goller)

10/7/2019 Trump campaign touts Republican rule changes aimed at unified 2020 convention by Ginger Gibson and Steve Holland
FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump attends Young Black Leadership Summit at the
White House in Washington, U.S., October 4, 2019. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas/File Photo
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) Ė President Donald Trumpís reelection campaign detailed on Monday efforts to change Republican Party rules across the country to reduce the potential for opposition to the president at the 2020 nominating convention.
    Three Trump campaign senior officials told reporters on a call on Monday they have worked with state parties to make it harder for Republican primary opponents to influence the selection of the delegates to the convention Trump, who enjoys strong popularity in public opinion polls within his own party, is facing three primary opponents, all of whom have struggled to gain traction.
    The Republican Party will hold its official nominating convention in Charlotte in August 2020. Convention delegates Ė who officially select the nominee Ė are chosen by states and in modern times reflect the primary vote taken in each state.
    While a small convention rebellion would be unlikely to dislodge Trump as the Republican nominee, the optics could be damaging for Trump, who likes to tout his broad support within his party.
    ďThe rules of the party now reflect adequately that the will of the voters in the presidentís party.    This is not being done from a position of weakness,Ē one of the senior campaign officials said.    The campaign officials could not be named as part of an agreement to listen to the call.
    In some states, the primary vote has been canceled entirely and party officials will select pro-Trump delegates.    In other states, new rules backed by Trumpís campaign will make it harder for primary opponents who garner a small percentage of the vote to influence delegate selection.
    The campaign appears to be working to ensure there is not a repeat of the 2016 convention, where Trump was nominated in Cleveland.    His campaign put minimal effort into influencing delegate selection and at times, opposition to his victory in the Republican primary was vocalized by delegates on the convention floor.
    We ďcare about who is seated in all the chairs on the convention floor in Charlotte next year.    We care about that because we care about ensuring a predetermined outcome in Charlotte
    The announcement comes as Trump faces intense criticism and scrutiny for a July phone call in which he asked Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate his political rival Joe Biden and his family.    House Democrats have opened an impeachment inquiry into the presidentís actions after learning about the call from a whistleblower.
(Reporting by Ginger Gibson; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)

10/7/2019 Arms firms fret over delays in Franco-German fighter project by Tim Hepher
FILE PHOTO: 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) Ė Franceís Dassault Aviation and Europeís Airbus have stepped up pressure on France and Germany to agree the next stage of a planned fighter project, warning Europeís arms industry and long-term security could suffer from delays.
    The two companies are the leading industrial partners in a project to build a futuristic swarm of manned and unmanned warplanes, announced by the leaders of France and Germany two years ago and expanded earlier this year to include Spain.
    Dassault and Airbus won a 65-million-euro contract in January to develop the concept for the Future Combat Air System (FCAS) but await a new contract to build demonstrators for interlinked fighters, drones and an ďair combat cloudĒ by 2026.
    Dassault Aviation Chief Executive Eric Trappier told a conference of policymakers last month that the demonstrator contract should have been launched in September but this was now slipping toward end-year.    He called it ďindispensableĒ to avoid any further delays in order to maintain the 2026 deadline.
    No reason has been given for the delays.
    On Monday evening, Dassault and Airbus amplified those warnings with a joint statement.
    ďIf Europe does not move forward ó and move forward quickly ó on this program, it will be impossible to maintain the development and production capabilities needed for a sovereign defense industry,Ē the companies said.
    The warplane system is expected to be operational from 2040, with a view to replacing Dassaultís Rafale and the four-nation Eurofighter, in which Airbus represents both Germany and Spain.
    The new project faces competition from Britain and its plans for a new combat jet dubbed ďTempest
    The fighter developments have split the current Eurofighter consortium and led to a shake-up of industrial alliances as Italy joins Eurofighter partner Britain on Tempest, turning its back on Germany and Spain, while Sweden has opened the door to abandoning its independent stance by co-operating on Tempest.
    The FCAS is also overshadowed by differences between France and Germany over export policy after Germany imposed a ban on arms exports to Saudi Arabia over the death of killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi a year ago by Saudi operatives.
    The ban, recently extended to March, has raised questions over a long-delayed Saudi border systems contract run by Airbus.
    Airbus Defense and Space Chief Executive Dirk Hoke called in a magazine interview last week for the export ban to be relaxed.    German Chancellor Angela Merkelís government has said there is no reason for the moratorium to be lifted.     France and Germany are expected to discuss the issue at ministerial meetings this week.
    Airbus meanwhile faces a battle to shore up its position as a top defense contractor in Spain after losing its place as the representative of Spainís interests on the upcoming fighter project to local defense electronics firm Indra Sistemas.
    Spain last month named Indra as contractor for the Spanish share of the Franco-German-led FCAS project, displacing Airbus from the Spanish coordinator role it had held on Eurofighter.
    Airbus officials have pledged to try to overturn the move but a Spanish defense source told Reuters there was no change in the decision.
    Indra declined to comment.
    Publicly, Airbus has said it was surprised by the decision but has pledged to continue to defend Spainís best interests.
    Dassault will meanwhile mark a long-awaited milestone on Tuesday when it delivers the first of 36 Rafales to India, the culmination of a fighter procurement process that lasted almost 20 years and involved the cancellation of a much larger deal.
    La Tribune reported on Monday that France and India were discussing a possible repeat order for 36 more Rafales.
(Additional reporting by Emma Pinedo Gonzalez in Madrid, Tassilo Hummel in Berlin, Editing by Deepa Babington)

10/7/2019 Mission impossible: Next EU foreign policy chief warns of EU irrelevance by Robin Emmott
European Commissioner-designate for a Stronger Europe in the World Josep Borrell Fontelles of Spain speaks during
his hearing before the European Parliament in Brussels, Belgium October 7, 2019. REUTERS/Yves Herman
    BRUSSELS (Reuters) Ė The European Union must learn to speak with one voice on the international stage and also develop a ďmilitary capacity to actĒ or slide into irrelevance, eclipsed by Washington and Beijing, its incoming foreign policy chief said on Monday.
    The EU, with a total population of more than 500 million, accounts for more than 20% of global economic output and is the worldís biggest aid donor, wielding considerable ďsoft power
    But its complex institutional arrangements and the competing priorities among its 28 member states have long checked its influence in foreign and security policy.
    The decision of Britain to leave the EU, Washingtonís withdrawal from the 2015 Iran nuclear accord and Europeís failure to help stabilize neighbors from the Caucasus to the Sahara have further undermined the EUís global clout.
    Josep Borrell, Spainís foreign minister who was picked by EU leaders in July to become the blocís top diplomat from Nov. 1, said Europe must now back up its rhetoric with decisive action or be increasingly sidelined by other global players.
    ďI am convinced that if we donít act together, Europe will become irrelevant,Ē Borrell told the European Parliament in a confirmation hearing, calling for more EU joint spending on defense and a greater willingness to deploy EU battlegroups.
    Faced with an increasingly powerful and assertive China and a United States under President Donald Trump pursuing an ďAmerica FirstĒ agenda, Europe must try much harder to make its voice heard and to defend its interests, he said.
    ďEurope has to position itself among the growing confrontation between the U.S. and ChinaÖ we have to promote our own approach,Ē he said, alluding to the trade war and increased geopolitical rivalry between Washington and Beijing.
    Borrell, a 72-year-old veteran of EU politics who will replace Italyís Federica Mogherini, said the U.S.-led NATO alliance would remain the bedrock of European security but added: ďThere is no certainty about the international role of the United States
    The EU and Washington disagree on a range of international issues, including Iran, and Trump has publicly chided European countries, especially economic powerhouse Germany, for not spending more on their own defense.
    Acknowledging that the EU foreign policy post, which tries to meld the competing ambitions of 28 governments, was ďmission impossible,Ē Borrell said his priority would be the six Balkan states Ė Serbia, Kosovo, Montenegro, Albania, Bosnia and North Macedonia Ė which aspire to join the bloc one day.
    Borrell said his first foreign trip would be to Kosovo, whose independence Spain has not recognized due to concerns about fanning the ambitions of separatist Catalans.
    ďWe cannot be a global actor if we cannot resolve our problems at home,Ē he said.
    The Balkan states are struggling to meet EU standards on the rule of law and tackling corruption but must also contend with growing reluctance among some member states to take in new members while existing problems remain unresolved.
    Borrell said other priorities for his five-year term were stronger EU arms export controls, a policy to stabilize Libya and maintaining EU sanctions on Russia, imposed over Moscowís seizure of Crimea and its support for separatists in Ukraine.
    In his new role, Borrell will be a member of the executive European Commission which draws up laws and helps set policy for the bloc.    Its incoming president, Ursula von der Leyen, a German, has said reversing the EUís waning influence as an open, free-trading, democratic bloc will be a priority for her team.
(Editing by Gareth Jones)

10/8/2019 Oil down $0.06 to $52.75, DOW down 96 to 26,478.

10/8/2019 ĎBuckle upí: Abrupt Syria policy shift is sign of Trump unchained by Matt Spetalnick, Steve Holland and Arshad Mohammed
FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump speaks about Turkey and Syria during a formal signing ceremony for the U.S.-Japan
Trade Agreement at the White House in Washington, October 7, 2019. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque/File Photo
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) Ė Over the span of just a few hours, U.S. President Donald Trump upended his own policy on Syria with a chaotic series of pronouncements, blindsiding foreign allies, catching senior Republican supporters off guard and sending aides scrambling to control the damage.
    Trumpís decision on Sunday to remove some U.S. forces from northeastern Syria, opening the door to a Turkish offensive against U.S.-allied Kurdish fighters in the region, provides a vivid example of how, with traditional White House structures largely shunted aside and few aides willing to challenge him, he feels freer than ever to make foreign policy on impulse.
    While Trumpís erratic ways are nothing new, some people inside and outside of his administration worry that the risk of dangerous miscalculation from his seat-of-the-pants approach may only increase as he moves into re-election campaign mode facing a number of unresolved, volatile international issues, including Iran, North Korea and Afghanistan.
    He also made clear on Monday that he was determined to make good on his 2016 campaign promise to extract the United States from ďthese endless wars,Ē although his plans for doing so are clouded by uncertainty.
    It comes as Trump is under growing pressure from a Democratic-led impeachment inquiry over his efforts to get Ukraine to investigate one of his political opponents, former Vice President Joe Biden.
    ďThereís a real sense that nobody is going to stop Trump from being Trump at this stage, so everybody should buckle up,Ē said one U.S. national security official, who cited Trumpís firing last month of national security adviser John Bolton as a sign of the president being less restrained than ever by his top advisers.
    Trumpís policy whiplash on Syria started shortly after a phone call with Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan on Sunday in which he sought U.S. support for Ankaraís planned incursion.    Afterward, the White House said that U.S. forces ďwill no longer be in the immediate area,Ē suggesting that Turkey could be given free rein to strike Kurdish forces long aligned with Washington in the fight against Islamic State.
    Trump, in a series of Monday tweets, appeared at first to double down on plans for a U.S. troop drawdown, but later threatened to destroy the economy of NATO ally Turkey if it took its military operation too far.    That seemed to be an attempt to placate criticism, including from Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, that he was abandoning the Syrian Kurds, who denounced it as a ďstab in the back
CONFUSION AMONG TRUMP AIDES     The latest presidential pronouncements on Syria injected news confusion over U.S. Syria policy.
    Last December, acting without any kind of formal policymaking process, Trump called for a complete U.S. withdrawal from Syria.    But he ultimately reversed himself after drawing strong pushback from the Pentagon, including the resignation of then-Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, and an uproar on Capitol Hill and among U.S. allies in Europe and the Middle East.
    Trump insisted to reporters on Monday that he ďconsulted with everybodyĒ on his new Syria decision, although the announcement seemed to catch Congress as well as some within his administration by surprise.
    ďHe makes impulsive decisions with no knowledge or deliberation,Ē tweeted Brett McGurk, who served as Trumpís envoy for the international coalition to combat Islamic State and quit after the December Syria policy uproar.
    Trumpís abrupt decision on Syria came after learning in the phone call with Erdogan that the Turks planned to go ahead with a long-threatened incursion, a senior administration official said.
    ďWe were not asked to remove our troops.    The president when he learned about the potential Turkish invasion, knowing that we have 50 special operations troops in the region, made the decision to protect those troopsĒ by pulling them back, the official said.
    The official underscored that Trumpís decision did not constitute a U.S. withdrawal from Syria.
    Trump made clear to Erdogan that the United States did not support the Turkish military plan, which came as a surprise to the Turkish leader, a senior State Department official said.
    There was some confusion among senior officials to figure out what Trump had actually decided, a source familiar with the internal deliberations at the White House said.
But the senior administration official, speaking on a conference call with reporters, denied that Pentagon officials were ďblindsided,Ē and Trump said he had consulted with the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
    U.S. officials told Reuters repeatedly ahead of Trumpís decision that U.S. personnel would not be able to stay in northeast Syria if their Kurdish-led partners, the Syrian Democratic Forces, were forced to turn their attention to a massive Turkish invasion.    That view was reaffirmed on Monday, as officials warned that only a limited pullback was expected for now Ė but a larger one could follow.
    ďIf itís wide-scale conflict, we would not have a partner in northeast Syria,Ē one U.S. official said on Monday, speaking on condition of anonymity.
    The president saw his decision in the context of fulfilling a campaign promise to ultimately bring U.S. troops home. He visited Walter Reed Medical Center on Friday and awarded Purple Heart medals to a half-dozen wounded warriors.
    Trump himself got into the subject earlier when taking questions from reporters at the White House.    He said the United States had become a ďpolice forceĒ in Syria and elsewhere in the Middle East and he wanted to change that.
    ďI have to sign letters often to parents of young soldiers that were killed and itís the hardest thing I have to do.    I hate it,Ē Trump said.
    Some independent analysts said, however, that Trumpís freewheeling way of making war-related decisions could further undermine U.S. credibility with allies and partners.    He has already whipsawed on plans for a withdrawal from the long-running war in Afghanistan.
    ďWe find ourselves involved in counterterror operations around the world,Ē said Fred Hof, a former Pentagon and State Department official.    ďPotential partners will be looking at what happened in Syria and drawing certain conclusions
(Reporting by Matt Spetalnick, Steve Holland and Arshad Mohammed; Additional reporting by Phil Stewart, Idrees Ali and Humeyra Pamuk; writing by Matt Spetalnick; Editing by Mary Milliken and Peter Cooney)

10/8/2019 Phone calls with Trump: more risky venture than diplomatic boon by Luke Baker
President Donald Trump's glass of Diet Coke with the presidential seal on it sits on his desk in front of his phones during an exclusive
interview with Reuters journalists in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, U.S. December 11, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
    LONDON (Reuters) Ė Arranging a phone call with the president of the United States used to be seen as a diplomatic win.    But increasingly it comes with serious risks, from transcript leaks to domestic political blowback, and advisers are growing wary.
    The fallout from Trumpís July 25th call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy is still reverberating in Kiev and has led to the opening of an impeachment inquiry in Washington.
    U.S. lawmakers leading the inquiry now want access to Trumpís calls with Russian President Vladimir Putin and some other world leaders, with the chairman of the U.S. House Intelligence Committee citing concerns that Trump may have jeopardized national security.
    ďPeople have to adjust to the fact that a phone call with Trump is not the same as a phone call with any normal leader,Ē said Gerard Araud, the French ambassador in Washington until last June, who helped organize a number of calls between President Emmanuel Macron and the White House.
    For any world leader who has spoken to Trump, the idea that verbatim transcripts could be released is a worrying prospect and likely to alter how such calls ó a lifeblood of international diplomacy ó play out in the future.
    Yet Araud suggested leaks were perhaps the least of leadersí concerns, citing Trumpís tendency to veer into unexpected territory, destabilizing his interlocutor.
    ďIf you want to make progress on policy, thatís a real problem.    Every head of state and government has had to adjust to this non-dialogue,Ē he said.
    ďEverything has been blown out of the water
    The warning signs were arguably there from the beginning.
    A few days after Trump took office in January 2017, he held a call with then Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.    At one point in the testy exchange Trump told Turnbull ďYouíre worse than I am,Ē and complained that a U.S. migration deal with Australia ďshows me to be a dope
    The transcript was leaked to the Washington Post and caused Turnbull, who stood up to Trump during the call, problems at home for his staunch anti-immigration line.
    Last week, the U.S. Justice Department confirmed Trump had held calls with leaders other than Zelenskiy to ask them to help Attorney General William Barr with his wide-ranging inquiry into the origins of Robert Muellerís investigation into Russiaís role in the 2016 presidential election.
    The leaders were not named, but Prime Minister Scott Morrison confirmed he had spoken to Trump about it.    The British government said Trump spoke to Prime Minister Boris Johnson the day after Trump and Zelenskiy spoke, listing unrelated themes.
    A phone call with U.S. president used to be like hitting the jackpot for world leaders but Trump had turned that idea on its head, said Jonathan Eyal, the international director of the Royal United Services Institute.
    ďGetting the president on the phone is very risky.    It is very difficult to avoid these calls, but there will be a greater care among heads of government now in what they say to Trump
    Calls between leaders involve hours of preparation and briefing beforehand, with advisers drawing up introductory remarks, talking points, responses to challenging issues that might crop up and specific policies where cooperation is sought.     A number of people will be listening in, some taking minutes and producing a transcript that is circulated to relevant government departments so that action can be taken afterwards.     A former prime minister of an EU country said if he were talking to Trump now, he would be extremely wary of straying off topic, even if that meant failing to strike up a good rapport with Trump, who tends to look for common ground ó like talking about golf ó and uses very familiar language.     ďOf course you want to have good relations with the president of the United States, but in the current environment you would want to stick to the script and keep it very dry,Ē the former leader said, speaking on condition of anonymity to avoid coloring his countryís ties with the United States.
    A senior diplomat who often plans and listens on calls between his prime minister and other world leaders said leaks were always a concern, but partisan politics is a new risk.
    "These are important set-piece events ó you want to get the call right, make your points and progress the relationship,Ē the official said.    ďThatís become harder (with Trump).    Itís less predictable. Your careful planning can be thrown off course with an unexpected remark
    He said those talking to Trump needed to be businesslike and ďjust the facts,Ē avoiding exchanges like Zelenskiyís, in which the Ukrainian at times comes across as almost fawning.
    Araud underscored that point, saying he had advised Macron to avoid responding to Trumpís provocations.
    ďMy advice to Macron, on Twitter at least, was not to react, because Trump will double down and you will lose
    Britainís relations with the United States are still affected by the leak to a British newspaper in July of a cable highly critical of Trump written by Kim Darroch, the former British ambassador to Washington.
    Trump responded by calling Darroch ďwackyĒ and ďvery stupidĒ on Twitter.    The ambassador resigned days later.
    ďDiplomats canít really do their job if there is a significant risk of their honest, unfiltered judgments being leaked to the media,Ē said Peter Westmacott, a former British ambassador to Washington and Paris.
    ďDiplomats need to know that this has not become the new normal
(Additional reporting by William James; writing by Luke Baker; editing by Philippa Fletcher)

10/7/2019 U.S. diplomats to give closed-door testimony on Ukraine this week by OAN Newsroom
    Top U.S. diplomats will testify this week on Capitol Hill, including former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch and Deputy Secretary of State George Kent.    Yovanovitch was removed from her post after she allegedly gave Ukrainian prosecutor Yuri Lutsenko a ďdo not prosecuteĒ list of American allies she felt were above the law.
    Also scheduled to testify is U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland, who made headlines when private text messages between him and top Ukrainian officials were released.    In the messages he confirmed there was never a request for a ďquid pro quo of any kindĒ from the president.    The texts follow the July phone call between President Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, where Trump congratulated Zelensky on his landslide victory.
    ďI actually spoke with President Trump just a few minutes before he placed the call and not only did the president call to congratulate president Zelensky, but also to begin the collaboration of charting the pathway forward with the U.S. support of Ukraine and a White House visit thatís upcoming for President Zelensky,Ē stated Sondland.
    The U.S. Ambassador to the European Union and U.S. Special Envoy to Ukraine Kurt Volker made frequent visits to Ukraine in the hopes of improving U.S. relations.    Volker has been interviewed in regards to the matter and although Democrats attempted to pry him for information they could use in their impeachment inquiry, he maintained the presidentís innocence.
    ďAmbassador Volker ó unbelievably knowledgeable about what was going on in UkraineÖjust a true professional in our diplomatic corps, but not one thing he has said comports with any of the democratic impeachment narrative, not one thing,Ē said Ohio Representative Jim Jordan.
    The diplomats are scheduled to testify before various subcommittees in closed-door sessions this week.

10/8/2019 EU Ambassador Gordon Sondland will not testify before House Dems by OAN Newsroom
    The U.S. ambassador to the European Union will not appear at a hearing on the Ukraine controversy.
    Reports said the State Department advised Gordon Sondland not to testify Tuesday during a deposition with House Democrats, who are leading an impeachment inquiry.
    Sondland is considered a key witness to President Trumpís dealings with Ukraine. In released text messages, he made clear the President said there was never a request for a ďquid pro quoĒ regarding talks with the Ukrainian government.
President Donald Trump, left, waves as he walks to his vehicle with Melania Trump, right, during their arrival
on Air Force One at Melsbroek Air Base, Tuesday, July 10, 2018 in Brussels, Belgium. Walking with them is
Ambassador Gordon D. Sondland, center, U.S. Ambassador to the European Union. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
    His attorney released a statement Tuesday, saying Sondland wanted to testify, but is required to follow the State Departmentís directions.
    On Twitter, President Trump addresses the State Departmentís decision to block Washingtonís ambassador to the EU from testifying on the Ukraine controversy.
    The President said he would love to have Sondland testify. However, he said Sondland would be testifying before a ďcompromised kangaroo court,Ē where Republicans rights have been taken away, and true facts are not allowed out for the public to see.
    Meanwhile, GOP lawmakers have also been quick to defend the move, with Representative Jim Jordan calling out House Intel Chair Adam Schiff for running this ďunfair and partisan
    "We understand the reason why the State Department decided not to have Ambassador Sondland appear today,Ē said Jordan.    ďUnfortunately when you have a speaker of the house who says strike when the iron is hot, when you have a chairman of the committee who is so biased against this president he didnít tell us he met with the whistle blower prior to his complaint and frankly this is a pattern with Mr. Schiff
    Jordon went on to slam House Democrats for selectively leaking information from the investigation, noting the house panels decision to only share select text messages between President Trump and Sondland, rather than releasing the entire transcript.

10/8/2019 Graham invites Giuliani to testify on alleged corruption in Ukraine by OAN Newsroom
    Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham invites Rudy Giuliani to appear before his panel to lay out his concerns regarding Ukraine.
FILE Ė In this Aug. 1, 2018 file photo, Rudy Giuliani, attorney for President Donald Trump, addresses a gathering during a campaign
event in Portsmouth, N.H. House committees have subpoena Giuliani for documents related to Ukraine. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa, File )
    Graham reached out to the Presidentís personal attorney Tuesday, saying he wants to learn more about the ďdisturbing allegationsĒ surrounding the firing of former Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin.
Graham has been a firm supporter of the president since news of the whistleblower broke, and he has repeatedly called for an investigation into Joe Biden.
    ďDid Biden know that his son was receiving $50,000 a month from a gas company that is being investigated by the prosecutor, wait a minute, the board, the guys on the board are being investigated for corruption, the guy doing the investigation is asked to be fired by Biden, I donít know what happened, but it smells to high heaven,Ē said Graham.
    Graham said ďgiven the House of Representatives behavior, it is time for the senate to inquire about corruption and other improprieties involving Ukraine
    Giuliani responded to the invitation, saying he will consider the offer, but he reminded Graham about his restrictions as a lawyer.
[Will the Democrats run out of the Senate because their ears will be burning on fire from the truth being told?].

10/8/2019 Rep. Schiff speaks out on Trump Admin. decision to block EU ambassador testimony by OAN Newsroom
    House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff claims the Trump administrations decision to block EU ambassador Gordon Sondland from testifying is ďadditional strong evidence of obstruction
    Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, gives a statement to members of the media on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Oct. 8, 2019.    The Trump administration barred Gordon Sondland, the U.S. European Union ambassador, from appearing Tuesday before a House panel conducting the impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump.
    Speaking on Capitol Hill Tuesday, Schiff accused President Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo of blocking congress from getting the facts they need to protect national security.
    He also claimed the State Department is withholding text messages or emails Sondland has on a personal device.
    ďBut we are also aware that the ambassador has text messages or emails on a personal device which have been provided to the State Department although we have requested those from the ambassador and the State Department is withholding those messages as well,Ē said Schiff.    ďThose messages are also deeply relevant to this investigation
    Schiff also said prior to this morning there was no indication Sondland would not show up to testify.

10/8/2019 U.S. Border apprehension continues to drop amid immigration crackdown by OAN Newsroom
    The acting commissioner of Customs and Border Protection gives an update on the situation at the U.S. Mexico border.
FILE Ė This March 2, 2019 photo shows a Customs and Border Control agent patrols on the US side of a razor-wire-covered
border wall along the Mexico east of Nogales, Ariz. A U.S. Border Patrol agent has died after being found unresponsive while on
patrol near the Arizona border, but authorities say thereís no evidence of foul play. The agencyís Tucson sector says in a
Monday, Oct. 7, 2019, statement that agents on Sunday found 44-year-old Robert Hotten unresponsive near Mount Washington
south of Patagonia in southeastern Arizona. He was patrolling alone, which is customary. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel,File)
    Acting CBP Commissioner Mark Morgan said Tuesday there have been 52,000 apprehensions in September, which marks the fourth month in a row of a steady decline in which he credits to President Trumpís efforts to end illegal immigration.
    Morgan highlighted how CBP agents sacrifice their lives in order to protect the U.S. with the most recent border agent death reported on Sunday.
    The acting commissioner also touched on the border wall, saying by the end of next year, CBP expects to have 450 miles constructed of the new border wall.

10/8/2019 U.N. chief warns may not have enough money to pay staff next month by Michelle Nichols
FILE PHOTO: United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres addresses the opening of the 74th session of the United Nations
General Assembly at U.N. headquarters in New York City, New York, U.S., September 24, 2019. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson
    UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) Ė The United Nations may not have enough money for staff salaries next month if member states donít pay what they owe, U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned on Tuesday.
    He told the 193-member U.N. General Assemblyís budget committee that if he had not worked since January to cut spending then the ďwe would not have had the liquidity to supportĒ the annual gathering of world leaders last month.
    ďThis month, we will reach the deepest deficit of the decade.    We risk Ö entering November without enough cash to cover payrolls,Ē said Guterres.    ďOur work and our reforms are at risk
    The United States is the largest contributor Ė responsible for 22 percent of the more than $3.3 billion regular budget for 2019, which pays for work including political, humanitarian, disarmament, economic and social affairs and communications.
    Washington owes some $381 million for prior regular budgets and $674 million for the 2019 regular budget.    The U.S. mission to the United Nations confirmed the figures.    It did not immediately respond to a request for comment on when it might pay.
    U.S. President Donald Trump has said Washington is shouldering an unfair burden of the cost of the United Nations and has pushed for reforms of the world body.    Guterres has been working to improve U.N. operations and cut costs.
    U.N. spokesperson Stephane Dujarric said so far 129 countries had paid their dues for 2019, which amounted to almost $2 billion.
    Guterres said he introduced extraordinary measures last month to cope with the shortfall Ė vacant posts cannot be filled, only essential travel is allowed, some meetings may have to be canceled or deferred. U.N. operations in New York, Geneva, Vienna and Nairobi and at regional commissions will be affected.
    U.N. peacekeeping missions are funded by a separate budget, which was $6.7 billion peacekeeping budget for the year to June 30, 2019 and $6.51 billion for the year to June 30, 2020.
    The United States is responsible for nearly 28 percent of the peacekeeping budget but has pledged to pay only 25 percent Ė as required by U.S. law.    Washington currently owes some $2.4 billion for peacekeeping missions.
    The top contributing countries are Ethiopia, India, Bangladesh, Nepal and Rwanda.    They pay their troops according to their national salary scales and are reimbursed by the U.N. As of July 2019, the U.N. paid $1,428 a month per soldier.
    The United Nations says its peacekeeping operations cost less than half of 1 percent of world military expenditures.
(Reporting by Michelle Nichols; Editing by Sandra Maler)

10/8/2019 Russian propaganda increased after 2016 U.S. election: Senate committee by Joseph Menn
FILE PHOTO: U.S. Senator Richard Burr (R-NC) speaks with reporters after the weekly Senate Republican caucus
luncheon at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S., September 10, 2019. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
    (Reuters) Ė The Senate committee investigating Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election said on Tuesday that the Kremlinís best-known propaganda arm increased its social media activity after that vote, adding to concerns about foreign meddling in the current 2020 campaign.
    The Senate Intelligence Committee, which has managed to operate under bipartisan consensus when other congressional panels have not, said in a report that activity by the St. Petersburg-based Internet Research Agency ďincreased, rather than decreased, after Election Day 2016
    IRA-linked account activity jumped more than 200% on Instagram and more than 50% on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, the committee said.    The IRA and related entities and people were indicted by special counsel Robert Mueller.
    The committee, led by Republican Chairman Richard Burr and Democratic Vice Chairman Mark Warner, also concluded that African-Americans had been the group most targeted by Russian influence campaigns that sought to exacerbate tensions and increase the election prospects of President Donald Trump.
    ďBy flooding social media with false reports, conspiracy theories, and trolls, and by exploiting existing divisions, Russia is trying to breed distrust of our democratic institutions and our fellow Americans,Ē Burr said.    He called for Congress, the executive branch and the social media companies to redouble their efforts at transparency and education.
    The report by the Republican-controlled committee reaffirmed findings by the U.S. intelligence community and Mueller that the Kremlin pursued an influence operation through social media and other means aimed at throwing the 2016 U.S. presidential election to Trump over his Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton.
    In doing so, the Senate report contradicted allegations by Trumpís personal attorney Rudolph Giuliani and others that Ukraine colluded with Democrats to undermine Trumpís campaign, as well as charges by the White House and Trump allies Ė including Representative Devin Nunes Ė that Russia actually aided Clintonís candidacy.
    ďThe Committee found that IRA social media activity was overtly and almost invariably supportive of then-candidate Trump, and to the detriment of Secretary Clintonís campaign,Ē said the report, the latest in a series from the senators related to 2016 interference.
    On YouTube, all of the IRAís political videos were thematically opposed to Clinton.    Some aimed at dissuading black Americans to vote, while others suggested they vote for Green Party candidate Jill Stein.
    The report detailed an extraordinarily sophisticated operation that witnesses described as the most successful influence campaign in history, one that will be studied globally for decades.    The effort went well beyond hacking, Facebook and Twitter and swept up Medium, Tumblr and Pinterest.
    One Facebook page with more than 200,000 followers, ďArmy of Jesus,Ē posted only pro-Christian messages until just before the election.    Then it blared a false story asserting that Clinton had approved removing the word God from the U.S. Pledge of Allegiance.
    False and slanted stories often spread more rapidly than professional, independent news.    In the key swing state of Michigan, one study found that the ratio ďwas most disproportionate the day before the election.Ē
    The panel recommended that Congress consider new laws requiring disclosure of who pays for election-related online advertising.    Members expressed special alarm at sophisticated micro-targeting, noting that the IRA could have been much more effective in swing states if it had used Facebook tools for customizing audiences instead of just using geography.
    ďPropagandists will be able to continue to utilize increasingly advanced off-the-shelf capabilities to target specific individuals with highly targeted messaging campaigns,Ē it wrote in the detailed, 85-page report.
    It also said social media companies, which have come under fire for allowing propaganda to flourish, should share more information about what they find on their platforms.
    In the long term, the committee said, resistance to foreign manipulation will require building media literacy from an early age, perhaps with federal funding but led by state and local educational institutions.
(Reporting by Joseph Menn in San Francisco, additional reporting by Jonathan Landay in Washington; Editing by Dan Grebler and Cynthia Osterman)
[So after 3 plus years nobody knows who in Russia did what they claim and have arrested no one for such charges and this came out suspiciously while new evidence is coming out by reporters from San Francisco and Washington.    The TRUTH is out there and will come out soon.].

10/8/2019 France needs Ďsociety of vigilanceí against Islamist ĎHydraí: Macron
French President Emmanuel Macron, former President Nicolas Sarkozy and Interior Minister Christophe Castaner attend a ceremony for
the four victims of the October 3 attack at Paris police headquarters, in Paris, France October 8, 2019. Francois Mori/Pool via REUTERS
    PARIS (Reuters) Ė France must develop a ďsociety of vigilanceĒ in its fight against the ďHydraĒ of Islamist militancy, President Emmanuel Macron said on Tuesday, as he paid homage to the victims of a deadly knife attack at the headquarters of the Paris police.
    The assailant, an IT worker at the premises, killed three police officers and an administrative worker with a knife last week, before being shot dead by police.
    Initial investigations have revealed that the Martinique-born man, a convert to Islam, had contacts with individuals likely to belong to an Islamist Salafist movement, according to prosecutors.
    ďThe administrative services alone, and all the combined services of the state alone, will not be able to overcome the Islamist ĎHydraí,Ē said Macron, during the somber ceremony held in pouring rain at the police headquarters near Notre Dame Cathedral.
    ďItís up to the entire nation, which needs to unite, mobilize and be ready to act,Ē added Macron, who said France needed to develop a ďsociety of vigilanceĒ where everyone was looking out for any signs of people at risk of being influenced by Islamist extremist networks.
    Macronís reference to the Greek mythological monster of the ďHydraĒ conveyed an image of a threat springing up from multiple sources.
(Reporting by Sophie Louet and Sudip Kar-Gupta; Editing by Alex Richardson)
[Macron you can start by quit babying Iran and start coming down on the action to push their Islamic militancy around the world.].

10/9/2019 Oil down $0.48 to $52.32, DOW down 314 to 26,164.

10/9/2019 Explainer: Barr investigates the investigators of Russian meddling by Andy Sullivan, Mark Hosenball and Sarah N. Lynch
FILE PHOTO: U.S. Attorney General William Barr delivers remarks at the Securities and Exchange Commission's (SEC) Criminal
Coordination Conference at the Securities and Exchange Commission building in Washington, U.S., October 3, 2019. REUTERS/Tom Brenner
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) Ė U.S. Attorney General William Barr has been traveling internationally to help investigate President Donald Trumpís complaints that his campaign was improperly targeted by U.S. intelligence and law enforcement agencies during the 2016 presidential election.
    Democrats and some former law-enforcement officials say he is using the Justice Department to chase unsubstantiated conspiracy theories that could benefit Trump politically and undermine Special Counsel Robert Muellerís Russia investigation.
    Muellerís investigation found that Moscow interfered in the 2016 election to help Trump, and led to criminal convictions of several former campaign aides.    But Mueller concluded that he did not have enough evidence to establish a criminal conspiracy with Russia.
    Some potential witnesses say they will not cooperate voluntarily with the Barr probe, which was announced after several congressional committees, the Justice Departmentís internal watchdog and another U.S. prosecutor launched their own reviews.
    That could pose problems for John Durham, the prosecutor tapped by Barr to lead the effort.
    Durham is examining whether U.S. intelligence and law-enforcement agencies acted properly when they examined possible ties between the Trump campaign and Russia, which ultimately led to Muellerís investigation.     Trump and some of his political allies say U.S. officials launched the probe to undermine his chances of winning the White House, though they have provided no evidence.
    The effort began in July 2016, when the Australian government alerted U.S. officials that a Trump foreign policy adviser, George Papadopoulos, had boasted to an Australian diplomat that the Russian government had material that could be damaging to Trumpís opponent, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
    Several months later, the FBI secured a court order to monitor Carter Page, a Trump campaign adviser who had traveled to Russia.
    Papadopoulos was later prosecuted by Muellerís office and pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI.    Page has not been charged.
    Barr has reached out to foreign governments for cooperation.
    According to a source familiar with the matter, Barr and Durham traveled to Rome in September to meet with Italian intelligence officials about Joseph Mifsud, a Maltese university professor who, according to Muellerís report, had contacts with Russian intelligence officials and told Papadopoulos that Russia had potentially damaging Clinton-related emails.
    Papadopoulos has claimed that Mifsud was working for the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency and accused the Italian prime minister at the time, Matteo Renzi, of trying to undermine Trumpís 2016 campaign.    Renzi said he plans to sue for defamation.
    Barr has also reached out to Australia, which has pledged to cooperate.    He met with security agencies and government officials in the United Kingdom in July, according to sources familiar with the matter.
    People in Ukraine have also been sharing information, according to the Justice Department, but as of two weeks ago, Barr had not spoken with government officials there.
    Several former Justice Department officials say Barrís involvement is inappropriate.
    A Justice Department spokeswoman declined to comment about the investigation.
    Durhamís probe seems to be moving at a more deliberate pace in Washington.
    While the FBI says it has been cooperating, senior figures involved in the 2016 investigation have not yet heard from Durhamís team, according to sources familiar with the matter.
    Among them: former FBI general counsel James A. Baker; former CIA Director John Brennan; former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper; former FBI agent Peter Strzok; and David Laufman, a former senior Justice Department official.     ďThere are no indications that this is an actual investigation,Ē said Shawn Turner, a spokesman for Clapper.
    Carter Page, the initial target of the surveillance, also told Reuters he had not heard from Durhamís team, but said he had been providing the Justice Department with unsolicited information.    Papadopoulos declined to comment.
    Other key figures may not be willing to cooperate with the investigation.
    Christopher Steele, the former British intelligence officer whose research linking Trump to Russia helped fuel the FBIís initial investigation, does not intend to cooperate with Durhamís probe if asked, according to a source familiar with his views.
    Current and former officials at the State Department also are unwilling to participate voluntarily, according to a congressional source.
    That could create a hurdle for Durham, who according to the New York Times, was not given the authority to subpoena witnesses.
    The Justice Departmentís internal watchdog, Inspector General Michael Horowitz, has completed a separate, related investigation. His office is going through the process of removing classified information before it releases its findings to the public.
    That probe, launched in 2018, focuses on whether the FBI followed proper procedures when it asked the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court for permission to monitor Page, the Trump adviser, in 2016.
    Separately, former Attorney General Jeff Sessions in 2017 assigned Utahís top federal prosecutor, John Huber, to review a wide range of issues that Republicans had raised, including the FBIís conduct during investigations related to Clinton and Trump.
    Huber has ceded some portions of his probe to Durham and is waiting for Horowitz to finish his review.
(This story has been corrected to fix characterization of emails)
(Additional reporting by Brad Heath and Giselda Vagnoni; Editing by Dan Grebler)

10/9/2019 U.S.-Mexico border apprehensions fall again in September but remain high by Alexandra Alper and Mica Rosenberg
FILE PHOTO: A section of border fence is pictured by the U.S.-Mexico border in the Rio Grande Valley
near Hidalgo, Texas, U.S., October 7, 2019. REUTERS/Loren Elliott
    WASHINGTON/NEW YORK (Reuters) Ė The Trump administration on Tuesday said arrests at the U.S.-Mexico border fell in September for the fourth month in the row, and credited cooperation from Mexico and Central American countries in cracking down on migrants.
    But due to record high numbers of crossings this Spring, nearly 1 million migrants were arrested and deemed inadmissible for entry to the United States in the 2019 fiscal year, which began in October 2017 and ends in September, Mark Morgan acting commissioner of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), said at a press conference.
    Morgan said there were just over 52,000 migrants either apprehended or encountered at the southwest border in September, down almost 65% from a peak in May of 144,000.    That monthly total is still the highest September level since at least 2014, according to CBP statistics.
    The bulk of arriving migrants are from Central America, many of them families, fleeing situations of violence and poverty at home and often seeking asylum in the United States.
    Immigration has been a central issue for President Donald Trump who is gearing up to push it in his 2020 re-election campaign. His administration has taken a series of escalating measures to curb access to asylum and limit legal immigration.    Many have drawn legal challenges.
    In September, the U.S. Supreme Court allowed a controversial new rule to take effect, one that could curtail most asylum applications at the border while the court battle over its merits continues.
    Morgan said the rule will be implemented this week.    It requires most immigrants to seek safe haven in a third country they traveled through before they can apply for asylum in the United States.
    Another policy, the Migrant Protection Protocols, has been allowed to move forward temporarily by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.     It has pushed more than 51,000 migrants back to Mexico since January to await their U.S. asylum hearings.
    The Trump administration has pushed Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador to sign deals to accept more asylum seekers closer to home.    Few details have been released about how they will be implemented.
    Many migrants are fleeing transnational gangs that operate in the entire region.    Local asylum offices in Central America have few resources to handle a surge of new cases from neighboring countries.
    Mexico has so far resisted signing any kind of ďsafe third countryĒ agreement that would force migrants to seek refuge there instead of the United States.    Morgan said he did not disagree with the foreign ministerís stance against such a deal.
    ďThe cooperation that we are receiving with Mexico right now it is exactly where we need it to be,Ē Morgan said.
(Reporting by Alexandra Alper in Washington and Mica Rosenberg in New York; Editing by David Gregorio)

10/9/2019 Mueller grand jury evidence is still in the mix by Bart Jansen and Kristine Phillips, USA TODAY
    WASHINGTON Ė The Justice Department told a federal judge that a House committee investigating President Donald Trump is not entitled to grand jury evidence from special counsel Robert Muellerís investigation, saying it has failed to explain which specific testimony it needs access to or how it would help its investigation into potential obstruction by the president.
    ďThere is this generalized notion that this is an important matter because of impeachment and, therefore, (the committee) should have access to everything,Ē Elizabeth Shapiro, an attorney in the Justice Departmentís Civil Division, said during a two-hour hearing in federal court Tuesday.    ďIt also needs to be particularized, and they shouldnít get a pass on that because of impeachment
    U.S. District Court Judge Beryl Howell heard arguments on whether the House Judiciary Committee should receive the underlying grand jury evidence behind Muellerís report on Russian interference in the 2016 election.
    The panel subpoenaed the evidence as part of a sweeping impeachment investigation of Trump, who has called the inquiry a partisan witch hunt.    The Judiciary Committee is focusing on potential obstruction of justice, as described in 10 episodes in the Mueller report.    But Attorney General William Barr redacted grand jury evidence from the report and argued against disclosing it under the subpoena.
    Shapiro said there first needs to be a ďdegree of formalityĒ in the form of a full House vote on an impeachment inquiry before treading into dangerous territory of ďpenetrating grand jury evidence.Ē    House Democrats have argued that a full House vote isnít necessary to move forward with an impeachment inquiry.
    Six committees have been conducting investigations of Trump since Democrats regained control of the chamber in January.    House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., announced Sept. 24 that all of the inquiries now fall under the umbrella of a formal impeachment investigation and that no floor vote is necessary.    But Republicans have argued that only the full House can authorize an impeachment inquiry.
New York Democrat Jerry Nadler has been leading the charge. EPA-EFE

10/9/2019 Exclusive: Democrats willing to risk 2020 chances to impeach Trump Ė Reuters/Ipsos poll by Chris Kahn
FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump responds to questions about the U.S. House impeachment investigation during a formal
signing ceremony for the U.S.-Japan Trade Agreement at the White House in Washington, October 7, 2019. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
    NEW YORK (Reuters) Ė Most Democrats want to impeach U.S. President Donald Trump, even if that means weakening their partyís chances of winning back the White House in the 2020 election, according to a Reuters/Ipsos opinion poll.
    The poll, conducted on Monday and Tuesday, found that 55% of Democrats said that their party leaders should press ahead with impeachment even ďif it means a lengthy and expensive process that could weaken their chances of winning the presidency in 2020
    And even a higher number Ė 66% of Democrats Ė agreed that Congress should pursue impeachment, ďeven if that means they will need to postpone efforts to pass laws that could benefit me
    Overall, the poll found that support for impeachment remains unchanged overall among all Americans Ė holding at 45% since last week.    But opposition to impeachment dropped by 2 percentage points from last week to 39%.
    Among those who identify as Democrats, 79% said Trump should be impeached, up 5 percentage points from a similar poll that ran Sept. 26-30.    Only 12% of Republicans and about 1 in 3 independents supported impeachment, which is mostly unchanged from last week.
    Full poll results:
    Support for impeaching Trump had been rising since late September after an unidentified U.S. intelligence official filed a whistleblower complaint accusing the president of pressuring Ukraine to ensnare Democratic presidential contender Joe Biden and his son in a corruption investigation.
    Biden, the former vice president, is an early favorite to win the Democratic presidential nomination, and opinion polls show that he fares better than other Democrats including Senators Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders in a hypothetical general election matchup against Trump.
    The whistleblower complaint, denounced by Trump as a ďwitch huntĒ carried out by his political enemies, has since been backed up by a second unidentified whistleblower who has more direct knowledge than the first of some of the allegations in the complaint, according to the personís lawyers.
    Trump, who says he was acting out of his duty to root out corruption, said last week that China should also investigate Biden.
    Overall, the Reuters/Ipsos poll showed that 51% of all Americans agreed that Trump ďpressuredĒ Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy to investigate the Bidens, while 27% disagreed.
    And 59% agreed that Congress should investigate ďif President Trump committed impeachable offensesĒ as part of his conversation with Zelenskiy.
    In general, 39% said they approved of the job Trump was doing and 55% disapproved.
    Elaine Kamarck, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, said the poll shows how much Democratic voters have lined up behind Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and moderate House Democrats who had been cautious about pursuing an impeachment inquiry earlier this year.
    ďThat phone call (between Trump and Zelensky) changed everything,Ē Kamarck said.
    ďThe moderates, Speaker Pelosi, they changed their minds in a very public way in favor of impeachment.    Theyíve been making their case to the public, and some of them have followed
    Democratic voter Moneque Jarmon, 51, from Philadelphia said she doubted Trump would be removed from office through the impeachment process.    But it was important to set a precedent that the president is accountable for his actions, she said.
    ďThe fact that he tweets every few minutes, the risky behavior heís doing Ė heís advertising that he can do whatever he wants, like heís the president and nobody can touch him,Ē she said.    ďThe longer he stays in there, the more damage heís going to do
    Jarmon, who supports Biden as an experienced candidate to take on Trump, said Congress had for a long time failed to pass important legislation like gun control, so she doubted an impeachment process would make the situation worse.
    The Reuters/Ipsos poll was conducted online, in English, throughout the United States.    It gathered responses from 1,118 adults, including 454 who identify as Democrats and 457 who identify as Republicans.    It has as credibility interval, a measure of precision, of 5 percentage points.
(Reporting by Chris Kahn, Additional reporting by Simon Lewis in WASHINGTON, Editing by Soyoung Kim and Grant McCool)

10/9/2019 Democrats alarmed about possible U.S. withdrawal from Open Skies treaty by Arshad Mohammed and Jonathan Landay
FILE PHOTO: Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) questions David Marcus, head of Facebook's Calibra (digital wallet service),
during a testimony before a Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee hearing on "Examining Facebook's Proposed
Digital Currency and Data Privacy Considerations
" on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., July 16, 2019. REUTERS/Erin Scott
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) Ė Four senior Democratic lawmakers said on Tuesday they believed the Trump administration may withdraw from a treaty that allows unarmed surveillance flights over U.S., Russian and other territory, warning it would be a gift to Russia and undermine confidence in the U.S. commitment to Ukraine.
    ďPulling out of the Open Skies Treaty, an important multilateral arms control agreement, would be yet another gift from the Trump administration to (Russian President Vladimir) Putin,Ē the Democrats on the House and Senate foreign relations and armed services committees wrote in a letter to the U.S. secretaries of state and defense seen by Reuters.
    ďThe Open Skies Treaty is a critical element of U.S. and European security, and a decision to withdraw would be another blow to regional stability as well as Ukrainian security,Ē wrote Senators Robert Menendez and Jack Reed, respectively the top Democrats on the Senate foreign relations and armed services panels, and congressmen Eliot Engel and Adam Smith, chairs of the House foreign affairs and armed services panels, respectively.
    The treaty, which was signed in 1992 and entered into force in 2002, permits each of the nations that are parties to it to carry out short-notice, unarmed surveillance flights over the entire territory of the other parties.
    The purpose of the treaty, which allows nations to collect information on one anotherís military forces, is to increase transparency and build confidence among the states that are party to it, including the United States, Russia and Ukraine.
    Asked to comment on the letter, a State Department spokesman who spoke on condition of anonymity said: ďWe do not comment on congressional correspondence.    We continue to implement the treaty and are in full compliance with our obligations under this treaty, unlike Russia
    The Pentagon did not immediately reply to a request for comment.
    In their letter, the four Democrats said the United States carried out an extraordinary flight under the treaty in December 2018, after Russia had opened fire on and seized three Ukrainian navy ships and their crews in a Nov. 25 incident in the Black Sea, as well as in 2014, after Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine.
    ďWithdrawing from the Open Skies Treaty would be perceived as casting further doubt on the status of the United States commitment to Ukraineís security and would advance the Russian narrative that the United States is an unreliable partner in the region,Ē added the letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Secretary of Defense Mark Esper.
    Some experts and administration officials believe the treaty has outlived its usefulness, partly because of alleged violations by Moscow.     These include restrictions Moscow imposed on certain observation flights over Kaliningrad, a Russian enclave on the Baltic Sea sandwiched between Poland and Lithuania, and flights near the disputed border between Russia and Georgia.
    In response, the United States in 2016 restricted Russian observation flights over the Pacific Fleet in Hawaii and missile defense interceptor sites at Fort Greely, Alaska.
    A former Trump administration official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the treaty was outdated because the United States can share satellite imagery that is not overly sensitive with other countries.    The former official also said countries now have access to high-quality commercial satellite photographs.
    ďWe can share satellite overhead depending on how sensitive it is,Ē the former official said.    ďA lot of this you can get from commercial satellites too
    According to the Arms Control Association nonprofit group, 34 states are party to the treaty while a 35th, Kyrgyzstan, has signed but not ratified it.
(Reporting by Arshad Mohammed and Jonathan Landay; Editing by Tom Brown and Richard Pullin)

10/9/2019 FISA: FBI misused surveillance data, violated constitutional rights by OAN Newsroom
    The United States Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court has ruled that the FBI previously violated Americansí privacy rights by conducting unreasonable searches.    The FISA Court opinion disclosed Tuesday revealed that the FBI violated constitutional rights and federal law through their warrant-less internet surveillance program.
    A 2018 review revealed the bureau used their raw intelligence database in 2017 and 2018 to administer tens of thousands of searches on private U.S. citizens.    The searches were conducted on some occasions to screen FBI personnel and sources, involving emails and phone numbers.    In one instance, the court stated that an FBI contractor searched his family, staff members and himself on the database.
    Federal law requires the database only be used to gather evidence of a crime or foreign intelligence information.    According to the ruling, the FBI violated the law authorizing the program as well as the Fourth Amendment, which bars the government from conducting unreasonable searches.
    Following the courtís decision, the FBI said it would apply new procedures as to how the database is used in order to better protect personal privacy.
    The Foreign Intelligence Service Act has been under scrutiny for some time.    Former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page has argued the Obama-era FBI may have used its FISA authority unlawfully against him.
[The Obama-era and Democrat abuse has now been busted for their 8 years and plus abuse of this system and thank God it is in the hands of the Republicans to get this straightened out.    Can you image if Hillary Clinton had won the presidency of all the corruption that would have continued through 2020.].

10/9/2019 Explainer: The missing Maltese academic at the heart of Washington intrigue by Giselda Vagnoni and Angelo Amante
FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump and U.S. Attorney General William Barr attend the 38th Annual National Peace
Officers Memorial Service on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., May 15, 2019. REUTERS/Carlos Barria/File Photo
    ROME (Reuters) Ė In recent weeks, U.S. Attorney General William Barr, with backing from President Donald Trump, has stepped up an inquiry into the origins of an FBI investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.
    Trump has complained his campaign was improperly targeted by U.S. intelligence and law enforcement agencies to hamper his chances of winning.    An investigation by Special Counsel Robert Mueller concluded that Moscow interfered in the election to help Trump, but said there was not enough evidence to establish a criminal conspiracy with Russia.
    As part of his inquiry, Barr has asked Australian and British justice officials for assistance and visited Italy twice, meeting intelligence agents in Rome on Aug. 15 and Sept. 27 to learn more about people mentioned in Muellerís report.
    A central figure is Joseph Mifsud, a 59-year-old Maltese academic involved in law and diplomacy education programs in London and Rome, who also had contacts with Russian officials and met with George Papadopoulos, a former foreign policy adviser to the Trump campaign, on several occasions.
    Following are some key questions about Mifsud, an obscure professor who has not been seen in public for nearly two years and who remains a focus of attention in Washington.
    The Mueller report describes a series of meetings between Mifsud, then a professor at the now-defunct London Academy of Diplomacy, and Papadopoulos in the spring of 2016.
    They first met in mid-March at Link Campus, a private university in Rome to which Mifsud was affiliated.    Papadopoulos, then 28, was visiting Link to meet officials as part of his role at the London Centre for International Law Practice, a quasi-think-tank based in London that he had recently joined and which Mifsud was also affiliated to.
    Muellerís report says Mifsud, who was living in London at the time and had established a number of Russian contacts, became more interested in Papadopoulos after the American mentioned that he had been hired to join the Trump campaign as an adviser specializing in energy policy.
    Over the next month, Mifsud and Papadopoulos held a series of meetings and had regular phone and email contact, with Mifsud offering to introduce Papadopoulos to European leaders and officials with connections in the Russian government.
    The critical meeting came on April 26, the day after Mifsud had returned to London following a 10-day visit to Moscow.
    According to the Mueller report, Mifsud told Papadopoulos he had met with high-level Russian government officials during his trip and learned that the Russians had obtained ďdirtĒ on Trumpís election rival Hillary Clinton in the form of ďthousands of emails
    That would make him the original source of one of the key allegations against the Trump campaign investigated by Mueller.
    In a meeting with a Western diplomat 10 days later, Papadopoulos suggested the Russian government could help the Trump campaign via the anonymous release of information that would be damaging to Clinton, the report says.
    Mifsud hasnít been seen in public since November 2017, when he was spotted at Link Campus and spoke briefly to a reporter from Italyís la Repubblica newspaper.    In the interview he denied telling Papadopoulos anything about Russian ďdirtĒ on Clinton and dismissed his Russian contacts as meaningless.
    Another Italian newspaper, Il Foglio, reported in April that he was holed up in an apartment in Rome Ė equidistant between the U.S. and the Russian embassies Ė for seven months during 2017-2018, with the rent paid by Link.    But the contract expired in July or August last year and he hasnít been seen since.
    The same newspaper published a picture earlier this month of Mifsud sitting in his former lawyerís office in Zurich, holding a copy of the Zurichsee-Zeitung newspaper.    Il Foglio said the photo was taken on May 21, 2018.
    The lawyer, Stephan Roh, told Reuters he had not had any contact with Mifsud for a while, and said a London-based law firm was now representing him.    That firm declined to comment.
    Former associates of Mifsudís said they had had no contact with him since late 2017.    His daughter is said to be still living in London, while his ex-wife lives in Malta.
    In an op-ed in the Washington Post in May, former FBI director James Comey referred to Mifsud as a ďRussian agent although he did not say why he believed that to be the case.    Muellerís report does not directly make the same allegation.    For his part, Papadopoulos has repeatedly suggested, without presenting any evidence, that Mifsud was working for Western intelligence agencies in an effort to tarnish Trump.
    Gianni Pitella, a former member of the European Parliament and an Italian senator for the center-left Democratic Party, attended the same conference in Rome where Mifsud and Papadopoulos first met in 2016.    He described Mifsud as sociable and well-connected, but not someone you would expect to find at the heart of international intrigue.
    ďMifsud is a kind-mannered person with a vast culture.    He is a great storyteller, one who has relationships with academic authorities,Ē he told Reuters. ďMy impression is that he was very good at weaving together relationships, but had nothing to do with people involved in espionage.Ē
    A senior Maltese official who worked with Mifsud earlier in his career said he found Mifsud hard to believe, while another Maltese associate described him as a ďbluffer
    ďI simply do not believe he had Russian contacts, especially at a high level.    He was personally a nice guy to talk to, I would even say he was a good connector, but nothing high-level,Ē the official said.    ďHe was also disorganized, he would start one thing, then move to another before completing the first.    I laugh when I read what is said about him
    Barr and his associate, veteran U.S. prosecutor John Durham, last visited Rome on Sept. 27 and met Italian intelligence officials to learn more about Mifsud and his connections, an intelligence source told Reuters.
    The source said it was possible Barr or Durham might return to Italy to pursue inquiries further, suggesting the Mifsud trail is not dead.    The U.S. Justice Department has not confirmed the Italian visits and has not said if Barr is planning a trip to Italy in the future.
    Barr has also contacted authorities in Britain and Australia to seek assistance.    Australia is relevant because the foreign diplomat Papadopoulos met in London and told about the Russian ďdirtĒ was then-ambassador Alexander Downer.
    ďThe Australian government will use its best endeavors to support your efforts in this matter,Ē the Australian ambassador to Washington wrote to Barr on May 28, 2019.
    ďWhile Australiaís former High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, the Hon. Alexander Downer, is no longer employed by the government, we stand ready to provide you with all relevant information to support your inquiries.Ē
    British authorities have been more circumspect.    A spokesman for the government said: ďInvestigations in the United States are a matter for U.S. authorities.    We wonít comment on the ongoing investigations
(Additional reporting by Mark Hosenball, Crispian Balmer and Luke Baker; Writing by Luke Baker; Editing by Alex Richardson)
Mifsud ---------------------- Downer

10/9/2019 President Trump: U.S. Ďshould have never been in the Middle Eastí by OAN Newsroom
Shortly after the Turkish operation inside Syria had started, a Turkish soldier stands at the border with Syria
in Akcakale, Sanliurfa province, southeastern Turkey, Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2019. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
    President Trump continues to defend his decision to withdraw troops from Northern Syria, saying the U.S. should have never been there in the first place.    In a series of tweets Wednesday, the president noted that fighting between various groups in the region has been going on for hundreds of years.
    U.S. involvement in the Middle East has cost the country $8 trillion so far, along with many thousands of lives. President Trump said this was the worst decision ever made in the history of America.    A Sunday press release confirmed that the U.S. was officially withdrawing from the region, stating ďThe United States Armed Forces will not support or be involved in the operation
    ďI held off this fight for almost three years, but it is time to get out of these ridiculous endless warsÖand bring our soldiers home,Ē the president emphasized.
    President Trumpís remarks come after Turkey launched a military offensive in the region on Wednesday.    Turkish forces deployed warplanes to attack Northern Syria, in an effort to push Kurdish forces away from the Syria-Iraq border.    The Turkish government issued a warning to the Kurds, saying ďthey can either defect, or we will have to stop them from disrupting our counter-ISIS efforts
    Kurdish officials said the air strikes are also targeting civilians, which has caused mass panic among residents.    The president has said Turkey will be punished economically if it does anything considered to be inhumane.
    Iranian President Hassan Rouhani urged Turkish military troops to avoid taking action in Syria.    He claimed ďthe only solution to ensure safety and securityĒ by the Syrian border ďis the presence of the Syrian army.Ē    In a comment directed at the U.S., Rouhani also called for all foreign military forces to leave Syria.
    The Kurds have previously worked with the U.S. to fight ISIS.    The Iranian government is encouraging Kurds in Syria to support the Syrian government and army.
    ďThe current trend to do deals behind closed doors is not to the benefit of the region,Ē said Rouhani.    ďWe urgeÖthe government of Turkey to show due care and attention and patience in this issue
    In response to the recent military offensive, Iran has launched several unannounced military drills.    The government stated they sought to test rapid reaction units, mobile brigades and helicopters.

10/9/2019 U.S. Secretary of State calls for EU to condemn Iran over tanker
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo looks on during his speech at the Stavros Niarchos
Foundation Cultural Center in Athens, Greece October 5, 2019. REUTERS/Costas Baltas/Pool
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) Ė U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Wednesday called on the European Union to condemn Iran and hold Tehran accountable after he said oil from Iranian tanker Adrian Darya had been offloaded in Syria.
    ďOil from the #AdrianDarya1 has been offloaded in Syria, proving that Iran lied to the UK and Gibraltar Ö EU members should condemn this action, uphold the rule of law, and hold Iran accountable,Ē Pompeo wrote in a post on Twitter.
    The United Kingdom seized the tanker in July off the coast of Gibraltar in July.    After authorities received formal written assurances from Tehran that the ship would not discharge 2.1 million barrels of oil from Syria, the vessel was released.
    But in September, Britainís foreign minister said the tanker had sold its crude oil to the Assad regime in Syria, breaking those assurances.
(Reporting by Makini Brice and Susan Heavey; Editing by Toby Chopra)

10/9/2019 IMF: Technology, not trade, the culprit in Ďleft behindí areas by Howard Schneider
FILE PHOTO: The logo of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), is seen during a
news conference in Santiago, Chile, July 23, 2019. REUTERS/Rodrigo Garrido
    DENVER (Reuters) Ė The growing divide between successful and ďlaggingĒ regions within developed nations has been largely driven by automation and productivity trends, not global trade, the International Monetary Fund said in a report released on Wednesday in advance of its upcoming annual meetings.
    ďTrade shocksÖdo not appear to drive the differences in labor market performance between lagging and other regions, on average,Ē the IMF found.    ďBy contrast, technology shocksÖraise unemployment in regions that are more vulnerable to automation, with more exposed lagging regions particularly hurt
    While the results may differ by country Ė the IMF specifically said its findings were not inconsistent with research finding large trade dislocations in U.S. manufacturing hubs Ė in the developed world as a whole ďshocks from import competitionÖfrom Chinaís economic rise do not have marked average effects on regional unemployment in a broad sample of advanced economies
    The issue is at the core of the debate over globalization, how it has affected politically influential groups of voters in some countries, and whether the protectionist cure sought by some politicians will pose risks to global growth that leave everyone worse off.    That is certainly what IMF officials worry is in the midst of happening as global trade flows ebb.
    While the concentration of jobs and wealth in parts of a country may be a ďnormal feature of growthĒ that would eventually bring ďcatchupĒ benefits to other areas, the IMF said that as it stands the process of ďconvergenceĒ in the developed world has slowed or stopped.
    Areas suffering from ďpersistent inefficienciesĒ may be at risk of being left behind for good, the IMF said, a situation that ďcan fuel discontent and political polarization, erode social trust, and threaten national cohesion
    That has arguably been the case in the United States, where disaffection among workers feeling displaced by trade or immigrant labor played a role in the election of Donald Trump as president.
    Trump has attempted to respond to their concerns with trade and tariff policies he argues will return manufacturing jobs to the United States.
    But according to the IMF, trade may be the wrong issue to address since the forces leading to regional economic divisions may be more rooted in technology and automation.    Rather, the fund endorsed the emerging focus among economists on ďplaced-basedĒ policies that target economically ailing areas.
    If designed well, those sorts of efforts could help, and have particular impact in the United States given the fact that the countryís social safety net is less robust than in European nations, and that its poorly performing areas are concentrated geographically.
(Reporting by Howard Schneider; Editing by Andrea Ricci)

10/10/2019 Oil down $0.041 to $52.59, DOW up 182 to 26,346.

10/10/2019 US owes United Nations $1 billion by John Fritze and Deirdre Shesgreen, USA TODAY
    WASHINGTON Ė President Donald Trump brushed aside warnings from the United Nations Wednesday that the 74-year-old organization risks being unable to pay its staff and bills if member nations donít cough up their annual dues soon.
    The biggest delinquent payer in the world?    The United States.
    Washington owes the U.N. $381 million in back payments and $674 million this year, according to the U.S. mission to the U.N. As the largest contributor to the 193-member organization, the U.S. has long sought to pressure the U.N. to rein in spending.
    Trump, who has openly questioned the value of the U.N., has made skepticism of multinational organizations a central component of his foreign policy.
    Responding to reports of deep U.N. budget deficits, Trump returned to the theme.
    ďSo make all Member Countries pay, not just the United States!Ē he wrote Wednesday.
    U.N. officials say 129 countries have paid their 2019 dues, two-thirds of all members.    Stťphane Dujarric, spokesman for U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres, said that nearly $2 billion has been paid to the organization this year and that the outstanding balance for other countries amounts to another $1.3 billion.
[It sounds like the Do Nothing Congress is too busy trying to impeach a president and not doing their job and Trump has had to push momey to stop illegal aliens from crossing our borders illegally.].

10/10/2019 Intel analyst arrested in leak to reporters - Justice Department says itís cracking down by Kristine Phillips and Kevin Johnson, USA TODAY
    WASHINGTON Ė A 30-year-old counterterrorism analyst for the Defense Intelligence Agency was arrested Wednesday on charges that he disclosed classified information to two journalists, one of whom he was dating, federal prosecutors said.
    Henry Kyle Frese, of Alexandria, Virginia, was charged with two counts of willful transmission of national defense information, each carrying a maximum of 10 years imprisonment
.    The arrest comes as the Justice Department vows to continue ramping up its efforts to crack down on the unauthorized release of classified information.
    ďFrese was caught red-handed disclosing sensitive national security information for personal gain,Ē Assistant Attorney General for National Security John Demers said in a statement.    ďFrese betrayed the trust placed in him by the American people Ė a betrayal that risked harming the national security of this country
    Federal prosecutors say Frese, whose government security clearance allowed him access to top secret and sensitive information, researched multiple classified intelligence reports Ė some of which were unrelated to his job duties Ė and leaked information about a foreign countryís weapons systems to a journalist.    Prosecutors alleged that Frese, who worked as both a contractor and a full-time employee for DIA, was in a relationship with that journalist and sought to advance the reporterís career.
    The unauthorized disclosures happened in 2018 and 2019. From August 2017 to August 2018, Frese and the reporter lived together, authorities say.
    Court records say Frese accessed an intelligence report in about April to May 2018. Frese later received a message on Twitter from the reporter, who asked if he would be willing to talk to a second journalist Ė a colleague at an affiliated but different news outlet.    Frese said he was ďdownĒ to help the second reporter.
    In the same Twitter exchange with Frese, the reporter talked about a story she was working on.    Shortly after, Frese searched a classified government computer system and searched for topics related tothe story the reporter was working on, court records say.    In the next hours, Frese talked to both journalists by phone.    The reporter believed to be romantically involved with Frese published an article that contained information from the report Frese accessed, court records say.
    As recently as last month, Frese accessed two more classified intelligence reports, court records say.    Around this time, the FBI had begun court-authorized surveillance of Freseís calls and found that he leaked national defense information from the reports to the second reporter, court records say.
    The journalist linked romantically to Frese published at least eight stories containing classified information provided by the analyst, officials say.    Prosecutors asserted that Frese compromised at least five intelligence reports.
    Authorities did not name the two journalists involved and did not identify their news organizations, though court records say the second journalist described herself as a national security correspondent on Twitter.    Both journalists wrote about the same topics, though the second journalist is more senior, court records say.
    Authorities declined to say if the disclosures resulted in harm in national security or which foreign countriesí defense systems were involved.
    ďFrese betrayed the trust placed in him by the American people Ė a betrayal that risked harming the national security of this countryJohn Demers, Assistant Attorney General for National Security.
[So hopefully they will start arresting the ones who are leaking information to the Democrats.].

10/10/2019 Oil prices dip despite latest U.S.-China trade talks by Noah Browning
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
    LONDON (Reuters) Ė Oil prices dipped on Thursday as the U.S.-China trade war continued to cloud prospects for the global economy and fuel demand despite a resumption in talks seeking a resolution to the 15-month conflict.
    The dispute has disrupted global supply chains and slowed growth in the worldís two largest economies, curbing fuel consumption in both.
    China, the worldís biggest oil importer, has lowered expectations of a deal from the talks on Thursday and Friday. U.S. President Donald Trump, meanwhile, has proposed to increase tariffs on about $250 billion of Chinese goods to 30% from 25% on Oct. 15 if there are no signs of progress.
    Global benchmark Brent crude futures fell by 37 cents, or 0.6%, to $57.95 a barrel at 0931 GMT.    U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) futures were down 26 cents, or 0.5%, at $52.33.
    ďNo two ways about it, U.S.-China trade talks will be front and center on the agenda across global markets, including oil,Ē said BNP Paribas oil strategist Harry Tchilinguirian.
    ďThis jitteriness just goes to show how much emphasis the market places on the outcome of these talks in terms of the global economic outlook
    Both benchmarks are down more than 20% from April peaks.
    The front-month spread between November and December U.S. crude futures slipped into contango Ė where future prices are higher than nearby prices Ė on Wednesday for the first time in three weeks.
    Prices were also weighed down by a report of rising stockpiles in the United States, currently the worldís biggest oil producer.
    U.S. crude stocks rose by 2.9 million barrels in the week to Oct. 4, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) said on Wednesday, more than double analyst expectations of a 1.4 million barrel increase. [EIA/S]
    Additionally, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) quietly adjusted its production pact to allow Nigeria to raise its output, adding more supply, while Shell lifted its force majeure over the key Bonny Light stream there.
    OPEC member Venezuela will also increase its exports despite U.S. economic sanctions that have curtailed shipments.
    Indian refiner Reliance Industries plans to start loading Venezuelan crude after a four-month pause, in a further sign of expanding crude supply to the market.
    ďThe oil market is neither bullish nor bearish.    It is not trending.    It has no reason or excuse to trend,Ē said Tamas Varga of oil brokerage PVM.
    ďIt would be stretching it to say that the market is paralyzed, but it is in a stalemate.    No one is willing to commit to either direction
(Additional reporting by Jane Chung; Editing by David Goodman)

10/10/2019 Ukraine president says Trump didnít seek to blackmail him
Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskiy holds a press-marathon at a food market in Kiev, Ukraine October 10, 2019. REUTERS/Gleb Garanich
    KIEV (Reuters) Ė Ukraineís President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said on Thursday that U.S. President Donald Trump did not seek to blackmail him during a phone call in July or a meeting in September.
    Zelenskiy said he had not known that U.S. military aid to Ukraine had been blocked at the time of the call.    Having been made aware of this by his defense minister later, he raised the issue during a separate meeting in September in Poland with Vice President Mike Pence.
    The U.S. House of Representatives has launched an impeachment inquiry against Trump, focused on whether he used congressionally approved aid to Ukraine as leverage to pressure Zelenskiy to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden, one of Trumpís main Democratic rivals as he seeks re-election in 2020.
    Trump has made allegations, without evidence, that Biden engaged in improper dealings in Ukraine.    Bidenís son Hunter was on the board of Ukrainian gas company Burisma.
    Zelenskiy told reporters that his aim in having a phone call with Trump was to arrange a subsequent meeting and that he had asked the White House to change its rhetoric on Ukraine.
    ďThere was no blackmail.    This was not the subject of our conversation,Ē Zelenskiy said.
    Zelenskiy said there were no conditions attached to him meeting Trump, including whether he should investigate the activities of Hunter at Burisma.
    The White House published its summary of the call between Zelenskiy and Trump in September.    Asked whether the Ukrainian version matched up to the U.S. one, Zelenskiy said: ďI didnít even check, but I think that it matches completely
(Reporting by Pavel Polityuk, Natalia Zinets, Maria Tsvetkova and Matthias Williams, editing by John Stonestreet)

10/10/2019 President Trump thanks OANN for providing Ďfair coverage and brilliant reportingí by OAN Newsroom
    President Donald Trump gives a Ďthumbs-upí towards members of the media on the
South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Thursday, Oct. 3, 2019. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
    President Trump gave One America News a shout-out on Thursday morning for our ďfair coverageĒ and ďbrilliant reporting.Ē    The president thanked the network in a tweet, saying ďit is appreciated by many people trying so hard to find a new, consistent and powerful voice
    He added ďSee you tonight at the big rally in MinneapolisĒ in a nod to our commitment to provide full coverage of all of his rallies.
    President Trump also tweeted about Fox News on Thursday, saying the media company ďis so different than it used to be.Ē    He criticized a new Fox poll, which claims 51 percent of Americans want him impeached.    The president said he has never had a good Fox poll since the day he was elected.
    He went on to say that Fox News has recently been going downhill, suggesting that contributors like Andrew Napolitano, Shepard Smith and Donna Brazile have changed the channel.
    ďFox just doesnít deliver for us anymore,Ē reiterated the president.
    Shepard Smith was one of the only reporters at Fox to publicly criticize the presidentís Ukraine call.    Donna Brazile, a former CNN anchor, was hired by Fox in an effort to shift the networkís coverage to a more moderate stance.

10/10/2019 Pence: ĎIíve never discussed the issue on the Bidens with Ukraineís presidentí by OAN Newsroom
Vice President Mike Pence, right, speaks with President Donald Trump behind him, during a ceremony
to present the Presidential Medal of Freedom to former Attorney General Edwin Meese, in the Oval Office
of the White House, Tuesday, Oct. 8, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
    Vice President Mike Pence is saying he never discussed Joe or Hunter Biden with Ukraineís president during a recent meeting he had with the leader.    Pence told the press Wednesday he is currently working with the White House Counselís office to release transcripts of his talks with President Zelensky. He has said this will prove he is telling the truth.
    ďI think the American people have a right to know what was going on,Ē said Pence.
    In 2016, the vice president commented that foreign governments should not play a role in U.S. elections.    When asked about these comments recently, he said he still believes that but does not think that is what happened in this situation.
    ďI never discussed the issue of the Bidens with President Zelensky,Ē said Pence.    ďFrom my experience, (this is) in no way connected to the very legitimate concern the American people have about corruptionÖin the 2016 Election
    Pence emphasized that the president only wants to ensure Ukrainian President President Zelensky keeps his campaign promise for significant corruption reforms in Ukraine.
    This comes after Zelensky announced to the press Thursday that there was ďno blackmailĒ involved his phone call with President Trump.    The president praised the foreign leader for his persistence in the matter.

10/10/2019 Migrant protesters occupy U.S.-Mexico border bridge, crossing closed by Veronica G Cardenas
A group of migrants who returned to Mexico to await their U.S. asylum hearing block the Puerta Mexico international border
crossing bridge to demand quickness in their asylum process in Matamoros, Mexico October 10, 2019. REUTERS/Veronica G. Cardenas
    GATEWAY BRIDGE, U.S.-Mexico border (Reuters) Ė Migrants seeking asylum in the United States who are camped in a dangerous Mexican border town occupied a bridge to Brownsville, Texas on Thursday, leading U.S. authorities to close the crossing, witnesses and authorities said.
    Hundreds of the migrants have been sleeping for weeks on the end of the bridge in Matamoros, Mexico, a city known for gang violence and for cartels that control human trafficking.
    Many of those living in tents or on the sidewalk in a plaza abutting the bridge are awaiting court dates for hearings in the United States weeks or months later under a U.S. policy called the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP).
    Video shot by a Reuters photographer showed men, women and children, some lying on blankets, midway across the bridge over the Rio Grande.    Dozens of U.S. border agents stood behind a gate topped with razor wire, which blocked the path into the United States.
    Some migrants said they were trying to cross as a group into the United States, and were frustrated that court dates kept being pushed backwards, leaving them uncertain of how long they would be stuck in Mexico.
    ďWe want to argue to cross over Ė we didnít ask to be in Mexico, they sent us here unjustly,Ē said a man who declined to give his name.     He said he had a court date in the United States.
    Matamoros mayor Mario Lopez and a Mexican migration official pleaded with asylum-seekers to clear the blockage.
    A Honduran man responded by indicating the lumps and rash on the throat of his young daughter, which he attributed to unhygienic conditions in the camp.
    He said Mexican officials encouraged those in the camp to take a government paid-for bus back to the border with Guatemala, instead of pursuing their U.S. asylum claims.    He said this was not a safe option for his family.
    ďIíd have to go back to Honduras.    And you know the news there.    If we go back to Honduras, in one day, in 24 hours, weíre dead
    Tens of thousands of Hondurans have fled gang violence and criminality in the country, whose murder rate ranks among the worldís highest.
    Elias Rodriguez, public affairs liaison for U.S. Customs and Border Protection in Brownsville, wrote in a statement that traffic on the Gateway bridge between the two cities remained closed in both directions and that Thursdayís MPP immigration court hearings were being rescheduled.
    Rodriguez separately told Reuters there had been no violence.
    More than 51,000 migrants, mostly asylum seekers, have been returned to Mexico under MPP.    At least 8,000 have been sent to Matamoros, a border city in crime-wracked Taumaulipas state, since the policy was expanded in July from other parts of the U.S.-Mexico border.
    Their sense of uncertainty comes amid news of shifting U.S. policies.    The U.S. Supreme Court issued a decision last month that would allow the U.S. government to deny asylum to people who have passed through a third country, such as Mexico, and not requested refuge there first.
(Additional reporting by Delphine Schrank in Mexico City, Editing by Frank Jack Daniel and Paul Simao and David Gregorio)

10/10/2019 U.S. warns Turkey of Ďconsequencesí over Syria assault as U.N. Security Council meets by Michelle Nichols
FILE PHOTO: New U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Kelly Craft speaks to reporters after attending her first U.N.
Security Council meeting at U.N. headquarters in New York, U.S. September 12, 2019. REUTERS/Mike Segar/File Photo
    UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) Ė The United States warned Turkey at the United Nations on Thursday that it faced ďconsequencesĒ if its assault against Kurdish militias in northeast Syria did not protect vulnerable populations or contain Islamic State militants.
    U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Kelly Craft, speaking after a closed-door meeting of the U.N. Security Council on Syria, did not specify what those consequences could be.
    Turkey pounded U.S.-allied Kurdish militia in Syria for a second day on Thursday, forcing tens of thousands of people to flee and killing dozens.
    ďFailure to play by the rules, to protect vulnerable populations, failure to guarantee that ISIS cannot exploit these actions to reconstitute, will have consequences,Ē Craft told reporters.
    The 15-member Security Council met at the request of the five European nations: Britain, France, Germany, Belgium and Poland. In a joint statement, the European states called on Turkey to stop its military action.
    ďRenewed armed hostilities in the northeast will further undermine the stability of the whole region, exacerbate civilian suffering and provoke further displacements,Ē they said in a statement read to reporters by Germanyís Deputy U.N. Ambassador Jurgen Schulz.
    The offensive was launched days after U.S. President Donald Trump pulled U.S. troops out of the way in an abrupt policy shift that followed a phone conversation with Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan on Sunday.
    Turkey says the Kurdish YPG, the main component of the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces, is a terrorist group linked to Kurdish insurgents that have fought in Turkey for years.
    Trump denied he had abandoned the Kurdish forces, the most effective U.S. partners in fighting Islamic State (ISIS) in Syria.
    Turkey told the U.N. Security Council in a letter on Wednesday that its military operation in northern Syria would be ďproportionate, measured and responsible
    ďThe operation will only target terrorists and their hideouts, shelters, emplacements, weapons vehicles and equipment,Ē Turkeyís U.N. Ambassador Feridun Sinirlioglu wrote.    ďAll precautions are taken to avoid collateral damage to the civilian population
    Turkey justified its action under Article 51 of the U.N. Charter, which covers an individual or collective right to self-defense against armed attack.
    The U.N. Security Council is discussing a U.S.-drafted statement, but it appeared unlikely they could reach an agreement.    Such statements are agreed by consensus.
    ďIt should take into account other aspects of the Syrian crisis not just the Turkish operation.    It should speak about the illegal military presence in that country,Ē Russian U.N. Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia told reporters, referring to the presence of U.S. troops in Syria.
(Reporting by Michelle Nichols; Editing by Chris Reese and Grant McCool)

10/10/2019 Trump says he hopes he can mediate between Turkey and the Kurds
U.S. President Donald Trump speaks to reporters at the White House in Washington, U.S. October 9, 2019. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) Ė U.S. President Donald Trump said on Thursday he hopes he can mediate between Turkey and the Kurds following Turkeyís offensive on U.S.-allied Kurds in northeast Syria.
    Trump, who pulled U.S. troops out of the area before the Turkish attack, said on Twitter that the United States had three options.
    ďWe have one of three choices: Send in thousands of troops and win Militarily, hit Turkey very hard Financially and with Sanctions, or mediate a deal between Turkey and the Kurds!Ē Trump said.
    ďI hope we can mediate,Ē Trump said when asked about the options by reporters at the White House.
    ďTurkey knows where I stand,Ē he said.    Trump said he did not think Americans wanted to see the U.S. military sent back into the region.
    ďWe are going to possibly do something very very tough with respect to sanctions and other financial things,Ē Trump said without elaborating.
    Trump ordered the pullback after a phone call with Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan on Sunday, prompting rare criticism from senior figures in his own Republican Party who accuse him of deserting loyal U.S. allies Ė the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) led by Kurdish YPG militia.    The SDF have been the main allies of U.S. forces on the ground in the battle against Islamic State since 2014.
    Trump has called the Turkish assault a ďbad idea,Ē said he did not endorse it, and threatened to devastate the NATO allyís economy if Ankaraís incursion into Syria wipes out the Kurdish population there.
(Reporting by Jeff Mason; Writing by Mohammad Zargham; Editing by Sandra Maler and Grant McCool)

10/10/2019 Explainer: How Trump used the U.S. government to chase conspiracy theories by Brad Heath, Jonathan Landay and Mark Hosenball
FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump, flanked by California State Senator Andreas Borgeas (R-Modesto)
and U.S. Representative Mark Meadows (R-NC), speaks to reporters after signing executive orders on
federal regulation at the White House in Washington, U.S. October 9, 2019. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) Ė President Donald Trump has enlisted parts of the U.S. government and key allies in the pursuit of unproven or disproven conspiracy theories, some incubated in the dark and anonymous corners of the internet.
    Text messages between U.S. diplomats, a whistleblower complaint and a series of public statements by Trump and other officials in recent days offer the clearest view yet of the extent to which the president has used the government to chase accusations that secret forces have been plotting against him.
    Much of that evidence has surfaced because of an impeachment inquiry led by Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives.
    Some of the evidence that has emerged shows that:
Ė State Department envoys in Europe offered Ukraineís president a White House visit if he promised to investigate a discredited theory suggesting Russia did not interfere in the 2016 election that put Trump in office.    A whistleblower complaint by an intelligence officer suggested Trump also held back nearly $400 million in security aid to Ukraine as additional leverage, which Trump has denied doing.
Ė The Justice Department is now investigating its own probe into Russiaís meddling in the 2016 election and allegations that Trumpís campaign colluded with Moscow.    Attorney General William Barr and another senior department official traveled to Europe in recent months to investigate the theory that the FBI investigation, first launched during the presidential campaign in 2016, was actually a plot to stop Trump from becoming president.
    The presidentís tendency to say untrue things, particularly on Twitter, has caused headaches for his administration before.    Until now, however, the government had largely taken pains to distance itself from such statements.
    As recently as last year, the Justice Department argued in a series of court cases that when it came to national security, the president did not necessarily know what he was tweeting about.
    Here are the three cases in which Trump has publicly advanced views of uncorroborated conspiracies behind episodes damaging his presidency.    The White House declined to comment on the cases:
    Investigations by U.S. intelligence, law enforcement, Congress and outside researchers have all concluded that Russiaís government was to blame for hacking Democratic Party organizations and leaking stolen emails at politically opportune moments in 2016.    Russia has denied involvement, although U.S. investigators even named the Russian officers who were sitting at the keyboard during the breaches.
    But another view has taken hold in on some right-wing websites.    In that telling, the cybersecurity firm CrowdStrike, which the DNC hired to investigate the hack, falsely accused Russia, and spirited the hacked email servers to Ukraine as part of a coverup.    As early as March 2017, an unnamed poster on the fringe website 4chan wrote that ďRussia could not have been the source of leaked Democrat emails released by WikiLeaks.Ē    Other posts incorrectly said CrowdStrike co-founder Dmitri Alperovitch is Ukrainian (he is a U.S. citizen born in Russia).
    Trump referenced that view during a July 25 call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, mentioning CrowdStrike by name, and saying ďThe server they say Ukraine has it.Ē    Ahead of that call the U.S. special representative to Ukraine, Kurt Volker, suggested in a text message to a Zelenskiy aide that Zelenskiy might score a White House visit if he promised to ďget to the bottom of what happenedĒ in 2016, a reference to the election meddling.
    CrowdStrike said in a blog post that its finding of Russian involvement was supported by U.S. intelligence and that it never took possession of the hacked servers.
    Trumpís former homeland security adviser, Tom Bossert, said officials in the administration tried to dissuade Trump.    ďItís not only a conspiracy theory.    It is completely debunked,Ē he said on ABCís ďThis Week With George StephanopoulosĒ last month
    Russian involvement in the 2016 election produced an investigation like few others in U.S. history, focused on whether Trumpís campaign had colluded with the Kremlin to win.
    Another theory, endorsed by Trump, holds that the probe was actually an elaborate effort by U.S. officials and foreign spies to deny him the presidency.
    The FBI opened its Russia probe in 2016, after an Australian diplomat reported that a Trump campaign aide named George Papadopoulos had boasted that Russia had obtained email ďdirtĒ on Hillary Clinton, Trumpís Democratic opponent, weeks before the hack of the Democratic National Committee became public.    Papadopoulos told the FBI that he learned that from a Maltese academic, Joseph Mifsud.
    Papadopoulos has alleged that Mifsud was actually a Western intelligence operative trying to frame him, and by extension, Trump.    On Twitter, Trump has hinted at that theory, repeating messages asking why Mifsud was not charged with a crime, and quoting a television interview in which Papadopoulos said the ďwhole thing was a complete setup
    Now Barr is investigating how the government opened an investigation Ė which went on to be led by Special Counsel Robert Mueller Ė that the president dismissed as a ďhoaxĒ and a ďwitch huntĒ from the start.    Barr told CBS News that official explanations for the FBIís investigation ďdonít hang together.Ē    He has not elaborated on what he is investigating or why, but told a Senate subcommittee this year that ďthere is a basis for my concern
    Barr traveled to Italy seeking information about Mifsud, and to the United Kingdom to meet with its intelligence officials.    He has tapped the lead federal prosecutor in Connecticut to lead the review.     The Justice Department did not respond to a request for comment.
    Trumpís efforts to pursue those conspiracies came to light in large part because an unnamed U.S. intelligence officer filed a whistleblower complaint about Trumpís July 25 call with Zelenskiy.
    Trump has accused Democrats of secretly ghostwriting the whistleblowerís complaint.    He described the whistleblowerís sources as ďspying on our own president,Ē and said they deserve ďBig Consequences
    He also said on Wednesday that the Intelligence Committee Inspector General, who first reviewed the complaint and determined that it was credible and urgent, had presided over a ďscam
    Trump also said his administration was ďtrying to find outĒ the whistleblowerís identity, and that he wanted to question his unnamed accuser.
    When the whistleblowerís lawyers said a second official had also spoken to the Intelligence Community Inspector General, Trump said that person too was ďcoming in from the Deep State,Ē a phrase that commonly refers to an alleged secret cabal within the U.S. government.
    One of the initial whistleblowerís lawyers, Mark Zaid, has said that Congress did not help the whistleblower prepare the nine-page set of allegations that touched off the House impeachment inquiry.
    Nonetheless, Trumpís allies in the House and his lawyers have taken up the accusation that the whistleblower worked in secret with the Democratic head of the House committee leading the impeachment inquiry, Adam Schiff.
    In a letter Tuesday, White House Counsel Pat Cipollone cited this among the presidentís reasons for refusing to cooperate with the impeachment probe.    The whistleblowerís party leanings and his contact with Democrats ďraises serious questions that must be investigated,Ē he wrote.
(Reporting by Karen Freifeld, Brad Heath, Steve Holland, Mark Hosenball, Jonathan Landay, David Morgan, Andy Sullivan and Heather Timmons and Richard Cowan; Editing by Ross Colvin and Frances Kerry)
[Whoever wrote this must be watching CNN and believes what they say.].

10/10/2019 President Trump to hold ďKeep America GreatĒ rally in Minnesota by OAN Newsroom
President Trump is returning to Minnesota for a ďKeep America GreatĒ rally.
The rally will take place on Thursday at 8p.m. ET at the Target Center in Minneapolis.
    More than 20,000 people are expected to attend the event.    The president shared a video of the growing crowd earlier on Twitter, thanking Minneapolis for their support.
    Ahead of his visit, the president traded jabs with Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey regarding the cost of the rally venue and new dress code guidelines for attending police officers.
    The city charged the Target Center over half a million dollars in security fees, which was then passed along to President Trumpís team.    The $530,000 fee is about 25 times larger than the charge former President Obama received for using the same venue for a healthcare rally in 2009.    The Trump campaign threatened to sue the Target Center, but the venue backed off and cancelled the contract for the event.
    The cityís police officers were also banned from wearing their uniforms at political events while off duty.    Lieutenant Bob Kroll of the Minneapolis Police Federation said the ban was politically motivated because it was enforced hours after President Trump confirmed his rally in Minnesota.
    While attending officers will not be able to wear their uniforms at the event, Kroll said they will show their support for the president by wearing their ďCops for TrumpĒ shirts, which have sold to hundreds of supporters.
    Lieutenant Kroll will join Vice President Mike Pence on the rally stage before President Trump gives his big speech.    The president is expected to promote the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement and tout the success of the U.S. economy under his presidency.

    The following found at
10/10/2019 Giuliani Cryptically Tells Fox News To ĎWatch Romaniaí - And Another Country by Summer Concepcion, newswriter for TPM based in New York.
Warsaw, Poland, 13/02/2019 - A press briefing held prior to the rally of the Iranian community in Europe on the
prospects for establishing a sustainable and lasting peace in the Middle East and the Iranian regime's d... MORE
    President Donald Trumpís lawyer Rudy Giuliani just added another country ó and possibly two! ó to the list of places where heís possibly drumming up bogus allegations against former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter.
    During a segment on Fox News host Sean Hannityís show Thursday night, Giuliani sounded off on the Ukraine scandal spurred by Trumpís now-infamous July call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, in which Trump pressured Ukraine into manufacturing dirt against the Bidens.
    Then Giuliani pivoted to an entirely new country.    The former New York mayor urged Hannity to keep an eye out on Romania.
    ďSean, I want to keep your eye not just on China,Ē Giuliani said.    ďI want you to keep your eye on Romania.    Just watch Romania
    Last week, Trump called on China to investigate Biden, in addition to his Ukraine pressure campaign.
    Giulianiís latest Fox News appearance comes a day after the White House issued a letter to House Democratic leaders rejecting Congressí impeachment inquiry.     On Thursday, TPM reported that two Giuliani associates who were tied to the Ukraine pressure campaign were arrested Wednesday on campaign finance charges.
    At the end of his appearance Wednesday, Giuliani teased that heís ďgot another countryĒ on ďthe listĒ to keep an eye on.
    ďWe go to China, told you about Romania, I got another country that we have on the list and then we go back to all the stealing [Biden] did when he went back to the Senate,Ē Giuliani said.

    The following found at Pals Tied To Ukraine Scheme Arrested On Campaign Finance Charges by Josh Kovensky, an investigative reporter for Talking Points Memo, based in New York.
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 23: Former New York City Mayor and attorney to President Donald Trump Rudy Giuliani
visits "Mornings With Maria" with anchor Maria Bartiromo at Fox Business Network Studios on September... MORE
    Two associates of Trump personal attorney Rudy Giuliani who were tied to the Ukraine pressure campaign were arrested on Wednesday on campaign finance charges, a source familiar told TPM.
    The pair ó Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman ó traveled to Kyiv in 2019 as Giuliani and Trump pressed the Ukrainian government to fabricate dirt on Joe Biden and the origins of the Trump-Russia investigation.    The duo have run the gamut in their work with Giuliani, most recently teaming up with the former NYC mayor to probe opportunities in Ukraineís gas business but also reportedly aiding the Trump attorney in his pressure campaign on Kyiv ó for which the President now faces impeachment.
    The duo were arrested Wednesday night at Washington-Dulles International airport, while reportedly trying to flee the country.    They had depositions before Congress scheduled for today and tomorrow.
    Prosecutors from the Southern District of New York charged the pair Ė as well as David Correia and Andrey Kukushkin ó on two counts of conspiracy, false statements to the FEC, and falsifying records.
    Prosecutors accuse the four of conspiring ďto circumvent the federal laws against foreign influence by engaging in a scheme to funnel foreign money to candidates for federal and State office so that the defendants could buy potential influenceĒ with politicians and government.
    The indictment accuses Parnas and Fruman of funneling $325,000 in foreign cash to pro-Trump Super PAC America First Action in a mysterious transaction that TPM wrote about last month.
    The pair founded a company called Global Energy Partners, and marked it down as having made the contribution.    But as TPM reported, and the indictment alleges, GEP did not make the contribution ó rather, the money came from another firm.
    Prosecutors allege that the money in fact came from a ďprivate lending transactionĒ with unnamed third parties, and that the pair intentionally concealed the origin of the funds from the FEC.    America First Action also recorded the $325,000 as having come from GEP, and told TPM at the time that it complied with all applicable laws and regulations.    AFA did not immediately reply to a request for comment.
    That PAC also benefitted an unnamed ďthen-sitting U.S. CongressmanĒ who received a commitment from Parnas and Fruman for $20,000.
    At around that time, the indictment reads, ďParnas met with Congressman-1 and sought Congressman-1ís assistance in causing the U.S. Government to remove or recall the then-U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine
    Last year, Rep. Pete Sessions (R-TX) sent a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo calling for Ambassador Marie Yovanovitchís removal, accusing her of being anti-Trump.    America First Action reportedly spent more than $3 million to benefit Sessions during the 2018 election cycle.
    Yovanovitch was fired in May 2019, after Ukraineís then-prosecutor general Yuriy Lutsenko began to publicly accuse her of corruption, and after Giuliani pushed for her removal.
    In a statement, America First Action said that ďIn May 2018, America First Action received a $325,000 contribution and donor form from Global Energy Producers
    After the FEC opened an investigation concerning the contribution, America First Action said, it ďplaced that contribution in a segregated bank account, it has not been used it for any purpose and the funds will remain in this segregated account until these matters are resolved.    We take our legal obligations seriously and scrupulously comply with the law and any suggestion otherwise is false
    The indictment also details a scheme to create a marijuana business in Nevada.    Parnas and Fruman allegedly funneled money from a foreign official to a Nevada state candidateís election campaign in order to help secure a license for marijuana retail.
    For the marijuana licensing venture, the pair allegedly worked with David Correia and Andrey Kukushkin.    Correia allegedly drafted a table contemplating between $1 and $2 million in political contributions to accomplish the scheme.    The unnamed foreign national allegedly wired $1 million in furtherance of the effort late last year, but it all stumbled on one hitch: the deadline for registering marijuana licenses in Nevada was September 2018.
    So, the indictment alleges, the defendants attempted to contribute to a Nevada State candidate who was running for an office in which the candidate would be empowered to ďchange the rules
    Parnas and Fruman are expected to appear in federal court in Virginia on Thursday.
    Read the indictment here:
[There is no date on the indictment as you can see above.    So no one knows when it was created and it is amusement that someone is doing this at a strange time since these two are the sources of Giuliani's information about Joe Bidens dealings with Ukranian corruption, and also no one knows who the Congressman was also not named.    Something is fishing do you think the DEEP STATE is causing this?].

10/11/2019 Oil up $0.96 to $53.55, DOW up 151 to 26,497.

10/11/2019 Giuliani-linked pair charged over donations - Allegedly sent foreign money to candidates by Bart Jansen and Kevin Johnson, USA TODAY
    WASHINGTON Ė Two Ukrainianborn business partners, who showered Republican campaign committees with nearly $500,000 and dined with President Donald Trump at the White House, were arrested late Wednesday on campaign finance charges as they tried to leave the country, federal authorities said Thursday.
    Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman helped Rudy Giuliani meet a Ukrainian prosecutor as the presidentís personal lawyer pushed for an investigation into Trumpís political rival Joe Biden.    Both of the men are among the prospective witnesses House Democrats want to question in their impeachment inquiry.     The indictment charges Parnas, Fruman, David Correia and Andrey Kukushkin with federal campaign finance law violations.    The charges relate to a $325,000 donation to a group supporting Trumpís reelection.
    It alleges they ďconspired to circumvent the federal laws against foreign influence by engaging in a scheme to funnel foreign money to candidates for federal and state office so that the defendants could buy potential influence with candidates, campaigns and the candidatesí governments
    Parnas and Fruman had no significant history of political donations and ďsought to advance their personal financial interests and the political interests of at least one Ukrainian government official with whom they were working,Ē the indictment charges.
    To hide their sources of funding and capital, Parnas and Fruman created a limited liability company called Global Energy Producers and ďintentionally caused certain large contributions to be reported in the name of GEP instead of their own names,Ē the indictment says.
    The indictment alleges that Parnas, Fruman, Correia and Kukushkin schemed with an unidentified foreign national to get retail marijuana licenses in states, including Nevada. In 2018, Correia drafted a table of prospective political donations.
    The plan allegedly included two $500,000 transfers.    The foreign national arranged for the funds to be wired from overseas accounts to a U.S. corporate bank account controlled by Fruman and another individual, the indictment charges.
    Giuliani said he couldnít comment on the case and didnít represent the men in campaign finance matters.
Contributing: Kevin McCoy, Kristine Phillips, Associated Press

10/11/2019 Giuliani associates arrested at airport - GOP donors accused in campaign finance scheme by Bart Jansen, Kevin Johnson and Kevin McCoy, USA TODAY
    WASHINGTON Ė Two Ukrainian-born business partners, who showered Republican campaign committees with nearly $500,000 and dined with President Donald Trump at the White House, were arrested late Wednesday on campaign finance charges, federal authorities said Thursday.
    Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman helped Rudy Giuliani meet a Ukrainian prosecutor as the presidentís personal lawyer pushed for an investigation into Trumpís political rival Joe Biden. Both of the men are among the prospective witnesses House Democrats want to question in their impeachment inquiry.
    The indictment charges Parnas, Fruman, David Correia and Andrey Kukushkin with federal campaign finance law violations.
    Manhattan U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman said Parnas and Fruman were arrested at Dulles International Airport near Washington as they prepared to board an international flight with one-way tickets.    Kukushkin was arrested in San Francisco, and Correia was not yet in custody.
    Prosecutors allege that they ďconspired to circumvent the federal laws against foreign influence by engaging in a scheme to funnel foreign money to candidates for federal and state office so that the defendants could buy potential influence with candidates, campaigns and the candidatesí governments
    They began attending campaign fundraising events in March 2018, the indictment alleges.
    According to court documents, Fruman contributed $10,000 on Nov. 1, 2018, to a Nevada state candidate.    State campaign finance filings show Fruman contributed to the campaigns of two Republican candidates: Adam Laxalt, former state attorney general, and Wesley Duncan, former state assembly member.
    Having no significant prior history of political giving, the pair ďsought to advance their personal financial interests and the political interests of at least one Ukrainian government official with whom they were working,Ē the indictment charges.
    To hide their sources of funding and capital, Parnas and Fruman created a limited liability company called Global Energy Producers and ďintentionally caused certain large contributions to be reported in the name of GEP instead of their own names,Ē the indictment says.
    The indictment alleges that Parnas, Fruman, Correia and Kukushkin schemed with an unidentified foreign national who is a Russian citizen to get retail marijuana licenses in states, including Nevada.
    In May 2018, Parnas posted pictures on Facebook of himself and Fruman with Trump in the White House and with the presidentís son Donald Jr. in California.    That was the same month their company, Global Energy Producers, was credited with giving $325,000 to the committee that supports Trumpís reelection, America First Action SuperPac.
    The campaign contribution sparked a complaint to the Federal Election Commission because of questions about the source of the money.
    ďIn July 2018, a complaint was filed with the Federal Election Commission concerning this contribution,Ē America First Action said Thursday in a statement.    ďThere is also separate litigation pending in Florida that concerns these funds.    Accordingly, America First Action placed that contribution in a segregated bank account, it has not been used for any purpose and the funds will remain in this segregated account until these matters are resolved.    We take our legal obligations seriously and scrupulously comply with the law and any suggestion otherwise is false
    Giuliani declined comment Thursday.
    Parnas and Fruman helped arrange a meeting in January in New York between Giuliani and Ukraineís then-prosecutor general, Yuri Lutsenko, according to Ukrainian media reports.
    Trump and Giuliani pushed an unsubstantiated claim that Biden urged the prosecutorís removal in 2016 to thwart an investigation into a company tied to his son Hunter.    Biden denied wrongdoing, and Lutsenko told The Washington Post that Hunter Biden ďdid not violate anything
    The $325,000 campaign contribution May 17, 2018, took a wayward path to America First Action.    The contribution was attributed to Global Energy Producers on the committeeís report to the FEC.    Parnas was listed as CEO of the company and Fruman as president in other campaign documents.
    According to The Associated Press, the money came from a different corporate entity, Aaron Investments I, which was managed by Parnas and his wife.    Aaron Investments received $1.2 million from the proceeds of a private mortgage May 15, 2018, secured by a condo unit in North Miami Beach owned by a corporation tied to Fruman, according to AP. Wire-transfer records show $325,000 was wired from Aaron Investments to America First Action, even though the contribution was credited to Global Energy Producers.     Four days after the contribution, on May 21, 2018, Parnas posted a picture on Facebook of himself with Fruman and Trump Jr. at the Beverly Hills Polo Lounge in California.    ďPower Breakfast!!!Ē the caption said.
    The Campaign Legal Center, a nonpartisan campaign finance watchdog based in Washington, filed a complaint with the FEC in July 2018 arguing that Global Energy Producers shielded the source of the political contribution.    Under federal law, contributions must be attributed to the person or entity providing the money, to avoid straw donations.
Contributing: Kristine Phillips
Lev Parnas shared photos and video on Facebook in May 2018 after his visit with President Donald Trump
at the White House. Parnas and his business partner are accused of campaign finance violations. AP
A Facebook post in May 2018 proclaimed a ďpower breakfastĒ attended by, from left, Donald Trump Jr.,
Tommy Hicks, Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman. Parnas and Fruman were arrested Wednesday. AP

10/11/2019 Factbox: The criminal charges against Giulianiís associates by Jan Wolfe
FILE PHOTO: Rudy Giuliani is seen ahead of U.S. President Donald Trump introducing his Supreme Court nominee
in the East Room of the White House in Washington, U.S., July 9, 2018. REUTERS/Leah Millis
    (Reuters) Ė Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, two foreign-born businessmen associated with U.S. President Donald Trumpís personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, were arrested on federal charges they conspired to funnel foreign money to U.S. political candidates, prosecutors said on Thursday.
    Giuliani, who did not return a request for comment, previously said he worked with Parnas and Fruman to get Ukrainian officials to investigate Democratic presidential contender Joe Biden, Trumpís political rival.
    The following lays out some of the allegations against Parnas and Fruman.
Ė Federal prosecutors in Manhattan say that beginning in 2018, Parnas and Fruman made illegal donations to political candidates.    The donations included a $325,000 contribution to America First Action, a political action committee that supports pro-Trump political candidates, according to an indictment.
    John Dowd, a lawyer for Parnas and Fruman, declined to comment.    Jay Sekulow, a lawyer for the president, told Reuters that ďneither the president nor the campaign was awareĒ of the defendantsí alleged scheme.
Ė Parnas and Fruman conspired to circumvent federal law by funneling money to political candidates to advance their own financial interests and the political interests of Ukrainian officials, the indictment says.
Ė In disclosure forms submitted to the U.S. Federal Election Commission, Parnas and Fruman listed the $325,000 contribution to the pro-Trump group as coming from a business called Global Energy Producers (GEP).    Prosecutors say GEP was a shell company with ďno real business
Ė Parnas and Fruman deliberately made the contributions in GEPís name to ďhide from creditors that they had access to funding, and to conceal from the public and the FEC their involvement in making these contributions,Ē according to the indictment.
Ė Prosecutors said Parnas and Fruman sought the help of a then-sitting congressman to get the U.S. government to remove the then-ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch.    The indictment says the efforts were conducted in part at the request of at least one or more Ukrainian government officials.
Ė Parnas and Fruman also conspired to funnel donations to state and federal candidates to benefit a planned marijuana business funded by an unnamed Russian businessman.    A co-conspirator said they should hide the foreign nationalís role in the business because of ďhis Russian roots and current political paranoia about it,Ē according to the indictment.
Ė Parnas and Fruman were arrested on Wednesday at an airport outside Washington carrying one-way tickets to Vienna.
Ė A federal magistrate judge in Virginia said Fruman and Parnas could be released and kept in home detention once they each pay a $1 million bond.
Ė Parnas and Fruman are accused of criminal violations of laws that promote transparency in U.S. elections, as well as conspiracy to defraud the United States.
(Reporting by Jan Wolfe; Editing by Noeleen Walder and Peter Cooney)

10/11/2019 Tusk says Erdoganís threats of flooding Europe with refugees Ďtotally out of placeí
FILE PHOTO: European Council President Donald Tusk arrives at the Maximos Mansion
in Athens, Greece, October 9, 2019. REUTERS/Costas Baltas
    BRUSSELS (Reuters) Ė European Council President Donald Tusk chastised Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan on Friday for threatening to send millions of Syrian refugees to Europe and blasted the Turkish operation in northern Syria as destabilizing the region.
    Tusk, who spoke after meeting Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades, said Turkeyís unilateral military operation was of grave concern and should halt while Turkeyís security concerns should be addressed through political and diplomatic means.
    ďA military intervention will only make matters worse.    Instead of creating stability, it will create even more instability in the whole region, exacerbate civilian suffering, cause further displacement and threaten progress achieved by the Global Coalition against Daesh,Ē Tusk said, referring to Islamic State.
    Turkey, which still formally aspires to join the European Union despite mounting EU criticism of Ankaraís human rights record, was stung by EU criticism of its air and land offensive against formerly U.S.-backed Syrian Kurdish fighters.
    In a speech on Thursday, Erdogan called on the European Union to ďpull itself togetherĒ and threatened that if the bloc labeled the operation an occupation he would ďopen the gates and send 3.6 million refugeesĒ to Europe.
    Under a deal agreed in 2016, the European Union has provided billions of euros in aid in return for Ankara stemming the influx of migrants into Europe, but Turkey says the money was slow to materialize and paltry next to the $40 billion it says it has spent.
    ďTurkey must understand that our main concern is that their actions may lead to another humanitarian catastrophe, which would be unacceptable,Ē Tusk said.
    ďNor will we ever accept that refugees are weaponised and used to blackmail us.    That is why I consider yesterdayís threats made by President Erdogan totally out of place,Ē he said.
(Reporting by Jan Strupczewski; Editing by Nick Macfie)

10/11/2019 U.S. still operating in Syria, readying troops to Saudi Arabia against Iran by OAN Newsroom
FILE Ė This March 27, 2008, file photo, shows the Pentagon in Washington. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, File)
    U.S. military officials are preparing to deploy thousands of troops to Saudi Arabia.    During a Friday news conference, Defense Secretary Mark Esper said collected evidence shows Iran was responsible for attacks on Saudi oil facilities.    1,500 additional forces will be deployed to the region, including fighter squadrons and air defense systems.
    Iranís state news agency announced the explosion of an oil tanker off the coast of Saudi Arabia on Friday morning.    Two missiles reportedly struck a vessel that belongs to the National Iranian Oil Company.
    A video released on the same day reportedly shows U.S. military vehicles near the Syria-Turkey border, marking the first sighting since President Trump ordered the removal of U.S. troops from Syria.    American troops fought with Kurdish forces against ISIS until the U.S. declared the terror group was 100 percent defeated.    Officials have said the U.S. is still in close contact with Kurdish forces in the region and continues to work against ISIS forces there.    Esper said the U.S. has pushed back against a Turkish incursion into the region and wants to reestablish the status quo while working out a safe zone.
    Since operations started, more than 340 Kurdish militia fighters have been killed.    Turkeyís Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu has said the country would like to see its NATO allies showing more solidarity in the battle against terrorists.    Cavusoglu said it is ďnot enoughĒ for countries to only express an understanding of these ďlegitimate concerns.Ē    The minister went on to say Turkey is determined to target terrorists and eliminate terrorism from the region.
    ďWe will do our best to eliminate terrorism from that region,Ē he said.    ďIf those daesh {dash} terrorists are in the safe zone ó which we are in the process of creating ó then it is not possible for them to be released
    NATO has urged Turkey to exercise restraint during its operation in Syria.    France, Germany and the EU have all denounced Turkeyís actions.
    Russian President Vladimir Putin also weighed in on the Syria conflict, expressing concern for the security of detained ISIS combatants.    Western and Russian military intelligence have said there could be thousands of militants detained in the region.    He said he doesnít think Turkey will be able to take control quickly enough to properly secure terrorists guarded by Kurdish forces.
    ďIt is a real threat to us all ó Where will they head?Ē asked Putin.    ďThrough Turkey or take another way or deeper into SyriaÖto other countries of the region

10/11/2019 Ukraine Files: Bidens got $17.5 million in racketeering by OAN Newsroom
Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden gestures during a
campaign stop in Manchester, N.H., Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2019. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
    Rudy Giuliani has sounded the alarm over a new report, suggesting that Joe Biden may have been paid up to $1 million in proceeds of corruption in Ukraine.    In a Wednesday interview, the presidentís attorney cited new findings from Ukrainian MP Andriy Derkach.    The report reveals money transfers from Ukrainian energy company Burisma to Rosemont Seneca, the American based firm that represented Bidenís interests in that country.
    Derkach has claimed Biden was paid $900,000 to pressure the Ukrainian government not to investigate the business of Burisma
    ďIíd like to emphasize ó Bidenís fifth visit to Kyiv in December 2015 had the only purpose to get Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin fired because of his probes into Burisma,Ē said the parliamentarian.
    Giuliani said Hunter Biden, a former board member of Burisma, had close ties to Burisma CEO Mykola Zlochevsky.    Zlochevsky is known to have bribed top officials of the pro-Russian Yanukovych administration in order to expand his business in the country.
    ďHeís a major oligarch ó he stole $5 billion from his people,Ē said Giuliani.    ďThis guy is one of the major criminals of the Ukraine and heís now walking around free because Joe Biden got the case dismissed
    The attorney has confirmed Derkachís claim that Joe Biden repeatedly pressured the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine, who paid Hunter Biden for this protection.    He said this racketeering scheme allegedly enriched the Bidens and other Obama-era officials.
    Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky identified former U.S. ambassador Marie Yovanovich as a ďbad ambassadorĒ in the July phone call with President Trump.
    ďIndeed we are ready to investigate the Burisma case,Ē said Zelensky.    ďIt will be a joint investigative teamÖof American and Ukrainian general prosecutors
    Derkach has also claimed Hunter Biden received an additional $16.5 million in proceeds of corruption from Burisma.    Several probes were launched in 2014 to investigate Zlochevskyís forced acquisitions of assets and the transfers of money to the Bidens.    Each of these inquiries grinded to a halt and were later closed, which Derkach claims happened by request of the U.S. Embassy.
    ďProsecutor General Ryaboshapka said heís auditing all criminal cases into Burisma, alleged U.S. election meddling and other cases of transnational corruption,Ē said the MP.    ďI am transferring my findings to the prosecutorís office for a review
    Derkach has promised more disclosures on Bidenís activities, saying the documents are now leaking from the highest levels of the Ukrainian government.    Rudy Giuliani has said he will be releasing more of his own findings on the former vice president in the coming days.

10/11/2019 Pompeo says Orwellís Ď1984í coming to life in Chinaís Xinjiang region
FILE PHOTO: U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo delivers statements at the State Department
in Washington, U.S., October 9, 2019.REUTERS/Erin Scott
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) Ė U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Friday likened Chinaís treatment of more than one million Uighur Muslims to George Orwellís ď1984Ē novel, saying the Communist Party was detaining and abusing them in internment camps.
    Speaking at an American Association of Christian Counselors event in Nashville, Tennessee, Pompeo also said he wished the National Basketball Association (NBA) had acknowledged the situation in the Xinjiang region.
    NBA has been grappling with the backlash from a tweet by Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey last weekend in support of Hong Kong anti-government protests.    Morey deleted his tweet but Chinese state media has characterized it as the latest example of West meddling in Chinaís affairs.
    ďThe Chinese Communist Party is detaining and abusing more than one million Uighur Muslims in internment camps in Xinjiang, the western region of China,Ē Pompeo said.    ďThe pages of George Orwellís 1984 are coming to life there.    I wish the NBA would acknowledge that
    The China market is estimated to be worth more than $4 billion for the NBA.
    China has been widely condemned for setting up complexes in remote Xinjiang that it describes as ďvocational training centersĒ to stamp out extremism and give people new skills.    The United Nations says at least 1 million ethnic Uighurs and other Muslims have been detained.
(This story changes ďprovinceĒ to ďregionĒ in second paragraph.)
(Reporting by Humeyra Pamuk and Makini Brice; Editing by Chris Reese and Richard Chang)

10/11/2019 U.S. company supplying tear gas to Hong Kong police faces mounting criticism by Rajesh Kumar Singh
FILE PHOTO: A riot police officer fires a tear gas canister toward anti-government protesters during a demonstration in
the Tseung Kwan O residential area in Kowloon, Hong Kong, China, October 7, 2019. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha/File Photo
    CHICAGO (Reuters) Ė Another U.S. senator has joined a chorus against Pennsylvania-based NonLethal Technologies Inc for selling riot gear to Hong Kong that is being used against pro-democracy protesters.
    The privately held company, which makes and exports a wide range of riot and crowd control equipment for military and law enforcement agencies, has been in the spotlight ever since it was discovered that Hong Kong police are employing its tear gas canisters to disperse anti-government demonstrations.
    In one photo that has been widely shared on social media, NonLethalís name is stamped on the casing of a spent tear gas canister.
    The use of U.S.-made gear to quell protests has prompted several lawmakers to call for halting and even banning tear gas exports to the city.    In July, Senator Ted Cruz, a Republican, proposed in a tweet that the United States consider banning exports of tear gas to Hong Kong if the attacks on the protesters were not stopped.
    Similarly, in August, U.S. Representatives Chris Smith, a Republican, and James McGovern, a Democrat, wrote to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Secretary of Commerce Wilber Ross, asking them to suspend future sales of crowd and riot control equipment to Hong Kong police.
    They followed up their letter with a bipartisan bill in the House of Representatives last month, which seeks to prohibit commercial exports of certain nonlethal crowd control items and defense articles and services to the city.    If passed, the ban would take effect within 30 days.
    U.S. Senator Rick Scott, a Florida Republican, on Thursday became the latest to raise concerns about the exports.
    In a letter to NonLethalís president shared on Twitter, Scott said the sales were equivalent to supporting efforts of the Chinese president to ďharm ordinary citizens and peaceful protesters.Ē    He urged the manufacturer of tear gas to ďput human rights above profits
    The protests have plunged the city, an Asian financial hub, into its worst crisis since it returned to Chinese rule in 1997, posing the biggest popular challenge to Chinese President Xi Jinping since he came to power in 2012.
    What began as opposition to a now-withdrawn extradition bill has evolved into a pro-democracy movement fanned by fears that China is stifling Hong Kongís freedoms, guaranteed under a ďone country, two systemsĒ formula introduced in 1997.
    China denies the accusations and says foreign countries, including Britain and the United States, are fomenting unrest.
    In his Oct. 10 letter, Scott said during a recent trip to the city he saw firsthand how the companyís products were used in a ďdangerous and malicious manner to intentionally harm protesters
    He requested to meet with the companyís president, Scott Oberdick, to discuss his concerns.
    Oberdick, however, told Reuters on Friday that he had not seen Scottís letter.    When asked about the criticism his company has been facing for selling tear gas to Hong Kong police, Oberdick hung up the phone.
    NonLethal does not share its financial details with public.    However, in 2017, it was listed as one of the top 10 companies in the world producing riot-control systems, according to London-based market research firm Visiongain.
    According to its website, the company provides ďa full range of less lethal grenades and less lethal ammunition to allow the most effective level of force to be used for various situations.Ē    However, for overseas sales, most of its products require an export license from the United States Department of Commerce.
    An online petition, urging the White House to suspend any export application of crowd control equipment to Hong Kong, has garnered more than 110,000 signatures.
    Amnesty International has also called on countries including the United States to halt all transfers of less lethal ďcrowd controlĒ equipment Ė including water cannon vehicles, tear gas, pepper spray, rubber bullets, projectile launchers and parts and components Ė to Hong Kong.
(Reporting by Rajesh Kumar Singh in Chicago; Editing by Matthew Lewis)

10/11/2019 Exclusive: U.S. migrant policy sends thousands of children, including babies, back to Mexico by Kristina Cooke, Mica Rosenberg and Reade Levinson
    Guatemalan asylum seeker Maylin A. Choc Xo, 1, rests in her mother's arms in an
encampment where they live after being sent back under the "Remain in Mexico" program officially named
Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) in Matamoros, Mexico October 5, 2019. REUTERS/Veronica G. Cardenas
    TIJUANA, Mexico (Reuters) Ė Since January, the U.S. government has ordered 16,000 migrants under 18, including nearly 500 infants, to wait with their families in Mexico for U.S. immigration court hearings, a Reuters analysis of government data found.
    Along the U.S.-Mexico border, babies and toddlers are living in high-crime cities Ė often in crowded shelters and tents or on the streets Ė for the weeks or months it takes to get a U.S. asylum hearing.
    The risk of violence and illness runs high and is of particular concern for families with young children or those with chronic health conditions, according to interviews with health professionals, migrants, aid workers and advocates.
    The children, whose numbers have not been previously reported, are among tens of thousands of migrants returned to Mexico under a Trump administration policy known as the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP).    Most are from Guatemala, Honduras or El Salvador.
    U.S. immigration officials did not respond to requests for comment on Reutersí data findings.
    According to the Department of Homeland Security, decisions about whether a person is placed in MPP are made by border agents on a case-by-case basis and include consultation with medical professionals. Unaccompanied minors should not be sent back to Mexico, according to the program guidelines, but children can be sent back with their parents.
    Trump administration officials have said they are doing everything possible to discourage migrant families from making dangerous journeys to the United States, often in the hands of human smugglers, which they say needlessly put children at risk.
    About one third of the nearly 50,000 migrants in the MPP program as of Oct. 3 were children under 18, according to the latest data available from the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR), which oversees U.S. immigration courts.    Of those, Reuters found around 4,300 under 5 years old and 481 under 1 year old.
    Blanca Aguilar, a 27-year-old mother from Guatemala, is living in a makeshift encampment of around 40 small tents cramped together in the back rooms of a church outside Tijuana, across the border from San Diego.    Children can be heard coughing and crying throughout the night, she and other mothers told Reuters during a recent visit.
    When one gets sick, they all do, Aguilar said. Her two-year-old son Adrian has had a recurrent cough with wheezing, as well as bouts of diarrhea, since they arrived in August.
    ďHeís been sick a lot,Ē she said, adding that she suspects he may be developing asthma.
    Another mother at the same shelter, 34-year-old Marla Suniga from Honduras, said her 1-year-old daughter Montserrat recently had a convulsion due to a high fever and had to be taken to a hospital.    ďShe couldnít breathe,Ē she said.
    Suniga said she fled violence in her home country but plans to return there because she fears for her daughterís life in Tijuana.
    DHS said it could not comment on individual cases.    Mexican officials did not respond to requests for comment on the conditions in migrant shelters.
    Reuters was unable to corroborate the diagnoses of the Suniga and Aguilar children.    Doctors and nurses visiting shelters and camps in Mexican border towns, however, told Reuters they have seen cases of chicken pox, scabies, respiratory infections, skin rashes, eye infections and gastrointestinal issues among children and adults.
    Children under 5, and especially under the age of 2, are at high risk of serious flu complications, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, and the flu season is about to start.
    American doctors and nurses volunteering in Tijuana with the Refugee Health Alliance hope to be able to provide flu shots in a few of the shelters there, but the effort is hard to organize, said coordinator Phil Canete.    The vaccines need to be stored in cold, regulated conditions, and the Mexican government requires a physician licensed in Mexico to supervise the effort, as well as signed consent for every patient, he said.
    The U.S. government has said in guidance documents that migrants with known physical or mental health issues are not candidates for the MPP program.    But advocates say itís not clear what qualifies as a medical exemption from MPP.
    Jennifer Jimenez, a 30-year-old Salvadoran, said she arrived at the border in July with 11-year-old twins and her eight-month-old son Jacob, who was born with lungs that had not fully developed.
    Although she explained Jacobís condition to border agents, she said, the agents sent her and her children back to Ciudad Juarez, where the family ended up sleeping on the floor of a crowded shelter.
    Recently she managed to find a doctor who noted in Jacobís medical records Ė seen by Reuters Ė that living in the shelter had complicated his health care.    U.S. officials recently admitted the family to stay with relatives in the United States, a rare occurrence.
    Reuters found that 1% of migrants assigned to MPP have so far been transferred out of the program.
    The U.S. government has signed a series of bilateral deals with the governments of Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador to push more people to seek asylum closer to home. In May, nearly 85,000 family units Ė parents with kids Ė were arrested at the U.S.-Mexico border, a monthly record.    In August, the number of families arrested dropped by 70% after the administration ramped up MPP and other measures to deter migration.
    U.S. President Donald Trump has said that lax U.S. asylum laws encourage people to show up at the border with their children.    Before MPP, it was common practice to release arriving families into the United States to wait out their U.S. court hearings Ė something Trump and others said allowed many migrants to disappear into the country to live illegally.
    Immigrant advocacy groups say most released immigrants show up for their court hearings.    Some are suing to halt the MPP policy, and a federal appeals court Ė the 9th U.S. Circuit Ė is due to rule on the case soon.
    According to the Reuters analysis, thousands of children are awaiting court hearings in border towns where the risk of kidnappings, rapes and assaults is high.
    About 5,600 children in the MPP program had their cases assigned to San Diego immigration court, north of Tijuana.    Most of the others were assigned to Texas courts: 6,800 to San Antonio and El Paso and 3,400 to Brownsville.
    Jimenez, the Salvadoran mother, said that when she heard her family was being sent from El Paso to Ciudad Juarez, known for its high murder rate, ďit was like they threw a bucket of cold water on me. ..Mexico isnít a place I trust to go out alone with my three children
    Brownsville is just north of Matamoros, in Mexicoís Tamaulipas state, a violent battleground for drug cartels.
    Florida resident Helen Perry, a nurse in the U.S. Army Reserve who joined a volunteer aid group headed to Matamoros on Labor Day weekend, told Reuters she saw families camped out in donated tents Ė each with between 5 to 10 people sleeping inside Ė a few dozen feet from the border.
    One family, with four small children, was curled up under a tree, she said.    People lacked access to fresh water and proper restrooms and were bathing in the Rio Grande river, she said.
    One baby Perry examined had a chronic eye infection and was beginning to develop scarring, threatening his vision. Another had a fungal rash under his arm so severe it limited his movement.
    Perry said she saw breastfeeding mothers so dehydrated that they could not nurse their babies and parents chewing up donated pizza into mush to feed their infants.    Some children were showing early signs of malnutrition, she said.
    ďThere is really nothing for them there,Ē Perry said.
(Reporting by Kristina Cooke in Tijuana, Mica Rosenberg in New York and Reade Levinson in London; Additional reporting by Delphine Schrank in Matamoros, Mexico; Editing by Julie Marquis and Mike Williams)

10/11/2019 United States threatens Turkey with Ďvery significantí sanctions
U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin speaks about sanctions against Turkey at a news briefing
at the White House in Washington, U.S., October 11, 2019. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) Ė U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Friday that President Donald Trump had authorized U.S. officials to draft ďvery significantĒ new sanctions to target Turkey after it launched an offensive in northeast Syria, adding that banks were being notified.
    Mnuchin said the United States was not activating the sanctions at this time but would do so if necessary.
    ďWe are putting financial institutions on notice that they should be careful and that there could be sanctions,Ē Mnuchin said.
    ďThese are very powerful sanctions.    We hope we donít have to use them, but we can shut down the Turkish economy if we need to,Ē Mnuchin said.
    Mnuchin said Trump was concerned about Turkeyís potential targeting of civilians and wants to make clear that Turkey cannot ďallow even a single ISIS fighter to escape
(Reporting by Jeff Mason; Writing by Makini Brice and Jan Wolfe; Editing by Mary Milliken, Susan Heavey and Cynthia Osterman)

10/11/2019 U.S., China strike partial trade deal on agricultural purchases, currency by Jeff Mason and Yawen Chen
FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump holds a campaign rally in Minneapolis, Minnesota, U.S., October 10, 2019. REUTERS/Leah Millis
    WASHINGTON/BEIJING (Reuters) Ė The United States and China agreed on Friday to the first phase of a trade deal covering agricultural purchases, currency and some aspects of intellectual property protections, and averting a threatened tariff hike, but President Donald Trump said more needed to be negotiated.
    The preliminary, partial deal was the biggest step toward resolving a 15-month tariff war between the worldís two largest economies that has roiled financial markets, disrupted manufacturing and has slowed global growth.
    Trump told reporters at the White House that the two sides are very close to ending the trade war and it will take up to five weeks to get the deal written.    He spoke after talks with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He.
    U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told reporters Trump had agreed not to proceed with a hike in tariffs to 30% from 25% on about $250 billion in Chinese goods that was supposed to have gone into effect on Tuesday.
    But Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said Trump had not made a decision about tariffs that were subject to go into effect in December.
    Major U.S. stock indexes, which were trading sharply higher on hopes of some sort of a deal, pared some of the gains after the announcement, with the S&P 500 index <.SPX> up about 1.4%.
(Additional reporting by Michael Martina in Beijing and Echo Wang, Susan Heavey and Jeff Mason in Washington; Writing by Michael Martina, Susan Heavey and Sonya Hepinstall; Editing by Paul Simao and Alistair Bell)

10/11/2019 U.S. military says not abandoning Kurds, condemns Turkish offensive by Phil Stewart and Idrees Ali
FILE PHOTO: U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper is seen at a news briefing held with French Defense Minister
Florence Parly (not pictured) in Paris, France, September 7, 2019. REUTERS/Christian Hartmann/File Photo
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) Ė The Pentagon strongly denied on Friday accusations that it had abandoned its Syrian Kurdish allies to a Turkish military onslaught, which it said was destabilizing the region and doing ďdramatic harmĒ to U.S.-Turkey relations.
    U.S. President Trumpís decision to pull back troops from Syriaís border with Turkey has been widely criticized in Washington as a tacit ďgreen lightĒ for a Turkish offensive that intensified on Friday, with Turkish air and artillery strikes on Kurdish militia.
    ďNobody green-lighted this operation by Turkey, just the opposite.    We pushed back very hard at all levels for the Turks not to commence this operation,Ē Defense Secretary Mark Esper told a news briefing.
    Esper and Army General Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said they had spoken with their Turkish counterparts repeatedly in recent days, asking them to stop.    But there was no sense that Turkey would do so, they said.
    ďIím not seeing any indication or warnings of any planned stoppage of their military activity,Ē said Milley, the top U.S. military officer.
    Shortly after Milley spoke, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan warned he would not stop his assault against Kurdish fighters no matter what anyone said.    A war monitor said the death toll approached 100 from the first days of the assault, which began on Wednesday, including 17 civilians as well as dozens of Kurdish fighters and Turkish-backed Syrian rebels.
    The Kurdish YPG is the main fighting element of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) which have acted as the principal allies of the United States in a campaign that recaptured territory held by the Islamic State group.
    The SDF now holds most of the territory that once made up Islamic Stateís ďcaliphateĒ in Syria, and has been keeping thousands of Islamic State fighters in jail and tens of thousands of their family members in camps.
    Reuters reported on Tuesday an initial pause in counter-Islamic State operations by Americaís Kurdish allies, who are redirecting their focus to the border.
    Although he acknowledged the Turkish assault was having an impact, Milley suggested some operations had continued, without elaborating.     The United States this week moved two high-profile Islamic State prisoners being held by the Syrian forces out of Syria.
    Milley said he had just spoken with the chief of the Turkish General Staff, General Yasar Guler, who he said ďunderstands clearlyĒ that the prisoners would be Ankaraís responsibility in the areas where it carries out the offensive.
    ďWe, the U.S. military, have no responsibility to Ö secure those ISIS prisoners in Syria,Ē Milley said.    The Pentagon also stressed the need for Turkey to avoid doing anything to endanger U.S. forces inside Syria, which numbered about 1,000 prior to the incursion.    Although U.S. troops had no intention of firing on Turkey, its North Atlantic Treaty Organization ally, the Pentagon noted they had the right to defend themselves, if needed.
    Milley added that Turkey had been told of U.S. positions in Syria.
    ďThe Turkish military is fully aware Ė down to explicit grid coordinate detail Ė of the locations of U.S. forces,Ē he added.
    Esper said he was repositioning additional troops around the region ďto assist with force protection as necessary.Ē He did not elaborate.
    Esper also pushed back against criticism that the U.S. troop pullback was a tacit Ďgreen lightí to Turkey, portraying it instead as a decision taken to protect his forces.
    ďThis decision was made to ensure American troops were not caught up in the fighting between Turkish and Kurdish forces,Ē he said.
(Reporting by Idrees Ali and Phil Stewart; Additional reporting by Susan Heavey, Editing by Franklin Paul and Richard Chang)

10/11/2019 Trump names John Sullivan as his pick for U.S. ambassador to Russia
FILE PHOTO: U.S. Deputy Secretary of State John J. Sullivan arrives at the Lopez Palace
in Asuncion, Paraguay September 6, 2019. REUTERS/Jorge Adorno
    (Reuters) Ė U.S. President Donald Trump said on Friday he will nominate U.S. Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan to be the U.S. ambassador to Russia.
    If confirmed by the Senate, Sullivan would be the top U.S. diplomat in Russia at a particularly challenging time for Trumpís presidency, which is facing an impeachment inquiry after Trump pressed Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy to investigate his domestic political rival, former Vice President Joe Biden.
    Trump had said in August he was considering Sullivan for the envoy job.    Sullivan had also been under consideration to be Trumpís national security adviser, a role that ultimately ended up going to Robert OíBrien, the former U.S. special envoy for hostage affairs.
    Sullivan will replace Jon Huntsman, who resigned in August after two years in the post, amid speculation that he will run for Utah governor.
    Sullivan has been a career U.S. diplomat since 1990, with posts in Ukraine, the U.S. mission to the European Union, South Korea and Honduras.
    Moscow has come under fire from Washington most recently because U.S. intelligence agencies concluded that Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential elections.    Russia has denied wrongdoing.
(Reporting by Makini Brice; Editing by Bill Berkrot)

10/11/2019 President Trump: Substantial deal made with China by OAN Newsroom
President Donald Trump meets with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He in the Oval Office of the
White House in Washington, Friday, Oct. 11, 2019. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
    President Trump says the U.S. and China have come to a ďsubstantial dealĒ on trade.    While meeting with the Chinese vice premier at the White House, the president said this is ďphase oneĒ of a bigger deal.    He said ďphase twoĒ will be negotiated after the first deal is drafted.
    China has reportedly agreed to $40 to $50 billion in agricultural goods purchases.    President Trump said he expects a deal to be written and implemented in a matter of weeks, calling it a ďfast and cleanĒ process.
    The president said a currency agreement may also be in the works.    This would limit both countries from devaluing their currencies in order to gain an unfair competitive trade advantage.    President Trump labeled China a ďcurrency manipulatorĒ earlier this year after Beijing reportedly lowered the value of the yuan.
    This new deal follows several days of negotiations between China the United States.    The two countries have been engaged in an ongoing trade war for 15 months, slapping retaliatory tariffs on each otherís products.
    This week marked the first high level talks between the two sides since President Trump met with the Chinese president at the 2019 G20 summit in June.    President Trump expressed optimism ahead of his meeting with the Chinese vice premier on Friday.
    U.S. stocks and bonds reportedly jumped ahead of hopes for a new deal.    Recent reports claimed both sides could come to a partial agreement, possibly delaying the tariff hike scheduled for next week.

10/11/2019 Flashback: Obama administration brushed off concern over Hunter Biden by OAN Newsroom
    A newly resurfaced video shows that Hunter Bidenís business dealings in Ukraine were a source of controversy for the previous administration, long before President Trumpís July phone call.
    On Friday, reporters called attention to a State Department press conference held back in 2014.    The departmentís former spokesperson was asked if Hunter Bidenís position on the Burisma board could be perceived as a ďconflict of interestĒ or ďcronyism
    The Obama official denied the allegation and pointed out Bidenís status as a private citizen.    The reporter didnít appear satisfied with the answer and continued to push the issue.
    ďI am wondering if there are concerns from this building about how the Russians and or the Ukrainians would perceive the involvement of a son of the vice president of the United States in this, especially given the situation?Ē asked the reporter.
    The reply from the official was, ďNo, there are not
    The issue was raised on several other occasions in 2014 when reporters questioned Hunter Bidenís ability to land the job given his inexperience and history of drug abuse.

10/11/2019 Former associate of James Clapper assisted in whistleblower complaint by OAN Newsroom
    New details are painting a clearer picture of the controversial whistleblower and their perceived motive.    A Friday report revealed that an associate of the former Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, helped the whistleblower with their complaint.
    Charles McCullough is the attorney who assisted Andrew Bakaj at the beginning of the process.    He was previously the inspector general of the Intelligence Community during the Clinton email scandal.    Critics of the complaint say it makes sense why his former employer has been praising the complaint.
    After leaving the government in 2017, James Clapper became a national security analyst for CNN.    He is allegedly responsible for perpetuating fake news surrounding foreign involvement in the 2016 Election.    Before that, he lied to Congress about government surveillance, claiming that the U.S. did ďnot wittinglyĒ collect data on millions of Americans.
    McCullough now works at Compass Rose Legal Group and is no longer involved in representing the whistleblower.    Bakaj, the former staffer for Senators Chuck Schumer and Hillary Clinton, remains on-board.

10/11/2019 Federal Judge blocks Trump administration public charge rule from taking effect by OAN Newsroom
This Wednesday, Aug. 28, 2019, photo shows the Adelanto U.S. Immigration and
Enforcement Processing Center operated by GEO Group, Inc. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)
    A federal judge is blocking the Trump administrationís new public charge rule from taking effect next week.    In the Friday ruling, New York Judge George Daniels accused the White House of not ďadequately explainingĒ why the new policy is necessary.
    ďIt is repugnant to the American Dream of the opportunity for prosperity, success through hard work and upward mobility,Ē said the judge.    ďImmigrants have always come to this country seeking a better life for themselves and their posterity ó with or without help, most succeed
    The rule change would expand the list of benefits for which an immigrant can be denied a green card.    This includes reliance on certain programs like Medicaid, food stamps and public housing.
    The administration first announced the rule this summer, saying it was needed to make immigrants more ďself-reliant.Ē    It has been opposed by a handful of state attorneys and several immigrantsí rights groups.    They claim that the rule discriminates against immigrants based on income and race, imposing harsher standards on those wishing to make a permanent stay in the U.S.
    The final rule was supposed to take effect on Tuesday, October 15th.

10/12/2019 Oil up $0.95 to $54.50, DOW up 319 to 26,816.

[Adam Schiff continues to bring persons into his non constitutional Impeachment Inquiry and is not releasing transcripts and only
releasing to the news what they want to just as he did when he created his fake transcript
and as you see below he is still doing that obstruction of the constitution

10/12/2019 Abandoning diplomatís discretion, ex-Ukraine ambassador takes Trump to task by Arshad Mohammed and Jonathan Landay
Former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch arrives to testify in the U.S. House of Representatives impeachment
inquiry into U.S. President Trump on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., October 11, 2019. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) Ė The former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine abandoned diplomatic discretion and accused the Trump administration of recalling her based on false claims and of eviscerating the State Department, an act that may end her career but drew praise for her courage.
    Three-time ambassador Marie Yovanovitch, who was abruptly recalled from Kiev in May, gave a closed-door deposition on Friday to three congressional committees investigating whether there are grounds to impeach President Donald Trump.
    The Democratic-led House of Representativesí inquiry began on Sept. 24 after a whistleblowerís allegations that Republican Trump pressured Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy to investigate unsubstantiated corruption charges against Democratic political rival Joe Biden and his son, businessman Hunter Biden.
    Trump has denied wrongdoing and defended his request to Zelenskiy in a July 25 phone call, which Democrats say is evidence Trump pushed a vulnerable foreign ally to dig up dirt on a rival for his own political benefit.
    Former vice president Biden is a leading contender for the right to face Trump in the November 2020 presidential election.
    In her prepared testimony, Yovanovitch said the State Department had brought her back to Washington because of pressure from the White House that was based, in part, on disinformation spread by people including the presidentís lawyer, Rudy Giuliani.
    ďAlthough I understand that I served at the pleasure of the President, I was nevertheless incredulous that the U.S. government chose to remove an Ambassador based, as best as I can tell, on unfounded and false claims by people with clearly questionable motives,Ē Yovanovitch said according to a copy of her prepared remarks published by the Washington Post.
    She also said diplomats took risks to defend U.S. interests in part because of a belief that ďour government will have our backs and protect us if we come under attack from foreign interests.    That basic understanding no longer holds true."
    ďToday, we see the State Department attacked and hollowed out from within,Ē she added.
    The White House did not respond to a request for comment about the testimony and the State Department declined comment.
    Former senior U.S. diplomats said it took courage for Yovanovitch, who joined the foreign service in 1986 and also served as ambassador in Armenia and Kyrgyzstan, to so baldly call out the Trump administration.
    ďIím very distressed with her present difficulties, but enormously buoyed by her courage,Ē former Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage, who served in that post under Republican George W. Bush, told Reuters.    ďA real professional
    Glyn Davies, a three-time U.S. ambassador who was executive secretary of the White House national security council, said it was a ďsupremely unnatural actĒ for a diplomat to have to defend her actions and criticize her bosses.
    ďThis demonstrates that the administrationís guerilla war against American diplomats Ö has now become open warfare,Ē Davies said.    ďClearly Marie Yovanovitch decided, given what had happened to her, that it was necessary Ö to rebuke her own commander in chief and his appointees
    Yovanovitch, who is now a senior State Department fellow at Georgetown University, is likely at the end of her diplomatic career.    Former diplomats said it was inconceivable Trump would give her another assignment, triggering her retirement.
    But they also said it was unlikely she would be subjected to direct retaliation, noting she had testified in response to a congressional subpoena that gave her little choice but to appear despite a State Department order not to testify.
    Eric Rubin, president of the American Foreign Service Association that represents U.S. diplomats, said Yovanovitchís testimony was in ďthe proud tradition of our nationís Foreign Service, emphasizing non-partisan commitment to our countryís interests and loyalty to our countryís elected leaders
    ďIts members do not ask for much in return, but do ask fairly that they not be forced to choose sides in domestic political disputes,Ē Rubin said.
    Representative Michael Quigley, an Illinois Democrat who attended Yovanovitchís appearance, was circumspect when he stepped out of the secure conference room where she spoke: ďNo comment but sheís a brave woman
(Reporting by Arshad Mohammed and Jonathan Landay; Editing by Scott Malone and Grant McCool)

10/12/2019 U.S. officials intensify pressure on Turkey to stop Syria assault by Phil Stewart and Jan Wolfe
FILE PHOTO: U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper addresses reporters during a media briefing
at the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia, U.S., October 11, 2019. REUTERS/Erin Scott
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) Ė The United States ramped up efforts on Friday to persuade Turkey to halt an escalating offensive in northern Syria against U.S.-backed Kurdish forces, saying Ankara was causing ďgreat harmĒ to ties and could face potentially devastating sanctions.
    U.S. President Donald Trumpís decision to pull back troops from Syriaís border with Turkey has been widely criticized in Washington as a tacit ďgreen lightĒ for a Turkish incursion that experts say could cause a humanitarian catastrophe.
    But the Pentagon denied accusations it had abandoned its Syrian Kurdish allies, its strongest partner in the battle against Islamic State, to the Turkish military onslaught.
    ďNobody green-lighted this operation by Turkey, just the opposite.    We pushed back very hard at all levels for the Turks not to commence this operation,Ē Defense Secretary Mark Esper told a news briefing, accusing Ankara of damaging ties.
    Esper and Army General Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said they had spoken with their Turkish counterparts repeatedly in recent days, asking them to stop.
    But there was no sense that Turkey would do so, they said.
    ďIím not seeing any indication or warnings of any planned stoppage of their military activity,Ē said Milley, the top U.S. military officer.
    After Milley spoke, President Tayyip Erdogan said Turkey will not stop its operation against the Kurdish militia ďno matter what anyone says
    Since it began on Tuesday, the Turkish incursion has opened a new front in the eight-year Syrian civil war and drawn international criticism.    A war monitor gave a death toll of more than 100 so far and the United Nations said 100,000 people had fled their homes.
    Trump himself has come under withering criticism, including from stalwart Republican backers such as U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham, for withdrawing the U.S. forces whose presence might have prompted Erdogan to hold off on sending in troops.
    On Friday, Graham accused Turkey of serious crimes in Syria and said Trump was doing too little.
    ďWe are witnessing ethnic cleansing in Syria by Turkey, the destruction of a reliable ally in the Kurds, and the reemergence of ISIS (Islamic State),Ē Graham said in a statement.
    ďThe conditional sanctions announced today will be viewed by Turkey as a tepid response and will embolden Erdogan even more,Ē Graham said, adding Congress will pass severe sanctions with support from both Republicans and Democrats.
    A senior U.S. State Department official said late on Thursday that the department has been asked by Trump to see ďif there are areas of commonality between the two sides, if thereís a way that we could find our way to a ceasefire
    Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin appeared at the White House to announce that Trump had authorized U.S. officials to draft ďvery powerfulĒ new sanctions targeting Turkey, but the conditions under which they would be applied were unclear.
    Mnuchin said the United States was not activating the sanctions at this time but would do so if necessary.
    ďWe are putting financial institutions on notice that they should be careful and that there could be sanctions,Ē he said.
    Mnuchin said Trump was concerned about potential targeting of civilians by Turkish forces, and wants to make clear that Turkey cannot ďallow even a single ISIS fighter to escape
    In its first big attack since the assault began, Islamic State claimed responsibility for a deadly car bomb in Qamishli, the biggest city in the Kurdish-held area of northeast Syria, even as the city came under heavy Turkish shelling.
    Five Islamic State fighters fled a jail there, and foreign women from the group being held in a camp torched tents and attacked guards with sticks and stones, the Kurds said.
    Milley told reporters he had just spoken with the chief of the Turkish General Staff, General Yasar Guler, who ďunderstands clearlyĒ that the prisoners would be Ankaraís responsibility in areas where it carries out the offensive.
    ďWe, the U.S. military, have no responsibility to Ö secure those ISIS prisoners in Syria,Ē Milley said.
    Pentagon officials also stressed the need for Turkey to avoid endangering U.S. forces inside Syria, who numbered about 1,000 prior to the incursion.    Although U.S. troops had no intention of firing on Turkey, its North Atlantic Treaty Organization ally, the Pentagon noted they had the right to defend themselves.
    Milley said Turkey had been told of U.S. positions in Syria.
    An explosion occurred on Friday near a U.S. military outpost near Kobane in Syria, a U.S. official said, but no U.S. personnel were reported hurt.    The source of the blast was not immediately clear.
(Additional reporting by Makini Brice, Jeff Mason, Idrees Ali and Humeyra Pamuk in Washington, and Ali Kucukgocmen in Istanbul; Editing by Mary Milliken and Daniel Wallis)

10/12/2019 Judge blocks Trump immigration rule, calls it Ďrepugnant to American Dreamí by Kristina Cooke and Daniel Trotta
FILE PHOTO: Migrant families from Honduras turn themselves to U.S. Border Patrol to seek asylum following an illegal
crossing of the Rio Grande in Hidalgo, Texas, U.S., August 23, 2019. REUTERS/Loren Elliott/File Photo
    NEW YORK (Reuters) Ė A U.S. federal judge in New York on Friday temporarily blocked a Trump administration rule that would deny residency to aspiring immigrants deemed likely to require government assistance, calling it ďrepugnant to the American Dream
    The rule, finalized in August, vastly expanded who could be considered a possible ďpublic charge,Ē applying to anyone who might in the future need temporary government help such as food stamps, Medicaid or housing aid.    Previously it applied to immigrants who would be primarily dependent on the government.
    The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) rule, if ultimately allowed to take effect, could be the most drastic of the Trump administrationís hardline anti-immigration policies, experts have said.
    Pushed by Trumpís leading aide on immigration, Stephen Miller, the rule was due to go into effect on Tuesday.
    But Judge George Daniels of the Southern District of New York blocked the rule nationwide, finding that the government failed to provide ďany reasonable explanationĒ for why the definition of public charge needed to be changed.
    It will now be on hold while the underlying legal challenges proceed.
    The suit was brought by the state of New York, one of nine legal challenges to the public charge rule.    Other U.S. judges issued similar injunctions elsewhere on Friday, including the Eastern District of Washington and the Northern District of California.
    In California, U.S. Judge Phyllis Hamilton found ďthe plaintiffs are likely to prevail on the merits, for numerous reasons
    In New York, Judge Daniels called the rule a ďpolicy of exclusion in search of a justification
    ďIt is repugnant to the American Dream of the opportunity for prosperity and success through hard work and upward mobility,Ē Daniels wrote.
    The Department of Justice did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
    The Trump administration, with Miller in a leading role, has enacted a series of measures attempting to curtail immigration, only to be blocked by court injunctions until the underlying lawsuits can be heard.
    Trump lost another ruling on Friday when a U.S. judge in Texas blocked emergency funding for construction of a southern border wall.
    Judge David Briones of the Western District of Texas granted an injunction against border wall funding beyond that appropriated by Congress.    The County of El Paso, Texas, and the Border Network for Human Rights had sued to stop Trump when he announced he would divert military and drug interdiction funds toward construction of the wall.
    The judgeís order was not final as he asked the parties to submit further filings to be considered over the next 15 days.
    Miller, speaking before the border wall ruling, criticized the courts, calling their rulings ďdangerous
    ďThe situation in the federal judiciary with respect to these nationwide injunctions, which have proliferated to an unprecedented degree, is intolerable.    And it impedes democracy from functioning,Ē Miller said.
    The public charge rule laid out factors immigration officers should weigh, including household income and English proficiency.    Immigrant advocates said this would disproportionately affect people from Latin American, African and Asian countries.
    The judge called the inclusion of English proficiency as a predictor of self-sufficiency ďsimply offensive
    ďJudge Daniels understands that to Donald Trump and Stephen Miller, the cruelty of their Ďpublic chargeí rule is the point,Ē said Heidi Hess, co-director of CREDO Action, a network of progressive activists.
    Most visa holders and unauthorized immigrants are ineligible for public benefits, but immigrant advocates, medical professionals and state officials have argued the rule could deter them from seeking benefits even for children who are U.S. citizens.
    An estimated 15% to 35% of California families eligible for social welfare will withdraw from programs out of fear of the immigration consequences, according to the California Immigrant Policy Center, an immigrant-rights organization.
    On Thursday, the State Department revealed its own rule on ineligibility for visa applicants, to bring its standards in line with the DHS rule.    It was unclear whether the State Departmentís rule will take effect.
(Reporting by Kristina Cooke in Los Angles and Daniel Trotta and Jonathan Stempel in New York; Editing by Cynthia Osterman, David Gregorio and Sandra Maler)

10/12/2019 President Trump, DOJ request appeals court to block NY tax return subpoena by OAN Newsroom
    President Trump and the Justice Department urge a federal appeals court to reverse a lower courtís tax return subpoena.
    Friday, the DOJ filed an amicus brief in the closely watched case requesting the 2nd Circuit block the release of President Trumpís tax returns.
President Donald Trump tours a section of the southern border wall, Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2019, in Otay Mesa, Calif.
President Trump is asking a federal judge to block an effort by New York prosecutors to obtain his tax returns.
Trumpís attorneys filed a lawsuit Thursday, Sept. 19, 2019, in U.S. District Court in New York.(AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
    It argued the request for personal documents of the president violates the principles of federalism and separation of powers between state and federal levels.
    This comes as the President argued again for ďabsolute immunityĒ as sitting presidents cannot be subject to the criminal process.
    Now, judges will review the argument from the DOJ and determine whether its reason to block the release of his tax returns.

10/12/2019 In southern Mexico, migrants gather in caravan aiming to reach U.S. by Jacob Garcia
Migrants walk along a road in a caravan towards the United States, in Tapachula, Mexico October 12, 2019. REUTERS/Jacob Garcia
    TAPACHULA, Mexico (Reuters) Ė Several hundred migrants from Africa, the Caribbean and Central America set off from southern Mexico on Saturday in a caravan headed to the United States, according to a Reuters witness and local media.
    The migrants assembled and departed before dawn from Tapachula in the southern state of Chiapas near Guatemala despite an ongoing crackdown on migration on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border.    They proceeded on foot toward Huixtla about 20 miles (32 km) away.
    The scene was reminiscent of a string of caravans that left Central America a year ago, at one point ballooning into a group of 7,000 people in southern Mexico.    The en masse migration drew extensive media attention and triggered a crisis with U.S. President Donald Trump, who called the caravans an ďinvasionĒ and demanded Mexico do more to halt their progress.
    Accompanied by police who warned truck drivers not to let migrants hitch rides, some in Saturdayís caravan said they planned to trek the hundreds of miles across Mexico and enter the United States.
    Many in the group of as many as two thousand people wore baseball caps and bulky backpacks, Reuters photos showed.    Some migrants carried children on their shoulders, and one woman walked while balancing a pink bucket of belongings on her head.
    The Mexican government in June struck a deal with the United States vowing to significantly curb U.S.-bound migration in exchange for averting U.S. tariffs on Mexican exports.
    Arrests at the U.S.-Mexico border fell in September for the fourth month in a row, after record high crossings this Spring, and the Trump administration credited cooperation from Mexico and Central American countries for the sustained drop.
(Reporting by Jacob Garcia in Tapachula, Additional reporting by Abraham Gonzalez and Daina Beth Solomon in Mexico City; Editing by David Gregorio)

10/12/2019 White House announces $50 million in aid for Syria by OAN Newsroom
Syrians bury Syrian Democratic Forces fighters killed fighting Turkish advance in the
Syrian town of Qamishli, Saturday, Oct. 12, 2019. (AP Photo/Baderkhan Ahmad)
    The White House has anounced it will be giving millions of dollars in aid to war-torn Syria, in an effort to stabilize the region.    The administration said Saturday that they are allocating $50 million to protect persecuted religious minorities and advance human rights.    They hope other countries will continue to provide contributions as well.
    The funds will also go to organizations who are working to ensure the safety and security of minorities in the region.     ďIt will also go toward increased accountability, removal of explosive remnants of war, community security for stabilization assistance, documenting human rights abuses and international humanitarian law violations, and support for survivors of gender-based violence and torture,Ē read the statement.
    This comes in the wake of criticism from both sides of the aisle regarding the recent decision to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria.    President Trump has since doubled down on his decision.
    ďIíve made clear to Turkey that if they do not meet their commitments, including the protection of religious minorities,Öwe will impose a very swift, strong and severe economic sanctions,Ē said the president.
    Lawmakers on Capitol Hill have already undertaken efforts to punish Turkey for its ground and air operations in Northern Syria.    New measures have been introduced with the goal of slapping sanctions on Ankara.

10/12/2019 Washington Post issues op-ed on fake news by OAN Newsroom
    The Washington Post is pushing back against allegations of fake news.    In a Friday op-ed, publisher Fred Ryan said comparing unflattering news to fake news is ďcorrosiveĒ to the country.    He also said that journalists are the target of calculated attacks around the world.
    Ryan said the truth isnít always what people want to hear. He explained that presidents have always been at odds with the media, but that hostilities have skyrocketed under President Trump.
    The president took aim at what heís calling the ďfake news mediaĒ during his Friday night rally in Louisiana.
    ďFake news media Ė there they are right there,Ē he said.    ďAs soon as I start talking about the fake news, I see those lights go off so fast
    President Trump has been in conflict with mainstream media ever since he announced his White House bid.    The Washington Post has been one of his biggest critics.    The president gave the newspaper the nickname the ďAmazon Washington PostĒ after it was purchased by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos.
[The Fake News people know who they are or they are too dumb to realize they are the Fake News.].

10/13/2019 Trump calls Giuliani probe Ďshamefulí by Sean Rossman, USA TODAY
    President Donald Trump on Saturday acknowledged news reports that his personal attorney Rudy Giuliani might be under investigation by federal prosecutors, calling the reported probe ďshameful
    ďSo now they are after the legendary Ďcrime busterí and greatest Mayor in the history of NYC, Rudy Giuliani,Ē Trump wrote in a tweet.    ďHe may seem a little rough around the edges sometimes, but he is also a great guy and wonderful lawyer.    Such a one sided Witch Hunt going on in USA.    Deep State.    Shameful!Ē
    Trumpís comments came after news broke Friday in The New York Times that federal prosecutors are investigating Giuliani for potential lobbying law violations relating to his work in Ukraine.    The Times, citing two anonymous people familiar with the inquiry, reported the investigation focuses on Giulianiís efforts to ďundermineĒ former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie L. Yovanovitch, who testified before three House committees Friday in the impeachment inquiry of Trump.
    The investigation of Giuliani is also, the Times reports, linked to Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, Ukrainian-born business partners arrested Wednesday in connection with alleged schemes to funnel foreign money to U.S. political campaigns.    Parnas and Fruman helped Giuliani meet former Ukrainian prosecutor Yuri Lutsenko as the presidentís personal attorney pushed for an investigation into Trumpís political rival Joe Biden and his son Hunter.
    The impeachment inquiry of Trump, which is tied to the presidentís efforts to get Ukraine to investigate political rivals like Biden, has drawn attention to Giuliani and whether his activities in Ukraine violate a federal law that requires Americans who work on behalf of foreign governments to register with the Justice Department.
    Giuliani defended himself against such a crime by saying he was working for Trump, not a foreign government.
    ďLook, you can try to contort anything into anything, but if they have any degree of objectivity or fairness, it would be kind of ridiculous to say I was doing it on Lutsenkoís behalf when I was representing the president of the United States,Ē Giuliani told the Times.
    Representatives for Manhattan U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman did not respond to inquiries from USA TODAY.
    Giuliani said Saturday that he has had no contact with federal prosecutors in Manhattan, but he said any such scrutiny was likely politically motivated.
    ďNo, nothing but leaks,Ē Giuliani said.    ďItís a political attack, otherwise why leak it.    If itís an appropriate law enforcement investigation, you try to keep it secret so the subjects arenít alerted
    A spokeswoman for the U.S. attorneyís office in the Southern District of New York declined to confirm Friday if Giuliani is under investigation, only saying that the investigation into Parnas and Fruman is ongoing.
    Giuliani declined to comment on his dealings with Parnas and Fruman, saying they are his clients and much of their communications are bound by attorney-client privilege
Contributing: Kristine Phillips, Kevin Johnson, Bart Jansen and Kevin McCoy.
Federal prosecutors are reportedly investigating Rudy Giuliani for potential lobbying law violations. EVAN VUCCI/AP
[The New York Times failed to state that the two Ukrainian-born suspects are American citizens.].

10/13/2019 Mexico military police halt migrant caravan on its way to U.S. by Jose Torres and Jacob Garcia
Migrants walk along a road in a caravan towards the United States, in Tapachula, Mexico October 12, 2019. REUTERS/Jacob Garcia
    HUEHUETAN, Mexico (Reuters) Ė Mexicoís military police on Saturday halted and turned back a caravan of up to 2,000 migrants from Africa, the Caribbean and Central America, hours after they embarked toward the United States, according to Reuters witnesses.
    The migrants had departed before dawn from Tapachula in the southern state of Chiapas near Guatemala despite an ongoing crackdown on migration on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border.
    The group, including people pushing children in strollers, proceeded on foot about 19 miles (30 km) before being apprehended on the road in Huehuetan in the afternoon.
    Around 500 members of Mexicoís National Guard military police in helmets and tactical vests blocked the highway on both sides, according to a Reuters witness, and some pursued migrants who fled into neighboring fields.
    Officials from Mexicoís national immigration institute detained most of the group, putting them on buses back to Tapachula.    About 150 migrants decided to return on foot.
    Activist Irineo Mujica of Pueblo Sin Fronteras, who accompanied the migrants, said only a small group opted to walk back on their own.
    ďThe vast majority were taken to Tapachula, the caravan was dismantled,Ē he said in a video documenting the incident.
    The scene was reminiscent of a string of caravans that left Central America a year ago, at one point ballooning into a group of 7,000 people in southern Mexico.
    That en masse migration drew extensive media attention and triggered a crisis with U.S. President Donald Trump, who called the caravans an ďinvasionĒ and demanded Mexico do more to halt their progress.
    The Mexican government in June struck a deal with the United States vowing to significantly curb U.S.-bound migration in exchange for averting U.S. tariffs on Mexican exports.
    Arrests at the U.S.-Mexico border fell in September for the fourth month in a row, after record high crossings this Spring, and the Trump administration credited cooperation from Mexico and Central American countries for the sustained drop.
(Reporting by Jose Torres and Jacob Garcia in Huehuetan, Additional reporting by Daina Beth Solomon and Abraham Gonzalez in Mexico City; Editing by David Gregorio)

10/13/2019 California passes broad series of gun seizure laws by OAN Newsroom
California Gov. Gavin Newsom at the Capitol in Sacramento, Calif., Friday, Oct. 11, 2019. Tingís bill was one
of more than a dozen gun control bills the governor signed Friday. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)
    California Governor Gavin Newsom signed 15 new gun related bills into law on Friday, which some reports claim is the broadest gun regulation effort in the nation to date.
    Newsomís bundle of new laws includes a controversial Ďred flagí law, which will allow coworkers, employers and educators to file gun violence restraining orders on gun owners who are believed to be a danger to society.    Under this law, search warrants can be immediately served.    Gun owners will have the option to petition such restraining orders, which can last up to five years.
    ďCalifornia has outperformed the rest of the nation ó because of our gun safety laws ó in reducing the gun murder rate,Ē emphasized the governor.
    Another bill will prohibit gun owners from purchasing more than one semiautomatic rifle a month.    It will also raise the legal age limit for purchasing a gun to 21.
    These bills have received intense pushback from the National Rifle Association and the American Civil Liberties Union.     The ACLU has said these bills pose a ďsignificantĒ threat to civil liberties.    They have also said that those filing a restraining order may ďlack the relationship or skills required to make an appropriate assessment
    Governor Newsom has taken aim at the Trump administration, claiming that these restrictions are necessary.
    ďThanks for reminding us (about) that point of contrast between Washington D.C. and the state of California,Ē said Newsom.    ďThat should give people some comfort that good things are still happening at the state and local level
    The gun violence restraining order bill will become active in September of 2020.    The other 15 bills are schedule to go into effect at the beginning of January.
[As you can see above the Democrats are taking away California citizens their Second Amendment rights.].

10/13/2019 President Trump threatens to sue Pelosi, Schiff over impeachment by OAN Newsroom
President Donald Trump speaks at the Values Voter Summit in Washington, Saturday, Oct. 12, 2019. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
    President Trump is saying heís willing to sue House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Intelligence Committee chairman Adam Schiff over the impeachment inquiry.    In a speech Saturday, he said his administration would ďlook intoĒ suing the top Democrats leading the inquiry.
    Democrats launched the impeachment inquiry after a whistleblower spoke out about the presidentís call with the Ukrainian president.    He has been accused of pressuring the foreign government to investigate Joe Biden, one of his political opponents in the upcoming election.    President Trump has refuted these accusations and has called the inquiry a ďwitch hunt
    During his speech, the president remarked on Pelosiís flip flopping views regarding impeachment and suggested suing both her and Schiff.
    ďI said, Ďsue him anywayí ó even if we lose, the American public will understand,Ē said President Trump.    ďMaybe, we should just impeach them
    The president has also said the impeachment inquiry could result in Democrats losing a lot of seats in 2020.    In a tweet, he said the American people will recognize the fraudulent use of impeachment.    He listed different examples of the process that could raise concerns.
    President Trump added that the backlash could even extend to the Senate, endangering moderate seats that Democrats once thought were safe.    He pointed to the recent elections in Louisiana and North Carolina where Republicans out-performed their Democrat opponents, suggesting that it could be a sign of changes to come.
    The presidentís attorney Jay Sekulow said he would keep all options on the table for a possible lawsuit.

10/13/2019 Congressional Democrats to propose resolution to keep U.S. troops in Syria by OAN Newsroom
FILE Ė In this Sept. 25, 2019, file photo, the West Front of the U.S. Capitol in Washington. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)
    Congressional Democrats are planning to introduce a resolution that will reverse the removal of U.S. troops from Syria.    Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said Sunday he and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will propose a motion to undo President Trumpís latest decision on Syria.
    The two Democrats claim such a resolution will protect the Kurdish people from a genocide by Turkey.    Schumer slammed the president for his decision to remove U.S. troops from Syria.
    ďHow can this man do these kinds of things?Ē asked the senator.    ďWe have never had a president like this who makes such strategic and important decisions on a whim
    President Trump has said Democrats would attack him regardless of this recent decision in order to further their impeachment efforts.    He referenced a recent Fox News interview with Mark Levin, who accused top Democrats of behaving unethically towards the president.
    House Republicans are working on a solution that doesnít involve putting U.S. troops in harmís way.    They are advancing a motion to slap sanctions on Turkey, which has received support from President Trump.

10/13/2019 Hunter Biden steps down from Chinese-backed firm following corruption claims by OAN Newsroom
FILE Ė In this Oct. 11, 2012, file photo, Hunter Biden waits for the start of the his fatherís, former Vice President
Joe Bidenís, debate at Centre College in Danville, Ky. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)
    Joe Bidenís son, 49-year-old Hunter Biden, will be leaving his position at a Chinese-backed private equity fund by the end of the month.    The announcement was made in a statement released by his lawyers on Sunday.
    Hunter pledged that he will not work for foreign-owned companies if his father is elected in 2020.    He said he wants to avoid any potential conflicts of interest.
    President Trump continues to call for transparency from Hunter and Joe Biden regarding their business dealings with companies in China and Ukraine.
    ďBut (I) also insist on transparency from Joe Biden and his son Hunter on the millions of dollars that have been quicklyÖtaken out of Ukraine and China,Ē the president said recently.    ďMillions and millions of dollars (were) taken out very rapidly while he was vice president
    During an interview last week, President Trumpís China advisor Michael Pillsbury said he attempted to discuss the Bidens with Chinese officials while visiting Beijing.
    ďIíve never seen them get so secretive in my entire life,Ē said Pillsbury.    ďThe Chinese know they donít want any American probe into what happened with Hunter Biden
    Hunter has adamantly denied all allegations of corruption and said he has never discussed foreign business activities with his father.    Hunter said he believes he was acting appropriately and in good faith whenever he engaged in business pursuits.
    ďHunter always understood that his father would be guidedÖby established U.S. policy, regardless of its effects on Hunterís professional interests,Ē read the statement.    ďHe never anticipated the barrage of false charges against both him and his father by the President of the United States
    Allegations of shady business practices have plagued the former vice president and his son for weeks now.    Following a whistleblower complaint over President Trumpís alleged influence in Ukraine, the president said he was looking into potential corruption surrounding the Bidens.
    Chinaís foreign ministry has said it has ďno intention of intervening in the domestic affairs of the United States,Ē but the president and conservative lawmakers are pushing for an investigation.
    President Trump continues to use Twitter to call attention to the Bidens.
    Trump tweet: ďWhereís Hunter?    He has totally disappeared!    Now looks like he has raided and scammed even more countries!    Media is AWOL

10/14/2019 Bidenís son will leave Chinese board by Nicholas Wu, USA TODAY
    In a statement released through his attorney Sunday morning, Hunter Biden, son of Democratic presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden, said he would resign from the board of a Chinese company and pledged not to serve on boards of foreign companies if his father is elected president.
    Hunter Biden had received criticism from President Donald Trump and Republicans for his work on foreign boards as House Democrats escalated an impeachment inquiry into Trump for pressuring the Ukrainian government into opening an investigation into the Bidens.
    Trump has also said China should investigate Hunter Biden, though the Chinese government has said publicly that it would not.
    USA TODAY has spoken to two dozen leaders and investigators in Ukraine who say Trumpís accusations against Hunter Bidenís work in Ukraine are baseless.
    George Mesires, Bidenís attorney, wrote in a statement posted on Medium that Biden had decided to resign his seat on the board of the Chinese investment firm BHR.    Mesires said Biden had not received any compensation for being on the board, nor did he receive any equity in it while Joe Biden was vice president.
    ďTo date, Hunter has not received any compensation for being on BHRís board of directors,Ē Mesires wrote.    ďHe has not received any return on his investment; there have been no distributions to BHR shareholders since Hunter obtained his equity interest.    Moreover, Hunter played no role in directing or making BHRís investments
    Mesires said Biden would resign from the BHR board by Oct. 31.
    According to Mesires, ďHunter undertook these business activities independently,Ē never discussed them with Joe Biden, and ďwhen Hunter engaged in his business pursuits, he believed that he was acting appropriately and in good faith
    Biden ďnever anticipated the barrage of false chargesĒ from Trump, Mesires wrote.
    If Joe Biden were elected president in 2020, Hunter Biden pledged ďnot to serve on boards of, or work on behalf of, foreign owned companiesĒ and would comply with all ethics and guidelines related to conflicts of interest, Mesires concluded.
    Joe Biden has defended his son on the campaign trail and has said his son would serve a visible role on his 2020 campaign.
    ďHeís a fine man.    Heís been through hell,Ē Joe Biden said in an Oct. 3 interview with the Reno Gazette-Journal, part of the USA TODAY Network.
Hunter Bidenís attorney said he pledged ďnot to serve on boards of, or work on behalf of, foreign owned
Ē if his father were elected president in 2020. PABLO MARTINEZ MONSIVAIS/AP FILE

10/14/2019 IN UKRAINE, TRUTH HARD TO PIN DOWN - Conspiracy theories pushed by Trump thrive in the young democracy battling corruption and distrust by Kim Hjelmgaard, USA TODAY
    VODIANE, Ukraine Ė In a muddy field 5,000 miles from Washington, D.C., are a set of gas wells that extend several thousand feet underground.
    The wells are owned by Burisma, a Ukrainian company registered in Cyprus Ė a company no one outside the energy industry would have known a month ago.
    Now this place is ground zero for a central claim Ė one with no credible evidence Ė in a scandal that has engulfed the Trump administration in an impeachment inquiry: that former Vice President Joe Biden forced the Ukrainian government to fire a prosecutor in order to protect his son Hunter Biden, who served on Burismaís board.
    Burismaís gas fields are ringed by woodlands and an assortment of post-Soviet tropes: crumbling factories and farm buildings, babushkas clutching bags of food as they ride bicycles, bored security officials in fatigues who always seem to require permission from a boss who can never be found.
    ďThereís no one here who will talk to you.    Now go away,Ē a guard shouted at the entrance to Burismaís small office in Vodiane, 300 miles southeast of Kyiv, formerly known as Kiev.
    ďHunter Biden?    Never heard of him,Ē said Ludmila Rynovaya, 72, a resident of Vodianeís nearby village.    ďWeíre pretty good at corruption,Ē she said.    ďWe donít need Americans to help us
    Over the course of about a week in Ukraine, the message from two dozen government officials and anti-corruption investigators quickly became clear: The allegations against the Bidens are entirely lacking in evidence.
    But they persist, and not only because Trump and his personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, keep repeating them.
    What is true and what is false is exceptionally hard to pin down in this fledgling democracy, one riddled with regulatory loopholes, poor governance and never-ending budget shortages.
    Ukraine is a place of great economic promise, with extensive natural resources and a highly educated, techsavvy workforce.
    But abuses of power and cronyism are rampant, reaching from the highest levels of government to everyday tasks like acquiring a driverís license, according to more than two dozen Ukrainians interviewed for this story.
    ďItís not really corruption, but more a way of saying, ĎThank you,íĒ said Vladimir Grigorishin, 49, a Kyiv resident.
    Heís a customs ďbroker,Ē which means he mediates fees between tax officials and private business owners who rely on foreign-made products.    The process involves informally negotiating payments to officials.
    Outside Ukraine, this is known as bribery.    For Grigorishin, itís business.
ĎThe whole thing is manufacturedí
    There are few, if any, trustworthy voices or credible evidence in Ukraine to back up the allegations peddled by Trump and Giuliani.    Even Trumpís staff has repeatedly warned him the claims are baseless.
    ďRudy Giulianiís only interest in Ukraine was to push the idea of an investigation into Biden and then push that idea with the American media, to hype it, and to attack Bidenís son ahead of the U.S. electionĒ next year, said Sergii Leshchenko, a former lawmaker who helped spearhead anti-corruption efforts under former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko.
    ďThe whole thing is manufactured for Trumpís political advantage,Ē said Leshchenko, a former journalist.
    Allegations like this are not uncommon in Ukraine.    Since gaining independence in 1991, the country has struggled to confront corruption and misinformation, said Olexiy Haran, a political scientist at the National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy.
    ďAfter Communism, weíve had to build a completely new system Ė all new laws, judges, a constitution.    This has created many legal loopholes,Ē he said.
    Many hide in plain sight.
    ďSpeeding tickets are easy to make go away,Ē said Orest Grigorishin, 23, a Kyiv musician.    He views such activity, officially illicit, as essential to surviving in the faction-ridden country.
    There are more egregious examples.    Some involve people an armís length from Trump.
    Yuriy Lutsenko is one of the former Ukrainian prosecutors who, according to a whistleblowerís complaint, peddled a series of baseless claims including the one against the Bidens.
    Lutsenko is a ďlawyerĒ who has no legal training.    He got the job after the law was changed to allow someone without legal qualifications to fill the post.
    He has served jail time for embezzlement and abuse of office.    His supporters claimed the charges were politically motivated. You hear that a lot here.
    ďLutsenko is a crook,Ē said Daria Kaleniuk, co-founder and executive director of the Anti-Corruption Action Center, a Kyiv-based organization that has led Ukraineís anti-corruption efforts.    ďHe basically used the general prosecutorís office that he headed as a kind of public relations office for himself
    Lutsenko did not return multiple requests for comment.
Museum of corruption
    ďUkraine is an extremely good place to be if youíre into making money illegally,Ē said Sevgil Musaieva, editor of online newspaper Ukrayinska Pravda.
The news outlet published some of the first investigations into Paul Manafort, Trumpís former campaign manager.    Manafort is now imprisonedon convictions related to concealing millions of dollars he made in Ukraine.
    His client: former President Viktor Yanukovych, a Kremlin-friendly president who was ousted from office in 2014 and now lives in exile in Russia.    Ukraine convicted him of treason in January.
    Yanukovych abused his office in other ways.    Today, his sumptuous estate outside Kyiv, called Mezhyhirya Residence, has been preserved as a kind of museum of corruption.
    The estate is furnished in a manner that calls to mind the decadent court of Franceís King Louis XIV.    Visitors can marvel at its former zoo, pier for yachts, helipad, tennis court, horse stables, rare-breed dog kennel, boxing ring, fleet of vintage cars, spa and shooting range.
    ďHere, you can stand and look over your empire like a real czar,Ē a visitor remarked as he surveyed the view of the Dnieper River from the balcony of one of the master bedrooms.
    Thatís partly where Hunter Biden comes in, according to Kaleniuk of the Anti-Corruption Action Center Ė not as an example of American corruption, but of Ukrainian reputation management.
    Biden joined Burismaís board after Yanukovychís ouster, when some Ukrainian companies tried to distance themselves from pro-Moscow authorities.    They asked Westerners and other highprofile figures to sit on their boards.
    ďUkraine is full of (people) who acquire wealth illegally through their connections to politics,Ē Kaleniuk said.    ďThen they try to whitewash this wealth and their reputations with the help of an army of Western lawyers and public relations types.Ē Burisma, Ukraineís largest private natural-gas company, is owned by Mykola Zlochevsky.    He served in Yanukovychís government and has been at the center of multiple corruption cases.
    ďIím not sure that (Hunter) Biden understood the environment he was getting intoĒ when he agreed to serve on Burismaís board, Musaieva said.
    Hazy allegations float from Ukraine to the U.S. Trump and Giuliani have been pushing unsubstantiated allegations that Joe Biden sought to help his son by persuading the Ukrainian government to dismiss a general prosecutor named Viktor Shokin.
    In 2014, Shokin began investigating Burisma for money laundering and tax irregularities.
    Hunter Biden joined Burismaís board that same year and was reportedly paid about $50,000 a month.
    The core allegation from Trump and Giuliani is that Joe Biden intervened to have Shokin fired in order to halt a criminal investigation into Burisma.    To help his sonís business interests, essentially.
    But no one who spoke with USA TODAY said those allegations have any merit, and no credible evidence has emerged to support them Ė though several experts said it seems clear Hunter Biden got the job because of his name.
    Hunter Biden wasnít the subject of the probe, according to Ukraineís National Anti-Corruption Bureau, an independent government agency that has worked closely with the FBI.
    No one disputes that Joe Biden wanted Shokin, the prosecutor, fired.    Outside the country, he was viewed as corrupt.
    ďThe pressure to remove Shokin did not just come from Biden,Ē said Pavlo Klimkin, Ukraineís minister of foreign affairs in Poroshenkoís administration.    ďThe pressure also came from the European Union and others. I know. I was in the meetings about this
Reliability questioned
    Giuliani has appeared on cable TV news shows in the U.S. waving an affidavit signed by Shokin, the prosecutor whom Biden has boasted of forcing out.    In it, Shokin says he was fired in 2016 because he was leading a ďwide-ranging corruption investigationĒ into Burisma.
    Vitali Kasko, deputy to the new general prosecutor, has a simple response: ďShokin is not a reliable figure.Ē    Kasko once worked for Shokin but resigned, citing Shokinís total ďlawlessness
    Shokin did not to respond to multiple requests for comment.
    Besides Shokin, Giuliani enlisted the help of Igor Fruman and Lev Parnas, Florida-based associates with family and business connections to Ukraine.    They worked to dig up dirt on the Bidens and Hillary Clinton, according to their own admission.
    Fruman and Parnas were arrested last week on campaign-finance charges, accused of funneling ďforeign moneyĒ for candidates and campaigns.     The charges donít appear related to work they were doing on behalf of Giuliani.
    The two set up meetings for Giuliani with Ukrainian officials.    Meanwhile, according to published reports, they pushed business plans related to the natural gas industry.
    ďIt doesnít matter who in Ukraine tells you what Ė a lawyer, a politician, media, someone in business.    They are either lying to you or at the very least trying to confuse you,Ē said Oleksandr Techynskyi.    His 2014 documentary ďAll Things AblazeĒ chronicles the revolution that led to Yanukovychís ouster.
ĎThese prosecutors are politiciansí
    Lutsenko, who succeeded Shokin as Ukraineís general prosecutor, is another one of Giulianiís sources.
    Lutsenko has turned out to be another unreliable narrator, according to several Ukrainian officials.    In March, he started making false claims in opinion articles published in The Hill, a U.S. political news website.
    His claims should sound familiar.    Among them: that Joe Biden pressured Poroshenko to fire Shokin in order to quash a criminal probe into Burisma.    That the former U.S. ambassador, Marie Yovanovitch, obstructed Ukrainian authoritiesí pursuit of corruption cases.
.     No credible evidence has emerged to back up either allegation.
    The Ukraine office of Transparency International, a Berlin-based corruption monitoring group, said it valued Yovanovitchís help fighting corruption.    But Trump unceremoniously pulled her out of Ukraine in May.
    ďThe best way to think about this is that these prosecutors are politicians,Ē said Aubrey Belford, an editor for the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project in Ukraine.
    Before Lutsenko lost his job in August, he implied he was receptive to reopening the investigation into Burisma.    Since then, Lutsenko has said in interviews he knows of no evidence linking the Bidens to wrongdoing.
    Now he, too, is under investigation, for protecting illegal casinos in Ukraine.    He denies it.
    Two countries led by TV stars.
    Like Trump, Ukraineís president has spent time in the world of entertainment Ė and like his U.S. counterpart, he has parlayed this into a political career.
    Zelensky starred in a sitcom about an idealistic teacher who is propelled to the presidency after his students film him railing against corruption.    In the show, called ďServant of the People,Ē the video goes viral and a political star is born.
    The real-life version is not that different.    Zelensky ran on an anti-corruption platform and named his political party ďServant of the People
    Like Trump, Zelensky is not without controversy.    He has close ties to Igor Kolomoisky, a Ukrainian oligarch accused of siphoning about $5 billion from a bank Ukraine nationalized in 2016.    Kolomoisky is the owner of the TV network that aired ďServant of the People
    Anastasiya Kozlovtseva, of Transparency Internationalís Ukraine office, said Zelenskyís choice for general prosecutor is encouraging because he is an experienced and credible anti-corruption campaigner.    ďBut weíre waiting to see how Zelensky deals with his ties to Kolomoisky,Ē she said.
    Trumpís scandal is not Zelenskyís biggest problem.    Ukraine is fighting a war with Russia that has claimed 13,000 lives, displaced 1.5 million people and led to Ukraine ceding parts of its territory to the regionís superpower.
    ďThereís a danger we could sign a weak peace deal with Russia that would bring us closer to Putinís orbit,Ē said Haran, the political scientist.
    And then there is the matter of Zelensky delivering on his campaign promise to end Ukraineís culture of corruption.
    Many politicians have been elected on similar promises, only to be replaced by others who promise it, too.    Meanwhile, reformers are regularly threatened and accused of wrongdoing.
    ďWe wanted to drain the swamp here in our country,Ē Zelensky told Trump in their July call.    ďWe brought in many new people. Not the typical politicians, because we want to have a new type.    A new type of government.    You are a great teacher for us in that regard
Heavy machinery owned by Burisma, a Ukrainian natural-gas company linked to an impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump.
Former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych's estate outside Kyiv is now a museum of corruption. PHOTOS BY ANATOLY SOKOLOV FOR USA TODAY

10/14/2019 As options narrow on Syria, Trump prepares to drop sanctions hammer on Turkey by Idrees Ali and Humeyra Pamuk
FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump holds a campaign rally in Minneapolis,
Minnesota, U.S., October 10, 2019. REUTERS/Leah Millis/File Photo
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) Ė President Donald Trumpís administration is set to impose economic sanctions on Ankara, potentially as early as this week, for its incursion into northern Syria, one of the few levers the United States still has over NATO-ally Turkey.
    Using the U.S. military to stop the Turkish offensive on U.S.-allied Kurdish fighters was never an option, defense officials have said, and Trump asked the Pentagon on Sunday to begin a ďdeliberateĒ withdrawal of all U.S. troops from northern Syria.
    After Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Friday that Trump had authorized ďvery powerfulĒ new sanctions targeting Turkey, the administration appeared ready to start making good on Trumpís threat to obliterate Turkeyís economy.
    On Sunday, Trump said he was listening to Congress, where Republicans and Democrats are pushing aggressively for sanctions action.
    ďDealing with @LindseyGrahamSC and many members of Congress, including Democrats, about imposing powerful Sanctions on Turkey,Ē Trump said on Twitter, referring to the loyal Trump ally and U.S. senator who lambasted the president last week.
    ďTreasury is ready to go, additional legislation may be sought.    There is great consensus on this.    Turkey has asked that it not be done.    Stay tuned!Ē he added.
    A U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Reuters that sanctions were ďbeing worked out at all levels of the government for rollout
    Trump is struggling to quell harsh criticism, including from some of his staunchest Republican backers, that he gave Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan a green light to attack the Kurds last Sunday when he decided to pull a small number of U.S. troops out of the border area.
    Turkeyís offensive aims to neutralize the Kurdish YPG militia, the main component of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and seen by Ankara as a terrorist group aligned with Kurdish insurgents in Turkey.    But the SDF has also been Washingtonís key ally in fighting that has dismantled Islamic Stateís jihadist ďcaliphateĒ in Syria.
    Trumpís decision, rooted in his long-stated aim to get the United States out of ďi>endless wars,Ē has prompted bipartisan concerns that it opens the door to the revival of Islamic State.
    While sanctions appear to be the strongest tool of deterrence, the United States and its European allies could also ponder arms sales bans and the threat of war crimes prosecutions.
    ďGood decision by President @realDonaldTrump to work with Congress to impose crippling sanctions against Turkeys outrageous aggression/war crimes in Syria,Ē Graham tweeted.
    It is unclear what sanctions are in the order drafted last week, which Mnuchin said was ready for activation at any moment, and whether they would be as severe as what lawmakers are proposing.
    Representatives Eliot Engel, the Democratic chairman of the U.S. House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee, and Mike McCaul, the committeeís senior Republican, introduced a bill last Friday that would sanction Turkish officials involved in the Syria operation and banks involved with Turkeyís defense sector until Turkey ends military operations in Syria.
    It also would stop arms from going to Turkish forces in Syria, and require the administration to impose existing sanctions on Turkey for its purchase of a Russian S-400 missile-defense system.
    Turkeyís Foreign Ministry said late on Friday that Turkey would retaliate against any steps aimed at countering its efforts to fight terrorism, in response to the announcement of possible U.S. sanctions against Turkey.
    The United States has successfully gone after Turkey with sanctions and tariffs before, hitting Ankara last year to pressure authorities to return an American pastor on trial for terrorism charges.
    The United States could look at targeting arm sales to Turkey, something a number of European countries have already done.    France said on Saturday that it had suspended all weapon sales to Turkey and warned Ankara that its offensive in northern Syria threatened European security.
    The White House could also look at increasing pressure on Turkey over reports of human rights abuses during the offensive, with a threat of war crimes prosecutions.
    The United States is looking into reports that a Kurdish politician and captured Kurdish fighters were killed in northeastern Syria amid Turkeyís offensive, a State Department spokesman told Reuters, adding that Washington found the reports disturbing.
    In response to the reports, the U.S. official said: ďThis is awful.    All these are among the issues that is addressed by our executive order,Ē referring to the sanctions.
    Experts doubted that any of the U.S. punishments would make Erdogan change his mind, given his long-held belief that the Kurdish fighters in Syria threaten national security and whom Ankara sees as a branch of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK).
    ďThis is a monumental failure on behalf of the United States,Ē said Aaron Stein, director of the Middle East program at the Foreign Policy Research Institute think tank.
    Stein said it would be the Syrian government or Russia, not American sanctions, that could stop the Turkish operation.
    ďThe only thing that will stop them is if the regime or the Russians move in significant numbers to where they stop,Ē Stein said.
    The Syrian army will deploy along the length of the border with Turkey in an agreement with the Kurdish-led administration in northern Syria to help repel a Turkish offensive, the Kurdish-led administration said on Sunday.
    The United States does have one person that Erdogan has long wanted extradited: the U.S.-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen, accused by Turkey of orchestrating a failed 2016 military coup against Erdogan.
    U.S. officials have said the courts would require sufficient evidence to extradite the elderly Gulen, who has denied any involvement in the coup and has lived in self-imposed exile in the United States since 1999.
(Reporting by Idrees Ali and Humeyra Pamuk; Editing by Mary Milliken and Peter Cooney)

10/14/2019 U.S. to pull last troops from north Syria; Syrian army to redeploy on border by Idrees Ali and Tom Perry
Smoke rises from town of Tel Abyad, as seen from village of Yabisa, near the
Turkish-Syrian border, Syria, October 12, 2019. REUTERS/Khalil Ashawi
    WASHINGTON/BEIRUT (Reuters) Ė The United States said on Sunday it will withdraw its remaining 1,000 troops from northern Syria in the face of an expanding Turkish offensive while Syriaís army struck a deal with Kurdish forces to redeploy along its border with Turkey, both major victories for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
    The developments illustrate Washingtonís waning influence over events in Syria and the failure of the U.S. policy of keeping Assad from reasserting state authority over areas lost during the more than eight-year conflict with rebels trying to end his rule.
    The developments also represent wins for Russia and Iran, which have backed Assad since 2011 when his violent effort to crush what began as peaceful protests against his familyís decades-long rule of Syria exploded into a full-blown civil war.
    While the U.S. withdrawal moves American troops out of the line of fire, the return of Syrian soldiers to the Turkish border opens up the possibility of a wider conflagration should the Syrian army come in direct conflict with Turkish forces.
    The Turkish onslaught in northern Syria has also raised the prospect that Islamic State militants and their families held by the Kurdish forces targeted by Turkey may escape Ė scores were said to have done so already Ė and permit the groupís revival.
    The remarkable turn of events was set in motion a week ago when U.S. President Donald Trump decided to withdraw about 50 special operations forces from two outposts in northern Syria, a step widely seen as paving the way for Turkey to launch its week-long incursion against Kurdish militia in the region.
    Turkey aims to neutralize the Kurdish YPG militia, the main element of Washingtonís Kurdish-led ally, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which has been a key U.S. ally in dismantling the jihadist ďcaliphateĒ set up by Islamic State militants in Syria.
    Ankara regards the YPG as a terrorist group aligned with Kurdish insurgents in Turkey.
    Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan on Sunday said the offensive would extend from Kobani in the west to Hasaka in the east and extend some 30 km (19 miles) into Syrian territory, with the town of Ras al Ain now in Turkish control.
    U.S. Defense Secretary Mike Esper said the United States decided to withdraw its roughly 1,000 troops in northern Syria Ė two U.S. officials told Reuters it could pull the bulk out in days Ė after learning of the deepening Turkish offensive.
    It was unclear what would happen to the several hundred U.S. troops at the American military outpost of Tanf, near Syriaís southern border with Iraq and Jordan.
    Another factor behind the decision, Esper indicated in an interview with the CBS program ďFace the Nation,Ē was that the SDF aimed to make a deal with Russia and Syria to counter the Turkish onslaught.    Several hours later, the Kurdish-led administration said it had struck just such an agreement for the Syrian army to deploy along the length of the border with Turkey to help repel Ankaraís offensive.
    The deployment would help the SDF in countering ďthis aggression and liberating the areas that the Turkish army and mercenaries had entered,Ē it added, referring to Turkey-backed Syrian rebels, and would also allow for the liberation of other Syrian cities occupied by the Turkish army such as Afrin.
    The fighting has sparked Western concerns that the SDF, holding large swathes of northern Syria once controlled by Islamic State, would be unable to keep thousands of jihadists in jail and tens of thousands of their family members in camps.
    The regionís Kurdish-led administration said 785 Islamic State-affiliated foreigners escaped the camp at Ain Issa but the British-based war monitor Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, citing sources in the camp, said around 100 people had escaped.
    Erdogan dismissed the reports and told the state-run Anadolu news agency that accounts of escapes by Islamic State prisoners were ďdisinformationĒ aimed at provoking the West.
    Trump, who has come under withering criticism for the U.S. withdrawal, including from his fellow Republicans, placed the onus on the Kurds and Turkey to restrain the Islamic State fighters and blamed European nations for not taking back their own citizens.
    ďTurkey and the Kurds must not let them escape.    Europe should have taken them back,Ē Trump wrote on Twitter.    ďThey will never come to, or be allowed in, the United States!Ē
    Turkey also said Turkish and allied Syrian rebel forces seized a highway some 30-35 km (18-22 miles) into Syrian territory, which would sever a major artery linking the Kurdish-run regions of war-torn Syriaís north.
    An SDF official said clashes were going on along the road.
    New reports of civilian casualties surfaced.    A Turkish air strike in Ras al Ain killed 14 people including 10 civilians on Sunday, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group said.    The SDF said a ďcivilian convoyĒ had been targeted.
    Turkeyís stated aim is to carve out a ďsafe zoneĒ inside Syria to resettle many of the 3.6 million Syrian war refugees it is hosting.    Erdogan has threatened to send them to Europe if the EU does not back his assault.
    But the Turkish offensive has triggered international alarm over its large-scale displacements of civilians as well as U.S. domestic criticism that Trump has effectively abandoned the U.S. Kurdish allies.    Trump argues that the United States should withdraw from ďendlessĒ Middle East wars and protect its own borders.
    Turkey now faces threats of possible sanctions from the United States, a NATO ally, unless it calls off the incursion.
    Two other NATO allies, Germany and France, have suspended arms exports to Turkey, and French President Emmanuel Macron was convening an emergency defense cabinet meeting on Sunday to discuss options regarding the offensive.
    A U.S. State Department spokesman said Washington was studying ďextremely troublingĒ reports that a Kurdish politician and captured Kurdish fighters were killed by Turkish proxy forces amid the offensive.
    More than 130,000 people have been displaced from rural areas around Tel Abyad and Ras al Ain as a result of the fighting, the United Nations said.
    The planned evacuation of U.S. forces came a week after Trump spoke by telephone with Erdogan and then abruptly shifted policy and withdrew about 50 U.S. troops deployed to support Kurdish forces in the campaign against Islamic State.
    ďIn the last 24 hours, we learned that (the Turks) likely intend to extend their attack further south than originally planned, and to the west,Ē Esper said.    ďWe also have learned in the last 24 hours that the Ö SDF are looking to cut a deal, if you will, with the Syrians and the Russians to counter-attack against the Turks in the north
    Syrian state media reported that the Syrian army has begun deploying its troops to northern battlefronts to confront ďTurkish aggressionĒ on Syrian territory.
    Esper called the situation ďuntenableĒ for U.S. forces, saying he spoke with Trump on Saturday night and that the president directed the U.S. military to ďbegin a deliberate withdrawal of forces from northern Syria
    Erdogan told reporters that Turkish forces and their Syrian rebel allies had besieged Tel Abyad, a key border town west of Ras al Ain.    They later advanced into the center of Tel Abyad where the situation was calm and they were conducting search operations, a Reuters witness said.
    Erdogan also said Turkish-led forces had killed 440 SDF fighters so far and captured 109 square km (42 square miles) of terrain, including 17 villages around Tel Abyad and four villages around Ras Al Ain.
(Graphic: Where Kurds live,
(Graphic: Turkey hits Kurdish militia targets,
(Reporting by Sarah N. Lynch in Washington and Tom Perry in Beirut; Additional reporting by Daren Butler in Istanbul; other Reuters correspondents in the region, Humeyra Pamuk in Washington, and Kirsti Knolle in Vienna; Writing by Arshad Mohammed; Editing by Mark Heinrich, Lisa Shumaker, Daniel Wallis and Will Dunham)

10/14/2019 Sen. Rand Paul calls for probe into Democratsí Ukraine letter by OAN Newsroom
    As investigators continue to investigate talks with foreign governments, Senator Rand Paul says itís crucial both sides of the aisle are held accountable.    While speaking on NBCís ďMeet the PressĒ Sunday, Paul called for an investigation into the Democrat senators who requested information into former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort back in 2018.
    ďIf anythingís consistent here, both parties have tried to involve themselves in Ukraine,Ē he stated.    ďSo for example, four senators, Democrats, wrote a letter to the Ukrainian government and said if you donít keep investigating Trump we may reconsider our bipartisan support for your aid
    This comes after the Kentucky lawmaker was asked if heís bothered by accusations President Trumpís personal attorney sought information on former Vice President Joe Biden.    Paul pointed out that it shouldnít just be one-sided, saying if youíre going to condemn the president then you also need to condemn the Democrat senators.
    ďEveryone is going after President Trump,Ē he said.    ďSomeone needs to actually, in an objective way, evaluate a letter from four Democrats that said to Ukraine Ďif you donít keep investigating Trump we will reconsider our bipartisan support for aidí ó thatís a threat and thatís the same kind of stuff theyíre accusing Trump of
ďThe voters ought to get a chance. I mean, this is going to lay it up in the lap for Donald Trump if you donít want to allow any competitionĒ Rand Paul said. | AP Photo
    Democrat Senators Robert Menendez, Dick Durbin, and Patrick Leahy wrote a letter asking for Ukraineís assistance into the Mueller investigation back in 2018.    According to Paul, if Ukraine refused the Democrat leaders threatened to withhold aid from the country.
    House Democrats have subpoenaed President Trumpís lawyer Rudy Giuliani and are requesting he also turn over documents regarding Ukraine.    Giuliani said President Trump did not extort money or engage with Ukraine, and claimed Biden did both to advance his corruption scheme in the country.

10/14/2019 Chinese exports to U.S. tumble 22% in Sept. as tariffs hit Beijingís economy by OAN Newsroom
FILE Ė Containers and trucks are seen at a terminal of the Qingdao port in Shandong province, China. (REUTERS/Photo)
    Chinese exports to the U.S. have tumbled as President Trumpís tariffs take hold.    Beijingís exports to the U.S. fell 22 percent in September with total exports falling 3.2 percent.    Imports also fell sharply and are down 8.5 percent from September 2018.
    The drop in trade activity was steeper than economists had predicted as the ongoing trade war with the U.S. continues to hit Chinaís economy.    The two sides agreed to a ďphase oneĒ deal last week with President Trump agreeing to delay a tariff increase that was set to go into effect Tuesday.
    According to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin ďsubstantial progressĒ has been made toward making a partial trade deal with China.
    ďThere is a phase one deal, we have an agreement in principle,Ē he explained.    ďThis is like when you buy a building, youíve reached an agreement to buy a building, and now youíve got to negotiate the contract
    While speaking to reporters Monday morning, Mnuchin dismissed speculation that an actual deal could be pushed back until after next monthís APEC summit.
    ďWell, again, thereís execution work to be done on the document, but this document is substantially done,Ē he stated.    ďWe made a lot of progress and our expectation is this will be concluded and signed by Chile
    The treasury secretary also said U.S. and Chinese negotiators addressed ďsignificant structural issuesĒ in their tentative deal, which will result in China lifting tariffs on U.S. agricultural products and purchasing up to $50 billion of those goods.    Mnuchin then touched on the enforcement measures included in that agreement, which would include both sides setting up offices to handle any discrepancies.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin speaks as Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, right, listens with President Donald Trump during
their meeting with Vice Premier Liu He in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, Friday, Oct. 11, 2019. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
    Mnuchin said if the ďphase oneĒ deal is not closed in the coming weeks, the White House will move forward with another round of tariffs.    In order to make a deal happen, he signaled his willingness to hold more talks with Chinese negotiators to tie up any loose ends.
    ďI wouldnít be surprised if thereís deputy level meetings in person,Ē he stated.    ďI think our expectation is weíll meet with the vice premier in Chile before the presidents meet to make sure there arenít any final issues, and if we need to have in-person meetings, more in-person meetings to get this done, obviously weíll do that
    President Trump is expected to meet with his Chinese counterpart next month to finalize the agreement.

10/14/2019 Putin: Domestic U.S. politics prevent improvements in Russian-America ties by OAN Newsroom
    According to Russian President Vladimir Putin, the poor relations between Russia and the U.S. are not President Trumpís fault.    While speaking to Arab-language media Sunday, Putin said Russia has repeatedly called for a normalization in bilateral ties with the U.S.
FILE Ė In this July 16, 2018, file photo, U.S. President Donald Trump, left, and Russian President Vladimir Putin shake hands
at the beginning of a meeting at the Presidential Palace in Helsinki, Finland. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)
    ďWe know, we all know what and how the President of the United States, Mr. Trump, says about Russian-American relations,Ē stated Putin.    ďBut domestic political agenda in the U.S. does not allow the president to take steps to radically improve U.S.-Russian ties
    The Russian president also pointed out NATOís push to deploy additional weapons in Eastern Europe may pose a threat to Russiaís strategic interests.

10/14/2019 Scrambling to limit damage, Trump hits Turkey with tariffs over Syria by Steve Holland and Humeyra Pamuk
FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump addresses conservative activists at the
Family Research Council's annual gala in Washington, U.S., October 12, 2019. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) Ė U.S. President Donald Trump on Monday raised steel tariffs on Turkey and threatened more sanctions over its incursion into Syria as Trump scrambled to limit the damage from his much-criticized decision to clear U.S. troops from Turkeyís path.
    With lawmakers in the U.S. Congress moving to impose sanctions of their own, Trump announced he would soon issue an executive order authorizing sanctions against current and former officials of the Turkish government for contributing to Turkeyís military operation in northern Syria.
    In a statement, Trump said he had increased tariffs on imports of Turkish steel back up to 50 percent, six months after they were reduced, and would immediately stop negotiations on what he called a $100 billion trade deal with Turkey.
    ďUnfortunately, Turkey does not appear to be mitigating the humanitarian effects of its invasion,Ē said Trump.
    Turkey launched a cross-border operation into northern Syria a week ago after Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan told Trump in a phone call he planned to move ahead with a long-planned move against Americaís Kurdish allies in the region.
    Trump abruptly announced a redeployment of 50 American troops from the conflict zone to get them out of harmís way, dismissing criticism that this would leave the Kurds open to attack. This was widely seen as giving Erdogan a green light for his operation.
    The resulting scenes of carnage have exposed Trump to harsh criticism from Republicans and Democrats alike for abandoning the Kurdish allies who were instrumental in the U.S. battle against Islamic State militants in Syria.
    As Congress has vowed to act if he will not, Trump said Turkeyís action is precipitating a humanitarian crisis and ďsetting conditions for possible war crimesĒ but he made clear he had no plans to reverse his decision to withdraw.
    ďAs I have said, I am withdrawing the remaining United States service members from northeast Syria,Ē said Trump.
    U.S. troops coming out of Syria will stay in the region to monitor ISIS and a small footprint will remain at the Tanf base in southern Syria, he said.
    Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Kentucky Republican allied with Trump, expressed his displeasure in a statement.
    ďAbandoning this fight now and withdrawing U.S. forces from Syria would recreate the very conditions that we have worked hard to destroy and invite the resurgence of ISIS,Ē he said.
    A statement from Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer and Democratic senators Robert Menendez and Jack Reed said the only person who is able to ďimmediately stop this tragedy unfolding is the president himself
    ďThe first step when Congress returns to session this week is for Republicans to join with us in passing a resolution making clear that both parties are demanding the presidentís decision be reversed,Ē they said.
    Trump said his executive order would enable the United States to impose sanctions on those current or former Turkish officials who may be involved in human rights abuses.    He said it will authorize sanctions such as blocking of property and barring entry into the United States.
    Turkeyís lira, which had weakened some 0.8% in the day, reacted minimally to Trumpís announcement.    It stood at 5.9300 at 2018 GMT, from 5.9260 beforehand.
(Reporting by Steve Holland, Lisa Lambert, Eric Beech and Humeyra Pamuk; Editing by Sandra Maler and Sonya Hepinstall)

10/14/2019 EU governments limit arms sales to Turkey but avoid embargo by Robin Emmott
FILE PHOTO: French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian gestures as he speaks after a meeting of the
Russian-French Security Cooperation Council in Moscow, Russia, September 9, 2019. REUTERS/Shamil Zhumatov
    LUXEMBOURG (Reuters) Ė European Union countries agreed on Monday to limit arms exports to Turkey over its offensive in northern Syria, prompting condemnation from Ankara, even as they stopped short of a bloc-wide embargo against a NATO ally.
    Italy, the top arms exporter to Turkey last year, said it would join a ban on selling weapons and ammunition to Ankara after a weekend decision by France and Germany to suspend sales, and Spain signaled it was ready to do so.
    With a host of other countries including the Netherlands, Finland and Sweden halting such exports, the EUís collective position was mainly aimed at avoiding a legally-binding embargo on Turkey, a longtime candidate to join the bloc.
    A full embargo would have grouped Turkey with Venezuela and Russia, countries the EU views as hostile and on whom it has a formal ban.
    Diplomats said ministers were not ready for an embargo despite anger at President Tayyip Erdogan.
    ďWe do not wish to support this war and do not want to make arms available,Ē German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas told reporters.
    Foreign ministers also agreed to draw up economic sanctions on Ankara over Turkish oil-and-gas drilling near Cyprus, although names will come at a later stage.
    The Turkish government said it ďfully rejected and condemnedĒ the decisions taken and calls made by the EU on the two issues.
    ďWe will seriously review our cooperation with the EU on certain areas due to its unlawful and biased attitude,Ē Turkeyís Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
    Turkeyís presidency said later that Erdogan had discussed the aims of its operations in Syria to French President Emmanuel Macron in a phone call, arguing it would contribute to regional and global peace and stability.
    In their statement after a four-hour-long debate in Luxembourg, ministers agreed to ďcommit to strong national positions regarding their arms export policy to Turkey
    Via Facebook, Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio said on the sidelines of the meeting: ďIn the next few hours, Italy too will sign a ban on the export of arms to Turkey
    Belgium also said it backed stopping arms exports.
    The Turkish lira slid 0.8% on Monday in the face of U.S. and European threats of sanctions, though sceptical traders said it would weaken much further if Western allies turned words into action.
    Turkeyís ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva, Sadik Arslan, an former Erdogan adviser, dismissed the EU measures as ďa joke.Ē    He told reporters: ďWe have enough of an industrial base to substitute them with our much better systems
    The EU exported 45 million euros ($50 million) worth of arms and ammunition to Turkey last year, including missiles, according to EU statistics office Eurostat, with Italy the main vendor, followed by Spain, Britain and Germany.
    Sales of aircraft to Turkey, although not all military, amounted to 1.4 billion euros last year, according to Eurostat, led by France.    The EU is the top foreign investor in Turkey.
    Speaking in the Azeri capital of Baku, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said sanctions would not yield results.
    EU ministers issued a statement condemning Turkeyís offensive, which aims to neutralize the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia, a former U.S. ally seen by Ankara as a terrorist group aligned with Kurdish insurgents in Turkey.
    That statement was seen as progress for the bloc, given early resistance from Hungary.    While not a major arms exporter to Turkey, Budapest is wary of doing anything to anger Erdogan, who last week warned that he would ďopen the gatesĒ and send 3.6 million refugees to Europe if it did not back him.
    Hungary has refused to take in people fleeing Syriaís eight-year-old civil war and blocked an EU statement last week criticizing Turkey, two diplomats said.
    EU member Cyprus and Turkey have also argued for years regarding the ownership of fossil fuels in the eastern Mediterranean, where Ankara says Turkish Cypriots are entitled to a share of the resources.
    Turkey has sent oil-and-gas drilling ships to waters off southern Cyprus where Greek Cypriot authorities have already awarded hydrocarbon exploration rights to Italian and French companies. Cyprus and Greece have pushed for sanctions against Ankara, diplomats said.
    The EU asset freezes and travel bans are likely to target the Turkish military and captains of the drilling ships, two EU diplomats said.
(Additional reporting by Marine Strauss and Philip Blenkinsop in Brussels, Francesca Piscioneri in Rome, Stephanie Nebehay in Geneva and Ali Kucukgocmen in Istanbul; Editing by Giles Elgood/Mark Heinrich and Sonya Hepinstall)

10/15/2019 Oil down $1.11 to $53.59, DOW down 29 to 26,787.

10/15/2019 2020 DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE - 5 ways impeachment will take the stage - As 12 candidates gather, inquiry about Trump looms large by Aamer Madhani, USA TODAY
    Twelve Democratic 2020 candidates will crowd the stage in Westerville, Ohio, on Tuesday for the biggest presidential debate of the election cycle.
    The debate is expected to mark the return to the campaign trail for Sen. Bernie Sanders, who suffered a heart attack this month and has limited his once-grueling campaign travel after falling ill.    The moment offers the 78-year-old senator from Vermont a chance to try to assuage voter concerns about his health.
    Meanwhile, Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, comes to Ohio amid a string of polls that shows her support surging with likely Democratic primary voters.    With her exalted status, Warren is likely to take more fire from her fellow Democratic rivals.
    But the biggest storyline of the Ohio debate could revolve around how the candidates talk about the fast-moving, 3-week-old impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump.
    Here are five ways the inquiry will loom large over the debate.
1) Can Joe Biden effectively punch back against Trump?
    The Trump impeachment inquiry was put in motion after a member of the intelligence community filed a whistleblowerís complaint raising concerns that the president was pressuring Ukraineís president to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter over the younger Bidenís business dealings in the Eastern European country.
    Biden has bristled at Trumpís attacks. Trump has pushed the unsubstantiated allegation and to benefit Hunter Biden, who served on Burismaís board.    No public evidence has surfaced to support that claim.
    Several recent national polls show that a plurality, and in some cases a majority, of Americans support the launch of an impeachment inquiry of Trump.    A Quinnipiac University poll published this month found that by a 48% to 42% margin Americans think that ďasking a foreign leader to investigate a political rivalĒ is, by itself, a sufficient reason to remove a president from office.
    But the situation seems to also have hampered Biden.
    By a 42% to 21% margin, Americans say there are valid reasons to look at the behavior of Joe and Hunter Biden in Ukraine, according to a USA TODAY/Ipsos Poll published this month.
    And more Democrats say they are somewhat satisfied (47%) than very satisfied (29%) with how Biden has responded to Trumpís assertions about him and Ukraine, according to CBS News poll published Sunday.    Eighteen percent of Democratic respondents said they were somewhat dissatisfied and 6% said they were very dissatisfied with Bidenís response.
2) Will rivals still go easy on Hunter Bidenís business dealings?
    It wouldnít be surprising if the CNN and New York Times moderators quiz candidates on whether the younger Bidenís business in Ukraine, as well as China, amounted to a conflict of interest for the vice president.    Biden played a key role in shaping the Obama administrationís policies in those two countries.
    Ahead of the debate, Biden has sought to blunt the issue.
    The former vice president said Sunday if he is elected president, no one in his family will hold a job or have a business relationship with a foreign corporation or foreign government.    He also jabbed at Trump for appointing his daughter, Ivanka, and son-in-law, Jared Kushner, to senior adviser positions.
    ďNo one in my family will have an office in the White House, will sit in on meetings as if they are a cabinet member, will, in fact, have any business relationship with anyone that relates to a foreign corporation or a foreign country,Ē he said.    ďPeriod.    Period.    End of story
    Hunter Biden, through a statement from his attorney, on Sunday also said that he would step down from his seat on the board of a private equity firm in China by the end of this month and vowed not to serve on any boards of foreign companies if his fatherís elected.
3) Itís about more than impeachment
    Candidates will try to demonstrate that they can walk and chew gum at the same time.
    Expect to hear candidates about talk about the importance of Congress doing its oversight work and moving forward with the impeachment proceeding.    But at the same time, theyíll all offer some version of their similar campaign sobriquets: This election is about more than ousting Trump.
    Shannon Watts, founder of the gun control advocacy group Momís Demand Action, said itís frustrating impeachment is saturating national media attention.
    But she said she believed the Democratic candidates would be mindful of keeping the focus on core issues, including advocating for tightening gun laws, if they hope to improve their standing with female voters.
    Since Pelosi opened the impeachment inquiry, Trump has accused his Democratic opponents of using impeachment as a desperate move to try to defeat him.
    The electorate is craving more than impeachment from its politicians, said Kelly Dietrich, CEO of the National Democratic Training Committee, an organization that trains Democrats on how to run for office and work on campaigns.
    ďThe Democratsí challenge in general is to hold Trump and Republicans accountable but to tie it to the bread-andbutter issues that are impacting Americans from health care and clean air to all the things that really effect day-today lives,Ē Dietrich said.
4) Early impeachment backer Tom Steyer joins the stage
    Steyer, the billionaire investor and clean energy advocate, will make his first debate appearance in Westerville.
    He didnít jump into the race until July, but he has been pressing lawmakers to begin the process to remove Trump from office since founding the group Need to Impeach in October 2017.    Heís pumped millions into the project that had the singular goal of removing Trump from office.
    In television and digital ads in the early voting states of Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina, Steyer has been trumpeting that he was ahead of the curve among his Democratic rivals in pushing for impeachment.
    ďWhen I called for his impeachment two years ago, Washington insiders and every candidate for president said it was too soon,Ē Steyer says in the early voting state ads.    ďI believed then, as I do now, that doing the right thing was more important than political calculations
5) Candidates aware of perils of impeachment inquiry
    An already divided nation is in danger of more partisanship as the impeachment inquiry moves along.
    The debate marks another opportunity for the Democratic hopefuls to attest to why they can reunite a country that Trump has suggested would tumble into ďcivil warĒ if heís removed from office.
    With Republicans in control of the Senate, the odds are long that the upper chamber, at least at this point, would convict Trump should the House vote to impeach him.
    Even as polling shows growing American support for the impeachment process, the vast majority, 58% to 37%, think that Trumpís fate should be left to the voters when they head to the polls in less than 13 months, according to an NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll published last week.
    Candidates face a balancing act in their messaging on the issue.
    ďLook, this is not something you can do by poll,Ē South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg told CNN.    "This is a constitutional process to protect the integrity of the presidency itself.    Itís not just about holding Donald Trump accountable for abuses of power Ė itís about making sure that a future president, 10 years or a hundred years from now, looks back at this moment and draws the lesson that nobody is above the law.    And at a moment like that, public opinion is just going to have to follow the lead of the Constitution, instead of the other way around
    ďDemocratsí challenge in general is to hold Trump ... accountable but to tie it to the bread-and-butter issues,Ē Kelly Dietrich - National Democratic Training Committee
    In a statement Sept. 23, Joe Biden calls impeachment proceedings a tragedy, ďbut a tragedy of (President Donald Trumpís) own making
    How to watch
    The debate at Otterbein University in Westerville, Ohio, will air live at 8 p.m. EDT Tuesday.    Follow live coverage at with debate recaps, best moments, analysis and more.
Tuesdayís debaters are, top row, Joe Biden, Cory Booker, Pete Buttigieg, Julian Castro; second row: Tulsi Gabbard, Kamala Harris,
Amy Klobuchar, Beto OíRourke; bottom row: Bernie Sanders, Tom Steyer, Elizabeth Warren and Andrew Yang.

10/15/2019 President Trump blasts House depositions for lack of transparency, selective leaks by OAN Newsroom
    President Trump is calling out Democrats for not allowing the impeachment hearings to be public.    In a tweet Tuesday, the president pointed out Democrats are preventing transparency in what he called their ďWitch Hunt hearings
    House Intelligence Committee chairman Adam Schiff responded to criticism over holding private meetings and then having leaks of the deposition hours later.    He had this to say:
    ďThe Republicans are equally represented in every interview and deposition, ask every question they wish to ask, given fair and ample and equal opportunity.    The fact that weíre doing this in a methodical way, limits ability to be a pipeline, may frustrate them, but trying to meet needs of the investigation
    This comes as more State Department officials are set to testify this week on what they know about Ukraine and Rudy Giulianiís work in the country.
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Adam Schiff, of Calif., arrives for a closed door meeting on Capitol Hill
in Washington, Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2019, as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State George Kent is scheduled to testify before
congressional lawmakers as part of the House impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

10/15/2019 George Kent complies with subpoena from House Intelligence Committee to appear on Capitol Hill by OAN Newsroom
Deputy Assistant Secretary of State George Kent, center, arrives on Capitol Hill in Washington,
Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2019, as he is scheduled to testify before congressional lawmakers as part of the
House impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
    A top State Department official arrived on Capitol Hill reportedly in defiance of the Trump administration.    The House Intelligence Committee reportedly subpoenaed George Kent Tuesday morning after the White House and State Department allegedly tried to block his testimony.
    Kent currently serves as the deputy assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian Affairs.    He will likely be grilled about his role in defending former Ukraine ambassador Marie Yovanovitch before her removal from that post back in May.
    Republican congressman Jim Jordan was on hand outside the hearing, where he railed against the House Democrats for keeping the whistleblowerís identity hidden.
Republican lawmakers, from left, Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, ranking member of the
Committee on Oversight Reform, and Rep. Lee Zeldin R-N.Y., appear before members of the media outside a closed door
meeting on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2019, as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State George Kent
testifies before congressional lawmakers as part of the House impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
    ďCome on, I mean weíre talking some 330-something-million people in this country; weíre talking about removing the President of the United States, the leader of the free world, based on that?Ē asked Jordan.    ďHe has a right to protection; thatís what the whistleblower statute saysÖI think when youíre talking about the President of the United States, for goodness sake, the American people, the American people who we all represent, they have a right to know
    House Democrats are refusing requests from Republicans to make these closed-door hearings public and to release the full transcripts.

10/15/2019 Census Bureau requests states provide citizenship data in response to block of question by OAN Newsroom
In this Aug. 13, 2019, file photo, a worker gets ready to pass out instructions in how fill out
the 2020 census during a town hall meeting in Lithonia, Ga. (Photo/John Amis/AP)
    The Trump administration is directing the U.S. Census Bureau to request states hand over citizenship statistics.    This comes after the Supreme Court blocked the White House from adding a citizenship question to the 2020 census.
    An Associated Press report this week detailed the two methods being used to gather the data without specifically asking the question.    One way is having states ask residents to provide information from their driverís license.    Another is to submit information on individuals enrolled in government-funded public programs.
    The Census Bureau reiterated the information they receive is stripped of personal identities and will be used strictly for statistics.
    President Trump issued an executive order earlier this year to allow the Commerce Department to ask for records to help it compile citizenship data of those living in the U.S.
    ďToday I will be issuing an executive order to put this very plan into effect immediately,Ē he stated.    ďI am hereby ordering every department and agency in the federal government to provide the Department of Commerce with all requested records regarding the number of citizens and non-citizens in our country

10/15/2019 Hunter Biden denies any wrongdoing in foreign business dealings by OAN Newsroom
    Hunter Biden is denying allegations of wrongdoing regarding his business activity in Ukraine.    In an ABC News interview released Tuesday, Biden claimed he was qualified to be on the board of energy company Burisma, but acknowledged he did not have extensive knowledge of natural gas or Ukraine itself prior to joining.
    The former vice presidentís son also said he used ďpoor judgmentĒ in regard to taking the position, but denied doing anything wrong.    He also addressed whether his last name played a role in his hiring, and refused to go into specifics about how much money he received from the company.
    ďI think that is it impossible for me to be on any of the boards that I just mentioned without saying Iím the son of the vice president of the United States,Ē he stated.    ďLook, Iím a private citizen, one thing that I donít have to do is sit here and and open my kimono as it relates to how much money I make or did or didnít
    The younger Biden also said he did not discuss his position on the firms board with his father before or after taking the role except for one previously reported brief exchange.
FILE Ė In this Jan. 30, 2010, file photo, Vice President Joe Biden, left, with his son Hunter, right, at the Duke Georgetown NCAA college
basketball game in Washington. Since the early days of the United States, leading politicians have had to contend with awkward problems
posed by their family members. Joe Biden is the latest prominent politician to navigate this tricky terrain. (AP Photo/Nick Wass, File)

10/15/2019 Progressives enraged over Buttigieg, warn him against attacking Warren at Tuesdayís debate by OAN Newsroom
    Progressives are urging 2020 hopeful Pete Buttigieg against attacking his competitors at this weekís Democrat debate.    The 2020 hopeful has recently come under fire from left-wing activists for comments challenging the ideas of more liberal candidates in the race.
    During an interview with Snapchat, Buttigieg appeared to take a swipe at Elizabeth Warrenís rejection of big money to fund her campaign.    The South Bend mayor said he plans to make sure he has the resources to take on President Trump.
    Buttigieg then took a jab at former congressman Beto OíRourke over his gun buy-back proposal.
    Critics of Buttigieg argue he should take the high-road and avoid attacks that hurt his political future.    This comes as Buttigieg climbs in Iowa polls, positioning himself as a top-tier candidate with Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren.
Democratic presidential candidate South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg speaks during the Power of our Pride Town Hall Thursday,
Oct. 10, 2019, in Los Angeles. The LGBTQ-focused town hall featured nine 2020 Democratic presidential candidates. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

10/15/2019 French police teargas protesting firefighters in Paris
French firefighters demonstrate during a national protest to urge the government to improve
working conditions, in Paris, France, October 15, 2019. REUTERS/Charles Platiau
    PARIS (Reuters) Ė French police fired tear gas and water cannons on Tuesday in clashes with firefighters protesting in Paris over their working conditions.
    Thousands of firefighters from across the country attended the protest in the French capital, calling for better pay, guarantees of their pension benefits and greater respect for their profession.
    Firefighters tried to climb the steel barriers around Franceís lower house of parliament while police officers threw teargas grenades at them, a Reuters journalist reported.
    Later the demonstration moved to eastern Paris where firefighters rampaged despite more teargas grenades and faced off against riot police.
    ďThere is real anger and the problem is weíre not listened to.    Thatís why people are getting more angry and itís starting to get violent,Ē said Eric Brezault, a 46-year-old firefighter from Aubagne in southern France.
(Reporting by Thierry Chiarello, Johnny Cotton and Elizabeth Pineau; Writing by Benoit Van Overstraeten; Editing by Leigh Thomas)

10/15/2019 Secretary Esper, NATOís Stoltenberg blast Turkeyís military operation in Northern Syria by OAN Newsroom
    Defense Secretary Mark Esper is, again, condemning Turkeyís ongoing military operation in Syria.    In a statement Tuesday, Esper said Turkeyís actions in Northern Syria are irresponsible and endanger the American troops in the region.
    The secretary said the U.S. has continued to pull its forces out of the area to avoid the risk of being involved in a broader conflict.    This comes as Russian private military and Assad forces are advancing towards the Syrian-Turkish border to protect the Kurdish allies.
FILE Ė Secretary of Defense Mark Esper speaks to reporters during a briefing at the Pentagon. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, File)
    NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has echoed Esperís sentiment.
    ďMany NATO allies are very critical and are condemning the military operation in Northern Syria,Ē he stated.    ďI have also expressed my serious concerns about this ongoing military operation
    Secretary Esper is set to discuss Turkeyís actions with other NATO allies in Brussels in the coming days.    Meanwhile, some reports have claimed Turkeyísímembership in NATO may be put into question.
In this photo taken from the Turkish side of the border between Turkey and Syria, in Ceylanpinar, Sanliurfa province,
southeastern Turkey, smoke billows from targets in Ras al-Ayn, Syria, caused by bombardment by Turkish forces, Tuesday,
Oct. 15, 2019. Turkish artillery on Tuesday pounded suspected Syrian Kurdish positions near the town in northeast Syria amid reports
that Kurdish fighters had retaken the town as Turkey pressed ahead with a military incursion that has drawn widespread condemnation. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)

10/16/2019 Oil down $0.78 to$52.81, DOW up 237 to 27,025.

10/16/2019 Oil slips further below $59 on weaker economic outlook by Alex Lawler
FILE PHOTO: The sun sets behind an oil pump outside Saint-Fiacre, near Paris, France September 17, 2019. REUTERS/Christian Hartmann/File Photo
    LONDON (Reuters) Ė Oil slipped further below $59 a barrel on Wednesday, pressured by concerns about weaker demand for fuel due to slower economic growth and forecasts of a further rise in U.S. crude inventories.
    Signs from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries that further curbs to oil supply could come in December lent support, as did wider market optimism about a potential Brexit deal.
    Brent crude , the global benchmark, slipped 16 cents to $58.58 a barrel by 0850 GMT. U.S. crude gained 2 cents to $52.83.
    ďPrices are under pressure from increasing pessimism about the global economy and subsequent demand-side concerns,Ē Stephen Brennock of oil broker PVM said.
    In a bearish signal for demand, the International Monetary Fund said on Tuesday the U.S.-China trade war would cut 2019 global growth to its slowest since the 2008-2009 financial crisis.
    ďPrices remain under pressure,Ē said Craig Erlam, analyst at OANDA.    ďOil inventory today from API may be notable albeit unlikely to have any major impact on the broader trend
    The American Petroleum Institute (API) reports its weekly U.S. inventory numbers at 2030 GMT, ahead of Wednesdayís government stocks data.    Analysts estimate U.S. crude inventories rose by around 2.8 million barrels last week.
    British and European Union officials resumed talks to clinch a Brexit deal on Wednesday just a few hours after late-night negotiations wound up, but it was far from clear they would reach an agreement before a leadersí summit on Thursday.
    Analysts have said any agreement that avoids a no-deal Brexit should boost economic growth and, in turn, oil demand.
    Providing more price support, OPEC Secretary-General Mohammad Barkindo has said an option for OPEC and its allies is to implement deeper cuts in oil production.
    OPEC, Russia and other producers have a deal to cut oil output by 1.2 million barrels per day until March 2020.    They meet on Dec. 5-6 in Vienna to review the decision.
    On Tuesday, Barkindo said OPEC would do what it could with allied producers to sustain oil market stability beyond 2020, in a signal the producers would continue to cooperate.
(Additional reporting by Jessica Jaganathan; Editing by Dale Hudson)

10/16/2019 Exclusive: U.S. carried out secret cyber strike on Iran in wake of Saudi oil attack, officials say by Idrees Ali and Phil Stewart
FILE PHOTO: A man types on a computer keyboard in Warsaw in this February 28, 2013 illustration file picture. Kacper Pempel//File Photo
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) Ė The United States carried out a secret cyber operation against Iran in the wake of the Sept. 14 attacks on Saudi Arabiaís oil facilities, which Washington and Riyadh blame on Tehran, two U.S. officials have told Reuters.
    The officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the operation took place in late September and took aim at Tehranís ability to spread ďpropaganda
    One of the officials said the strike affected physical hardware, but did not provide further details.
    It highlights how President Donald Trumpís administration has been trying to counter what it sees as Iranian aggression without spiraling into a broader conflict.
    The strike appears more limited than other such operations against Iran this year after the downing of an American drone in June and an alleged attack by Iranís Revolutionary Guards on oil tankers in the Gulf in May.
    The United States, Saudi Arabia, Britain, France and Germany have publicly blamed the Sept. 14 attack on Iran, which denied involvement in the strike.    The Iran-aligned Houthi militant group in Yemen claimed responsibility.
    Publicly, the Pentagon has responded by sending thousands of additional troops and equipment to bolster Saudi defenses Ė the latest U.S. deployment to the region this year.
    The Pentagon declined to comment about the cyber strike.
    ďAs a matter of policy and for operational security, we do not discuss cyberspace operations, intelligence, or planning,Ē said Pentagon spokeswoman Elissa Smith.
    The impact of the attack, if any, could take months to determine, but cyber strikes are seen as a less-provocative option below the threshold of war.
    ďYou can do damage without killing people or blowing things up; it adds an option to the toolkit that we didnít have before and our willingness to use it is important,Ē said James Lewis, a cyber expert with the Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies.
    Lewis added that it may not be possible to deter Iranian behavior with even conventional military strikes.
    Tensions in the Gulf have escalated sharply since May 2018, when Trump withdrew from the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action with Tehran that put limits on its nuclear program in exchange for the easing of sanctions.
    It was unclear whether there have been other U.S. cyber attacks since the one in late September.
    Iran has used such tactics against the United States.    This month, a hacking group that appears linked to the Iranian government tried to infiltrate email accounts related Trumpís re-election campaign.
    Over 30 days in August and September, the group, which Microsoft dubbed ďPhosphorous,Ē made more than 2,700 attempts to identify consumer accounts, then attacked 241 of them.
    Tehran is also thought to be a major player in spreading disinformation.
    Last year a Reuters investigation found more than 70 websites that push Iranian propaganda to 15 countries, in an operation that cybersecurity experts, social media firms and journalists are only starting to uncover.
    Tensions with Iran have been high since the Sept. 14 attack.    Tehran has claimed that an Iranian tanker was hit by rockets in the Red Sea last week and warned on Monday that there would be consequences.
    At a news conference on Monday, President Hassan Rouhani reiterated his countryís policy toward the Trump administration, ruling out bilateral talks unless Washington returns to the landmark nuclear deal and lifts crippling U.S. economic sanctions.
(Reporting by Idrees Ali and Phil Stewart. Editing by Gerry Doyle)

10/16/2019 State Dept. official: Mulvaney told me to Ďlay lowí by OAN Newsroom
    More leaks from the closed-door impeachment depositions are made public as reports say a State Department official filed a complaint about Rudy Giuliani.
    According to Democrat congressman Gerry Connelly, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State George Kent testified that during a recent White House meeting he was told to ďlay lowĒ from Ukraine by acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney.
Deputy Assistant Secretary of State George Kent leaves Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2019,
after testifying before congressional lawmakers as part of the House impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
    Mulvaney then put three Trump appointees in charge of Ukraine.    This included EU ambassador Gordon Sondland, U.S. special envoy Kurt Volker, and Energy Secretary Rick Perry.
    Kent also said he believed there was corruption at Burisma energy, where Hunter Biden previously sat on the companyís board.
    Republicans blasted Connolly after finding out he immediately went to CNN to expose what the witness said.    Congressman Lee Zeldin is accusing Connolly of improperly leaking information.

10/16/2019 House holding off on impeachment inquiry vote by OAN Newsroom
    Democrat leaders say they will not hold a formal floor vote to launch an official impeachment inquiry.    House Speaker Nancy Pelosi made the announcement Tuesday alongside House Intelligence Committee chairman Adam Schiff.
    The pair claimed they are making progress in their case against the president, but without providing evidence.    This comes as most of the related hearings have been behind closed doors.
    The Trump administration has refused to cooperate with House lawmakers, and have said the investigation is illegitimate until a vote is held.    When it comes to the floor vote itself, Pelosi said the lower chamber is holding off for the time being, but is still taking the investigation seriously.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif., speaks at a news conference on the House impeachment inquiry into
President Donald Trump on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2019. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
    ďWeíre not here to call bluffs, weíre here to find truth, to uphold the Constitution of the United States,Ē said the House speaker.    ďThis is not a game for us, this is deadly serious, and we are on a path that is taking us to a path to truth and a time table that respects our Constitution
    Chairman Schiff said he expected the White House to stonewall the investigation, but will continue down the path laid out by Democrats which should eventually lead to open hearings.
[The Democrats are trying to make up impeachment information from closed doors and leaks to the press for CNN to twist it to their dumb down viewers, which is totally against what our constitution states.    They should be ashamed of themselves in their violation.].

10/16/2019 House unanimously passes Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act by OAN Newsroom
    House lawmakers recently passed legislation to protect the autonomy and freedoms of Hong Kong. On Tuesday, the House unanimously passed the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act to prevent a crackdown on the special status of the city-state.
    The bill requires annual reviews by the State Department of whether the city is autonomous enough to justify its special trade status with the U.S. China moved to restrict Hong Kongís judicial independence earlier this year, sparking mass protests in the city.
Pro-democracy university students hold U.S. flags and sing the Star-Spangled Banner at the campus
of the University of Hong Kong, Friday, Sept. 20, 2019, while demanding the U.S. Congress to pass
the proposed U.S. Act of the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)
    Hong Kong citizens welcomed Americaís support for their cause.
    ďAnd as you know, with the democratization in Hong Kong, the foreign power or the foreign support is always here.    So, I would say, itís so important and most fundamental we need to show our solidarity first.Ē ó Billy Tang, demonstrator Ė Hong Kong
    The Senate is now expected to pass similar legislation that could get signed by President Trump later this month.

10/16/2019 Britain drops plan to check porn viewersí age
FILE PHOTO: A man types on a computer keyboard in Warsaw in this February 28, 2013
illustration file picture. REUTERS/Kacper Pempel/Files/File Photo
    LONDON (Reuters) Ė Britain has dropped plans to demand age verification for people viewing pornography after concluding it would be better to help companies limit access to adult content, digital and media minister Nicky Morgan said on Wednesday.
    Under plans announced in April, commercial providers of online pornography would have needed to check its users were 18 or over and websites that broke the law would be blocked or have their payment services withdrawn.
    Critics said the measures could be easily by-passed while privacy campaigners said they would be counter-productive and could lead to legal sites being blocked.
    The scheme, which would have made Britain the first country to bring in age verification for online pornography, was supposed to launch in June but was delayed.    Digital minister Morgan said the proposals had now been ditched.
    ďWe are committed to the UK becoming a world-leader in the development of online safety technology and to ensure companies of all sizes have access to, and adopt, innovative solutions to improve the safety of their users,Ē she said in a written statement to parliament.
    ďThis includes age-verification tools and we expect them to continue to play a key role in protecting children online
(Reporting by Michael Holden; editing by Stephen Addison)

10/16/2019 Senator Graham reaching out to Giuliani to testify before Senate Judiciary Committee by OAN Newsroom
FILE Ė In this Aug. 1, 2018 file photo, Rudy Giuliani, attorney for President Donald Trump, addresses a gathering during a campaign
event in Portsmouth, N.H. House committees have subpoena Giuliani for documents related to Ukraine. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa, File )
    Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Lindsey Graham is planning to reach out to Rudy Giuliani about having him testify before the committee.    The senator said he is going write a letter to Giuliani asking him to appear before the panel.    He also said the committee will consider whether to subpoena Giuliani and others later.
    ďIíve asked Rudy Giuliani to come before our Senate Judiciary Committee to talk about corruption in the Ukraine,Ē said the senator.    ďIf he does comeÖthen weíll look at calling Hunter Biden
    The former New York City mayor defied a subpoena Tuesday from House Democrats for documents regarding Ukraine.
    Giuliani has been accused of pressuring Ukrainian officials to investigate Joe Biden, one of the presidentís potential rivals in the upcoming election.
    Senator Graham also pointed out the House has not voted on authorizing an impeachment inquiry.    He said he does not consider what House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is doing to be legitimate.
    ďI donít know what the House is up to, but I think an impeachment based on the transcript of the phone call wonít fly in the Senate,Ē he said.    ďThe bottom line here is, Iíve seen nothing wrong by the president, and weíll continue to march forward
    Several of Giulianiís associates have been indicted for allegedly funneling Russian money into President Trumpís presidential campaign.    The FBI confirmed that a fourth man, David Correia, was arrested on Wednesday after turning himself in.    Correia and the others are expected to make court appearances on Thursday.    The presidentís attorney has denied any knowledge of their actions.

10/16/2019 House conservatives shunned from congressional hearing by OAN Newsroom
From left, Rep. Andy Harris, R-Md., Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa., Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Ariz., Rep. Andy Biggs, R-Ariz.,
Rep. Debbie Lesko, R-Ariz., and Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, pose for a group photo on Capitol Hill in Washington,
Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2019, outside the room where people are interviewed for the impeachment inquiry. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
    Members of the House Freedom Caucus tried to listen in on a testimony by a former top aide to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.    On Wednesday, Michael McKinley testified about his knowledge of how the State Department handled the Ukraine controversy.
    Some conservatives werenít allowed to participate because they donít sit on the panels leading the impeachment probe.    Their request to view the transcript of testimony from Kurt Volker was also rejected again.
    Freedom Caucus Chairman Andy Biggs accused Democrats of leaking information to control the narrative.
    ďIf you were to have a formal impeachment inquiry, you wouldnít be having Soviet style secret hearings,Ē explained Biggs.    ďNormally every member of Congress can go into any committee hearing thatís ongoing ó You canít do that here, because weíre not allowed in
    This comes a day after Florida Congressman Matt Gaetz attempted and failed to gain entry into Fiona Hillís hearing.
    Members of the Freedom Caucus said they have been promised a transcript of the Volker testimony, but it is unknown when they will receive it.

10/16/2019 Congress moves to sanction Turkey by OAN Newsroom
FILE Ė In this Sept. 25, 2019, file photo, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham, R-S.C.,
takes questions from reporters at the Capitol in Washington. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)
    Congress is moving to slap additional sanctions on Turkey in response to the countryís military operation in Northern Syria.    Recent reports stated that Senators Lindsey Graham and Chris Van Hollen are planning to introduce a new bill during a press conference on Thursday.
    The bipartisan legislation seeks to build on penalties already imposed by the White House against Turkeyís top officials and defense departments.    On Monday, President Trump announced a hike on steel tariffs and cancelled a $100 billion trade deal with the country.
    ďThe president of the United States called on the president of Turkey to stop the invasion,Ē Vice President Mike Pence told the press.    ďIf Turkeyís operation continues, it will exacerbate a growing and daunting humanitarian crisis, with potentially disastrous consequences
    Some lawmakers have expressed concern the punishment doesnít go far enough to deter Turkey from continuing its offensive.    In addition to Senator Grahamís efforts in the Senate, the House is introducing its own legislation on Wednesday to address growing concerns.
    ďItís very important to recognize the impact ó the Turks now are in a situation where we risk the resurgence of ISIS,Ē emphasized Rep. Liz Cheney.    ďOur allies, the Kurds, are facing what looks like a betrayal from the United States
    Despite criticism, President Trump is standing by his decision to pull U.S. forces from Syria.    He has said he believes itís up to other nations involved in the Turkish border dispute to step in.    The president also reiterated that his top priority is the security of American borders.

10/17/2019 Oil up $0.55 to $53.36, DOW down 23 to 27,002.

10/17/2019 Impeachment: GOP complains about lack of access - Lawmakers seek public meetings, transcripts by Deirdre Shesgreen and Bart Jansen, USA TODAY
    WASHINGTON Ė A half-dozen Republican lawmakers sought access Wednesday to a closed-door deposition with a former State Department official that is part of the House impeachment inquiry, but they were blocked in an escalation of the partisan dispute over the investigation of President Donald Trump.
    Three House committees Ė Foreign Affairs, Intelligence and Oversight and Reform Ė have been meeting privately for weeks with current and former administration officials to gather information about how Trump urged Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden, a political rival.    The latest session Wednesday was with Michael McKinley, a former senior adviser to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.    A previous witness, Kurt Volker, a former special envoy to Ukraine, appeared Wednesday to review the transcript from his session Oct. 3.
    Republicans have complained that the meetings should be public and transcripts should be released. Access has been limited to members of the three panels.    Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., said private sessions are needed to prevent witnesses from hearing each other.
    Leading the confrontation was House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., who called Schiff a liar and a partisan leading a witch hunt Ė language that echoes Trumpís terminology.    McCarthy cited Schiffís opening statement Sept. 26 in a public hearing with the acting director of national intelligence, Joseph Maguire, which characterized Trumpís phone call July 25 as a mafia shakedown.
    ďI canít even go down there and read the transcript,Ē McCarthy said.
    McCarthy alleged that Republicans have not been allowed to cross-examine the witnesses, which is not accurate.    Staff attorneys led the questioning, and the time was evenly divided between Democratic and Republican aides.
    ďThey designed a process to pick and choose who to come,Ē McCarthy said.
    Schiff said Tuesday that transcripts would be released and public hearings held.
    Members of the Judiciary Committee, which traditionally handles impeachment inquiries, argued Wednesday that they deserve access to the depositions and transcripts of sessions.
    Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, said he was told by the impeachment panelís staff that he could not read the transcripts of interviews or attend McKinleyís private session.
    ďThat is garbage,Ē Gohmert said.    ďThis is an insane asylum, and itís clear the inmates are running it, because the elected people Ö said we want you to participate
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., says Democrats have prevented him from
accessing transcripts from the impeachment inquiry. TASOS KATOPODIS/GETTY IMAGES

10/17/2019 U.S. diplomats, Congress take aim at China; Trump expects trade deal signing by David Brunnstrom
FILE PHOTO: U.S. and Chinese flags are seen before Defense Secretary James Mattis welcomes Chinese Minister of National
Defense Gen. Wei Fenghe to the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia, U.S., November 9, 2018. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) Ė The U.S. State Department and Congress took aim at China on Wednesday, even as President Donald Trump hailed ďgoodwillĒ between Washington and Beijing and said he expected to sign the first phase of a trade deal with President Xi Jinping next month.
    While Trump touted progress in his damaging trade war with Beijing, State Department officials said Chinese diplomats and officials in the United States would be required to give advance notice of meetings with state, local and municipal officials, as well as at educational and research institutions, calling it a response to how U.S. diplomats are treated in China.
    In the Senate, the Republican chair of the Foreign Relations Committee said he hoped the full Senate would vote soon on legislation that would toughen scrutiny of Chinaís rule in Hong Kong and require the State Department to evaluate, at least once a year, whether the territory retains sufficient autonomy to justify the special treatment it enjoys under U.S. law.
    The House passed similar legislation on Tuesday, drawing an angry response from China, which accused U.S. lawmakers of ďsinister intentionsĒ to undermine Hong Kongís stability and warned that bilateral relations would be damaged should the measures Ė which Trump must ultimately approve Ė become law.
    The bills have garnered strong backing in Congress, from Democrats as well as Trumpís fellow Republicans, despite delicate U.S.-China trade talks.
    The top State Department diplomat for East Asia expressed support for free expression in Hong Kong at a Senate Foreign Relations subcommittee hearing on Wednesday.
    ď(F)reedoms of expression and peaceful assembly Ė core values that we share with the people of Hong Kong Ė must be vigorously protected.    We continue to urge Beijing to uphold its commitments,Ē said David Stilwell, assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific Affairs.
    Trump raised questions about his commitment to protecting freedoms in Hong Kong when he referred in August to its mass street protests as ďriotsĒ that were a matter for China to deal with.
    He has since called on China to handle the issue humanely and warned that if anything bad happened in Hong Kong it could be bad for trade talks.
    Trump said on Friday China and the United States had reached the first phase of a trade deal that covered agriculture, currency and some aspects of intellectual property protections, and would ease reciprocal trade restrictions that the worldís two largest economies have been imposing for 15 months.
    Officials on both sides said last week much more work needed to be done before an accord could be agreed.    But Trump said on Wednesday he would ďprobablyĒ sign it with Xi at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Forum in Santiago from Nov. 11 to 17.
    ďThereís been a lot of goodwill between the United States and China over the last period of time,Ē Trump said.    ďWeíll probably do a signing over there of phase one, assuming it all gets finished up, which we think it will
    Trump has made China a principal target for criticism throughout his presidency.    He has also stressed his personal relationship with Xi, and his focus on securing a trade deal with Beijing has stoked worries that he might subordinate human rights issues, including the welfare of Hong Kong, to that aim.
    The State Departmentís Stilwell was asked by Republican Senator Cory Gardner whether he believed Xi Jinping represented the greatest long-term threat to U.S. security interests.
    He said Xi had made some ďtroubling choicesĒ Ė including by naming himself president without term Ė ďthat deviated from a system that was becoming more regularized
    ďIn some ways that predictability brought stability.    Itís becoming less predictable,Ē he said.
    Last year, Trump hailed Xi as ďpresident for lifeĒ after Chinaís ruling Communist Party said it was eliminating a two-term limit for the presidency.
(Reporting by David Brunnstrom and Doina Chiacu; Editing by Sonya Hepinstall)

10/17/2019 Trump leaves Turkey, Syria Ďto argue it outí and clashes with U.S. House Speaker by Alexandra Alper and Tuvan Gumrukcu
A boy lays bread out to cool down in the border town of Tal Abyad, Syria, October 16, 2019. REUTERS/Khalil Ashawi
    WASHINGTON/ANKARA (Reuters) Ė U.S. President Donald Trump said on Wednesday he did not mind Russia helping Syria in a conflict with NATO ally Turkey and rejected criticism of his withdrawal of U.S. troops from Syria that exposed Kurdish allies, calling it ďstrategically brilliant
    In a day of fast-moving events, Trump endured harsh criticism for the withdrawal and lashed out at U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi, calling her a ďthird-rateĒ politician during a tense White House meeting after which she accused him of having a ďmeltdown
    Trumpís decision to withdraw U.S. forces before a Turkish offensive into northern Syria last week has shattered the relative calm there and he has been accused of abandoning Kurdish militia who helped the United States fight Islamic State militants in the region.
    The hasty troop exit has created a land rush between Turkey and Russia Ė now the undisputed foreign powers in the area Ė to partition the formerly U.S.-protected Kurdish area.    It has allowed Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to redeploy his forces to an area that had been beyond his control for years in the more than eight-year Syrian war.
    Syrian troops accompanied by Russian forces entered the city of Kobani, a strategically important border city and a potential flashpoint for a wider conflict, the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which monitors the Syrian war, reported.
    Speaking to reporters as he met Italian President Sergio Mattarella and then at a joint news conference, Trump said the Kurds were ďnot angelsĒ and that it might be necessary for Russian-backed Syria and Turkey to ďfight it out
    ďOur soldiers are not in harmís way Ė as they shouldnít be, as two countries fight over land that has nothing to do with us,Ē Trump said during Oval Office talks with Mattarella where he sounded as if he were washing his hands of the conflict.
    He also defended his move to get U.S. troops out as part of his wider effort to bring Americans home from ďendless wars,Ē despite being excoriated by members of his own Republican Party. U.S officials say, however, that those troops were expected to be repositioned in the region.    Some of them could go to Iraq.
    ďI viewed the situation on the Turkish border with Syria to be for the United States strategically brilliant,Ē Trump said.
    ďSyria may have some help with Russia, and thatís fine.    Itís a lot of sand,Ē he later said.    ďSo you have Syria and you have Turkey.    Theyíre going to argue it out, maybe theyíre going to fight it out.    But our men arenít going to get killed over it
    Acting last week after a phone call on Oct. 6 with Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan, Trump abruptly upended five years of U.S. policy with his decision to withhold protection from Syriaís Kurds and to withdraw first about 50 special operations forces and then the roughly 1,000 U.S. troops in northern Syria.
    ďThis is a mistake worse than what (Barack) Obama didĒ when the former president withdrew U.S. troops from Iraq in 2011, Republican U.S. Senator Lindsay Graham, usually among Trumpís strongest supporters, told reporters.
    The White House, fighting the domestic political damage and perhaps trying to demonstrate the presidentís efforts to stop Turkeyís onslaught, released an Oct. 9 Trump letter to Erdogan that said: ďDonít be a tough guyĒ and ďDonít be a fool!Ē
    Washington announced sanctions on Monday to punish Turkey, but Trumpís critics said the steps, mainly a steel tariffs hike and a pause in trade talks, were too feeble to have an impact.
    On Wednesday, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said sanctions included the entire ministries of energy and defense and could be broadened to others.    Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives also plan to introduce sanctions legislation.
    Trump dispatched some of his top aides, including Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to Turkey for emergency talks to try to persuade Ankara to halt its assault.    Trump said he thought Pence and Erdogan would have a ďsuccessful meetingĒ with Erdogan, saying if they did not, U.S. sanctions and tariffs ďwill be devastating to Turkeyís economy
    Erdoganís spokesman said Turkeyís Foreign Ministry was preparing retaliation for U.S. sanctions.
    A White House meeting between Trump, Republican and Democratic lawmakers on U.S. policy in Syria was cut short.
    Pelosi, the top Democrat in Congress, said Trump was upset by a 354-60 House vote condemning his Syria withdrawal.    Republicans said Pelosi ďstormed out
    ďWhat we witnessed on the part of the president was a meltdown.    Sad to say,Ē Pelosi, whose fellow Democrats are investigating whether to impeach Trump because of his actions toward Ukraine, said upon leaving.
    Trump shot back via Twitter on Wednesday night, posting Ė ďNervous Nancyís unhinged meltdown!Ē with a photo of Pelosi standing up and pointing at him during the meeting.
    Dozens of Republicans joined the majority Democrats in the House vote.    The split underscored deep unhappiness in Congress over Trumpís action, which many lawmakers view as abandoning Kurdish fighters who had been loyally fighting alongside Americans to defeat Islamic State.
    Trump has denied giving a green light to Turkey to attack the Syrian Kurds
    Erdogan has insisted there will be no ceasefire, and said he might call off a visit to the United States in November because of the ďvery big disrespectĒ shown by U.S. politicians.
    He also denounced Washington for taking the ďunlawful, ugly stepĒ of imposing criminal charges against a Turkish state bank Halkbank over allegations it broke sanctions on Iran.    Washington says the case is unrelated to politics.    Halkbank denies wrongdoing.
    Turkeyís assault has spawned a humanitarian crisis, with 160,000 civilians taking flight, a security alert over thousands of Islamic State fighters abandoned in Kurdish jails, and a political maelstrom at home for Trump.
    Senior Republicans voiced dismay.
    ďIím sorry that we are where we are,Ē the characteristically understated Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said, telling reporters he hoped Pence and Pompeo ďcan somehow repair the damageĒ during their trip to Ankara.
    Syrian army forces, backed by Washingtonís adversaries Russia and Iran, have exploited the power vacuum left by U.S. troops to advance.
    Turkeyís cross-border offensive and the U.S. pullout have brought the two biggest militaries in NATO close to confrontation on the battlefield.    The United States has complained about Turkish artillery fire near its troops.
    The Syrian Observatory said Russian troops had crossed the Euphrates River to advance to Kobaniís outskirts.
    Lebanonís al-Mayadeen TV reported that Russian-backed Syrian forces had also set up outposts in Raqqa, the one-time capital of Islamic Stateís caliphate, which the Kurds captured in 2017 at the peak of their campaign with U.S. support. (Reporting by Alexandra Alper in Washington and Tuvan Gumrukcu in Ankara; Additional reporting by Mert Ozkan and Rick Cowan, Steve Holland and Patricia Zengerle in Washington and Dominic Evans in Turkey; Writing by Peter Graff and Arshad Mohammed; Editing by Peter Cooney and Grant McCool)
[Deju Vu!    Pelosi and Shumer have a history of running out of the White House with the Press all set up for them to be victims of the mean old Trump who probably just asked them a question.    Trump's Press Secretary said that, "Pelosi stood up when the meeting started and made her rants, and then walked out, and Chuck Shumer followed her as they headed to the Press."    Once they got rid of the troublemakers, Steve Calise said after they left the meeting with the remaining Democrats they had a very good meeting to solve problems.].

10/17/2019 President Trump: Rep. Pelosi a sick person, had meltdown at White House meeting by OAN Newsroom
    President Trump accused House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of having a ďmeltdownĒ during a policy meeting at the White House.    He took to Twitter Wednesday, responding to the latest Democrat attacks questioning his mental health.
    The president stressed either Pelosi has mental problems or she and other Democrats deliberately put their partisan interests above the interests of this country.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif., listens while speaking with reporters after a meeting with President Donald Trump
at the White House, Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
    Pelosi reportedly stormed out of the meeting with top White House officials, citing disrespectful treatment by President Trump.    Republican lawmakers who were at the meeting, however, have said Pelosiís claims make no sense.
    ďInside the meeting, what I listen to, the speaker referred to the President I thought was unbecoming.    The only thing that happened in this meeting was the Democrat leadership got up and walked away.    When there was a time of crisis, leaders should stay whether they like what is said or not and actually work to solve a problem.Ē ó Representative Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.)
    Meanwhile, Democrats are increasingly focusing on the 2020 elections, while also continuing their push for presidential impeachment.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of Calif., speaks with members of the media outside of the West Wing of the White House,
Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2019, in Washington, after meeting with President Donald Trump. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

10/17/2019 President Trump: Iím bringing troops home from endless war by OAN Newsroom
President Donald Trump stands during a reception for Italian President Sergio Mattarella in the East Room
of the White House, Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
    President Trump has continued to defend his decision to withdraw U.S. forces from Northern Syria. In a tweet late Wednesday, the president noted heís fulfilling a campaign promise of bringing troops home from costly and endless wars.    He claimed Democrats used to like that concept, but no longer support it because heís the one making the calls.
    While speaking at the White House Wednesday, President Trump explained he pulled troops out of the region because it was not in the U.S.ís best interest to stay there.
    ďI want to bring our soldiers back homeÖweíre not a police force; weíre a fighting forceÖweíre the greatest fighting force ever,Ē he stated.    ďWe have a great modern military, but that doesnít mean weíre going to waste it, it doesnít mean weíre going to deplete it like we did before with these crazy, endless wars
    President Trump went on to say he hopes Turkey and Syria will work the situation out between themselves.
FILE Ė This Friday, Oct. 4, 2019 file photo, Turkish and American armored vehicles patrol as they conduct joint ground patrol in the
so-called ďsafe zoneĒ on the Syrian side of the border with Turkey, near the town of Tal Abyad, northeastern Syria.
President Donald Trumpís announcement that U.S. troops in Syria would step aside to make way for a Turkish military operation against U.S.-allied
Syrian Kurdish fighters unleashed a torrent of near unanimous criticism and warnings of immediate and long-term negative consequences. (AP Photo/Baderkhan Ahmad, File)

10/17/2019 Rep. Brady, Neal spearhead legislation aimed at ending surprise medical bills by OAN Newsroom
    If you have ever been slapped with extra fees from a health care provider, chances are you got whatís called a ďsurprise medical bill.Ē    GOP Texas Representative Kevin Brady and his Democrat colleague Richard Neal are now exploring other options to ending this medical phenomenon after Brady decided the current proposal fails to fix the problem.
    Brady says it would only punt the main problem to other health care stakeholders, who would then have to divvy a patientís medical costs between hospitals and doctors if no extra costs are allotted to the patient.    He added, the solution would create another problem in the process.
    Nealís brainchild has even gained groans by members of his own party, who have reportedly sided with Brady.
FILE Ė In this medical bills are spread out on the kitchen table of a cancer patient in Salem, Va. (AP Photo/Don Petersen, File)
    Meanwhile, Bradyís been flirting with an arbitration process, which would free patients from unexpected fees and allow doctors to contest hospital payment rates they believe are too low.
    The latest conflict in finding a solution comes on the heels of President Trumpís commitment to embrace improvements to the nationís health care system, specifically ending surprise medical bills.
    ďThe Republican Party I have to say this is really very much becoming the party of health care, you see what weíre doing,Ē stated the president.    ďWeíre determined to end surprise medical billing for American patients and thatís happening right now
    A separate bipartisan bill has been drafted to address the problem, however, Brady and Neal have yet to embrace it.

10/17/2019 Cuccinelli: Immigration should work for the people, not just economically by OAN Newsroom
FILE Ė In this Aug. 12, 2019, file photo, acting director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
Ken Cuccinelli speaks during a briefing at the White House in Washington. Cuccinelli is emerging as the
public face of the presidentís hard-line immigration policies. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)
    Acting U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) director Ken Cuccinelli recently told reporters immigration in America should benefit Americans, not just the economy.    He made those remarks Wednesday, during a press breakfast organized by the Christian Science Monitor.
    This comes in response to a question asking why the Trump administration has made moves to reduce legal immigration.    Cuccinelli quickly countered that claim, citing evidence the U.S. has actually increased the number of naturalized citizens in the past year.
New citizens celebrate after taking the Oath of Allegiance during a naturalization ceremony on Jan. 18, 2019, at the
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services field office in Oakland Park, Florida.Wilfredo Lee / AP file
    The USCIS chief then went on to explain the administrationís stance on the issue.
    ďThe president has made no secret of the fact that he believes the American immigration system, first and foremost, is set up to work for America,Ē he stated.    ďThat means economically and for the people here
    Cuccinelli went on to say itís important to help American workers who have been displaced due to immigration.    He also said while immigration often helps wealthy investors, hiring cheap outside labor often costs American workers their jobs.

10/17/2019 Turkey agrees to halt Syria offensive in exchange for Kurdish withdrawal by OAN Newsroom
U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, right, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speak at the U.S. ambassadorís
residence during a news conference with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo after their meeting with
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, in Ankara, Turkey, Thursday, Oct. 17, 2019. (AP Photo/Burhan Ozbilici)
    Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo have announced a deal with Turkey to suspend its offensive in Northern Syria.    During a Thursday press conference in Ankara, Pence said Turkey agreed to halt its military operation in exchange for the disarmament and withdrawal of Kurdish militias from its border.
    He said Turkey also agreed to make sure detained ISIS militants will not escape from refugee camps in the area.    In return, the U.S. will not impose further sanctions on Ankara.
    Pence went on to say that the Kurdish militias have been notified to withdraw 20 miles from the Turkish border.
    ďToday, the U.S. and Turkey agreed to a ceasefire in Syria,Ē said Pence.    ďThe Turkish side will pause Operation Peace Spring in order to allow for the withdrawal of YPG forces from the safe zone for 120 hours
    Pence is saying the agreement with Turkey will protect civilians and ensure security along the Turkish-Syrian border.    President Trump is welcoming the ceasefire agreement and has said it will save millions of lives in Syria and beyond.
    The president has said that Turkey only agreed to this ceasefire due to U.S. sanctions and diplomacy.
    Kurdish officials are saying they will abide by the terms of the U.S.-Turkish ceasefire in Syria, except for one provision of that deal.    The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) said Thursday they will observe the ceasefire in the towns of Ras Alain and Tal Abyad.
    The SDF did not agree to withdraw Kurdish militias 20 miles from the Turkish border.    Kurdish officials said they will continue working with Russia and President Bashar Al-Assad to defend their territories.
    Kurdish civilians welcomed the ceasefire and have said any agreement is good enough as long as it stops the fighting.
    ďI am very happy with the ceasefire,Ē said one displaced Kurdish civilian.    ďI hope all citizens return to the country
    The SDF said they will enforce the 120 hour truce only in areas of intense fighting and will continue building up defenses elsewhere.

10/17/2019 Schiff: President Trump asking Ukraine to probe CrowdStrike was political by OAN Newsroom
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Adam Schiff, of Calif., leaves a closed door meeting where
Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland, testifies as part of the House impeachment inquiry into
President Donald Trump, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Oct. 17, 2019. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
    House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff is ramping up attacks against President Trump.    On Thursday, Schiff claimed the president was wrong to ask Ukraine to investigate the so called ĎCrowdStrike controversy,í which revolves around Ukraineís suspected role in alleged meddling in the 2016 elections.
    ďI hope that every member, Democrat and Republican, will speak out and condemn this illicit action by the president,Ē said Schiff.
    White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney has said the president did nothing wrong by linking the Ukraine military aid to ongoing Justice Department investigations.    Schiff is disputing this assertion.
    ďMilitary aid to a vital allyÖwas withheld, in part, out of a desire by the president to have Ukraine investigate the DNC server or Democrats of 2016,Ē he said.    ďThings have just gone from very, very bad too much, much worse
    Schiff claimed President Trumpís request served the political purpose of boosting his 2020 reelection campaign.    White House officials have said ongoing DOJ probes are not political unless they could reveal massive wrongdoing by Democrats back in 2016.
[Well you can tell the Dems are getting desperate to find a quid pro quo and trying to stop an investigation into the corruption by his own party.    And they seem to be scared of the investigation of Crowdstrike, which tells me they are hiding something and I would guess Trump's investigators have already discovered the information.].

10/17/2019 White House defends Ukrainian foreign policy by OAN Newsroom
White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney announces that the G7 will be held at
Trump National Doral, Thursday, Oct. 17, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
    Acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney has confirmed that U.S. military aid was withheld from Ukraine to nudge the country to investigate alleged corruption in the 2016 election.    During a Thursday press conference, Mulvaney said the president absolutely brought up accusations against Ukraine with him and expressed concern the country was still under the thumb of corruption.
    When asked about the optics of a quid pro quo, Mulvaney said the administration does that all the time with their foreign policy and the presidentís decisions were wholly appropriate.
    ďThe look back to what happened in 2016 certainly was part of the thing he was worried about in corruption with that nation, and that is absolutely appropriate,Ē Mulvaney explained.
    He has also said the withholding of aid has nothing to do with potential probes into Joe and Hunter Biden.    Recent reports have said President Trump regularly spoke with his personal attorney Rudy Giuliani about concerns over alleged interference in the 2016 campaign.    Ukraine has been accused of secretly hiding data from the DNC servers and manufacturing evidence against former campaign chair Paul Manafort.
    Mulvaney shut down concerns about Giuliani and confirmed the president deferred all Ukraine matters to his personal attorney.
    ďYou may not like the fact that Giuliani was involved,Ē said Mulvaney.    ďAs long as it doesnít violate any lawÖthe president gets to use who he wants to
    Mulvaney became a central figure in the impeachment inquiry after being mentioned in several depositions from State Department and National Security officials.    Democrats have subpoenaed him for documents related to the Ukrainian aid.
    The White House has vowed to reject any demand brought by the House majority regarding the impeachment inquiry.

10/17/2019 Governor Newsom signs ĎRoadkill Bill,í announces ĎMy Shakeí earthquake warning app by OAN Newsroom
Gov. Gavin Newsom, center, speaks at a news conference with other officials to announce the stateís new earthquake early alert
system on the 30th anniversary of the Loma Prieta earthquake, Thursday, Oct. 17. 2019, in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Terry Chea)
    California Governor Gavin Newsom announced several new state initiatives on Thursday, including a new bill and earthquake safety app.
    The governor is signing a bill into law that will make it legal to eat roadkill.    Newsom recently passed the ĎRoadkill Billí, which will allow people to salvage animals accidentally hit by drivers.
    Reports have said a salvage permit will be required, as well as the submission of information about the animal and how it died.    The law aims to eliminate waste of wild game meat and collect data on where accidents often occur.    California will join the 20 other states that have similar laws on the books.    The law is expected to go into effect next year.
    Newsom also announced a new app on Thursday that aims to warn Californians about approaching earthquakes.    The ďMy ShakeĒ app will be available statewide, just in time for the 12th annual Great Shakeout Drill.
    Earthquake warnings will come from the ShakeAlert system and will be sent out through the app.    The alerts will be combined with traditional warning systems like AMBER Alerts.    A notification will be sent for earthquakes with a 4.5 magnitude or above.    The idea is to warn people about the quake before it happens so they have time to find shelter.
    The annual drill has also been joined by millions of participants across the U.S., Japan, New Zealand and Canada.
[Newsom earthquakes happen very seldom, but the real shaking is what is happening everyday in sanctuary cities illegal aliens are committing crimes, homeless are overtaking your cities and will be eating road kill I guess, and your neighborhoods are on fire because of improper corrections by your administration.].

10/17/2019 PM Johnson: EU accepting Brexit deal is a Ďgreat successí by OAN Newsroom
Britainís Prime Minister Boris Johnson poses while shaking hands with French President Emmanuel Macron, right, during
a European Union leaders summit in Brussels, Belgium, Thursday Oct. 17, 2019. (Johanna Geron/Pool via AP)
    British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is calling on members of Parliament to pass his Brexit deal.    Speaking at the EU Summit in Brussels Thursday, Johnson said the union has accepted his proposed deal, which will allow Britain to take full control of its borders and economy after Brexit.
    ďI donít think there is any case for delay,Ē said Johnson.    ďWe should get on and get it done by October the 31st
    Northern Ireland will exit the EU on the same conditions as the rest of the U.K., which is a major win for the prime ministerís agenda.    Johnson has said his deal fully delivers on the results of the 2016 referendum.
    ďNorthern Ireland would be able to join with the rest of the U.K. in doing free trade deals around the world, (along with) all the other benefits that flow from membership of the U.K. market,Ē he said.    ďOf course, without having any checksÖof any kind at the border in Northern Ireland ó it is a great success
    Johnson has said Parliament must enact the Brexit accord on Britainís side while the EU must deliver on its part of the deal.    He reiterated that if anything goes wrong, the U.K. will leave the EU without a deal this month.

10/18/2019 Oil up $0.57 to $53.93, DOW up 24 to 27,026.

10/18/2019 Report: diplomat rebuffed in 2015 after warning Biden staff about Ukraine optics by OAN Newsroom
A career diplomat who oversaw Ukraine policy during the Obama administration, reportedly raised concerns about Hunter Bidenís board position in Ukraine back in 2015.
Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden speaks at the 2019 Democratic
womenís leadership forum, Thursday, Oct. 17, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
    Behind closed doors this week, George Kent told Congressional investigators he was turned away by a Biden staffer, when he tried to warn that Ukrainian officials saw Hunter as a tool to gain influence with his father.
    The staffer allegedly brushed him off, saying Biden did not have the ďbandwidthĒ to deal with Kentís concerns, since his son Beau was battling cancer at the time.
    This after Kent said Acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney told him to ďlay lowĒ from Ukraine, when Kent filed a complaint about Rudy Giuliani.

10/18/2019 Mulvaney, Perry face subpoena deadlines from Democrats regarding Ukraine by OAN Newsroom
    Acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney and Energy Secretary Rick Perry face their subpoena deadlines from the House.
    The White House officials were ordered to turn in documents Friday for the Democratís impeachment inquiry.
    If Mulvaney and Perry do not comply with their subpoenas, reports said this may not be a surprise.
White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney announces that the G7 will be held at
Trump National Doral, Thursday, Oct. 17, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
    The White House has previously stated it will not cooperate with the impeachment inquiry.
    On Thursday, President Trump continued to dismiss the Democrats accusations about the officials, and noted his support for Mulvaney and Perry.
    This after Mick Mulvaney addressed reporters Thursday about Ukraine, and after Perry gave his resignation letter to the president.
    ďBut Mick is a good man.    I donít know.    I havenít.    I have not heard anything.    I have a lot of confidence in him,Ē said President Trump during a tour of the Louis Vuitton factory in Alvarado, Texas.    ďI know Rick has been with me three years, heís right here.    Heís with us right here and heís been outstanding and we already have his replacement.    Rick has done a fantastic job and Energy
    This comes as House Democrats have stated they also want Mulvaney to testify, following Thursday when he appeared to admit there was quid pro quo regarding Ukraine.

10/18/2019 Trump threatens to sue CNN, seeks Ďsubstantialí payment over damages: letter by Jan Wolfe
FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump holds a congratulatory phone call for the first all-female space walk
outside of the International Space Station with astronauts Christina Koch and Jessica Meir
at the White House in Washington, D.C., U.S. October 18, 2019. REUTERS/Leah Millis
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) Ė Lawyers for U.S. President Donald Trump and his re-election campaign have threatened in a letter to sue CNN for what they said was the network falsely advertising itself as a news organization, calling on executives to first discuss an ďappropriate resolutionĒ to the matter that would include a ďsubstantialĒ payment to cover damages.
    The letter, dated Oct. 16 and made public on Friday, is the latest threat by Trump to sue a media organization over what he sees as unfair media coverage since launching his 2016 presidential campaign, although no lawsuits have been filed.
    ďThis is nothing more than a desperate PR stunt and doesnít merit a response,Ē a CNN spokesman said in an email.
    Rebecca Tushnet, a professor of false advertising law at Harvard Law School, said there was ďno meritĒ to the letterís legal arguments and that she doubted a lawsuit would ever be filed.
    The letter was signed by Charles Harder, who has sent similar threats to media organizations on Trumpís behalf.
    Last year, Harder suggested Trump would take legal action against the New York Times for an investigative report on his business empire, calling it ďhighly defamatory
    Harder also threatened a libel lawsuit over ďFire and Fury: Inside the Trump White HouseĒ by author Michael Wolff, a book that portrayed an inept president in a fumbling White House.
    Trump has frequently lashed out at CNN and other news organizations, calling them ďfake newsĒ and ďthe enemy of the people
    On Nov. 7, 2018, the day after congressional elections, Trump erupted into anger during a news conference when CNNís White House correspondent Jim Acosta questioned him about the probe of Russian interference in the 2016 election and a migrant caravan traveling through Mexico.
    The White House suspended Acostaís credentials later that day, alleging Acosta had put his hands on an intern who was trying to take a microphone from him. Videos of the encounter show Acosta pulling back as the intern moved to take the microphone.
    The White House later restored Acostaís press access, ending a lawsuit brought by CNN challenging the revocation as a violation of the reporterís constitutional rights. A judge had issued a temporary ruling in CNNís favor.
(Reporting by Jan Wolfe and Susan Heavey, Editing by Franklin Paul and Steve Orlofsky)

10/18/2019 U.S. Supreme Court to hear Trump appeal over rapid deportation dispute by Andrew Chung
FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump looks on during a campaign rally in Dallas, Texas, U.S., October 17, 2019. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) Ė The U.S. Supreme Court stepped into a new immigration dispute on Friday, agreeing to hear an appeal by President Donald Trumpís administration of a lower court ruling that could frustrate a top priority of his: quickly deporting illegal immigrants.
    The justices agreed to review a ruling by the San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that favored a Sri Lankan asylum seeker.    The 9th Circuit found that a federal law that largely stripped the power of courts to review quick deportations Ė known as expedited removal Ė violated in his case a provision of the U.S. Constitution called the suspension clause.
    The case involves Sri Lankan farmer Vijayakumar Thuraissigiam, who claimed that as a member of the Tamil minority in that country he was tortured over his political ties and subjected to beatings and simulated drowning.
    Though the 9th Circuitís ruling applied only to Thuraissigiam and did not strike down the law at issue, the courtís reasoning could still apply much more widely.    The Trump administration told the Supreme Court the ruling would defeat the purpose of a system that targets specific immigrants for quick deportation, ďundermining the governmentís ability to control the border
    Thuraissigiam fled Sri Lanka in 2016 and was arrested in February 2017 just north of the border between San Diego, California and Tijuana, Mexico, near the San Ysidro port of entry.    He was placed on track for expedited removal, a system dating back to 1996 that makes an exception for immigrants who can establish a ďcredible fearĒ of persecution in their home country.    Officials rejected Thuraissigiamís claim of credible fear.
    The Trump administration has sought to greatly expand expedited removal to apply to the majority of people who enter the United States illegally unless they can prove they have been living in the country for at least two years.    This would free up detention space and ease the strains on immigration courts, according to the administration.    Previously, only immigrants in the United States two weeks or less could be ordered rapidly deported.
    A federal judge in Washington last month put a halt to the administrationís rule announced this year on expanding expedited removal while litigation over it continues.
    At issue in Thuraissigiamís case is the power of courts to review certain aspects of expedited removal.    Under federal immigration law, courts have jurisdiction only to ensure that the government is not deporting the wrong person.
    Thuraissigiam, represented by the American Civil Liberties Union, has argued that the government did not follow proper procedures or use the correct legal standard in assessing his bid for asylum.
    The 9th Circuit in March (2019) ruled that under the Constitutionís suspension clause, relating to a personís ability to challenge confinement by the government, courts must have expanded powers to review Thuraissigiamís claims.
    Also on Friday, the justices agreed to hear a separate case challenging similar restrictions on federal appeals courts to review the deportation of non-citizens who have committed criminal offenses, if their claims they would be tortured if returned to their home countries have been rejected.
    Trump has made restricting immigration a signature policy of his presidency.    The Supreme Court has given him a mixed record so far in high-profile cases affecting immigrants.    Last year it upheld his travel ban on people from several Muslim-majority countries, but in June rejected his bid to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census, which opponents said would deter immigrants from participating in the decennial population count.
(Reporting by Andrew Chung and Lawrence Hurley; editing by Will Dunham and Grant McCool)

10/18/2019 U.S. ground troops will not enforce Syria safe zone: defense secretary by Idrees Ali
FILE PHOTO: U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper addresses reporters during a media briefing
at the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia, U.S., October 11, 2019. REUTERS/Erin Scott
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) Ė U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper said on Friday that no U.S. troops will take part in enforcing the so-called safe zone in northern Syria and the United States ďis continuing our deliberate withdrawal from northeastern Syria
    Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan earlier on Friday said Turkey will set up a dozen observation posts across northeast Syria, insisting that a planned ďsafe zoneĒ will extend much further than U.S. officials said was covered under a fragile ceasefire deal.
    The truce, announced by U.S. Vice President Mike Pence after talks in Ankara with Erdogan, sets out a five-day pause to let the Kurdish-led SDF militia pull out of the Turkish ďsafe zone
    The deal was aimed at easing a crisis that saw President Donald Trump order a hasty and unexpected U.S. retreat, which his critics say amounted to abandoning loyal Kurdish allies that fought for years alongside U.S. troops against Islamic State.
    ďNo U.S. ground forces will participate in the enforcement of the safe zone, however we will remain in communication with both Turkey and the SDF,Ē Esper told reporters, referring to the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).
    He will be traveling to the Middle East and Brussels in the coming days to discuss issues including the future of counter-Islamic State campaign.
    Esper said he had spoken with his Turkish counterpart on Friday and reiterated that Ankara must adhere to the ceasefire deal and ensure safety of people in areas controlled by Turkish forces.
    ďProtecting religious and ethnic minorities in the region continues to be a focus for the administration.    This ceasefire is a much needed step in protecting those vulnerable populations,Ē Esper said.
    He added that he reminded Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar of Turkeyís responsibility for maintaining security of the Islamic State prisoners in areas affected by Turkeyís incursion.
    A U.S. defense official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said the United States would continue aerial surveillance in northeastern Syria to monitor prisons holding alleged Islamic State militants.
(Reporting by Idrees Ali; editing by Grant McCool and Cynthia Osterman)

10/18/2019 Pentagon says decision on full-rate F-35 jet production possibly delayed until 2021 by Mike Stone
A Lockheed Martin F-35 aircraft is seen at the ILA Air Show in Berlin, Germany, April 25, 2018. REUTERS/Axel Schmidt
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) Ė The Pentagonís decision to move into a full-rate production contract for the F-35 jet, made by Lockheed Martin , could be delayed until 2021 because of issues integrating the jet with its testing and training simulators, an official said on Friday.
    Full-rate production contracts are more lucrative for defense companies than low rate production contracts, suggesting larger payments for F-35 deliveries to Lockheed from the U.S. government and its allies could be delayed by as much as a year.
    Pentagon acquisition chief Ellen Lord told reporters she had signed off on a report that indicated the final decision on full-rate production could be delayed up to 13 months.
    A decision on full-rate production had been expected this December.
    ďWe are not making as quick progress on the joint simulation environment, integrating the F-35 into it,Ē Lord said.
    The Joint Simulation Environment is a government-owned modeling and simulation facility that can be used for testing aircraft and flight systems as a supplement to open-air testing.
    A Lockheed Martin representative said the company was ďconfident the full F-35 enterprise is prepared for full-rate production and ready to meet growing customer demand
    Lockheed Martinís goal was to deliver 131 aircraft in 2019 with production growing ďto over 140 production aircraft deliveriesĒ in 2020, the representative said.
(Reporting by Mike Stone; Editing by Tom Brown)

10/18/2019 Clinton probe: State Department found 588 violations by 38 people involved by OAN Newsroom
Hillary Clinton listens during a lecture on foreign policy at Rackham Auditorium,
Thursday, Oct. 10, 2019 in Ann Arbor, Mich.(Jacob Hamilton/Ann Arbor News via AP)
    The State Department has concluded its investigation into Hillary Clintonís use of a private server.    A Friday report claimed there are nearly 600 security incidents that violated agency policies.
38 individuals were found to be culpable for 91 security violations and will soon face disciplinary action.        Another 497 violations occurred without attribution to the individuals responsible
    The investigation was looking into whether Clintonís use of a private server failed to properly safeguard classified information.    Clinton submitted over 30,000 emails for review after the State Department found top secret content in a handful of her correspondences.
    Back in 2016, former FBI Director James Comey called the conduct ďextremely careless,Ē but fell short of recommending charges against the former presidential candidate.
    ďAlthough there is evidence of potential violations of the statutes regarding the handling of classified information, our judgment is that no reasonable prosecutor would bring such a case,Ē said Comey.    ďProsecutors necessarily weigh a number of factors,Ölike the strength of the evidence ó especially regarding intent
    In the latest probe, investigators determined Clintonís conduct represented an increased degree of risk to the State Department.    However, they emphasized there was ďno persuasive evidence of systemic, deliberate mishandling of classified information

10/18/2019 Energy Department rejects impeachment inquiry subpoena by OAN Newsroom
U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry speaks during a news conference following the forum Partnership for Transatlantic Energy
Cooperation (P-TEC) in the Radisson Blu Hotel Lietuva, in Vilnius, Lithuania, Monday, Oct. 7, 2019. (AP Photo/Mindaugas Kulbis)
    The Energy Department is saying it is currently unable to comply with a document request from lawmakers.    Assistant Energy Secretary Melissa Burnison made the rejection Friday in a letter to three committees involved in the impeachment effort.
    She questioned the validity of the request and said some of the information could potentially be protected by executive privilege.
    This comes one day after acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney said President Trump directed outgoing Secretary Rick Perry to work with Rudy Giuliani on Ukraine related issues.
    Perry has maintained his departure had nothing to do with the controversy.
    ďIíve been looking at this for some time, I donít think anybodyís surprised,Ē he said.    ďThe lure became overwhelming for me to come back home and to spend time with the people I really love
    Perry has become a central figure in Democratsí efforts to push the Ukraine scandal.    Despite the recent denial, Burnison said the department remains committed to working with Congress in the process.

10/18/2019 President Trump reelection campaign releases ďGet Over ItĒ shirts by OAN Newsroom
President Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally, Thursday, Oct. 17, 2019,
at the American Airlines Center in Dallas. (AP Photo/Jeffrey McWhorter)
    President Trumpís official 2020 campaign store is releasing a new ďGet Over ItĒ shirt.    The presidentís campaign began selling the shirts on Friday, which referenced acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaneyís recent remarks regarding the Ukraine scandal.
    Speaking to reporters at a White House press conference Thursday, Mulvaney said that political influence in foreign policy is not uncommon and that people should just ďget over it
    ďI have news for everybody ó get over it,Ē he said.    ďThereís going to be political influence in foreign policy
White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney announces that the G7 will be held at
Trump National Doral, Thursday, Oct. 17, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
    The shirts are available on President Trumpís official website and are $30 each.
    Mulvaneyís comments have made some Republicans rethink their stance on impeachment.    In a Friday interview, Florida Representative Francis Rooney said Mulvaneys apparent admission of quid pro quo was troubling.
    His comments come after Mulvaney clarified his words from a press conference Thursday.    The administration denied pausing military aide to Ukraine in exchange for probes into matters important to President Trump.    Congressman Rooney said heís not convinced and claimed this may amount to an impeachable offense.
    The GOP congressman isnít the only one taking a hard look at whether President Trump should be impeached.    Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski has also spoken out about the administrationís handling of Ukrainian aid.

10/18/2019 Veterans plan to march in D.C. in November to support President Trump by OAN Newsroom
Navy veteran Jase Wheeler of Flower Mound, Texas, who lost his legs after a training injury, jumping out of a
Blackhawk helicopter stateside in 2002, cheers with other members of the audience as President Donald Trump speaks at a
campaign rally at American Airlines Arena in Dallas, Texas, Thursday, Oct. 17, 2019. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
    A group of military veterans is planning to march in Washington D.C to show support for the presidentís decision to withdraw troops from Northern Syria.
    The effort was spearheaded by Wyomingís House Majority Whip Tyler Lindholm and is scheduled to take place on November 12th and 13th.    Lindholm praised the president for ďpursuing diplomacy rather than boots on the ground.Ē    He added that the ceasefire brokered by Vice President Mike Pence with Turkey is a good example of that.
    The representative then took aim at Congresswoman Liz Cheney over her decisions regarding the Middle East.
    ďItís folks like Representative Liz Cheney that are keeping us at war, even though she has never been at war herself,Ē he said.    ďIím a veteran of five years in the U.S. Navy and Iíve got a 13-year-old child that could, in five years, serve in the same war ó that is insane
    Lindholm then accused the left of joining with ďneocon war hawksĒ on the right in order to oppose the president.
    This comes after President Trump recently announced the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Syria.    Though many have criticized him, the president is continuing to stand by his decision.
    ďItís not our border, we shouldnít be losing lives over it,Ē Trump told the press recently.    ďIf Syria wants to fight for their land, thatís up to Turkey and Syria ó as it has been for hundreds of years

10/18/2019 State Department warns against expiration of Iranian arms embargo next October by OAN Newsroom
FILE Ė In this Saturday, Feb. 24, 2018, file photo, members of the United Nations Security Council
vote on a resolution at United Nations headquarters. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle, File)
    The State Department is warning the UN Security Council against allowing Iran to buy and sell lethal weapons.    Special envoy for Iran Brian Hook made an appeal to the UN on Friday, exactly one year before the arms embargo is set to expire.
    The expiration date was set back in 2015 when the Security Council first approved the Iran nuclear deal.    Without an embargo, Hook warned there will be a new arms race in the Middle East.
    ďThis resolution allows IranÖto buy and sell lethal weapons including, drones, tanks, fighter jets, artillery, warships and other advanced weaponry,Ē said the envoy.
Hook also called on the UN to stop travel bans on nearly two dozen Iranian terrorist from also expiring next October.    He said itís time for the council to ďrestore deterrenceĒ and ďpromote a more stable and peaceful Middle East
    States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has previously warned against ending the embargo, suggesting that the Iranian regime is ďthe greatest ongoing threat to peace and security in the region.Ē
    ďWe must not let this happen,Ē Pompeo concluded.

10/18/2019 Family Fraud Initiative busts 238 fake family units at border by OAN Newsroom
FILE Ė In this March 2, 2019 file photo a Customs and Border Control agent patrols on the US side of a
razor-wire-covered border wall that separates Nogales, Mexico from Nogales, Ariz. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel,File)
    ICE Customs and Border Patrol have released the results of an April program that sought to identify fraudulent family units at the El Paso border.    A Thursday report broke down the findings of the so called ďFamily Fraud Initiative
    Reportedly 238 fraudulent families were identified at the border and 50 adults claimed to be unaccompanied minors.
    More than 350 individuals are facing federal prosecution for crimes including human smuggling, making false statements and illegal reentry.
    Reports also said the initiative identified a massive child smuggling operation.    Parents have entered into agreements to hand their children over to unrelated adults to falsely pose as a family unit.
    This comes a handful of days after a British family was deported by U.S. immigration officials for crossing ďaccidentallyĒ from Canada into the United States.    The family was detained for two weeks and claimed they simply turned down the wrong road.    Border Patrol issued a statement that said the family was driving ďslowly and deliberatelyĒ through the border crossing.    They have since pointed out other inconsistencies in the familyís statement and other implicating details in immigration records.
    ďDuring processing, record checks revealed two of the adults were previously denied travel authorization to come to the United States,Ē read the statement.
    ICE has said they hope the Family Fraud Initiative will continue to stop these various crimes along all borders of the United States.

10/18/2019 EU Ambassador Gordon Sondland testifies before House committees by OAN Newsroom
US Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland arriving at the US Capitol
in Washington, Thursday, Oct. 17, 2019. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
    The U.S. ambassador to the European Union testified Thursday before Congress as part of the Democrat impeachment inquiry.    In his opening statement, Gordon Sondland said President Trump repeatedly told him ďno quid pro quosĒ regarding Ukraine negotiations.    He said he took the president at his word that U.S. requests directed at Ukrainian officials were appropriate.
    Sondland stated he would not have recommended ďRudy Giuliani ó or any private citizen ó be involved in these foreign policy mattersĒ but worked with him at President Trumpís request.    Acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney told reporters Thursday that itís the presidentís prerogative if he wants Giuliani as the point person on Ukraine policy.
    ďThatís the presidentís call,Ē emphasized Mulvaney.    ďItís not illegal, itís not impeachable ó the president gets to use who he wants to use
    Sondland has said Giuliani, Energy Secretary Rick Perry, envoy Kurt Volker and himself set in motion efforts to get Ukraine to investigate Burisma and the 2016 election.    He said, at the time, he was unaware that the Ukrainian gas firm was tied to Hunter Biden.    He also said he had no knowledge President Trump withheld military aid to Ukraine as a means to leverage the countryís response.
    Reports have claimed some lawmakers were skeptical of Sondlandís testimony. Some said it appeared the ambassador was shifting blame to the White House after many of the witnesses implicated him as a key figure in the Ukraine saga.    The ambassador also reportedly had many moments where he could not recall aspects of some events.
    His testimony lasted for over nine hours and comes after the State Department initially blocked him from appearing before Congress last week.    The EU ambassador was then compelled to show after the Democrats issued him a subpoena.

10/19/2019 Oil down $0.19 to $53.74, DOW down 256 to 26,770.

10/19/2019 2 plead not guilty to conspiring with Giuliani associates
    NEW YORK Ė Two businessmen pleaded not guilty Thursday to conspiring with associates of Rudy Giuliani to make illegal campaign contributions, as a prosecutor said evidence includes data from over 50 bank accounts and information gathered through 10 search warrants.    David Correia and Andrey Kukushkin are among four men charged with using straw donors to make illegal contributions to politicians they thought could help them, including committees supporting President Donald Trump and other Republicans.

10/19/2019 Report: Hunter Biden, business partner profited off his position at oil company by OAN Newsroom
FILE Ė In this Oct. 11, 2012, file photo, Hunter Biden waits for the start of the his fatherís, Vice President
Joe Bidenís, debate at Centre College in Danville, Ky. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)
    A new report has alleged that Hunter Biden received tens of thousands of dollars over a year and a half period from Ukrainian energy company Burisma Holdings.    Biden reportedly used his position at the company to defer $3.4 million to a company run by his business associate Devon Archer.
    Between April 2014 and November 2015, Biden and Archer were each paid $83,000 monthly for ďconsulting servicesĒ between the two firms.    The report went on to claim Burismaís founder hired Biden to protect the company from persecution.
    This comes after a former State Department official told Congress this week he raised concerns about Bidenís business dealings in the past.    George Kent said he warned White House officials in 2015 about how Hunter Bidenís position could look like a conflict of interest.    Vice President Joe Biden was overseeing cancer treatments for his son Beau at the time and Kentís warning fell by the wayside.     President Trump responded to Kentís testimony on Friday.
    ďThey brought (Kent) him in as a witness against meÖand he excoriated, from what they reported on the news,Ē said the president.    ďHe excoriated the Obama administrationÖ, saying that has tremendous problems with Joe Bidenís son and the Ukraine
    Hunter Biden has since admitted that his decision to be a part of Burisma while his father was in office was ďpoor judgement.Ē    Going into the 2020 election season, both Bidens have sworn to avoid further business dealings and associations with foreign firms.    They both deny allegations of any wrongdoing.

10/19/2019 House Republicans call for Rep. Schiff to resign by OAN Newsroom
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Adam Schiff, of Calif., returning to Capitol Hill
in Washington, Thursday, Oct. 17, 2019. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
    House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff is receiving elevated calls to step down.    House Republicans formally motioned for his condemnation and censure this week.
    The Democrat congressman has received backlash ever since he presented a parodied version of the phone call between President Trump and his Ukrainian counterpart.    In an infamous reading, Schiff presented the fake conversation as fact before the public in order to imply wrongdoing on President Trumpís end.
    ďIím going to say this only seven times, so you better listen good,Ē said Schiff.    ďI want you to make up dirt on my political opponent and understand lots of it
    House Republicans did not find the parodied conversation amusing. Schiff has since tried to backpedal, claiming he was joking.
    Freedom Caucus Chairman Andy Biggs announced his condemnation of Schiff on Twitter Friday, stating that the congressman had misled the American people.
    Biggsí resolution cites Schiffís deliberate attempt to falsify evidence as a means to smear President Trump.    The bill also noted that Schiff read false information as fact once before.    He read fake accusations from the now debunked Steele dossier about Russian collusion.    Biggs also reminded the public of how Schiff negotiated with Russian comedians he thought were Ukraine officials about getting dirt on the president.
    The resolution concluded that House Republicans have lost faith in Schiffís objectivity.    173 Republicans have already signed onto the resolution, including all Republican members of the Intelligence Committee.    They are expected to vote on Monday.
    Schiff has responded by slamming the proverbial door.    Trump tweeted his theory on the congressmanís sudden withdrawal.

10/19/2019 Gabbard: Hillary Clinton is the ĎQueen of Warmongersí by OAN Newsroom
Democratic presidential candidate Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, listens during a Democratic presidential primary debate hosted
by CNN/New York Times at Otterbein University, Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2019, in Westerville, Ohio. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
    2020 hopeful Tulsi Gabbard is putting Hillary Clinton on blast for trying to smear her campaign with Russian conspiracies.    In a series of tweets on Friday, she thanked Clinton for revealing herself as the one within the Democrat Party who has been trying to sabotage her reputation.
    The Hawaii Army National Guard major went on to accuse Clinton of using her proxies and ties to corrupt media to hurt the Gabbard campaign.    She urged the former first lady to join the 2020 race directly.
    During a recent interview, Clinton insinuated Gabbard was a Russian asset.
    ďSheís the favorite of the Russians,Ē said Clinton.    ďThey have a bunch of sites, bots and other ways of supporting her so far
    Many have speculated Clinton has a problem with Gabbard, who strongly opposed sending troops to fight the wars Hillary Clinton herself championed.    Fellow candidate Andrew Yang took to Gabbardís defense on Twitter and blasted the former secretary of state for suggesting the U.S. major could be a foreign agent.
    Gabbard has said Clintonís accusations are not only disrespectful to her but also to all American veterans and service members who have fought for the U.S. The 2020 hopeful claimed ďthe blood of my brothers and sisters in uniformĒ is on Clintonís hands.
    ďShe is calling any of us who oppose these regime changes ó this new cold war arms race ó a traitor to our nation,Ē emphasized Gabbard.
    Clinton has also accused former Green Party candidate Jill Stein of being a Russian asset, but none of these claims have been substantiated.    President Trump took to Twitter on Saturday to defend Gabbard and Stein, saying ďHillaryís gone crazy!Ē
    Stein has since responded to Clintonís allegations, claiming they speak to her need to explain why she was not successful in 2016.
    ďI think this is a completely unhinged conspiracy theory, for which there is absolutely no basis in fact ó not for myself and not for Tulsi Gabbard,Ē she said.    ďI think itís really outrageous that Hillary Clinton is trying to promote this crazy idea

10/19/2019 Fallout from Trumpís trade wars felt by economies around the world by Andrea Shalal and Heather Timmons
FILE PHOTO: Newly manufactured cars of the automobile maker Honda await export
at port in Yokohama, south of Tokyo June 23, 2015. REUTERS/Toru Hanai/File Photo
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) Ė The collateral damage of the United Statesí trade wars is being felt from the fjords of Iceland to the auto factories of Japan.
    Central bank governors and finance ministers traded grim tales of suffering economies at the International Monetary Fund and World Bank fall meetings in Washington this week.    Some also noted how far U.S. policy had shifted from the 1940s, when Washington co-founded the IMF.
    At that time, ďthe world economy had been hammered for over a decade by high tariff barriers, depression and war,Ē prompting then-U.S.     Treasury Secretary Henry Morgenthau to champion a global economic system, World Bank President David Malpass told attendees at a session this week.
    The U.S. message then, Malpass said, was: ďFirst, thereís no limit to prosperity.    Second, broadly shared prosperity benefits everyone
    As the IMFís gathering of 189 member-nations drew to a close, the unintended negative impacts of the trade wars were becoming clear, IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva said.    ďEverybody loses
    The United States, the worldís largest importer, started a bitter tariff war with China, the worldís largest exporter, 15 months ago.    U.S. President Donald Trump is also in the midst of renegotiating, and sometimes upending, trade relationships with many of Washingtonís top trading partners.
    The fallout will slow global growth in 2019 to 3.0%, the slowest pace in a decade, the IMF estimated this week.
    This pain is not being shared equally.    The United States remains the least exposed of the worldís 20 largest economies to a drop in exports in part because of its massive domestic consumer spending base.    (Hereís a graphic that shows the impact of tariffs in the United States and around the world.
    The damage is being particularly felt in European countries which ďrely on exports and are open to trade,Ē the European Unionís Economic and Financial Affairs Commissioner Pierre Moscovici said.
    More than 40% of Germanyís GDP was derived from exports in 2018, the most of any major global economy.    Uncertainty in the business community is widespread, German Finance Minister Olaf Scholz told reporters.
    German trade group BGA recently revised down its growth forecast for German exports in 2019 to just 0.5%, from 1.5%.    As a result, many companies are scaling back their investment plans, something that will have repercussions for years to come.
    Scholz said concerns over Britainís impending departure from the EU and the blocís trade dispute with the United States were clearly dampening global economic growth.
    ďThe most important problem remains those factors that we cannot measure Ė specifically the reluctance to invest,Ē Scholz said.
    The pain is being felt in countries that donít rely on exports too, such as Iceland, which became the first developed economy to seek aid from the IMF after a 2008 banking collapse.    Since then, it has rebuilt its economy in whatís been called a miraculous recovery.    Now, that is threatened.
    ďWe have become dependent on tourism,Ē explained Ńsgeir Jůnsson, the governor of Icelandís central bank, with annual visitors growing five-fold to 2.5 million since the crisis.    Foreign arrivals, however, have plummeted since the trade wars started, and are down 15.6% this summer from the year before.
    Iceland, with a population of about 300,000, built foreign currency reserves on the back of the increase in visitors, he said, but those are dropping too.
    Trade links between countries have led to a more peaceful world in recent decades, but recent experience shows ďyou can never take global trade for granted,Ē Jůnsson said.
    On Friday, Japanís Cabinet Office, which helps coordinate government policy, downgraded its assessment of factory output in October.
    The softness in production was largely due to car exports to the United States turning weaker, after growing steadily until the spring, a government official said at a briefing.
    ďThe pick-up in global growth is being delayed,Ē Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda said.    ďJapanís economy is seeing exports weaken significantly and thatís affecting factory output
    The United States hasnít been immune from the impact of the trade wars. American farmers have been particularly hurt by Chinese tariffs on U.S. agricultural products, prompting the Trump administration to give billions in aid to the farm belt.
    Washingtonís imposition of steel and aluminum tariffs and uncertainty about passage of a new North American free trade deal Ė the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement Ė have also stalled local economic development.
    Christopher Cabaldon, the mayor of West Sacramento, California, said bids for a $100 million infrastructure project in the city came in 80% higher than expected in part because of construction firmsí need to factor in higher costs and the risk of additional tariffs in the future.
    ďEven in small cities like my own, we see the impacts of trade.    We have come to realize the deep integration of our local economies in the global system,Ē Cabaldon told Reuters ahead of the IMF and World Bank meetings.
    ďMost of my economic development plans Ö are playing out on a global stage, not down the freeway
    The trade tensions are helping to spur a push among African nations to create a more self-reliant continent.    ďWe must take it upon ourselves to grow trade among ourselves,Ē said Ukur Yatani Kanacho, Kenyaís acting cabinet secretary for treasury.
    Abdoulaye Daouda Diallo, the finance minister of Senegal, told reporters the U.S.-China trade tensions would affect African nations in the energy sector and cut funds available on financial markets.    The dispute underscored the importance of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement, he said.
    Other emerging markets are also coming under pressure.
    ďUkrainian exporters faced worsened conditions in global commodity markets,Ē which drove down steel prices, said Kateryna Rozhkova, the deputy governor of the countryís central bank.
    Making matters worse, ďthe intensification of geopolitical conflicts led to rising oil and natural gas prices in the world,Ē she said.
    Bahrainís Finance Minister Sheikh Salman bin Khalifa Al Khalifa said the Gulf region was also affected by trade tensions and the resulting slowdown in investment, although geopolitical concerns Ė about Iran, for example Ė were another major factor.
    ďTrade tensions create uncertainty and nobody is insulated from uncertainty,Ē he told Reuters.
    Peru cut its 2019 economic growth estimate to 3% in August, from 4.2%, citing trade factors.    Mexico is edging closer to a recession that its officials say might be more difficult to reverse than during the last downturn more than a decade ago.
    ďThe Great Recession basically caught everybody by surprise, but economies were willing to cooperate and work together to pull it out,Ē Mexican Finance Minister Arturo Herrera said.    ďThis slowdown is taking nobody by surprise, but there is very little appetite for cooperation
(Additional reporting by Leika Kihara, Christian Kraemer, Jan Strupczewski, Rodrigo Campos and David Lawder; Editing by Paul Simao)

10/20/2019 House Speaker Pelosi holds talks in Jordan with King Abdullah by David Shepardson
FILE PHOTO: U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) addresses the audience during the Democratic National
Committee's (DNC) 2019 Women's Leadership Forum in Washington, U.S. October 17, 2019. REUTERS/Carlos Jasso
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) Ė U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other senior members of Congress held talks in Jordan on Saturday with King Abdullah II and other top Jordanian officials.
    Pelosi said in a statement the visit was at ďa critical time for the security and stability of the regionÖ With the deepening crisis in Syria after Turkeyís incursion, our delegation has engaged in vital discussions about the impact to regional stability, increased flow of refugees, and the dangerous opening that has been provided to ISIS, Iran and Russia
    The U.S. delegation included the heads of key House committees including Foreign Affairs committee chairman Eliot Engel, Homeland Security Committee chairman Bennie Thompson, Intelligence committee chairman Adam Schiff and Representative Mac Thornberry, the top Republican on the Armed Services Committee.
    The delegation also met Crown Prince Al Hussein bin Abdullah II, Prince Feisal bin Al Hussein, Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi and other senior Jordanian officials.
    ďWe expressed our continued appreciation for the strategic partnership between the U.S. and Jordan and engaged in a constructive dialogue on regional stability, counter-terrorism, security cooperation, Middle East peace, economic development and other shared challenges,Ē Pelosi said.
    Pelosi and Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer on Thursday called an agreement between the United States and Turkey on a pause in Ankaraís offensive in northeastern Syria a ďsham
    The agreement ďseriously undermines the credibility of Americaís foreign policy and sends a dangerous message to our allies and adversaries alike that our word cannot be trusted.    President Erdogan has given up nothing, and President Trump has given him everything,Ē Pelosi and Schumer said in a statement.
    Congressís top Democrats said the House of Representatives would vote on a bipartisan sanctions package against Turkey in the coming days.
(Reporting by David Shepardson; Editing by Raju Gopalakrishnan)

10/20/2019 All U.S. troops withdrawing from Syria expected to go to western Iraq: Pentagon chief by Idrees Ali
FILE PHOTO: U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper addresses reporters during a media briefing
at the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia, U.S., October 11, 2019. REUTERS/Erin Scot
    ABOARD A U.S. MILITARY AIRCRAFT (Reuters) Ė U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper said on Saturday that all of the nearly 1,000 troops withdrawing from northern Syria are expected to move to western Iraq to continue the campaign against Islamic State militants and ďto help defend Iraq
    On Thursday, Turkey agreed in talks with U.S. Vice President Mike Pence to a five-day pause in an offensive into northeastern Syria to allow time for the Kurdish fighters to withdraw from a ďsafe zoneĒ Ankara aims to establish near the Turkish border with Syria.
    The truce also aimed to ease a crisis triggered by President Donald Trumpís abrupt decision earlier this month to withdraw all 1,000 U.S. troops from northern Syria, a move criticized in Washington and elsewhere as a betrayal of loyal Kurdish allies who had fought for years alongside U.S. troops against Islamic State.
    ďThe U.S. withdrawal continues apace from northeastern SyriaÖ weíre talking weeks not days,Ē Esper told reporters en route to the Middle East, adding that it was being carried out through aircraft and ground convoys.
    ďThe current game plan is for those forces to re-position into western Iraq,Ē Esper said, adding that they would number about one thousand.
    He said the mission for those troops would be to ďhelp defend IraqĒ and carry out a counter-Islamic State mission.
    A senior U.S. defense official clarified that the situation was still fluid and plans could change.
    Any decision to send additional U.S. troops to Iraq is likely to be heavily scrutinized in a country where Iran has been steadily amassing influence.
    ďThat is the current game plan, things can change between now and whenever we complete the withdrawal but that is the game plan right now,Ē the senior official added.
    It is unclear whether the U.S. troops will use Iraq as a base to launch ground raids into Syria and carry out airstrikes against Islamic State militants.
    The additional U.S. troops would add to the more than 5,000 American troops already based in the country, training Iraqi forces and helping to ensure that Islamic State militants do not resurge.
    While Esper said he had spoken with his Iraqi counterpart and will continue to have conversations in the future, the move will likely be viewed with skepticism by some in Iraq.
    Iraq is in the midst of a political crisis, as mass protests have led to more than 100 deaths and 6,000 injuries during the week starting Oct. 1.
    Iranís role in responding to the demonstrations has been another reminder of Tehranís reach in Iraq, where a sizable number of former militia commanders are now members of parliament and support the Iranian agenda.
    President Tayyip Erdogan said on Saturday that Turkey would press on with its offensive into northeastern Syria and ďcrush the heads of terroristsĒ if a deal with Washington on the withdrawal of Kurdish fighters from the area was not fully implemented.
    On Saturday the fragile truce was holding along the border, with a few Turkish military vehicles crossing the border, Reuters journalists at the scene said.    In the last 36 hours, there have been 14 ďprovocative attacksĒ from Syria, Turkeyís defense ministry said.
    Esper said that the ceasefire in northeastern Syria was generally holding.
    ďI think overall the ceasefire generally seems to be holding, we see a stabilization of the lines, if you will, on the ground, and we do get reports of intermittent fires, this and that, that doesnít surprise me necessarily,Ē he added.
    There has been concern that the Turkish incursion into northeastern Syria would allow Islamic State militants to make gains and see militants escaping prisons guarded by Kurdish fighters.
    Esper said that the United States was still in contact with the Kurdish fighters, known as the YPG, and they appeared to continue to defend the prisons in areas they still controlled.
(Reporting by Idrees Ali; Editing by Raju Gopalakrishnan)

10/20/2019 Brexit will happen on Oct. 31 despite PMís unsigned delay request, UK says by Kylie MacLellan and Paul Sandle
Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaks ahead of a vote on his renegotiated Brexit deal, on what has been dubbed
"Super Saturday," in the House of Commons in London, Britain October 19, 2019. ©UK Parliament/Jessica Taylor/Handout via REUTERS
    LONDON (Reuters) Ė The British government insisted on Sunday the country will leave the European Union on Oct. 31 despite a letter that Prime Minister Boris Johnson was forced by parliament to send to the bloc requesting a Brexit delay.
    The Brexit maelstrom has spun wildly in the past week between the possibility of an orderly exit on Oct. 31 with a deal that Johnson struck on Thursday and a delay after he was forced to ask for an extension late on Saturday.
    Johnsonís defeat in the British parliament over the sequencing of the ratification of his deal exposed the prime minister to a law passed by those opposed to a no deal departure, demanding he request a delay until Jan. 31.
    Johnson sent the request note as required, but unsigned, and added another signed letter arguing against what he cast as a deeply corrosive delay.    One of his most senior ministers said Britain would still leave the bloc on Oct. 31.
    ďWe are going to leave by October 31.    We have the means and the ability to do so,Ē Michael Gove, the minister in charge of no-deal Brexit preparations, told Sky News.
    ďThat letter was sent because parliament required it to be sent Ö but parliament canít change the prime ministerís mind, parliament canít change the governmentís policy or determination
    In yet another twist to the running Brexit drama, Johnson sent three letters to Donald Tusk, the president of the European Council.
    First, a brief cover note from Britainís EU envoy explaining that the government was simply complying with the law; second, an unsigned copy of the text that the law, known as the Benn Act, forced him to write; and a third letter in which Johnson said he did not want an extension.
    ďI have made clear since becoming Prime Minister and made clear to parliament again today, my view, and the Governmentís position, that a further extension would damage the interests of the UK and our EU partners, and the relationship between us,Ē Johnson said in the third letter, signed ďi>Boris JohnsonĒ
    The EU, which has grappled with the tortuous Brexit crisis since Britons voted 52%-48% to leave in a 2016 referendum, was clearly bewildered by the contradictory signals from London.
    Tusk said he had received the request from Johnson and would start consulting EU leaders on how to react.
    French President Emmanuel Macron told Johnson that Paris needed swift clarification on the situation after Saturdayís vote, an official at the French presidency told Reuters.
    ďHe (Macron) signaled a delay would be in no oneís interest,Ē the official said.
    It was unlikely that the EUís 27 remaining member states would refuse Britainís request, given the impact on all parties of a no-deal Brexit.    Diplomats said on Sunday the bloc would play for time rather than rush to decide, waiting to see how things developed in London.
    Gove said the risk of no deal had increased and the government would step up preparations for it, including triggering its ďOperation YellowhammerĒ contingency plans.
    ďWe cannot guarantee that the European Council will grant an extension,Ē he said, adding that he would chair a meeting on Sunday ďto ensure that the next stage of our exit preparations, our preparedness for a no deal, is accelerated
    Johnson won the top job by staking his career on getting Brexit done by Oct. 31 after his predecessor, Theresa May, was forced to delay the departure date twice. Parliament rejected her deal three times, by margins of between 58 and 230 votes.
    He had hoped to pass his own newly struck deal at an extraordinary sitting of parliament on Saturday but that was derailed by a legislative booby trap set by a rebel lawmaker concerned that Britain might still drop out without a deal.
    Lawmakers voted 322 to 306 in favor of an amendment that called for the legislation around the withdrawal deal to be approved first.    This turned Johnsonís planned finale on its head by obliging him to ask the EU for a delay, and increasing the opportunity for opponents to frustrate Brexit.
    In his own signed letter to Tusk, Johnson said he was confident that the process of getting the legislation through Britainís parliament would be completed before Oct. 31.
    Former minister Amber Rudd said she and most of the 21 Conservatives kicked out of the ruling party over their bid to block a no-deal Brexit would support the deal and there was ďa fragile but sincere coalition of people who want to support it
    Oliver Letwin, the lawmaker behind Saturdayís amendment, said on Sunday that he believed Johnson could probably get his Brexit deal over the line.
    ďI am absolutely behind the government now as long as they continue with this bill, continue with the deal.    I will support it, I will vote for it,Ē Letwin told BBC television.
    But the opposition Labour Party accused Johnson of acting as if he was above the law, and said the prime minister could end up in court.
    Labourís Brexit spokesman Keir Starmer said the party would put forward amendments to Johnsonís Brexit legislation, particularly aimed at closing the ďtrap doorĒ to a no-deal Brexit kicking in at the end of a transition period in December 2020.
    ďHe is being childlike. The law is very clear he should have signed one letter Ö If we crash out, because of what he has done with the letters, in 11 daysí time without a deal he bears personal responsibility for that,Ē Starmer told BBC television.
    Asked whether it would end up in court, Starmer said: ďI am sure there will be court proceedings
    Scotlandís highest court is due to consider on Monday a legal challenge that had sought to force Johnson to comply with the Benn Act.    Under that law, Johnson was obliged to write to the EU seeking a delay if parliament had not approved either a withdrawal deal or a no-deal exit by Oct. 19.
    The court said earlier this month that government lawyers had given formal legal statements that he would abide by the law and that it would be a serious matter if he did not.
    Starmer also said an election was inevitable.
(Writing by Michael Holden and Guy Faulconbridge; Editing by Dale Hudson and Frances Kerry)

10/20/2019 President Trump says border wall is helping everyone, even Democrats by OAN Newsroom
FILE Ė In this June 22, 2016 file photo, a Border Patrol agent walks along a border structure in San Diego, Calif. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull, File)
    President Trump is saying the border wall is greatly helping the city of San Diego, including resident Democrats.    The president made the comment in a Sunday tweet, saying ďthe wall is making a very big difference ó even Democrats in the area are happy
    The president also shared a report, which indicated San Diego is reaping the benefits from the presidentís border wall initiative.
    According to San Diego border officials, increased border security has led to multi-million dollar developments going up in the area. Several construction projects are reportedly underway for housing, restaurants, warehouses and shopping outlets.
    During his visit to the city last month, President Trump said the wall is turning things around for San Diego.
    ďThey were just thanking me for the wall we built in San Diego,Ē he said.    ďThey said itís a difference of day and night
    Prior to the construction of the wall, officials said crime was rampant by the cityís border with Mexico.    Agents recalled instances of large caravans of illegal immigrants exploiting the breaks in the old wall system to escape into the U.S.
    ďThey would stage 20 people at a time, wait for vehicles to go through,Ē said one agent.    ďSomebody would jump over with a power saw, run to our secondary wall, (make) a hole through itÖand just wait and see if border patrol would respond
    San Diego now has at least 14 miles of 18 foot steel fencing built while a secondary barrier is reportedly almost complete.

10/20/2019 All U.S. troops withdrawing from Syria expected to go to western Iraq: Pentagon chief by Idrees Ali
FILE PHOTO: U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper addresses reporters during a media briefing
at the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia, U.S., October 11, 2019. REUTERS/Erin Scott
    ABOARD A U.S. MILITARY AIRCRAFT (Reuters) Ė U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper said on Saturday that all of the nearly 1,000 troops withdrawing from northern Syria are expected to move to western Iraq to continue the campaign against Islamic State militants and ďto help defend Iraq
    On Thursday, Turkey agreed in talks with U.S. Vice President Mike Pence to a five-day pause in an offensive into northeastern Syria to allow time for the Kurdish fighters to withdraw from a ďsafe zoneĒ Ankara aims to establish near the Turkish border with Syria.
    The truce also aimed to ease a crisis triggered by President Donald Trumpís abrupt decision earlier this month to withdraw all 1,000 U.S. troops from northern Syria, a move criticized in Washington and elsewhere as a betrayal of loyal Kurdish allies who had fought for years alongside U.S. troops against Islamic State.
    ďThe U.S. withdrawal continues apace from northeastern SyriaÖ weíre talking weeks not days,Ē Esper told reporters en route to the Middle East, adding that it was being carried out through aircraft and ground convoys.
    ďThe current game plan is for those forces to re-position into western Iraq,Ē Esper said, adding that they would number about one thousand.
    He said the mission for those troops would be to ďhelp defend IraqĒ and carry out a counter-Islamic State mission.
    A senior U.S. defense official clarified that the situation was still fluid and plans could change.
    Any decision to send additional U.S. troops to Iraq is likely to be heavily scrutinized in a country where Iran has been steadily amassing influence.
    ďThat is the current game plan, things can change between now and whenever we complete the withdrawal but that is the game plan right now,Ē the senior official added.
    It is unclear whether the U.S. troops will use Iraq as a base to launch ground raids into Syria and carry out airstrikes against Islamic State militants.
    The additional U.S. troops would add to the more than 5,000 American troops already based in the country, training Iraqi forces and helping to ensure that Islamic State militants do not resurge.
    While Esper said he had spoken with his Iraqi counterpart and will continue to have conversations in the future, the move will likely be viewed with skepticism by some in Iraq.
    Iraq is in the midst of a political crisis, as mass protests have led to more than 100 deaths and 6,000 injuries during the week starting Oct. 1.
    Iranís role in responding to the demonstrations has been another reminder of Tehranís reach in Iraq, where a sizable number of former militia commanders are now members of parliament and support the Iranian agenda.
    President Tayyip Erdogan said on Saturday that Turkey would press on with its offensive into northeastern Syria and ďcrush the heads of terroristsĒ if a deal with Washington on the withdrawal of Kurdish fighters from the area was not fully implemented.
    On Saturday the fragile truce was holding along the border, with a few Turkish military vehicles crossing the border, Reuters journalists at the scene said.    In the last 36 hours, there have been 14 ďprovocative attacksĒ from Syria, Turkeyís defense ministry said.
    Esper said that the ceasefire in northeastern Syria was generally holding.
    ďI think overall the ceasefire generally seems to be holding, we see a stabilization of the lines, if you will, on the ground, and we do get reports of intermittent fires, this and that, that doesnít surprise me necessarily,Ē he added.
    There has been concern that the Turkish incursion into northeastern Syria would allow Islamic State militants to make gains and see militants escaping prisons guarded by Kurdish fighters.
    Esper said that the United States was still in contact with the Kurdish fighters, known as the YPG, and they appeared to continue to defend the prisons in areas they still controlled.
(Reporting by Idrees Ali; Editing by Raju Gopalakrishnan)

10/20/2019 Impeachment Inquiry: House will hold open hearings Ďeventuallyí by OAN Newsroom
Michael McKinley, the former top aide to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, leaves following a joint interview with
the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, and House Committee on
Oversight and Reform on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2019. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
    GOP Congressman Will Hurd is questioning why the House Intelligence Committee is the one spearheading the ongoing impeachment inquiry.    In a Sunday interview, the Texas lawmaker said when it comes to a so-called quid pro quo, he hasnít heard from any Ukrainian officials who feel like that was the arrangement.
    He said even if that was the expectation, thereís nothing indicating it was an investigation of the previous election or to get dirt for 2020.    Hurd also said no one from the State Department hinted at some kind of a deal either.
    ďIn this case letís say Ukraine ó if they hear something, theyíre going to go to their contacts at the embassy and say, Ďhey what does this actually mean?íĒ he explained.    ďWe havenít gotten any whiff of that when it comes to this issue
    Hurd went on to ask why the Intelligence Committee is looking at the issue when they should be looking at the intelligence the U.S. had on Turkey.    He said the whole inquiry is not even an inquiry at all ó just regular oversight hearings.     The panels conducting the investigation have been criticized for their closed door proceedings, which Republican congressmen like Andy Biggs and Matt Gaetz have been excluded from.    The Freedom Caucus Chairman has since accused Democrats of leaking information to control the narrative.
    ďIf you were to have a formal impeachment inquiry, you wouldnít be having Soviet style secret hearings,Ē said Biggs.    ďNormally every member of Congress can go into any committee hearing thatís ongoing ó You canít do that here, because weíre not allowed in
From left, Rep. Andy Harris, R-Md., Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa., Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Ariz., Rep. Andy Biggs, R-Ariz.,
Rep. Debbie Lesko, R-Ariz., and Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, pose for a group photo on Capitol Hill in Washington,
Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2019, outside the room where people are interviewed for the impeachment inquiry. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
    Democrat Congressman Jim Himes said Sunday that the House Intelligence Committee will hold open hearings on impeachment eventually.    Himes argued the pace of the investigation makes it difficult to give an exact timetable for when those hearings will be opened to the public.
    The congressman also spoke out on why Democrats have lacked transparency in their investigation.     ď(During) the previous impeachment inquiries of Nixon and of Clinton, the Congress was handed a fully done investigation,Ē explained Himes.    ďWeíre doing that now, and an investigation doesnít happen in the light of day
    Himes also said Democrats could still proceed with their investigation without questioning Rudy Giuliani, who has defied a House subpoena.

10/20/2019 Report: Ukraine whistleblower has ties to Rep. Schiffís staffers by OAN Newsroom
    The identity of the whistleblower at the heart of the Ukraine story is still in question, but a new name has been floated around in D.C. circles.    One Americaís Chanel Rion has more from the White House.
    As to the above subject the following was found at
    Reports are now circulating Ė this one via Rob Crilly, Steven Nelson and David M. Druckerís article for the Washington Examiner Ė that the ďwhistleblowerĒ who claimed President Trump made an improper call to Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky, is a Joe Biden operative:
    The 2020 Democratic candidate with whom the CIA whistleblower had a ďprofessionalĒ tie is Joe Biden, according to intelligence officers and former White House officials.
    Lawyers for the whistleblower said he had worked only ďin the executive branch    The Washington Examiner has established that he is a career CIA analyst who was detailed to the National Security Council at the White House and has since left.    On Sept. 26, the New York Times reported that he was a CIA officer.    On Oct. 4, the newspaper added that he ďwas detailed to the National Security Council at one point
    A retired CIA officer told the Washington Examiner, ďFrom everything we know about the whistleblower and his work in the executive branch then, there is absolutely no doubt he would have been working with Biden when he was vice president
    Is this true?    From one report alone, which does not contain hard evidence but only speculation, we do not know.
    But other sources Ė none of which Iím familiar with, so Iím not attributing them here Ė are claiming to know, specifically, who the ďwhistleblowerĒ is:
    His name is Eric Ciaramella Ė a former assistant to National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster and dedicated anti-Trumper.
    Let me be very clear about this.    I do NOT know if this is true.    I do NOT know if the ďwhistleblowerĒ is Eric Ciaramella.
    And, it should be pointed out, I also do not know what difference it makes, at this point, who the ďwhistleblowerĒ is anyway Ė since, when President Trump released the transcript of his conversation, so we all know what he and President Zelensky discussed, he made the issue moot.
    But, for whatever itís worth, there it is.
    Now letís see which mainstream media, if any, confirm or debunk any of the above information.
[I still think it is Dan Coats, the future will tell and note that the WHOLE INTERNET has been scrubbed of any photo/image of Eric Ciaramella.].

10/21/2019 TRUMP V. CONGRESS - Supreme Court may decide - Disputes over Trumpís personal, professional, political dealings are headed toward high court just as the 2020 election season is heating up by Richard Wolf, USA TODAY
    WASHINGTON Ė President Donald Trump says his impeachment battle with House Democrats ďprobably ends up being a big Supreme Court case
    If so, it may not be alone.
    Several other legal disputes over Trumpís personal, professional and political dealings, both as president and before taking office, are headed toward the nationís highest court just as the 2020 presidential campaign is heating up.    Subpoenas are flying in search of key documents and elusive testimony.
    The president thinks the conservative-leaning court will be on his side.    His opponents believe they have stronger constitutional arguments.    The justices, already facing cases on abortion, immigration, guns and LGBTQ rights, might prefer to take a pass.
    ďI think the courtís going to do everything in its power to avoid getting into the subpoena stuff,Ē says Neal Devins, a law professor at William & Mary Law School.    ďBut it might not be able to easily avoid the issue
    Hereís a look at the most significant battles and the prospects for high court action:
    This oneís not in court yet, but it may be only a matter of time.
    Four weeks into the impeachment inquiry announced by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Sept. 24, the White House and Trumpís lawyers have refused to cooperate by not providing documents.    They say the probe is partisan and illegitimate, in part because the House never voted to begin impeachment proceedings.
    Three House committees conducting depositions set deadlines for subpoenas seeking documents from Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani, the Pentagon, the Energy Department and the Office of Management and Budget.    Giuliani refused to comply, as did the others.
    At the same time, investigators are seeking documents from Vice President Mike Pence and others Ė with the implied threat that court action could follow.    Pence, too, has refused to comply.    Thus far, the House has not asked courts to enforce the subpoenas.
    ďThat is the most likely type of issue that could go before the Supreme Court,Ē says George Washington University Law School professor Jonathan Turley, lead counsel in the Senate impeachment trial of a federal judge in 2010.    The White House, he says, ďdid untold damage to (Trumpís) primary defenseĒ of executive privilege by focusing on claims of partisanship.
Financial records
    A federal appeals court in the District of Columbia ruled earlier this month that Trumpís accounting firm must provide eight years of financial documents under subpoena from the House Oversight and Reform Committee.
    The 2-1 decision involves Mazars USA; a similar case is pending in New York that involves Trumpís lending records at Deutsche Bank and Capital One.    Further appeals are likely, including to the Supreme Court.
    The House panel is investigating whether Trump or his company engaged in illegal conduct before or after he became president and whether he has undisclosed conflicts of interest.
    Michael Gerhardt, an expert on constitutional conflicts between presidents and Congress at the University of North Carolina School of Law, says lawmakers have the upper hand.    ďIt would be highly unusual for the court to restrict what Congress may ask for,Ē he says.
Tax returns
    A federal district judge in New York earlier this month said the president must comply with a prosecutorís demand for tax returns.     Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance is investigating hush-money payments to two women, adult film star Stormy Daniels and former Playboy model Karen McDougal, who allege they had affairs with Trump years ago, which Trump denies.
    Trumpís attorney immediately appealed the ruling, and the case could be heard soon.    The attorney, William Consovoy, further asked the appeals court to block District Judge Victor Marreroís order for a week after its ruling ďso that the losing party has an opportunity to seek Supreme Court review
    At the same time, House Democratsí demand for Trumpís tax returns also is tied up in court.    Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has blocked the Internal Revenue Service from turning over the returns.
    Trumpís claim that he is immune from criminal investigation while in office is ďentirely unsupported by the Constitution,Ē Turley says.    But he and other experts say the Supreme Court could rule that state and local governments lack authority to target the president.
    Two federal appeals courts have examined payments to Trumpís businesses, including from foreign governments since he became president.    One three-judge panel rejected claims filed by Maryland and the District of Columbia, but the full U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit agreed Tuesday to rehear the case.
    A second appeals court ruled against Trump.    A third lawsuit filed by House Democrats is pending.    Eventually, the high court may be asked to intercede.
    ďI could imagine those being teed up fairly quickly,Ē says Erwin Chemerinsky, dean of the University of California-Berkeley School of Law Ė in part because the high court has not considered the Constitutionís emoluments clauses before.
    Trumpís effort to host the next G-7 conference at his Florida golf club threatened to add a new wrinkle to the emoluments lawsuits, but the president reversed himself Saturday after withering criticism and said a new site would be chosen.
Mueller probe
    The House Judiciary Committee continues to seek grand jury materials from former special counsel Robert Muellerís investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election and the Trump campaignís involvement.    During an oral argument in federal trial court this month, the Justice Department went so far as to argue that the court-ordered release of grand jury materials during the 1974 Watergate probe that led to President Richard Nixonís resignation was improper.
    ďWow,Ē federal District Judge Beryl Howell said at the time, calling the administrationís position ďextraordinary
Supreme Courtís role
    Most experts say the legal battles are custom-made for the Supreme Court, once they go through federal trial and appeals courts.
    ďThese are fairly monumental questions,Ē Gerhardt says.    ďItís hard to see how the court easily dodges them
    The high court usually agrees to hear matters of national importance, particularly those raising constitutional questions, since it provides the last word.    Whatís more, disputes between the White House and Congress have nowhere else to go.
    ďI think the court would perceive it is the third branch, the umpire needing to resolve those questions,Ē Chemerinsky says.
Clock is ticking
    Even if the Supreme Court agrees to settle one or more of the disputes regarding Trump-related documents, it may not happen anytime soon.
    The court hears cases from October through April, and it already has filled more than half its current calendar.    Requests for the justicesí intervention would need to be decided by January. Otherwise, the earliest a case likely could be heard would be next October, and any decision would come after Election Day.
    ďI think the presidentís lawyers could run out the clock,Ē says Josh Blackman, associate professor at South Texas College of Law in Houston, who follows the Supreme Court closely.
    University of Texas law professor Stephen Vladeck says both sides in the various legal scuffles have reason to stall.    House Democrats may not want to appear overzealous in their drive to impeach the president, he says.    Trumpís lawyers may not be sure the Supreme Court is on their side.
    ďFrom their perspective, delay is good,Ē Vladeck says.    ďThe longer they can drag this out, the more they can keep pushing the Ďwitch huntí narrative
Getting to five
    The high courtís five conservative justices have ďrobust views of executive power,Ē Turley notes.    The newest one, Associate Justice Brett Kavanaugh, suggested in a 2009 law review article that presidents should be immune from criminal investigations and prosecutions, as well as personal civil suits, until after leaving office.
    ďThe lineup of the Supreme Court favors the White House,Ē Turley says.    But ďthis is not a lead-pipe cinch case to make before these justices
    When it comes to ignoring congressional subpoenas, Vladeck says, ďIím really not sure there are five votes on the merits for this administration in almost any of the cases
    ďI think the courtís going to do everything in its power to avoid getting into the subpoena stuff.    But it might not be able to easily avoid the issue.Ē Neal Devins Law professor at William & Mary Law School
The Supreme Court has taken on a bevy of cases this term on issues such as abortion, immigration,
guns and LGBTQ rights, and despite the presidentís hopes a ruling on his impeachment battle with House Democrats
would go his way, the court might prefer to take a pass. JACK GRUBER/USA TODAY

10/21/2019 U.S. soldiers who fought alongside Kurds blast Trumpís Syria retreat by Maria Caspani
FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump holds a campaign rally in Dallas, Texas, U.S., October 17, 2019. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
    (Reuters) Ė In the summer of 2004, U.S. soldier Greg Walker drove to a checkpoint just outside of Baghdadís Green Zone with his Kurdish bodyguard, Azaz.    When he stepped out of his SUV, three Iraqi guards turned him around at gunpoint.     As he walked back to the vehicle, he heard an AK-47 being racked and a hail of cursing in Arabic and Kurdish.    He turned to see Azaz facing off with the Iraqis.
    ďLet us through or Iíll kill you all,Ē Walker recalled his Kurdish bodyguard telling the Iraqi soldiers, who he described as ďterrified
    He thought to himself: ďThis is the kind of ally and friend I want."
    Now retired and living in Portland, Oregon, the 66-year-old former Army Special Forces soldier is among legions of U.S. servicemembers with a deep gratitude and respect for Kurdish fighters they served alongside through the Iraq war and, more recently, conflicts with the Islamic State.    So he was ďfuriousĒ when President Donald Trump this month abruptly decided to pull 1,000 U.S. troops from northeast Syria, clearing the way for Turkey to move in on Kurdish-controlled territory.
    Walkerís rage was echoed in Reuters interviews with a half dozen other current and former U.S. soldiers who have served with Kurdish forces.    Mark Giaconia, a 46-year-old former U.S. Army special forces soldier, recalled similar camaraderie with the Kurds he fought with in Iraq more than a decade ago.
    ďI trusted them with my life,Ē said Giaconia, who now lives in Herndon, Virginia, after retiring from the Army with 20 years of service.     ďI fought with these guys and watched them die for us
    The Trump administrationís decision to ďleave them hangingĒ stirred deep emotions, Giaconia said.
    ďItís like a violation of trust,Ē he said.
    The White House declined to comment.
    Trumpís abrupt decision to pull back U.S. troops from along the Syria-Turkey border allowed Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan to launch an offensive into the region aimed at creating a 20 mile (32 km) ďsafe zoneĒ clear of the Kurdish YPG militia.    The Kurdish fighters had been Washingtonís main ally in the region but the Turkish government regards them as a terrorist group.
    In the face of criticism from both Democrats and his own Republicans, Trump defended the move, saying that it fulfilled a campaign promise to reduce foreign troop presence and asserting that the Kurds were ďnot angels
    The Kurds pivoted quickly, allying themselves with Syria to try to hold off the Turkish onslaught.
    Trump then sent Vice President Michael Pence to Ankara to negotiate a pause in the fighting that the United States said would allow the Kurds to pull back from the area Turkey aimed to take, and which Turkey said achieved the main goal of the assault it launched Oct. 9.
    Congressional Republicans Ė including Senator Lindsey Graham, normally a staunch Trump ally Ė fretted that the move would risk allowing the Islamic State militant group to resurge.
    ďCongress is going to speak with a very firm, singular voice,Ē Graham said at a Thursday news conference to unveil legislation to impose new sanctions on the Turkish government.    He said the ďTurkish outrageĒ would lead to the re-emergence of Islamic State, the destruction of an ally Ė the Kurds Ė and eventually benefit Iran at the expense of Israel.
    The House of Representatives voted 354 to 60 last week to condemn Trumpís decision to withdraw U.S. forces from northeastern Syria Ė a rare case of Republicans voting en masse against Trump.    A Senate vote on the resolution was blocked, however, by Republican Senator Rand Paul.
    Paul, a senator from Kentucky, has voiced his support Trumpís withdrawal of troops, saying during a Senate hearing on Thursday that ďthe Constitution is quite clear, no authorization has ever been given for the use of forces in Syria
    Some of the U.S. soldiers interviewed by Reuters pointed out that the United States has history of forging alliances with Kurdish forces only to later abandon them.    In the 1970s, the administration of President Richard Nixon secretly agreed to funnel money to Iraqi Kurds fighting for autonomy from Iraq, only to drop that aid after Iraq and Iran reached a peace treaty to end border disputes in 1975.
    Likewise after the 1991 Gulf War, a Kurdish uprising against Iraqi President Saddam Hussein eventually led to a brutal crackdown after U.S. forces left the region.
    Those incidents came up often among Kurds who fought alongside a U.S. Army soldier who did several tours in the Middle East.
    ďEven then, they were bringing up the 1991 betrayal of the Kurds.    This idea of betraying the Kurds was something that was very, very front of mind,Ē said the soldier, who spoke on the condition of anonymity since he is still in the military.    ďThere was definitely some skepticism of our support of them long term
    Kurds have come to know betrayal, said Kardos Dargala, a 38-year-old Iraqi Kurd whose relationship with the U.S. military dates back to 2004 and the second U.S. invasion of Iraq.
    ďFeeling betrayed, throughout history it is a very familiar pattern,Ē said Dargala, who worked as a security contractor for the U.S. military until 2008 Ė when he immigrated to the United States, joined the U.S. Army, and was deployed to Afghanistan.
    Dargala, a U.S. citizen, was injured multiple times in combat.    He returned to Iraq earlier this year to spend time with family members who are unable to travel to the United States.
    The presidentís withdrawal of troops from Syria left him in disbelief.    Dargala said Trumpís decision ran counter to U.S. values and interests and sent the wrong message to its allies.
    ďThe path the president is on,Ē he said, ďis a very destructive path
(Reporting by Maria Caspani in New York; Writing by Scott Malone; Editing by Brian Thevenot)

10/21/2019 WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, minus beard, appears in London court
Demonstrators hold banners during a protest outside of Westminster Magistrates Court, where a case management hearing in the
U.S. extradition case of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is held, in London, Britain, October 21, 2019. REUTERS/Hannah McKay
    LONDON (Reuters) Ė WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange appeared in a London court on Monday for a hearing on whether he should be extradited to the United States to face spying charges.
    Assange, dressed in a navy suit and light blue jumper, raised his fist to supporters in the public gallery.    He was cleanly shaven in contrast to the long beard he had grown while holed up in Ecuadorís embassy.
    Assange, 48, 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.
    Australian-born Assange made international headlines in early 2010 when WikiLeaks published a classified U.S. military video showing a 2007 attack by Apache helicopters in Baghdad that killed a dozen people, including two Reuters news staff.
    Admirers have hailed Assange as a hero for exposing what they describe as abuse of power by modern states and for championing free speech.
    His detractors have painted him as a dangerous figure complicit in Russian efforts to undermine the West and U.S. security, and dispute that he is a journalist.
    WikiLeaks angered Washington by publishing hundreds of thousands of secret U.S. diplomatic cables that laid bare critical U.S. appraisals of world leaders, from Russian President Vladimir Putin to members of the Saudi royal family.
    In 2012, he took refuge in Ecuadorís London embassy to avoid extradition to Sweden where he was accused of sex crimes which he denied, saying he believed he would ultimately be sent on to the United Sates.
    He was dragged from the embassy in April after seven years and given a 50-week jail term for skipping bail.    That sentence was completed but he remains in prison while his extradition case continues.
(Reporting by Andrew MacAskill; writing by Guy Faulconbridge; editing by Alistair Smout)

10/21/2019 Oil prices fall as global demand concerns grow by Bozorgmehr Sharafedin
FILE PHOTO: Oil rigs are seen at Vaca Muerta shale oil and gas drilling, in the Patagonian province of Neuquen, Argentina January 21, 2019. REUTERS/Agustin Marcarian
    LONDON (Reuters) Ė Oil fell on Monday as concerns about economic growth combined with signs of ample global supplies pressured prices, outweighing bullish signals from Europe, where fears of an economically damaging no-deal Brexit have eased.
    Global benchmark Brent crude was down 57 cents at $58.85 a barrel by 0944 GMT. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude oil declined 39 cents to $53.39 a barrel.
    U.S. and Chinese trade negotiators are working on nailing down a Phase 1 trade deal text for their presidents to sign next month, hoping to resolve a trade war that has rumbled on over the last year, slowing global economic growth.
    But adding to tensions, China is now seeking $2.4 billion in retaliatory sanctions against the United States for non-compliance with a WTO ruling in a tariffs case dating back to the Obama era, a published document showed.
    ďA rebound in upside potential looks unlikely at this stage given that bullish catalysts are in short supply,Ē said Stephen Brennock of oil broker PVM.    ďOnly a meaningful U.S.-China trade agreement or deeper OPEC cuts will change the negative status quo, neither of which seem to be forthcoming
    The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, Russia and other oil producers, an alliance known as OPEC+, agreed in December to cut supply by 1.2 million barrels per day (bpd) from the start of this year.
    Russia, the worldís second-largest oil producer, said on Sunday it did not meet its supply reduction commitment in September because of an increase in natural gas condensate output as the country prepared for winter.
    Additionally, talks between OPEC members Kuwait and Saudi Arabia to resume oil production from joint fields in the Neutral Zone between the two countries, with capacity of 500,000 barrels per day, could mean more supply returning to the market.
    Chinaís economic growth slowed to 6% year-on-year in the third quarter, its weakest in 27-1/2 years.
    However, a 9.4% year-on-year increase in Chinaís refinery throughput for September signaled that petroleum demand remained robust.
    ďThis level of crude intake would imply that every province had simultaneously processed close-to-record volumes of crude based on their historical regional reporting,Ē JBC analysts said in a note.
    European shares opened slightly higher on Monday and UK government bond yields rose as investors remained hopeful that Britain would be able to avoid a disorderly exit from the European Union.
    Analysts have said any British-EU agreement that avoids a no-deal Brexit should boost economic growth and oil demand.
(Additional reporting by Roslan Khasawneh; Editing by Mark Heinrich and David Evans)

10/21/2019 President Trump defends Syrian troop withdrawal by OAN Newsroom
President Donald Trump speaking during a Cabinet meeting in the Cabinet Room of the
White House, Monday, Oct. 21, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
    President Trump is, once again, defending his decision to withdraw troops from Northern Syria.    During a cabinet meeting Monday, the president said the U.S. never gave a commitment to protect the Kurds forever.    He also said he still wants to bring troops home, but both Israel and Jordan requested he keep some forces in Syria.
    His comments come amid the early stages of the withdrawal, where only troops stationed along the Syrian border have left.    President Trump went on to say if Turkey misbehaves, the U.S. will tariff itís goods and impose further sanctions.
    Meanwhile, some of the presidentís biggest allies in Congress are making their case for Republicans to support the troop withdrawal.    Representative Andy Biggs and Matt Gaetz published an op-ed Monday in which they argued the decision saves American lives and fulfills the presidentís campaign promise on stopping endless wars.
    The lawmakers said the contribution made by some Kurds to defeat ISIS should not be ďminimized,Ē but they also stressed that not all Kurdish factions are the same.    This comes after the Kurdistan Workersí Party, or PKK, was designated a terrorist organization by the State Department.
    Last week Gaetz spoke on the House floor to explain why the U.S. should not involve itself with ďcomplexĒ regional conflicts.
    ďIíve heard my colleagues say we should not leave Syria without a strategy,Ē he stated.    ďPerhaps it is equally logical that we should not stay in Syria without a strategy because in Syria we have tens of Americans stuck between armies of tens of thousands, who have been fighting each other for hundreds of years and who will likely be fighting each other hundreds of years from now
    Gaetz said if his colleagues want to continue what he calls this ďcongressionally unsanctioned warĒ then they need to pass a resolution authorizing military force.
Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., speaks to reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington, Monday, Oct. 14, 2019. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

10/21/2019 Rep. McCarthy slams Pelosi for leaving White House meeting by OAN Newsroom
    House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy is criticizing Nancy Pelosi for storming out of a White House meeting last week.    In an interview Sunday, he said it was very ďunbecomingĒ of Pelosi to ďthrow a fitĒ and leave the meeting with the president and other leaders about the situation in Syria.
    The representative also claimed this is a pattern and often happens when Pelosi doesnít want to compromise with Republicans.    McCarthy made similar comments right after that meeting took place.    He had this to say:
    ďVery productive between the Democrats who actually stayed in the meeting.    Unfortunately, the speaker tries to make everything political.    Her own statements werenít productive.    To storm out of the meeting, which Iíve watched time before during other crisis, is really not the ability of a speaker or the style of how a speaker should carry herself out
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of Calif., speaks during a news conference on
Capitol Hill in Washington, Friday, Oct. 18, 2019. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
    Democrat leaders are singing a different tune. They say they left the meeting because the president insulted Pelosi by calling her a ďthird rate politician

10/21/2019 Energy Secretary Perry touts U.S. nuclear power to EU by OAN Newsroom
    Energy Secretary Rick Perry appeared in Belgium to meet with his Eurpoean Union counterparts on nuclear projects for the bloc.
    On Monday, Secretary Perry along with U.S. Ambassador to the EU Gordon Sondland met with European leaders in Brussels.    The two touted cooperation between both sides and praised their plan as a better alternative to proposals by Russia.
    The energy secretary and EU officials talked about advancing new energy technologies described as ďsmall modular reactors
    ďWe are reaffirming nuclear energy as an indispensable source of energy for the world,Ē stated the U.S. official.    ďIn contrary to naysayers; nuclear energy is safe, nuclear energy is clean energy, and that is why we launched the Nuclear Innovation Clean Energy future initiative
    Perry released a statement after the meeting, saying the small modular reactors will offer clean and reliable energy, which is expected to achieve energy security throughout Europe.
United States Secretary of Energy Rick Perry, left, and U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland attend the
High Level Forum on Small Modular Reactors at EU headquarters in Brussels, Monday, Oct. 21, 2019. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)

10/21/2019 U.S. proposes collecting DNA samples from detained immigrants by Daniel Trotta
FILE PHOTO: Migrant men sit on the ground after being detained by law enforcement for illegally crossing the Rio Grande and attempting
to evade capture in Hidalgo, Texas, U.S., August 23, 2019. Picture taken August 23, 2019. REUTERS/Loren Elliott/File Photo
    (Reuters) Ė The Trump administration on Monday proposed taking DNA samples from immigrants detained by U.S. authorities, raising privacy concerns especially for asylum-seekers and minor offenders whose genetic information would go into an FBI database.
    The Justice Department said the proposed rule would be officially published on Tuesday and subject to 20 days of public comment.
    It represents the latest initiative by President Donald Trumpís administration to reduce legal and illegal immigration, an issue central to his 2020 re-election campaign.
    The rule proposes collecting DNA samples from any immigrant ďdetained under the authority of the United States,Ē which could include first-time border crossers whose offense is a misdemeanor.
    Trump administration officials have argued that the rule simply restores authority that had been suspended by the Department of Homeland Security under former President Barack Obama and that is authorized under a law passed by Congress in 2005.
    In addition, DNA collection could help detect fraud and solve cold criminal cases, Trump immigration aide Stephen Miller has said.    Trump has long linked his hardline anti-immigration policies to crime-fighting, even though multiple studies show immigrants commit less crime than native-born Americans.
    Groups such as the American Civil Liberties Union have raised privacy and civil liberties concerns, including that DNA samples can reveal information about relatives of the detained.    The ACLU also said the rule changes the purpose of DNA collection from criminal investigation to surveillance of the population.
    ďThis proposed change in policy is extraordinary in its breadth and transparent with its xenophobic goals,Ē Naureen Shah, the ACLUís senior advocacy and policy counsel, said in a statement.
    ďIt seeks to miscast these individuals, many of whom are seeking a better life or safety, as threats to the countryís security.    And it turns immigration detention, which is supposed to be civil and not punitive, into a proxy to strip these individuals of their privacy rights,Ē Shah said.
    The rule would create exceptions for foreigners being processed for legal entry to the United States, which could include asylum-seekers who apply at a legal port of entry but might not include those who cross the border illegally and apply for asylum upon being detained.
    The Justice Department did not immediately respond to a request for clarification.
    There are also exceptions for those held briefly at a port of entry for additional screening, for those detained at sea, and for those detained where officials lack the means to collect samples.
(Reporting by Daniel Trotta; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)

10/21/2019 Trump praises U.S.-China trade talks as Beijing seeks billions in WTO case against U.S. by Steve Holland and Makini Brice
FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump holds a campaign rally in Dallas, Texas, U.S., October 17, 2019. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) Ė U.S. President Donald Trump on Monday said efforts to end a U.S. trade war with China were going well as the worldís two largest economies continued to battle over trade and politics across the world despite heralding a long-awaited truce this month.
    Trump last week said he hopes that the first phase of a trade deal announced earlier in October will be signed by the middle of next month.
    ďThe deal with Chinaís coming along very well.    They want to make a deal,Ē Trump told reporters before a Cabinet meeting, stressing the toll that U.S. tariffs have taken on the Chinese economy.    ďThey sort of have to make a deal Ö because their supply chain is going down the tubes
    U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer told reporters the administration still aimed to finalize a deal on the first phase of the deal in time for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meetings in Chile on Nov. 16 and 17, but said there were still outstanding issues to resolve.
    He said deputy-level meetings took place on Monday, and he and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin would speak with their counterparts on Friday.
    Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross also sought to temper expectations that a deal would be completed next month, telling Fox Business Network that timing was less important than making ďthe right deal
    White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow told the network that 15% U.S. tariffs on many consumer goods imported from China, including cellphones, laptop and tablet computers, could be withdrawn if negotiations continue to go well.
    Earlier this month, the administration held off on raising tariffs on another $250 billion of Chinese goods to 30% from 25%.
    Tit-for-tat tariffs imposed by the United States and China over the past 15 months have roiled financial markets and resulted in a sharp drag on global economic growth.
    Pressure is mounting by the international community for the United States and China to work out their differences.
    The International Monetary Fund last week forecast that fallout from the U.S.-China trade war and trade disputes across the world will slow global growth in 2019 to 3.0%, the slowest pace in a decade.
    While key officials in the Trump administration are working on a trade deal with Beijing, others continue to hammer Beijing on other issues, raising questions about how well the administration is coordinating its China policy.
    Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Monday said it was ďcompletely inappropriateĒ for China to retaliate against U.S. businesses for commenting on pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong.
    Positive steps in the trade talks also did not stop China from seeking $2.4 billion in retaliatory sanctions against the United States for non-compliance with a World Trade Organization ruling in a case dating to the Obama era.
    WTO appeals judges had ruled in July that the United States did not fully comply with a WTO ruling and could face Chinese sanctions if it does not remove certain tariffs that break the watchdogís rules.
    The WTOís Dispute Settlement Body effectively gave Beijing a green light to seek compensatory sanctions in mid-August.    The United States said at the time that it did not view the WTO findings as valid and that the judges had applied ďthe wrong legal interpretation in this dispute
    The U.S. delegation at the WTO said China remains the ďserial offenderĒ of the WTOís subsidies agreement but U.S. officials in Geneva and Washington had no further comment on the case on Monday.
(Reporting by Steve Holland and Makini Brice; Additional reporting by Lisa Lambert, Andrea Shalal and David Brunnstrom in Washington; and Stephanie Nebehay in Geneva; Writing by Andrea Shalal; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)

10/22/2019 Oil up $0.08 to $53.82, DOW up 58 to 26,828.

10/22/2019 Wikileaks founder Assange loses bid to delay hearing
    LONDON Ė WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange appeared in a U.K. court Monday to fight extradition to the United States on espionage charges, and he lost a bid to delay proceedings so that his legal team would have more time to prepare his case.    Assange and his legal team failed to convince District Judge Vanessa Baraitser that a delay in the already slow-moving case was justified.    The full extradition hearing is still set for five days in late February, with interim hearings in November and December.

10/22/2019 Rep. McCarthy: House Democrats do not believe in fairness for President Trump by OAN Newsroom
    House Minority Leader is accusing Democrats of treating the president as ďguilty until proven innocent.Ē    While speaking at the GOP weekly briefing Tuesday, he said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi does not believe in fairness.    He then lashed out at House Democrats for changing the rules to hide transcripts and to shut Republicans out of the impeachment process entirely.
    ďI would love to be at a press conference with every Democrat that already supports impeachmentÖtell me the one thing that you have read to support impeachment, because they wonít let you read the transcripts,Ē said McCarthy.    ďThey want to leak certain items, they donít want to have it in Judiciary Committee where the American public can see it like weíve done it before, they donít want to have you vote on an inquiry because they donít believe in a fair process
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of Calif., speaks during a news conference on
Capitol Hill in Washington, Friday, Oct. 18, 2019. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
    The representative went on to say thatís why he stands by the resolution to censure Adam Schiff, and he questioned the Democratís ability to tell the truth.
    The GOP leader called on his peers in the lower chamber to ďbe better than thisĒ and to begin passing legislation that will actually benefit the American people.

10/22/2019 Rep. Schiffís witness connections raise allegations of being compromised by OAN Newsroom
House Intelligence Chairman Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., arrives on Capitol Hill for the interview with U.S. Ambassador
to the European Union Gordon Sondland as part of the impeachment inquiry. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
    The star witness in Democratsí impeachment effort is given preferential treatment behind closed doors, but is cross-examined by the press.    Reports on Monday detailed how Fiona Hill is being used in chairman Adam Schiffís campaign against the president.
    The former adviser wasnít even working at the White House during the infamous July 25th phone call with the Ukrainian president.    Not only did she not have first-hand knowledge of the call, but her resume shows she worked for the George Soros-funded Open Society Institute for six years.
    While speaking outside of Hillís closed-door testimony last week, Representative Jim Jordan raised concerns about the secrecy of the process.
    The secrecy of the hearing is problematic for Republicans, largely because of Hillís conflicts.    She has questionable publications for the left-leaning outlet Vox as well as ties to figures such as Joseph Mifsud, Christopher Steele, Bruce and Nellie Ohr.
Former White House advisor on Russia, Fiona Hill, leaves Capitol Hill in Washington, Monday, Oct. 14, 2019, after testifying
before congressional lawmakers as part of the House impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

10/22/2019 Sen. Rand Paul calls out Democrats for championing socialism by OAN Newsroom
(Andrew Nelles/AP Photo)
    Republican Senator Rand Paul recently expressed concern over the rise of socialism among young Democrat voters.    While speaking with Breitbart Monday, he slammed politicians such as Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders and New York Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez for running on openly socialist platforms.
    The Kentucky lawmaker went on to explain that socialism has been responsible for tens of millions of deaths within the last 100 years.
    ďI think itís important for this generation to realize what socialism was in the last century, and how it really invariably was associated with violence, with genocide, with famine, with horrible tragedy,Ē he stated.    ďAnd you know, todayís youth seems to have forgotten that
    Senator Paul went on to give examples such as the great famine in China during the 1950ís, which resulted in tens of millions of deaths.    Another example was modern-day Venezuela, which is plagued by economic unrest and widespread food and drug shortages.    He also cited Scandinavian countries, saying taxes are as high as 25 percent even for lower and middle class workers.
FILE photo -A volunteer at the ďDivina ProvidenciaĒ migrant shelter distributes lunch
to Venezuelan migrants, in Cucuta, Colombia. (AP Photo/Fernando Vergara)

10/22/2019 Sen. Grassley expresses support for Ďphase oneí China trade deal by OAN Newsroom
File- Shipping containers are piled up at a port in Qingdao in east Chinaís Shandong province. (Chinatopix via AP) AP
    Republican Senator Chuck Grassley recently expressed his support for the Ďphase oneí trade deal between the U.S. and China.    In an interview Tuesday, the Iowa senator said the agreement addresses some of the major issues he is concerned about.
    This includes intellectual property theft, currency manipulation, and agricultural purchases.    However, he also said issues remain around how the U.S. will enforce such a deal and ensure China abides by the agreement.
    Grassley commended President Trump for keeping his campaign promise to reform the abusive trading relationship with China.    He had this to say:
    ďThis President has been as tough as any presidentís ever been on China, and we ought to be thankful that he is.    Even the farmers of Iowa that are hurting to some degree as a result of the uncertainty of these trade agreements still has given the president some leeway on dealing with China, because they know China has been cheating us for 20 years
    The Trump administration is aiming to sign the Ďphase oneí deal with Beijing at the APEC summit in Chile next month.
FILE Ė Senate Judiciary Committee member Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa speaks during a Senate Judiciary Committee
nominations hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, File)

10/22/2019 Pompeo says U.S. prefers peace to war, but is Ďfully preparedí to take military action on Turkey by OAN Newsroom
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks at the Heritage Foundationís annual Presidentís
Club Meeting, Tuesday, Oct. 22, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
    U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the U.S. prefers peace to war, but is ready to take military action if needed. He made the comments Monday when asked about Turkeyís incursion into Syria.
    Pompeo supported the decision to use economic sanctions against Turkey for the action.    However, he was pressed by a CNBC host as to whether military action would be on the table in any given instance.
    The secretary of state didnít say what event would warrant military action, but the White House has been critical of the Obama administrationís failure to act when Syria used chemical weapons.    Pompeo said the Trump administration would not make the same mistakes as the prior president.
    ďYou suggested the economic powers that weíve used, weíll certainly use them.    Weíll use our diplomatic powers as well.    Those are our preference.    We prefer peace to war, but in the even that military action is needed, you should know that President Trump is fully prepared to undertake that action.Ē ó Mike Pompeo, U.S. Secretary of State
In this photo taken from the Turkish side of the border between Turkey and Syria, in Akcakale, Sanliurfa province,
southeastern Turkey, a view of the town of Tal Abyad, Syria, Tuesday, Oct. 22, 2019. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
    Critics of the president have claimed Turkeyís invasion of Northern Syria should be cause for a response.    However, the White House has maintained such criticisms are merely calls for the U.S. to get involved in another never ending war.

10/23/2019 Oil up $0.90 to $54.21, DOW down 40 to 26,788.

10/23/2019 Ukraine envoy testifies in impeachment probe by Nicholas Wu and Bart Jansen, USA TODAY
    WASHINGTON Ė Allies of President Donald Trump made clear to Ukraine last summer that the release of military aid for the country would be contingent on whether it opened an investigation into an energy company that employed former Vice President Joe Bidenís son Hunter, a senior diplomat told lawmakers Tuesday in the House impeachment inquiry.
    Bill Taylor, the top U.S. diplomat to Ukraine, said in his opening statement, obtained by The Associated Press, that he was ďalarmedĒ by the linking of aid to investigations of Trumpís Democratic rival Joe Biden.
    Taylor said the demand was relayed to him by Gordon Sondland, the U.S. ambassador to the European Union and a key Trump ally, during a phone call the two had. Sondland discussed Trumpís interest in seeing Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky make a public announcement about a probe into Burisma, the energy company that employed Hunter Biden as a member of its board of directors.
    ďDuring that phone call, Ambassador Sondland told me that President Trump had told him that he wants President Zelensky to state publicly that Ukraine will investigate Burisma and alleged Ukrainian interference in the 2016 U.S. election,Ē Taylor said.
    Taylor said it was made clear to him that if Ukraine did not agree to the investigation, there would be a ďstalemateĒ over the nearly $400 million in military aid that Congress had approved for Ukraineís efforts to fend off Russian military aggression.
.     ďI understood the Ďstalemateí to mean that Ukraine would not receive the much-needed military assistance,Ē Taylor said.    ďAmbassador Sondland said that this conversation concluded with President Zelensky agreeing to make a public statement in an interview with CNN
    Democrats on the three House committees investigating Trumpís dealings with Ukraine Ė Foreign Affairs, Intelligence, and Oversight and Reform Ė called Taylorís opening statement ďexplosiveĒ and ďa direct lineĒ between Trumpís demand for an investigation and the withholding of military aid.
    ďHe drew a very direct line in the series of events he described between President Trumpís decision to withhold funds and refuse a meeting with Zelensky unless there was a public pronouncement by him of investigations of Burisma,Ē said Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla.    ďI do not know how you would listen to todayís testimony by Ambassador Taylor and draw any other conclusion except that the president abused his power
    Rep. Ted Lieu, D-Calif., and some other members gasped and sighed during Taylorís opening remarks.    Lieu said, ďIn my mind, I kept saying wow, wow, wow.Ē    Rep. Adriano Espaillat, D-N.Y., called it ďexplosive.Ē    Rep. Tom Malinowski, DN. J., described it as ďjuicy.Ē    Rep. Mike Quigley, D-Ill., said it was ďa code red
    ďThis is my most disturbing day in Congress so far, very troubling words,Ē said Rep. Andy Levin, D-Mich., who has held the seat for 10 months.
    Rep. Stephen Lynch, D-Mass., said the House inquiry may need to ďrevisit previous witnessesĒ because Taylorís testimony shed new light on them.    Taylor also appeared to keep notes on his correspondence.
    ďHe referenced personal notes that he keeps,Ē said Lynch.    ďYou know, I donít want to get into this testimony, but he indicated that he kept extensive notes on all of this
    But Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., said there was ďnothing new here, I think.Ē Rep Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, slammed Democrats as ďgoing out and leaking everything,Ē though he did not comment when asked if the leaks were wrong.
    ďThis is my most disturbing day in Congress so far, very troubling words.Ē Rep. Andy Levin, D-Mich.
[A news leak is the unsanctioned release of confidential information to news media.    It can also be the premature publication of information by a news outlet, of information that it has agreed not to release before a specified time, in violation of a news embargo.    So are Democrats and Adam Schiff in violation?    Of course in this fake Impeachmnet Inquiry which is not in our Constitution and even is violating it!    But all they are doing will not see the day of light if they actually do a real Impeachment that requires Congress to vote.].

10/23/2019 HUD Secretary: PC culture will destroy America by OAN Newsroom
    The secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development says political correctness will destroy the country.    Ben Carson made those remarks during a congressional hearing Tuesday when he was asked about comments, he reportedly made during a meeting last month.
    According to reports, he made comments about transgender people entering womenís bathrooms.    When asked to apologize for his remarks, however, he explained it was a misunderstanding and then went on to blast the idea of political correctness.
    This comes as the Housing Department is considering a rule, which would allow shelters to consider peopleís sex and gender when deciding whether to accommodate them.
Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson, left, testifies before the House Financial Services Committee
hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Oct. 22, 2019, on housing finance plans. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
[Good job Ben Carson for putting those idiots in their place with common sense.].

10/23/2019 Sen. Scott speaks out on President Trumpís remark on impeachment inquiry by OAN Newsroom
    GOP Senator Tim Scott says the impeachment process is the closest thing to a political death row trial.    While speaking to reporters Tuesday, Scott said he understands the presidentís ďabsolute rejectionĒ of the impeachment inquiry, but said he wouldnít use the word ďlynchingĒ regarding the matter.
    The South Carolina lawmaker also said he would love for the House to take up the anti-lynching legislation passed by the Senate, and do something rather than just complain about the presidentís use of the word.
    ďI think the fact that the matter that youíre talking about something that is akin to a death row trial from a political perspective, so we should keep our focus on the fact that this is something that is being done behind closed doors,Ē he stated.    ďIt is being done in secret, it is being done in a way that doesnít give the public any confidence in the process
    Scott noted people should focus on how the inquiry is being conducted rather than the presidentís language.    He went on to say he disagrees with those who see the term as ďracially charged
File Ė Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) is pictured. (Andrew Harnik/AP Photo)
[Good job Trump tell them they hurt your feelings for trying to lynch you and you are right what goes around comes around, and see the next article as an example of political lynch mob.].

10/23/2019 Biden apologizes for calling 1998 impeachment a Ďlynchingí by OAN Newsroom
Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden speaks at the United Federation of
Teachers annual Teacher Union Day, Sunday, Oct. 20, 2019, in New York. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)
    2020 presidential hopeful Joe Biden is facing backlash after he publicly admonished President Trump for referring to the impeachment inquiry as a ďlynchingĒ despite using the same language in 1998.
    The video of Biden referring to the Clinton impeachment inquiry as a partisan lynching resurfaced late Tuesday, and has already resulted in many demands for an apology from the candidate.
    ďEven if the president should be impeached, history is going to question whether or not this was just a partisan lynching or whether or not it was something that, in fact, met the standard, the very high bar that was set by the founders as to what constitutes as impeachable,Ē Biden formally stated in regards to Bill Clinton during a 1998 CNN interview.
    The video comes after Biden called out President Trump for referring to the current impeachment inquiry.    He said, ďto even think about making this comparison is abhorrent
    Biden has taken to Twitter to apologize.    He said lynching was not the right word to use, but excused the gaffe by claiming the comparison was accidental.

10/23/2019 Trump says Turkeyís ceasefire in northern Syria now permanent, sanctions lifted by Steve Holland and Makini Brice
U.S. President Donald Trump delivers a statement on the conflict in Syria in the Diplomatic Room
of the White House in Washington, U.S., October 23, 2019. REUTERS/Tom Brenner
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) Ė U.S. President Donald Trump said on Wednesday a ceasefire in northern Syria is now permanent and he lifted sanctions on Turkey as a result, rejecting criticism of his decision to pull out U.S. troops and allow Kurdish allies to come under attack.
    Trumpís move, announced in a White House speech, did not blunt attacks from U.S. lawmakers over his abrupt decision early this month to withdraw U.S. troops out of northeastern Syria to clear the way for a Turkish invasion.
    Trump described the truce as a ďmajor breakthroughĒ negotiated by a team led by Vice President Mike Pence.    Trump said he had instructed Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to rescind the sanctions imposed on Turkey in response to its moves against the Kurds ďunless something happens that we are not happy with
    ďCountless lives are now being saved as a result of our negotiation with Turkey, an outcome reached without spilling one drop of American blood: no injuries, nobody shot, nobody killed,Ē Trump said.
    But questions remained about Trumpís policy and Congress was still working on a sanctions package of its own intended to punish Turkey for its cross-border offensive.
    Kurdish allies who helped the United States in its war against Islamic State militants felt abandoned by Trump, whose policy created an opening that Russia is capitalizing on by moving forces into the area. The fate of Islamic State militants in Syrian Kurdish prisons also remained up in the air.
    Controversy surrounding Trumpís Syria pullout has contributed to a climate of political chaos in Washington, where Democrats are seeking to remove Trump from office through impeachment over his attempts to get Ukraine to investigate Democratic rival Joe Biden.
    Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer took to the Senate floor to excoriate Trump over Syria.
    ďThree weeks after first announcing the troop withdrawal, the president does not seem to have a clear strategy for securing the enduring defeat of ISIS (Islamic State) and fixing the mess heís created in Syria,Ē said Schumer.
    Trump continued his drumbeat of criticism of past U.S. efforts to keep American forces in the Middle East.
    The United States will ďlet someone else fight over this long, bloodstained sand,Ē he said.
    ďHow many Americans must die in the Middle East in the midst of these ancient sectarian and tribal conflicts?Ē he said.    ďI am committed to pursuing a different course, one that leads to victory for America
(Reporting by Steve Holland and Makini Brice with additional reporting by Susan Heavey; Writing by Lisa Lambert; Editing by Mark Heinrich)

10/23/2019 President Trump lifts sanctions against Turkey by OAN Newsroom
President Donald Trump, left, followed by Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo,
leaves the podium after speaking about the ceasefire in Syria with Turkey, Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2019,
in the Diplomatic Room of the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
    President Trump announced he is lifting all sanctions against Turkey amid the ongoing Syrian conflict.    During a White House press conference Wednesday, the president said he will lift the sanctions as long as Turkey does not do anything questionable.    He also emphasized that the U.S. has the right to reinstate sanctions if Turkey fails to honor its obligations.
    ďShould Turkey fail to honor its obligations, including the protection of religious and ethnic minorities, we reserve the right to reimpose crippling sanctions,Ē stated President Trump.
    The president went on to thank the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) for their sacrifice in this process, and urged other nations to step in to help ensure ISIS doesnít regain power.    The SDF commander has since thanked President Trump for his support.
    Meanwhile, Turkey announced a permanent ceasefire agreement in Syria. While speaking to reporters from the White Houseís South Lawn Wednesday, the president thanked Turkey for sticking the terms of its agreement in exchange for the lifting sanctions.    He also stressed the fact that no U.S. soldier was injured by Turkeyís planned offensive.
    ďItís a very volatile part of the world, but so far it has been pretty amazing,Ē he stated.    ďWe lost no soldiers, we didnít have a soldier hurt, we didnít have a finger broken ó itís pretty unusual, and we have thousands of soldiers that have moved out or are moving out of various areas

10/23/2019 China says U.S. Ďweaponizingí visas after space event no show by Ben Blanchard and Joey Roulette
FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump poses for a photo with China's President Xi Jinping before their bilateral
meeting during the G20 leaders summit in Osaka, Japan, June 29, 2019. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque/File Photo
    BEIJING/WASHINGTON (Reuters) Ė The United States is ďweaponizingĒ visas, having failed to grant them in time or at all for Chinese space officials for an international event in Washington, Chinaís Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday, in the latest escalation of tensions between the two countries.
    China and the United States are locked in a bitter trade dispute, which they are currently trying to resolve, and also have deep disagreements on many other areas, including human rights, the disputed South China Sea and Chinese-claimed Taiwan.
    Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said a Chinese delegation had wanted to take part in the ongoing International Astronautical Congress being held in Washington.
    China is an important participant in the congress and sends delegations every year, she added.    China hosted the congress in 2013.    Last year, it was held in Germany.
    China had applied for the visas in July, and on Oct. 12 the delegation from the China National Space Administration went for visa interviews at the U.S. embassy, but the head of delegation still did not have his visa as the congress began, Hua said.
    ďThis caused the Chinese delegation to be unable to attend the opening of the International Astronautical Congress,Ē Hua said, adding that several other Chinese delegates also did not get visas.
    The U.S. embassy said it was unable to discuss individual visa cases as they were confidential under U.S. law.    The State Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
    At the International Astronautical Congress on Monday, Wu Yanhua, vice chairman of the China National Space Administration, was the only official absent from a panel of other heads of space agencies from Germany, Russia, India, the United States, France and Japan.
    The panel moderator said his absence was due to a ďscheduling conflictĒ and a conference spokeswoman said, ďhe was invited, but could not make it, which we regret very much
    Hua said the issue was just the tip of the iceberg, with the United States stepping up denial, delay or cancellation of visas for Chinese academics, students and scientists.
    The United States has also gone against United Nations rules by denying visas for Russians and Iranians to participate there, she added.
    ďThe United States is weaponizing the visa issue, repeatedly disregarding its international responsibilities and obstructing normal international exchanges and cooperation
    China urges the United States to change its ways, Hua said.
    Russia recently complained to the United Nations that the United States did not grant visas ďto a numberĒ of its delegates, including members of the Russian parliament, to attend meetings of the U.N. General Assembly and its committees and for a Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty conference.
    In a Sept. 30 letter to U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, seen by Reuters, Russian U.N. Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia accused Washington of violating its obligations as the host country for the world bodyís headquarters.
    Under the 1947 U.N. ďheadquarters agreement,Ē the United States is generally required to allow access to the United Nations for foreign diplomats.    But Washington says it can deny visas for ďsecurity, terrorism, and foreign policyĒ reasons.
    Advancing Chinaís space program is a priority for Beijing, with President Xi Jinping calling for the country to establish itself as a space power, and apart from its civilian ambitions Beijing has tested anti-satellite missiles.
    China insists its space program is for peaceful purposes, but the U.S. Defense Department has highlighted its increasing space capabilities, saying it was pursuing activities aimed to prevent adversaries from using space-based assets in a crisis.
(Reporting by Ben Blanchard, Additional reporting by Joey Roulette and David Brunnstrom in Washington and Michelle Nichols at the United Nations; Editing by Deepa Babington and Andrea Ricci)

10/23/2019 Uruguay election: Will cooling growth tip laid-back Uruguay back to the right? by Fabian Werner
FILE PHOTO: Presidential candidates from right to left: Ernesto Talvi, Edgardo Novick, Daniel Martinez,
Pablo Mieres, Luis Lacalle Pou and Guido Manini Rios pose for a picture at the Expo Prado, a livestock and
agricultural international exhibition, in Montevideo, Uruguay September 4, 2019. REUTERS/Mariana Greif/File Photo
    MONTEVIDEO (Reuters) Ė Uruguay will head to the polls on Sunday, with the right-leaning opposition looking to break the hold of the long-standing center-left ruling party, as voters fret about slowing economic growth.
    The electorate will vote on Oct. 27 in a regional ďsuper Sunday,Ē with larger neighbor Argentina also holding its general election.    The big choice for Uruguayans is whether to stick with the ruling Broad Front coalition that has been in power for over a decade or swerve towards the more conservative National Party.
    Pollsters indicate the ruling party candidate is leading the way, but not by a large enough margin to avoid a second round head-to-head next month that could be close.
    The small South American country, home to around 3.5 million people, is one of the regionís most socially progressive and economically developed.    Abortion is legal on request, it allows same-sex marriage and it was a pioneer in the legalization of marijuana.
    Much of that was driven by the liberal coalition that has ruled since 2005.    President Tabarť VŠzquez took over in 2015 from Jose Mujica, a former guerrilla known for living frugally while he was in office.
    But economic growth has slowed steadily from 7.8% in 2010 to 1.6% last year in the beef and soy exporter, and that has boosted the popularity of the conservative opposition, who put on a strong showing in a primary vote in June.
    Můnica Rivero, a 49-year-old office worker in Montevideo, said she planned to vote for the National Partyís candidate Luis Lacalle Pou to improve a ďterrible realityĒ in the country.
    ďWe are excited and we have a lot of hope,Ē she said, adding that she wanted a more streamlined government and lower taxes.
    Economist Juan DŪaz, 42, also focused on the economy, but backed the ruling partyís candidate Daniel MartŪnez, who he said had run the city government in Montevideo smoothly as mayor.
    If the opposition wins, analysts say, that would be another retreat from Latin Americaís so-called Ďpink tide,í with a shift to the right leaving remaining leftist leaders in Bolivia and Venezuela ever more isolated.
    Conservative candidate Lacalle Pou has voiced opposition to some policies, including a more permissive attitude towards marijuana, which has made Uruguay one of the front-runners globally in the budding legalized cannabis sector.
    The economic impact should be more muted, but the National Party may seek fresh trade deals.
    ďIn general terms, with international politics, the oppositionís approach is more commercial and economic-based,Ē said Eduardo Bottinelli, director of public opinion consultancy Factum.
    If the Broad Front remain in power, they have pledged to deepen reforms, including raising taxes on people with higher incomes, boosting social inclusion and striking further trade pacts overseas.
    Former Montevideo mayor MartŪnez, 62, a socialist engineer and former union leader with support close to 40%, is the presidential front-runner, according to pollsters.
    His main challenger is 45-year-old senator Lacalle Pou, the son of a former president, who is having his second tilt at the leadership.    The National Party candidate has a voting intention of 25%-30%.
    That level would indicate a run-off will be needed, and would likely also see the Broad Front lose its majority in Congress.
    The election has nine other candidates, which has eroded some of the share of votes for the ruling party.    The third- and fourth-placed candidates have said they would back whoever runs against Martinez in an eventual run-off ballot, a move that could help Lacalle in a second round.
    Rising crime levels and homicides have elevated security as a central issue in the campaign.
    Alongside the main vote, Uruguayans will cast a ballot in a referendum on whether the country should introduce policies to toughen up on crime and give a bigger role to the military.
    The referendum proposes the creation of a military guard for street patrols and night raids, the elimination of early release from prison for those convicted of certain crimes, and a rule that only the supreme court can overturn life-imprisonment sentences for serious crimes.
    According to some opinion polls, the referendum is likely to win approval.    Lacalle Pou, however, earlier this year said he would not vote in favor of it, saying he didnít agree with some elements of the proposals.
(Reporting by Fabian Werner; Writing by Nicolas Misculin and Adam Jourdan; Editing by Bernadette Baum and Rosalba OíBrien)

10/23/2019 Venezuela exodus set to top 5 million as long-term needs grow, officials say by Stephanie Nebehay
FILE PHOTO: Venezuelan citizens line up at the Chacalluta border crossing are between
Chile and Peru, in Arica, Chile, June 24, 2019. REUTERS/Stringer/File Photo
    GENEVA (Reuters) Ė The exodus of Venezuelans is on track to reach 5 million people, as pressure grows on neighboring countries to provide them with long-term support, United Nations and European Union officials said on Wednesday.
    Some 4.5 million refugees and migrants have fled Venezuela since 2015, according to official figures, but more are using illegal crossing points because they lack identity papers, said Eduardo Stein, joint special representative of the U.N. refugee and migration agencies.
    The crisis has worsened since the United States imposed sanctions, including on the pivotal oil industry, in an effort to oust leftist President Nicolas Maduro in favor of opposition leader Juan Guaido.    Dozens of nations recognize Guaido as interim president, saying Maduro rigged a 2018 election.
    Roughly 5,000 people leave Venezuela daily, although the number fluctuates as more states require visas, Stein said.
    ďThe experience of other crises in the world shows us that those who would want to go back to Venezuela if the crisis in political terms were to be solved today, it will take a good two years or maybe even more,Ē Stein told a news conference.
    A U.N. regional humanitarian response plan of $739 million for this year is expected to nearly double for 2020, he added.
    The initially welcoming attitude to Venezuelans around South America has soured amid accusations they bring crime, crowd the job market, and strain social services.
    The United Nations and European Union are hosting a meeting on Oct. 28-29 in Brussels to raise awareness of needs.    Donors and officials from the World Bank and Inter-American Development Bank are due to attend, but no Venezuelan representatives.
    ďThis is the most severe and fastest-growing refugee migrant crisis in Latin American history, at least recent history,Ē said Walter Stevens, EU ambassador to the U.N. in Geneva.    ďThere are estimates also that it could further increase if the situation does not change, quickly reaching 5 million
    Colombia is the top destination for Venezuelan migrants fleeing the long-running crisis, which has caused widespread shortages of food and medicine.    Some 1.4 million Venezuelans live in Colombia.
    The flow is overwhelming the financial and administrative capacities of host countries to provide education and health services, Stein said.
    ďNine receiving countries have agreed to accept expired (Venezuelan) passports as valid documents.    And so with an expired passport you can get a temporary permit sometimes for two years,Ē he said.
(The story corrects EU envoyís name in ninth paragraph to Stevens not Stephens)
(Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay, editing by Larry King)

10/23/2019 Rep. Gaetz, House GOP attempt to storm into impeachment proceedings by OAN Newsroom
Rep. Andy Biggs, R-Ariz., speaks at a news conference in front of House Republicans after Deputy Assistant
Secretary of Defense Laura Cooper arrived for a closed door meeting to testify as part of the House impeachment inquiry
into President Donald Trump, Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2019, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
    GOP House member Matt Gaetz is condemning Democrats for concealing their impeachment proceedings from Republicans.    In a fiery speech Wednesday, Gaetz was joined by a number of his Republican colleagues who attempted storm into a facility where Democrats were looking into classified materials as part of their inquiry.
    Gaetz said if Democrats plan to pursue their inquiry, Americans have a right to a transparent investigation.    He added, that investigation has been anything but straight forward so far.    His comments comes as Senator Lindsey Graham finalizes a resolution to formally condemn the House impeachment inquiry.
    This comes after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell pressed his GOP colleagues to focus on the Democrats handling of the impeachment inquiry in their defense of President Trump.    During a private lunch Tuesday, he reportedly told Senate Republicans ďthis is going to be about process
    The Kentucky lawmaker pointed out during the Nixon impeachment process, Republicans had much more of a chance to participate in the matter.    He also noted during the Clinton impeachment process, Democrats in the minority were treated better than GOP lawmakers are currently being treated.    House Democrats have drawn scrutiny for holding hearings behind closed-doors among other tactics.
    One Americaís John Hines has more from Capitol Hill.

10/23/2019 Joe Biden pledges to roll back President Trumpís tax cuts if elected by OAN Newsroom
Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden speaks during a campaign event,
Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2019, in Scranton, Pa. (Aimee Dilger/The Times Leader via AP)
    Joe Biden is campaigning to roll back President Trumpís tax cuts.    The former vice president made his case Wednesday in his hometown of Scranton, Pennsylvania.
    Biden touted his middle class background and announced his intent to hike the corporate tax rate from 21 percent to 28 percent. He claimed the repeal would help the middle class by hitting the wealthy and corporations.
    ďThe wealthy didnít need [tax cuts] in the first place,Ē said Biden.    ďCorporations have spent them on stock buybacks
    The 2020 hopeful also took credit for the current state of the economy.
    ďDonald Trump inherited a strong economy from Barack and me,Ē stated the former vice president.    ďThings were beginning to really move ó just like everything else heís inherited, heís in the midst of squandering it
    Recent data from the Census Bureau revealed the middle class has experienced an economic boom since President Trump took office.    The average family income rose over $5,000 since 2017.    Under the Obama administration, household incomes only grew by about $1,000 by the end of eight years.

10/23/2019 President Trump: ĎNever Trumperí Republicans may be worse than ĎDo Nothingí Democrats by OAN Newsroom
President Donald Trump speaks at the 9th annual Shale Insight Conference at the David L. Lawrence
Convention Center, Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2019, in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
    President Trump is blasting ďNever TrumpersĒ in the Republican Party.    In a string of Wednesday tweets, the president said that some Republicans are more dangerous for the country than the ďDo Nothing Democrats
    President Trumpís comments come after a handful of officials in his administration began to cooperate with the Democratsí impeachment inquiry.    The president has said heís never heard of some of these individuals and claimed many of them were put in their positions prior to his election.
    He went on to call out members of his own party, including special envoy William Taylor.
    Taylor recently gave testimony against the administration, claiming the White House withheld military aid for political purposes.
    President Trump urged his administration not to hire any more ďNever Trumpers,Ē stating that ďnothing good will ever come from them!Ē
    Earlier the same day, some House Republicans stormed a closed-door impeachment hearing, claiming that the American people deserved transparency.

10/23/2019 Department of Justice unveils plan to prevent mass shootings by OAN Newsroom
United States Attorney General William P. Barr waits to be introduced for a speaking event for Notre Dame Law School students and
faculty on Friday, Oct. 11, 2019, inside Notre Dameís Eck Hall of Law in South Bend, Ind. (Robert Franklin/South Bend Tribune via AP)
    The Department of Justice is announcing a new plan to prevent mass shootings.    Attorney General William Barr revealed the new efforts in a Wednesday memo to federal prosecutors and law enforcement officials.
    ďTargeted killings of innocent people are senseless and cowardly, and demand the full attention of the United States government,Ē stated Barr.
    The new plan aims to help authorities ďidentify, assess and engage potential mass shooters before they strike.Ē    It includes court ordered mental health counseling for potentially violent people and promotes collaboration with online platforms to share information about mass violence.    The initiative would also create task forces to investigate unlicensed fire arms dealers and expedite the death penalty for people who commit mass shootings.
    The announcement follows a year filled with gun violence, which impacted communities from coast to coast.    A training conference to elaborate on the plan and consider new ideas will be held at FBI headquarters in December.
    ďI have no greater priority than the safety and well-being of our communities, and particularly our children, who are the most vulnerable among us to the threat of mass violence,Ē emphasized Barr.

10/23/2019 House holds hearing on Syria withdrawal by OAN Newsroom
Rep. Tom Malinowski, D-N.J., prepares for a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing titled, ďThe Betrayal of our Syrian
Kurdish Partners
,Ē an examination of President Donald Trumpís abrupt decision to withdraw from Syria and its impact on the Kurds
and stability in the region, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2019. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
    House members recently held a hearing to condemn President Trump for removing U.S. troops from Syria.    The Wednesday meeting was aimed at evaluating the reasons behind the withdrawal and what consequences it may have for national security.
    Representative Eliot Engel delivered his opening statement at the House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing on Turkeyís offensive against Kurdish fighters in Syria.    He argued the move abandoned the U.S. ally without warning and cleared the way for Turkey to attack the Kurds.
    ďThis is the worst example Iíve seen of what I call this administrationís Ďfly by the seat of your pants foreign policy,íĒ said Engel.    ďOne minute the president is shouting from the rooftops that he is fine with what Turkey is doing, the next he says heíll destroy Turkey if they continue
    The House passed a joint resolution last week to ensure the continued protection of Syrian Kurdish forces from the Turkish military operation.    The measure took aim at President Trump, claiming that his decision to remove troops has damaged U.S. interests in the region and aided ISIS.
    Senator Chuck Schumer and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi condemned the president in a recent joint statement.
    Since then, the White House has helped negotiate a reportedly permanent ceasefire in Syria.    During a Wednesday press conference, President Trump said the agreement was a ďmajor breakthrough
    ďCountless lives are now being saved as a result of our negotiation with Turkey, an outcome reached without spilling one drop of American blood ó no injuries, nobody shot, nobody killed,Ē said the president.
[As you can see above the Democrats and Shumer immediately try to diss anything that Trump does.    But I am telling you that God has blessed Trump for moving the Embassy to Jerusalem and other things for Israel, and have you not yet seen the work of God when all the things that the Democrats and DEEP STATE have tried to do to him backfires on them and Trump comes off to have done the right thing in the first place.    Although now he has also teed off all the War Pigs, who will not be able to activate their IRON MAN and the Dems, etc. are getting desperate as the Barr-Durham investigation is looming to a finality soon and may finally clean the SWAMP another campaign promise and hopefully a promise made.    Also prophesy in the Bible will be taking place in the Middle East in the coming years by my calculations and we do not want to be in that area anyway and understand that the God of Abraham, Issac and Jacob is in charge of what just happened and what will be.].

10/23/2019 Reports: Hillary Clinton still open to 2020 run by OAN Newsroom
FILE Ė In this April 23, 2019, file photo, Hillary Clinton speaks during the TIME 100 Summit,
in New York. Clinton is popping up in presidential politics again, and some Democrats are wary even as
they praise her role as a senior party leader. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)
    The election cycle is heating up, but Democrat primary voters may not have seen the last of Hillary Clinton.    Reports this week by The Washington Post and The New York Times said Clinton is keeping an open mind about making a third White House bid.
    Both Clinton and Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg have allegedly been telling people privately that they could win.    Clinton would reportedly only jump in if Joe Biden drops out.
    President Trump has joked about her entering the race and even suggested a rematch.    This led the former first lady to fuel the rumors.
    ďThe goal of the Trump strategyÖis to raise questions,Ē said Clinton.    ďMaybe there does need to be a rematchóI mean, obviously I can beat him again
    This contradicts the statement she made in March, which indicated that a 2020 run wasnít in the books for the former first lady.
    ďIím not running, but Iím going to keep on working, speaking and standing up for what I believe,Ē Clinton told the press.
    She went on to say she wasnít ďgoing anywhereĒ and that she hoped to help the future Democrat front runner ďwin back the White HouseĒ in 2020.
    This comes a week after the State Department concluded their investigation into Clintonís previous use of a private server.    Investigators found nearly 600 security violations and said Clintonís conduct represented an increased degree of risk to the State Department.    However, they emphasized there was ďno persuasive evidence of systemic, deliberate mishandling of classified information
[Hillary's denial of losing to Trump is definitely a mental disease, and if she does run she has plenty of money from her corruption in the Clinton Foundation and the Uranium One Deal that has not been looked at yet and also explaining her husband Bill's connection to the Epstein issue as we know he likes to do things with interns and whatever else and I would be sure that Trump would have that aired out fully during a campaign run.].

10/24/2019 Oil up $1.49 to $55.97, DOW up 47 to 26,834.

10/24/2019 Republicans disrupt deposition in inquiry - Parties quarrel over fairness of proceedings by Michael Balsamo and Mary Clare Jalonick, ASSOCIATED PRESS
    WASHINGTON Ė Republicans brought House Democratsí impeachment investigation to a halt on Wednesday as around two dozen GOP House members stormed into a closed-door deposition with a Defense Department official.    Democrats said the move compromised national security because some of them brought electronic devices into a secure room.
    As a series of diplomats have been interviewed in the probe, several of them detailing President Donald Trumpís efforts to persuade Ukraine to investigate a political rival, many Republicans have been silent on the presidentís behavior.    But they have been outspoken about their disdain for Democrats and the impeachment process, saying it is unfair to them even though they have been allowed to participate.
    ďThe members have just had it, and they want to be able to ... find out whatís going on,Ē said Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan, the top Republican on the House Oversight and Reform panel.    That committee is one of three leading the investigation, and its members are allowed into the closed-door hearings.
    The GOP maneuver delayed a deposition with Laura Cooper, a senior Defense Department official who oversees Ukraine policy, until midafternoon.    The interview began roughly five hours behind schedule, after a security check by Capitol officials.
    Democrats deny that Republicans are being treated unfairly, noting they have had equal time to question witnesses and full access to the meetings.    But they said the lawmakers had compromised security at the closed-door deposition.    The interviews are being held in what is called a Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility, or SCIF.
    Several lawmakers leaving the facility said that some of the Republicans had brought their cellphones, even though electronics are not allowed.
    Lawmakers described a chaotic scene.    Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., said she had just walked into the room when the Republican lawmakers blew past Capitol Police officers and Democratic staffers.    The staff member who was checking identification at the entrance was ďbasically overcomeĒ by the Republicans, she said.
    Sen. Lindsey Graham criticized his Republican colleagues for the tactic, calling them ďnutsĒ to make a ďrun on the SCIF
    ďThatís not the way to do it,Ē he said.    Graham later tweeted that he initially believed Republicans had taken the room by force and that it was actually a ďpeaceful protest,Ē adding his House GOP colleagues had ďgood reason to be upset
    The Republicans decried closeddoor depositions and said Americans should be able to read the transcripts of any interviews being conducted.
    Democrats have promised to release the transcripts when it wonít affect their investigation.
House Minority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., speaks to the media Wednesday with other House Republicans at his side. PATRICK SEMANSKY/AP

10/24/2019 Brexit end game: UK leaves the EU with Johnsonís deal Ė Downing Street source
Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson is seen at the House of Commons in London, Britain
October 23, 2019. ©UK Parliament/Jessica Taylor/Handout via REUTERS
    LONDON (Reuters) Ė The United Kingdom will ultimately leave the European Union on the terms of Prime Minister Boris Johnsonís Brexit deal even though parliament has complicated the timing of the divorce, a senior Downing Street source said.
.     ďThis ends with us leaving with the PMís deal,Ē the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said.    ďWe will leave with a deal, with the PMís deal
    When asked when Brexit would happen given a deadline of Oct. 31, the source said: ďParliament has taken back control
    So will there be an election before Christmas?    ďPerhaps,Ē the source said.    ďWe shall see
    Johnson won the top job by staking his career on getting Brexit done by the latest deadline of Oct. 31 after his predecessor, Theresa May, was forced to delay the departure date.    Parliament rejected her deal three times, by margins of between 58 and 230 votes earlier this year.
    More than three years since the United Kingdom voted 52-48 to be the first sovereign country to leave the European project, the United Kingdom is waiting for the EU to decide how long the latest delay to Brexit should be.
    After Johnson clinched a last-minute deal a week ago in Brussels, the British parliament on Tuesday voted 329 to 299 in favor of the second reading of the legislation for the deal but defeated his extremely tight legislative timetable.
    Johnson said it was up to the EU to decide whether it wanted to delay Brexit and for how long.    European Council President Donald Tusk said he was recommending that the leaders of the EUís 27 other member states back a delay.
    Talks between the opposition Labour Party and whips from Johnsonís Conservative Party on setting a timetable to pass Brexit legislation are ongoing, a Labour source said on Wednesday.
(Reporting by Guy Faulconbridge; editing by Kate Holton)

10/24/2019 Pentagon chief looks to focus on Turkey, Syria at NATO but has few good options by Idrees Ali
FILE PHOTO: U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper addresses reporters during a media briefing
at the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia, U.S., October 11, 2019. REUTERS/Erin Scott/File Photo
    BRUSSELS (Reuters) Ė U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper is expected to focus on Turkeyís recent offensive into northeastern Syria and the future of the fight against Islamic State when he meets with NATO partners in Brussels this week, but he has limited options in dealing with either issue.
    Earlier this month, U.S. President Donald Trump announced that the United States would be withdrawing itís troops from northeastern Syria, clearing the way for Turkish troops to launch an offensive against Kurdish fighters in the area.
    Since then, Trump has said he will keep a small number of troops in parts of northeastern Syria where there is oil.    Russian military police started deploying on Syriaís border with Turkey on Wednesday under a deal with Ankara to drive Kurdish fighters from the region.
    Last week, Esper said he would press NATO allies ďto take collective and individual diplomatic and economic measures in responseĒ to Turkeyís incursion into northeastern Syria, even as critics have pointed out that Trumpís decision enabled the Turkish offensive.
    In a speech on Thursday in Brussels before the NATO meeting, Esper is expected to call out Turkeyís actions.
    According to prepared remarks, Esper will say Turkeyís actions jeopardize the progress made in Syria.
    Statements by the Pentagon criticizing Turkey in the past month have had little impact on Ankara.
    Rachel Rizzo, a fellow at the Center for a New American Security think-tank, said Esper has few options to punish NATO member Turkey at NATO.
    ďAs far as NATO-level punishment, I donít see really what is possible,Ē Rizzo said.
    She said Trumpís initial decision to pull out of northeast Syria was seen in Europe as enabling Turkey to carry out the incursion and the latest sign that they could not rely on the Trump administration.
    A number of European countries have suspended weapons sales to Turkey.
    French President Emmanuel Macron on Friday decried NATOís inability to react to what he called Turkeyís ďcrazyĒ offensive, and said it was time Europe stopped acting like a junior ally when it came to the Middle East.
    Germanyís defense minister has told lawmakers she wants to get the U.N. Security Council to approve a safe zone in northern Syria.
    Trump has defended his decision to move most troops out of Syria.    He said on Wednesday that the ceasefire in northern Syria is now permanent and lifted sanctions on Turkey as a result.
    The American pullout from northeastern Syria has raised concern that it could allow a resurgence of Islamic State militants.
    Esper is expected to meet with counterparts from Germany, France and the Britain to discuss how the fight against Islamic State militants can continue and what it would look like, a senior U.S. defense official said.
    Many U.S. lawmakers, both Democrats and Trumpís fellow Republicans, have expressed dismay over Trumpís decision to withdraw troops from Syria, clearing the way for Turkish troops to battle Kurdish forces who for years helped U.S. troops fight Islamic State militants, taking the brunt of the casualties.
    The fate of Islamic State militants in Syrian Kurdish prisons remains up in the air.
    A senior Trump administration official said while most ISIS (Islamic State) fighters remained under lock and key, it appeared that a small number had escaped from prisons.
(Reporting by Idrees Ali; Editing by Bill Berkrot)

10/24/2019 President Trump recognizes House Republicans for demonstrating loyalty during protest by OAN Newsroom
    President Trump recently thanked the GOP for their support, following the impeachment demonstrations on Capitol Hill.    On Twitter Thursday, he expressed his gratitude to House Republicans for ďunderstanding in detailĒ what he called ďthe greatest witch hunt in American history
    Meanwhile, Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham told reporters Republicans sent a clear message to the president when they crashed the closed-door impeachment hearing.    She said the move demonstrated their loyalty to him.    The protest comes after President Trump called on Republicans to get tougher earlier this week, saying:
    ďRepublicans have to get tougher and fight.    We have some that are great fighters, but they have to get tougher and fight because the Democrats are trying to hurt the Republican Party for the election, which is coming up
President Donald Trump speaks with reporters on the South Lawn of the White House Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
    GOP members say they will continue to defend their actions and demand transparency of the unfair impeachment inquiry into the president. Republican senators are considering their options on impeachment as they look to avoid a weeks-long trial in the upper chamber.
    If the House decides to move forward with articles of impeachment, the GOP has two main options. Republican senators could introduce a motion for dismissal or they could rush through an impeachment trial and vote to acquit the president.
    Senate Judiciary Chairman is pushing for dismissal, and he wants the Senate to go even further and vote on a resolution to condemn the Houseís actions.
    ďIíve never seen a situation in my lifetime as a lawyer where somebody is accused of a major misconduct, who cannot confront the accuser or call witnesses on their behalf and have the discussion in the light of day so the public can judge,Ē he stated.    ďIf this continues in the House, it is a complete sham and I will do everything I can to make sure it doesnít live very long in the Senate
    Graham plans to introduce the resolution Thursday to put the Senate on record condemning the House and its handling of the impeachment inquiry.
Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., speaks with members of the media, Tuesday, Oct. 22, 2019, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

10/24/2019 Report: Rudy Giuliani seeking defense attorney by OAN Newsroom
FILE Ė Rudy Giuliani, an attorney for President Donald Trump, speaks in Portsmouth, N.H. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa, File)
    Rudy Giuliani is reportedly seeking out a new defense attorney.    He broke his days-long media silence in a tweet Wednesday, where he said everything he did was was to protect his client, President Trump, against false charges despite the fake news.    Giuliani then said the Democrats donít believe the president has rights.
    This comes as reports say he is shopping around for a new defense attorney in light of a reported federal investigation into his foreign business ties.
    Two of Giulianiís other clientís, Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, pleaded not guilty to campaign finance violations related to Giulianiís dealings overseas on Wednesday.    Giuliani has denied knowing anything about their alleged actions.
    ďMany false things have been said about me and my family in the press and media recently,Ē stated Parnas.    ďI look forward to defending myself vigorously in court, and Iím certain that in time the truth will be revealed and I will be vindicated
This combination of Oct. 9, 2019, photos provided by the Alexandria Sheriffís Office shows booking photos
of Lev Parnas, left, and Igor Fruman. The two business associates of Rudy Giuliani are due in a
New York City court in their campaign finance case. (Alexandria Sheriffís Office via AP, File)

10/24/2019 Top GOP reps. call on Schiff to summon whistleblower to testify publicly by OAN Newsroom
Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, speaks to members of the media after Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Laura Cooper
arrived for a closed door meeting to testify as part of the House impeachment inquiry into
President Donald Trump, Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2019, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
    Top House Republicans, including Jim Jordan, have said Democrats are trying to remove the president based on an anonymous whistleblower with no first-hand knowledge of the presidentís phone call with his Ukrainian counterpart.
    ďHe had no firsthand knowledge of the phone call, he wasnít on the call, but we do know one thing about this whistleblower ó he had a political bias,Ē Jordan stated.
    They are now demanding Democrats summon the whistleblower to testify publicly after being denied the authority to call witnesses in the ongoing impeachment inquiry.
    Representative Jordan as well as congressmen Michael McCaul and Devin Nunes, who lead the House Intelligence, Foreign Affairs and Oversight Committees, have sent their request in a letter to Intelligence Committee chairman Adam Schiff.
    The congressmen have spoken out against the whistleblowerís complaint ever since the transcript of the presidentís phone call was released.    They are now claiming the whistleblowerís accusations contradict information gathered during closed-door impeachment testimonies from several witnesses this month.
    The letter also calls out other discrepancies between the complaint and the official transcript of the call, saying the president never mentioned the 2020 elections during his conversation.
    Schiff previously said the whistleblower was a key witness, but now he claims the whistleblowerís testimony is not needed and could endanger their safety.    The House Republicans insist Democrats make arrangements for the whistleblowerís public testimony, and all those who helped the person form the complaint.
U.S. House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., waits for the start of a memorial service for
Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Thursday, Oct. 24, 2019. The Maryland congressman and civil rights champion
died Thursday, Oct. 17, at age 68 of complications from long-standing health issues. (Joshua Roberts/Pool via AP)

10/24/2019 Kurdish military leader thanks President Trump, credits him for negotiating ceasefire by OAN Newsroom
President Donald Trump arrives at Pittsburgh International Airport to attend the 9th annual
Shale Insight Conference, Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2019, in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
    President Trump is receiving praise for his role in negotiating a Syrian ceasefire, which is undercutting reports alleging Kurdish forces are unhappy with the U.S. The military leader of the Syrian Kurds issued a statement through a spokesperson expressing his gratitude.
    General Mazloum Abdi credited President Trumpís efforts for stopping the Turkish offensive.    He went on to say the U.S. has promised to maintain a partnership with Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).
    This comes after President Trump confirmed he spoke with the Kurdish commander Wednesday.
    ďGeneral Mazloum has assured me that ISIS is under very, very strict lock and key, and the detention facilities are being strongly maintained,Ē he stated.    ďThere were a few that got out, a small number relatively speaking, and they have been largely recaptured
    Soon after, President Trump issued a tweet thanking the Kurdish commander for his kind words, and sent his regards to the Kurdish people.

10/24/2019 GOP Senators distance themselves from Mitt Romney by OAN Newsroom
Senate Foreign Relations Committee member Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, questions witness James Jeffrey special representative for Syria
Engagement and special envoy to the Global Coalition to Defeat Islamic State during a committee hearing on assessing the impact of
Turkeyís offensive in northeast Syria, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Oct. 22, 2019. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
    Senator Mitt Romney has been open in his opposition to the Trump administration, but other GOP senators are reportedly growing frustrated with his antics.
    A Thursday report from The Hill showed growing disapproval among Republicans senators over Romneyís jabs at the president.    GOP members were particularly exasperated by his refusal to stand up for President Trump, especially when Democrats called for impeachment.
    ďAs to whether the president should be removed or impeached,ÖIím really not going to weigh in at this stage,Ē stated Sen. Romney.    ďIíd have to look at the evidence as itís presented
    This follows the discovery of the senatorís alternate Twitter account, which was uncovered last week.    The account is registered under a fake name and was reportedly used to criticize President Trump anonymously.
    Romneyís comments have contradicted the opinions of other GOP members like Senator Lindsey Graham and Representative Will Hurd, who came out in defense of the president amid impeachment talks.
    ďThis phone call is not an impeachable offense,Ē stated Sen. Graham.    ďIf it becomes an impeachable offense, God help the next president and the ones beyond
    President Trump has responded to Romneyís attacks by questioning whether the senator was still grieving two failed presidential runs.    The president remarked that if Romney went after former President Barack Obama the same way, he may have won the election in 2012.    He went on to say the Democrat Party is lucky they donít have a lawmaker like Romney.
    ďI think theyíre lousy politicians, butÖthey are vicious and they stick together,Ē stated the president.    ďThey donít have Mitt Romney in their midst ó they donít have people like that
    Sen. Romney seems determined to continue the feud, but President Trump is saying he remains solely focused on uniting the Republican Party ahead of 2020.

10/24/2019 China will buy at least $20B U.S. farm goods if partial trade deal is signed in Nov. by OAN Newsroom
    China is set to buy at least $20 billion worth of agricultural imports from the U.S. if it agrees to a partial trade deal with Washington.    According to Bloomberg, China is positioned to buy the load of farm products close to the amount purchased in 2017 before the tariffs were imposed.
    Sources stated Beijing is even considering increasing their purchases for other U.S. goods as officials brace for more rounds of trade talks.    President Trump has stated he is confident Chinese President Xi will sign the limited deal on farm goods next month in Chile.
    ďTheyíve lost trillions and trillions of dollars and theyíre having the worst year theyíve had in 57 years,Ē he stated.    ďWith that being said, weíre working with China very wellÖand I think it will get signed quite easily, hopefully, by the summit in Chile where President Xi and I will both be
FILE Ė A farmer watches as soybeans are loaded into his trailer at the Heartland Co-op in Redfield, Iowa. (Charlie Neibergall/AP Photo)
    There is no set time frame for China to purchase the billions worth in U.S. farm products at this time, however, the two countries will continue hashing out details of their agreement.

10/24/2019 British PM Johnson calls for December 12 election to break Brexit deadlock by Kate Holton, Elizabeth Piper and Kylie MacLellan
Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson is seen at the House of Commons in London, Britain
October 23, 2019. ©UK Parliament/Jessica Taylor/Handout via REUTERS
    LONDON (Reuters) Ė Prime Minister Boris Johnson called on Thursday for a general election on Dec. 12 to break Britainís Brexit impasse, conceding for the first time he will not meet his ďdo or dieĒ deadline to leave the European Union next week.
    Johnson said in a letter to opposition Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn he would give parliament more time to approve his Brexit deal but lawmakers must back a December election, Johnsonís third attempt to try to force a snap vote.
    Corbyn said he would wait to see what the EU decides on a Brexit delay before deciding which way to vote on Monday, repeating that he could only back an election when the risk of Johnson taking Britain out of the EU without a deal to smooth the transition was off the table.
    With other opposition parties rejecting the election offer, it was increasingly unlikely that Johnsonís latest bid to replace a parliament that has repeatedly put hurdles in his way would be successful.
    Just a week before Britain was due to exit the EU, the bloc looks set to grant Johnson a Brexit delay, something he has repeatedly said he does not want but was forced by parliament to request.
    An election is seen by his team as the only way of breaking the deadlock over Brexit after parliament voted in favor of his deal at the first stage, but then, minutes later, rejected his preferred timetable which would have met his Oct. 31 deadline.
    But he has twice failed before to win the votes in parliament for an election, where he needs the support of two-thirds of its 650 lawmakers.
    ďThis parliament has refused to take decisions.    It cannot refuse to let the voters replace it with a new parliament that can make decisions,Ē he wrote to Corbyn.
    ďProlonging this paralysis into 2020 would have dangerous consequences for businesses, jobs and for basic confidence in democratic institutions, already badly damaged by the behavior of parliament since the referendum.    Parliament cannot continue to hold the country hostage
    Corbyn, a veteran critic of the EU, said he wanted to wait until Friday to see what Brussels had decided to do with Britainís request for a delay Ė something Johnson was forced to ask for by parliament.
    ďThe principle is take Ďno dealí off the table, the EU answers tomorrow, then we can decide,Ē Corbyn told reporters.
    The Scottish National Party and other smaller parties rejected the prime ministerís attempt to force an election, casting doubt on whether the Conservative leader will be able to secure the votes needed to hold a ballot before Christmas.
    More than three years after Britons voted 52%-48% to be the first sovereign country to leave the European project, the future of Brexit is unclear.
    Brexit has increasingly dominated politics, pushing other pressing issues aside.    On Thursday, Brexit delays were blamed for finance minister Sajid Javid postponing his first budget.
    Johnson won the top job in July by staking his career on getting Brexit done by Oct. 31, though in Thursdayís letter he makes clear he is ready to scrap his deadline.    Last month, he said he would rather be ďdead in a ditchĒ than ask for a delay.
    But several of his aides think he can weather any criticism for failing to meet the deadline by arguing that he was thwarted by lawmakers, doubling down on his teamís narrative of ďpeople versus parliament
    At a meeting of Johnsonís top ministers, some media reported disagreement over whether the government should try for an early election, fearing that doing so before Brexit was settled might damage the Conservatives.
    Johnson seems to still hold out hope of securing a deal with Brussels, offering parliament until Nov. 6 to ratify an agreement he settled with the EU last week.
    ďThis means that we could get Brexit done before the election on 12 December, if MPs (members of parliament) choose to do so,Ē he said.
    Labour has long said it cannot back an election until no- deal Brexit is off the table.    But if the EU grants an extension until the end of January, that would appear to remove the threat of Johnson taking Britain out of the bloc without an agreement.
    By proposing to dissolve parliament on Nov. 6, that would also be beyond the current Oct. 31 deadline.
LEAVE WITH JOHNSONíS DEAL     Earlier, a senior Downing Street source said Britain would ultimately leave the EU with Johnsonís deal despite the likely additional delay, with the EU considering offering London a three-month flexible Brexit extension.
    ďThis ends with us leaving with the PMís deal,Ē the source said.    ďWe will leave with a deal, with the PMís deal
    All eyes are now on not whether, but by how long, the EU decides to extend the Brexit process: Germany supports a three-month delay, while France is pushing for a shorter one.
    Both fear a no-deal exit that would almost certainly hurt global growth and create a potentially deeper EU crisis.
    To offer Britain a long extension would take the pressure off British lawmakers to approve Johnsonís deal and open up possibilities such as a referendum on it.    A short extension might focus minds in the British parliament.
    Brexit was initially supposed to have taken place on March 29 but Johnsonís predecessor Theresa May was forced to delay twice Ė first to April 12 and then to Oct. 31 Ė as parliament defeated her Brexit deal by margins of between 58 and 230 votes earlier this year.
(Additional reporting by Michel Rose in Paris, Marcin Goclowski in Gabriela Baczynska in Helsinki, John Chalmers in Brussels, Crispin Balmer in Rome, Padraic Halpin in Dublin and Andreas Rinke in Berlin; William James and Andrew MacAskill in London; Writing by Guy Faulconbridge and Elizabeth Piper; Editing by Hugh Lawson, William Maclean and Mark Heinrich)

10/24/2019 Russian operatives sacrifice followers to stay under cover on Facebook by Jack Stubbs
FILE PHOTO: A 3D-printed Facebook logo is displayed in front of binary digits in this
illustration taken, March 18, 2018. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo
    LONDON (Reuters) Ė Efforts by Russian influence campaigns to stay undetected on social media ahead of next yearís U.S. elections are undermining their ability to gain followers and spread divisive political messages, a senior Facebook executive told Reuters.
    Social media users need to stand out from the crowd to gain traction online, but that type of behavior also helps Facebook and other platforms identify suspicious activity to then analyze for signs of foreign involvement, said Nathaniel Gleicher, Facebookís head of cyber security policy.
    ďIf you are very, very loud, if you go viral very, very fast thatís exactly the sort of thing that our automated systems will detect and flag,Ē he said.    ďSo when actors have really diligent, deliberate and effective operational security it weakens their ability to build an audience
    Facebook on Monday suspended a network of Instagram accounts it said targeted U.S. users ahead of next yearís presidential poll and were linked to Russiaís Internet Research Agency (IRA), an organization Washington says Moscow used to meddle in the 2016 U.S. election.
    The latest Russian campaign posted on both sides of sensitive topics such as the environment and sexual equality but struggled to attract followers due to the operatorsí attempts to stop the accounts being caught and disabled, said Gleicher.
    Those efforts included sharing memes and screenshots of other usersí social media posts instead of producing original content in English, likely to avoid making language errors typical of non-native speakers, according to a report by social media analytics firm Graphika.
    This technique ďgave each asset less of a discernible personality and therefore may have reduced the (campaignís) ability to build audiences,Ē Graphika said.
    The IRA-linked network of 50 Instagram accounts had around 246,000 followers, about 60 percent of which were in the United States, Facebook said, without providing a breakdown for each account.
    That compares with charges by U.S. special counsel Robert Mueller that the IRA has previously run social media accounts with hundreds of thousands of followers each.    Facebook says up to 126 million Americans may have seen Russian-linked posts aimed at the 2016 election.
    Russian catering tycoon Evgeny Prigozhin, accused by U.S. prosecutors of orchestrating the IRAís activities through Concord Management and Consulting LLC, did not respond to questions sent by Reuters.
    Attorneys for Concord Management and Consulting LLC did not respond to a request for comment but have previously denied any wrongdoing.
    Facebook, Twitter and Google have vowed to step up the fight against political manipulation of their platforms after facing fierce criticism for failing to counter alleged Russian interference in 2016.
    Despite the increased scrutiny, U.S. officials have repeatedly warned of the threat posed by Russia and other countries such as Iran, who they say may still attempt to sway the result of next yearís vote.
    Addressing U.S. lawmakers this week, FBI Deputy Assistant Director Nikki Floris said the bureauís foreign influence task force was briefing candidates and running a series of public information videos to help safeguard the election.
    The Department of Homeland Security did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
    Moscow and Tehran have repeatedly denied allegations of election interference.    The Kremlin and Russiaís foreign ministry did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
    Russian efforts to avoid detection by the platformsí security teams have been increasing since the IRAís alleged efforts in 2016 were first exposed, said Ben Nimmo, who has helped Facebook analyze influence operations and currently runs investigations at Graphika.
    A campaign exposed by the Atlantic Councilís Digital Forensic Research Lab in June, which attempted to seed false narratives online such as a bogus plot to assassinate British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, created a new account for almost every single post.
    This made it harder to track connections between the accounts, Nimmo said, but also meant the posts only reached a small number of people.
    Announcing the takedown of a network in July last year, which it said showed ďsome connectionsĒ to previously-identified IRA accounts, Facebook noted that ďbad actors have been more careful to cover their tracks
    The company said operators were using virtual private networks and internet phone services to obscure an account userís location, and paying for advertising via third parties.
    In contrast, previous campaigns linked to the IRA used Russian phone numbers and IP addresses to register their accounts, as well as paying for Facebook adverts in Russian roubles, raising suspicions about Russian involvement.The original IRA activity threw operational security to the wind,Ē Nimmo said.
(Additional reporting by Christopher Bing and Raphael Satter in Washington; Editing by Carmel Crimmins)

10/24/2019 White House feud with New York Times, Washington Post escalates by OAN Newsroom
    Two major news publications are in the crosshairs of the Trump administration as it seeks to crackdown on so-called Ďfake news.í    Thursday reports claimed the White House plans to call on federal agencies to cancel their subscriptions to The New York Times and The Washington Post.    Officials said the move would save taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars.
    The administration cancelled its own subscriptions after President Trump said this week that he didnít want copies of either paper at the White House.    Both publications, which he has accused of promoting Ďfake news,í have been critical of the president.
    ďCan you imagine if I got a fair press?Ē asked President Trump.    ďThe election would be over!Ē
    Since the 2016 election, the president has repeatedly accused the media of being biased against his administration.    Heís blamed unfair coverage for leading him to stop having regular White House press briefings.    President Trump has taken aim at a number of Ďfake newsí media outlets, all of which he accused of being ďthe enemy of the American people

10/24/2019 Department of Justice launches criminal investigation into Russia probe by OAN Newsroom
FILE Ė In this Thursday, April 18, 2019, file photo, a sign for the Department of Justice hangs in the
press briefing room at the Justice Department, in Washington. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)
    The Department Justice is opening a criminal investigation into its own Russia probe.    A new report from The New York Times said officials have shifted the Russia investigation overseen by Attorney General Barr from an ďadministrative reviewĒ into a criminal investigation.
    The move gives U.S. attorney John Durham the power to subpoena for witness testimony and documents.    DOJ rules state that a criminal inquiry can only be undertaken after finding a ďreasonable indicationĒ of wrongdoing.    The intent of the investigation will be to uncover the origin of the Russia probe, but it is not clear what potential crime Durham is investigating or what prompted the inquiry.
    This comes after Special Counsel Robert Mueller III closed the official investigation months ago.
    This story is developing, please check back later for more details.
[I am glad to see that the day is finally here for someone to put the former Obama administration and their corruption to be brought out into the light as it already smells to the high heaven as it has been rotting all over the fake news and we expect to see that justice will be done and the truth will set all back to its right place.    I can already imagine that the lower fish in this sea will be ratting on their superiors and visa versa to their minions, and I can guarantee the DEEP STATE will have all the Democrats have demonstrations against all the claims.    Stay tuned for the clearing out of the SWAMP as the FISA-UnderSurveillance corruption comes out into the sunshine.].

10/24/2019 GOP Sen. Graham introduces resolution to condemn House impeachment inquiry by OAN Newsroom
Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., speaks about a resolution he says he will introduce condemning the
Democratic-controlled House for pursuing a ďclosed door, illegitimate impeachment inquiry
during a news conference at the Capitol in Washington,Thursday, Oct. 24, 2019. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
    Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham is saying House Democratís impeachment inquiry is ďat its core un-American.Ē    He delivered the criticism Thursday while introducing a resolution to condemn the lower chamber, which now has 46 Republican cosponsors.
    The resolution calls for open-door impeachment proceedings and aims to provide President Trump with ďfundamental constitutional protections
    The House continues to conduct its inquiry behind closed doors and without authorization, which Graham claimed will increase support for his resolution.    He pointed out that the right to ďdue processĒ was given to former Presidents Clinton and Nixon, but not to President Trump.
    ďI would say if we pulled this, youíd be beating us alive,Ē stated Graham.    ďIf we had Rudy Giulianiís opening statement and he said ĎI did nothing wrong,í I doubt if you would accept that
    The senator said thereís ďa right way and a wrong wayĒ to go about impeachment, but emphasized House Democrats have chosen the ďdangerous way to do it.Ē Graham clarified on Twitter that his comments werenít directed at specific individuals, but at the impeachment inquiry as a process.

10/24/2019 Rep. Gaetz calls Democrats an Ďangry pack of rabid hyenasí by OAN Newsroom
Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., speaks to reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington, Monday, Oct. 14, 2019. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
    Congressman Matt Gaetz slammed House Democrats after he and a group of Republicans stormed a closed-door impeachment hearing.    Gaetz defended their actions on Wednesday, calling the Democrat members of Congress an ďangry pack of rabid hyenas
    When asked if the GOP had the right to conduct such a protest, the Florida lawmaker shot back.    He claimed no rules apply when dealing with Democrats because they make their own.
    GOP members are now demanding transparency by Democrats regarding their impeachment inquiry.
    ďHow can you tell me itís a fact that my committeeís not involved when it was the chairman of the Judiciary Committee who launched the investigation?Ē asked Rep. Gaetz.    ďFirst you say weíre not involved, then you say we didnít issue the subpoenas Ė those are two different things
    Democrats have criticized the GOPís actions and are demanding punishment for those who protested.

10/24/2019 Trump campaign trolls Biden, snags URL for Latino outreach program by OAN Newsroom
Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden speaks during a
campaign event, Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2019, in Scranton, Pa. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
    Another day, another flub by the self-proclaimed gaffe machine Joe Biden.    The former vice president unveiled his proposal for a new outreach program dubbed ĎTodos con Bidení on Wednesday.
    ďThis is the most important election of our lifetimes and we need the leadership of the Latino community, your voices and your votes,Ē stated Biden.
    The group Biden has described as a ďnational network of Latino supportersĒ would be his answer to the ĎLatinos for Trumpí movement.    It was reportedly designed to help him court Latino and Spanish-speaking voters ó but it didnít go as planned.
    Shortly after the announcement, President Trumpís campaign team noticed that Biden had not purchased the rights to the websiteís domain and took the opportunity to troll the 2020 hopeful.    His team purchased the siteís URL and changed the front page to read ďOopsÖLooks like Joe forgot about LatinosĒ in both Spanish and English.    They also included a redirect link to the presidentís ďLatinos for TrumpĒ page and snagged the account name @todosconbiden on Twitter.
    Deputy Communications Director for the presidentís reelection campaign Erin Perrine has called the Biden team ďinept, with a deeply flawed candidate.Ē    She said the Latino community is thriving under President Trump and added that ďthanks to the Biden camp, people can find out more about that success at
    Bidenís campaign has since fired back, calling the move ďchildish

10/25/2019 Oil up $0.26 to $56.23, DOW down 28 to 26,806.

10/25/2019 Russian agent Butina to be freed from U.S. prison, awaits deportation by Sarah N. Lynch
FILE PHOTO: Maria Butina appears in a police booking photograph released by the Alexandria Sheriff's Office
in Alexandria, Virginia, U.S. August 18, 2018. Alexandria Sheriff's Office/Handout via REUTERS/File Photo
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) Ė Convicted Russian agent Maria Butina is set to be released from a Florida prison on Friday after serving most of her 18-month sentence for conspiring to influence U.S. conservative activists and infiltrate the National Rifle Association, and is expected to be quickly deported to her native country.
    Butina, 31, had been scheduled for release from the low-security prison in Tallahassee in early November, but a change in federal law moved up her release date based on credit for good behavior, her attorney Robert Driscoll said.    She is expected to be taken into custody by U.S immigration authorities immediately after being released to be deported, Driscoll added.
    Russian President Vladimir Putin has previously expressed ďoutrageĒ over Butinaís prison sentence and said she did not carry out any orders from Russian security services.
    Butina, a former graduate student at American University in Washington who publicly advocated for gun rights, pleaded guilty in December to one count of conspiring to act as a foreign agent and agreed to cooperate with prosecutors.
    The Siberia native admitted to conspiring with a Russian official and two Americans to infiltrate the NRA, the powerful gun rights group closely aligned with U.S. conservatives and Republican politicians including President Donald Trump, and create unofficial lines of communication to try to shape Washingtonís policy toward Moscow.
    Her 18-month sentence included nine months she spent incarcerated after her July 2018 arrest.
    Butinaís case was separate from former Special Counsel Robert Muellerís investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election, which detailed numerous contacts between Trumpís campaign and Russia.    Her activities occurred during the same period as the contacts investigated by Mueller.
    The Russian official with whom Butina conspired was later identified as Alexander Torshin, a deputy governor of Russiaís central bank.    He was never charged in the case, but was hit with sanctions by the U.S. Treasury Department.
    One of the two Americans referenced in her case was conservative political activist Paul Erickson, her boyfriend.    Erickson was not charged for his links to Butina, but was indicted on unrelated wire fraud and money laundering charges in South Dakota.    The case against Erickson is still pending.
    In addition, Chief Executive Officer Patrick Byrne resigned in August after confirming a report by Fox News contributor Sara Carter that he also had an intimate relationship with Butina.
    Federal prosecutors have said Butina did not engage in ďtraditionalĒ spy craft, but worked behind the scenes to make inroads in conservative political circles and promote friendlier U.S.-Russian relations.    She arranged dinners in Washington and New York and attended events to meet prominent politicians.
    Butina in 2015 appeared at a Trump campaign event and asked him a question about whether he wanted better relations with Russia.    Trump responded by telling Butina that he would ďget along very nicely with Putin
    Russiaís Ministry of Foreign Affairs last year accused the United States of forcing Butina to make a false confession to ďabsolutely ridiculous chargesĒ of being a Russian agent.
    ďItís not clear what she was convicted of or what crime she committed,Ē Putin said in April.    ďI think itís a prime example of Ďsaving face.í    They arrested her and put the girl in jail.    But there was nothing on her, so in order not to look totally stupid they gave her, fixed her up, with an 18-month sentence to show that she was guilty of something
(Reporting by Sarah N. Lynch; Editing by Will Dunham)

10/25/2019 People are leaving San Francisco Ė because they canít live with the costs - PRICED OUT by Marco della Cava, USA TODAY
    SAN FRANCISCO Ė Social media influencer Sarah Tripp and her husband, Robbie Tripp, moved to San Francisco in 2016 brimming with optimism.
    ďWe thought, hereís a city full of opportunities and connections where you go to work hard and succeed,Ē says Tripp, 27, founder of the lifestyle blog Sassy Red Lipstick.
    But after a year-long hunt for suitable housing in San Francisco only turned up ďplaces for $1 million that looked like rundown shacks and needed a remodel,Ē the couple packed up and moved to Phoenix.
    They went from paying San Francisco rents of $2,500 for a one-bedroom, one-bath apartment that was far from shopping and other amenities, to purchasing a newly constructed 3,000-square-foot, four-bedroom, four-bathroom home where theyíll raise their newly arrived baby boy.
    ďIt was cool to be living near all those high-tech startups,Ē Tripp says of her time in the Bay Area.    ďBut you quickly saw that if you werenít part of that, youíd be pushed out.    Itís just sad
    For the better part of two decades, the Bay Area has been a magnet for newcomers lured by a modern-day technology Gold Rush.    But increasingly only those who have struck it rich can afford to stay.
    Once a bohemian mecca that welcomed the Beat poets and í60s hippies, San Francisco now lays claim to the most expensive housing in the West, with a median home price of $1.4 million.    Thereís also $5-a-gallon gas, private schools priced like universities and chic restaurants that cost nearly double the national average.
    Earlier this year, the San Francisco Bay Area was second only to New York Ė and ahead of Los Angeles, Washington and Chicago Ė when it came to people leaving major U.S. cities.    More than 28,190 departed in the second quarter of 2019, almost double 2017ís rate, according to a regular Migration Report from real estate brokerage Redfin.
    The most popular in-state option for San Franciscans fleeing high costs is Sacramento, where the median home price is $350,000.    Out of state, Seattle, at a $580,000 median, offers the biggest draw, Redfin data shows.
    Yet another popular destination is even farther afield: Austin, Texas, a capital city with no state taxes and a booming tech scene that is home to Appleís latest HQ.    The most recent quarter, which ended July 30, saw Austin receive 5,403 newcomers, the majority of whom came from San Francisco, Redfin says.
    California overall also is losing residents.    In 2018, 38,000 more people left the Golden State than entered, the second year in a row for this negative trend, according to the U.S. census.    A recent Edelman Trust Barometer survey found 53% of residents and 63% of millennials were considering leaving because of the high cost of living.
    ďThe great tragedy is this place was a middle-class paradise, and now youíve got the flight of the middle class with all their aspirations, leaving the poor, the rich and a transient population,Ē says Joel Kotkin, presidential fellow in Urban Futures at Chapman University in Orange, California.
    In the Bay Area, median household income is around $100,000, a tidy sum in most cities.    But after federal and state taxes, residents have to cover rents that range from $3,600 a month in San Francisco to $4,600 in Silicon Valley, according to rental site Rent Cafe.    That economic reality has left many of the cityís low-income residents living in their cars or on the streets.
    ďI donít recognize my city, to be honest,Ē says Shannon Way, executive director of HomeownershipSF, a nonprofit umbrella group that helps residents secure housing.    ďWhen you only have people at the extremes, it tears at the very fiber of what it means to live in a community
    Way says her organization does what it can to steer locals toward the cityís few below market rate housing options, as well as a city down payment assistance loan program.
    ďWe focus on those who really want to stay,Ē she says.    ďBut itís getting harder and harder to survive here
Californiaís biggest challenge
    Business and political leaders Ė from Salesforce billionaire Marc Benioff to Gov. Gavin Newsom Ė have sounded the alarm over the growing housing crisis.
    Last year, Benioff lobbied to pass a controversial San Francisco corporate tax to fund homelessness initiatives.    And Newsom, who in his State of the State address early this year called housing ďour most overwhelming challenge,Ē has committed $1.75 billion to fund new building projects.
    During a statewide tour in October, Newsom signed various housing bills, including one that puts an annual cap on rent increases at 5% plus inflation and another that aims to block predatory evictions.
    ďWeíre living in the wealthiest as well as the poorest state in America,Ē Newsom said as he signed the bills.
    San Jose natives Halie and Jim Casey assumed that by getting into the housing market they could keep costs under control.    They had bought a small house well suited to the two of them and were happy.    Then Halie got pregnant.
    ďWe quickly saw we couldnít afford anything bigger,Ē she says.
    Their appreciating asset served as a ticket out.    The couple had purchased their home for $700,000, and two years later, it was worth $1 million thanks in part to Google buying land in San Jose.
    Jim, 40, decided to become a stay-athome dad for a spell, while Halie, 32, arranged to transfer in May 2018 with her employer, Apple, to the companyís new Austin offices.
    ďWe got a great house with a nice yard, have great schools, and all for less money,Ē she says.
    For some experts, families opting to leave the state foreshadows larger problems.    They worry a lack of affordable housing could jeopardize a state growth rate Ė one fueled in large part by Bay Area tech giants Ė that typically outpaces the national average.    That could mean fewer jobs for those who stay.
    ďThe Bay Areaís strength is also its greatest weakness,Ē says Jordan Levine, deputy chief economist of the California Association of Realtors.
    ďThe area has a strong economy and some of the most innovative companies in the nation, but itís also a poster child for housing supply issues that havenít kept up with growth
Middle class in peril
    Chapman Universityís Kotkin says heís alarmed by the growing number of California companies moving to states where cheap housing and sometimes no state taxes make it easier to pay middlemanagers a living wage.    These include automakers (Mitsubishi leaving L.A. for Tennessee), defense contractors (Parsons leaving Pasadena for Washington, D.C.), and technology enterprises (Apple building in Austin).
    ďIn the end, you want a middle class in your state,Ē Kotkin says.    ďBecause a society without one is unstable
    Solutions will have to come from public officials and citizens alike, says Dowell Myers, professor of policy, planning and demography at the University of Southern Californiaís Sol Price School of Public Policy.
    ďIím not despondent, but it requires many people to see how their interests are negatively impacted,Ē he says.    ďIf you own a house, you benefit as your value goes up in a housing shortage.    But your children and grandchildren will be impacted; they may not be able to live and work here.    So thatíll be the way things will change
    The alternative is bleak, says state Sen. Scott Wiener, D-San Francisco.
    ďWeíre headed to a future where the middle class wonít be able to raise families here, where restaurants increasingly will close because they canít hire workers, where teachers and police officers canít live anywhere near where they work,Ē he says.    ďWe need a much greater sense of urgency
Jim and Halie Casey of San Jose, Calif., found they got a lot more for their money when
they moved to Austin, Texas, to raise their 2-year-old daughter. HALIE CASEY
The Bay Area was second only to New York in losing residents. GETTY IMAGES
[When I left California in 1988 a one bedroom house was at $135,000 which I could not afford and lived in apartments at $700 per month, and I went to Kentucky I rented an apartment for $400 per month until in 1990 I bought a 3 bedroom 2 bathroom - 7 gable house with garage for $59,000.].

10/25/2019 Dept. of Justiceís probe into the Russia hoax turns into criminal investigation by OAN Newsroom
    Attorney General William Barrís probe into the origins of the Russia investigation is turning into a criminal case.    The change reportedly allows U.S. attorney John Durham, who was chosen by Barr to lead the probe, to subpoena documents as well as witness testimonies and to file criminal charges if necessary.    This comes after reports last week said Barr was expanding the investigation after Durham found something ďsignificant    However, itís still not clear what exactly prompted the switch.
    The probe was first launched in May as an administrative review into the origins of the Russia hoax.    President Trump has repeatedly denounced former special council Robert Muellerís Russia probe by calling it a ďwitch huntĒ and a ďhoax.Ē    When asked whether he prompted the attorney general to open the investigation, however, the president said he hadnít, but also said he appreciates Barrís work.
    ďNo, I didnít ask him to do thatÖbut, I think itís a great thing that he did it,Ē he stated.    ďIt was the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the people of this country
Attorney General William Barr, center, and Vice President Mike Pence, left of Barr, attend a Cabinet meeting in the
Cabinet Room of the White House, Monday, Oct. 21, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
    According to reports, Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitzís upcoming report on possible surveillance abuses by the Obama-era FBI against President Trumpís 2016 campaign will also contain an update on why this inquiry is turning into a criminal probe.
    Meanwhile, Durham has reportedly expressed interest in investigating former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and CIA Director John Brennan, who were in charge while the since-debunked Steele dossier was released.    This led to the secret surveillance of Trump campaign officials in 2016.
    It was recently reported that multiple CIA officials have pursued legal council because of Durhamís legal review.    Horowitz has said his report will be released in the near future.

10/25/2019 James Clapper reacts to reports of Justice Dept. criminal probe by OAN Newsroom
Former National Intelligence Director James Clapper is pictured.(J. Scott Applewhite/AP Photo)
    Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper is in disbelief that the Department of Justice has opened a criminal inquiry into how the Russia probe was carried out.
    During an appearance on CNN Thursday, Clapper said he just learned about the investigation as the mainstream outlets broke the story.    He immediately questioned the timing of the probe, and speculated the public reporting of the inquiry as politically motivated.    The former Obama-era official then questioned what aspects of the investigation was connected with potential criminal conduct.
    Clapper has been a target of President Trumpís anger as the former director helped lead the investigation into the 2016 Trump campaign.
    Clapper then said he doesnít know what anyone did during the Russia probe that would rise to the level of criminal activity.

10/25/2019 Maria Butina released from Fla. prison to be deported back to Moscow by OAN Newsroom
    An alleged Russian operative is being deported back to Moscow after she was released from prison early on good behavior.    Maria Butina left the Florida prison on Friday, where she had served more than 15 months of her 18 month sentence.
NEW:     Maria Butina, who was convicted of crimes relating to the 2016 presidential election, has been released from prison and is expected to be deported back to Russia. ó Stephanie Myers (@_StephanieMyers) October 25, 2019
    Butina pleaded guilty last year to being a foreign agent and trying to infiltrate conservative political circles and the National Rifle Association (NRA).    During her trial, prosecutors said Butina would attend gun rights events before and after the 2016 election in order to establish unofficial lines of communication to promote Russian interests in U.S. policy.
FILE Ė In this April 21, 2013 file photo, Maria Butina, leader of a pro-gun organization in Russia, speaks to a
crowd during a rally in support of legalizing the possession of handguns in Moscow, Russia. (AP Photo/File)
    ďI am in my industry because I think freedom is very important and the basis of any freedom is, of course, gun rightsÖand I would like to know more and bring this knowledge to Russia,Ē stated the alleged Russian agent.    ďIím traveling from Moscow, from Russia, and I hope it will be useful for my country
    Russian President Vladimir Putin has denied that Butina is a Russian operative, and claimed the U.S. forced her confession. U.S. immigration agents are set to escort Butina from Miami to Moscow, where she intends to return to her hometown in Siberia.

10/25/2019 President Trump says large-scale sanctions will be imposed on Turkey for any ceasefire violations by OAN Newsroom
President Donald Trump speaks to reporters as leaves the White House, Friday, Oct. 25, 2019
in Washington, to travel to South Carolina. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
    In a tweet Friday, President Trump pointed out Turkey is well aware that they are not to fire at Kurds as they leave the safe zone.    He also threatened hefty sanctions for any violations.
    The president also took aim at ďpundit fools,Ē who ask what the U.S. is getting out of the deal to which he said ďthe oil.Ē    He went on to reaffirm the U.S. is finally bringing its soldiers back home.
    Meanwhile, Defense Secretary Mark Esper said the U.S. is now entering phase two of withdrawing troops from Syria.    While speaking on the sidelines of the NATO conference in Brussels Friday, he said his department is considering re-positioning forces in the region to secure oil fields in order to block ISIS from the resources.
    The U.S. defense chief said all other U.S. troops are intended to return home.    He also mentioned the U.S. is working with Turkey and the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) to re-secure ISIS prisons.
    ďThe SDF has assured us that all, within their area and control, all ISIS prisoners are being secure ó thatís good news,Ē he stated.    ďIíve spoken to the Turkish defense minister ó he informs me that all the ISIS prisoners and the prisons in their area are under control, and actually informed me that theyíve been able to recollect some of them
    Esper went on to urge fellow NATO members to recognize growing security threats, which are emerging from China and Russia.

U.S. Secretary for Defense Mark Esper speaks during a media conference after a meeting of NATO defense ministers at
NATO headquarters in Brussels, Friday, Oct. 25, 2019. NATO defense ministers on Friday discussed efforts to deter Russia
in eastern Europe and the future of the mission training security forces in Afghanistan. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)

10/25/2019 U.S. close to finalizing parts of Phase One deal with China by OAN Newsroom
President Donald Trump meets with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He in the Oval Office of the White House
in Washington, Friday, Oct. 11, 2019. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
    Administration officials are saying the U.S. and China are close to finalizing the Phase One trade deal announced in early October.    The U.S. Trade Representativeís Office said the latest round of negotiations made headway on specific issues, bringing the two countries closer to completing some sections of the agreement.
    This comes after Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer held high-level talks with Chinaís vice premier by phone on Friday.    President Trump said he is working very closely with China to make a deal and is confident things are moving along nicely.
    ďA lot of good things are happening with China ó they want to make a deal very badly,Ē stated the president.    ďTheyíre going to be buying much more farm product than anybody ever thought possible
    Earlier this month, he announced that the countries had reached a ďvery substantial Phase One dealĒ and called it a tremendous win for farmers.    While meeting with the Chinese vice premier at the White House, President Trump it was Ďphase oneí of a bigger deal.    He said Ďphase twoí will be negotiated after the first deal is drafted.
    The president said a currency agreement may also be in the works.    This would limit both countries from devaluing their currencies in order to gain an unfair competitive trade advantage.    President Trump labeled China a ďcurrency manipulatorĒ earlier this year after Beijing reportedly lowered the value of the yuan.

10/25/2019 President Trump, RNC breaks presidential fundraising record by OAN Newsroom
    The Republican National Committee (RNC) and the Trump campaign raised a combined $125 million last quarter.    Both now have a record breaking $157 million cash-on-hand.
    ďA president has never gone into re-election with this much fundraising, this much grassroots support,Ē stated Liz Harrington, National spokeswoman for the RNC.    ďIf you look at what President Obama had raised at this quarter in 2011 it was only $70 million
    The average donation was $44.50 and 98 percent of donations were $200 or less.    Part of the increase in small donor donations is due to the Republican online fundraising site Win Red.    President Trump unveiled the platform back in June, which is designed to compete with the Democrats Act Blue fundraising operation.
    In its first three months, Win Red raised more than Act Blue in three and a half years.    With a record amount of cash, the RNC is focusing on building a strong ground team for 2020.
In this Oct. 17, 2019, photo, President Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally at
the American Airlines Center in Dallas. (AP Photo/Jeffrey McWhorter)
    ďThe DNC just cannot catch up at this point, weíve invested over $300 million into our data operation,Ē said Harrington.    ďWe have been consistently on the ground, states weíve never left, and weíre actually expanding the map as well, weíre on the ground right now in 19 states
    While Democrat candidates such as Sen. Bernie Sanders, Sen. Elizabeth Warren and South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg have individually raised millions, the Democratic National Committee only has $8.6 million cash on hand.    The lack of funds, a crowded primary field, and the Democrats continued push on the divisive issue of impeachment is giving President Trump and Republicans the upper-hand as 2020 approaches.

10/25/2019 Rep. Tulsi Gabbard doesnít plan on seeking re-election in the House by OAN Newsroom
FILE Ė Democratic presidential candidate U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, listens to a question
during a campaign stop in Londonderry, N.H. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa, File)
    2020 Democrat candidate Tulsi Gabbard announces she will not be seeking congressional re-election in Hawaii.    She made the announcement through a blog post on her campaign website on Thursday.
    Gabbard also released a video explaining the issues she would want to tackle as president, including preventing what she has called a ďnew Cold WarĒ as well as ending regime-change wars in the Middle East.    The Democrat said because of her focus on these issues, she intends to only focus on her presidential campaign come 2020.
    ďAs such, I will not be seeking re-election to Congress in 2020, and humbly ask you for your support for my candidacy for President of the United States,Ē stated Gabbard.
    The Hawaii congresswoman has appeared at the bottom of most polls in the race.    Nonetheless, she was one of the twelve Democrat candidates to appear in this monthís presidential debates.

10/25/2019 Michael Flynnís legal team drops evidence of alleged FBI entrapment by OAN Newsroom
Michael Flynn, President Donald Trumpís former national security adviser, leaves the federal court following a status
conference with Judge Emmet Sullivan, in Washington, Tuesday, Sept. 10, 2019. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
    Michael Flynnís legal team is piecing together a damning timeline of events, which could prove the FBI entrapped him into a guilty plea.    The case against the former National Security adviser lost credibility this week as the retired army generalís attorney Sidney Powell filed a 37-page motion in court Thursday.
    A mostly un-redacted version of the filing was made public Friday and may prove the defenseís allegation of an ambush against Flynn by the FBI.    Drawing from the text messages sent between FBI love birds Peter Strzok and Lisa Page in January of 2017, Powell noted that Strzok said ďnow that this is out, we can use it as a pretext to go interview some people.Ē    That was in reference to news first breaking about the existence of the Steele Dossier.
    Powell went on to describe the ďmany meetingsĒ between Strzok and former DBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe.    The two reportedly discussed what interview strategies they wanted to use on Flynn.    The day before the interview, the pair spoke to other high-ranking members of the agency ó including James Baker and Lisa Page ó about how they could keep Flynn relaxed and unaware that he was being talked to in connection with a criminal investigation.
FILE Ė In this July 12, 2018 file photo, FBI Deputy Assistant Director Peter Strzok is seated to testify before the the
House Committees on the Judiciary and Oversight and Government Reform during a hearing in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
    Powell has said none of this information was available to Flynn before he made his guilty plea to the Special Counsel.    She also noted that within days of Flynnís decision, those who had pushed behind the scenes for his prosecution were reportedly demoted or forced to resign.    Shortly after, news broke of Strzok and Pageís affair and ďtheir malice toward President Trump
    The judge who accepted Flynnís plea later recused himself because he was a friend of Stzrok.    Flynnís legal team said this was the basis for his case to be dismissed.    They called on the prosecution to stop withholding further exonerating evidence.
    It remains unclear if this motion will be enough to delay Flynnís sentencing, which is set for mid-December.

[The Open Society Policy Center (OSPC) is a non-partisan and non-profit 501(c)(4) organization that engages in advocacy aimed at influencing U.S. government policy on domestic and international issues, including civil rights and liberties, criminal justice reform, immigration, multilateralism, development assistance, health policy and promotion of human rights, transparency and accountability.
    It all began as New World Order or NWO, an emerging clandestine totalitarian world government by various conspiracy theories.    New World Order, a secretive power elite with a globalist agenda conspiring to eventually rule the world through an authoritarian world governmentówhich will replace sovereign nation-statesóand an all-encompassing propaganda whose ideology hails the establishment of the New World Order as the culmination of history's progress.    So the cabal that operates through many front organizations to orchestrate significant political and financial events, ranging from causing systemic crises to pushing through controversial policies, at both national and international levels, as steps in an ongoing plot to achieve world domination.    Before the early 1990s, New World Order conspiracism was limited to two American countercultures, primarily the militantly anti-government right and secondarily that part of fundamentalist Christianity concerned with the end-time emergence of the Antichrist.    Skeptics, such as Michael Barkun and Chip Berlet, observed that right-wing populist conspiracy theories about a New World Order had not only been embraced by many seekers of stigmatized knowledge but had seeped into popular culture, thereby inaugurating a period during the late 20th and early 21st centuries in the United States where people are actively preparing for apocalyptic millenarian scenarios.    Those political scientists are concerned that mass hysteria over New World Order conspiracy theories could eventually have devastating effects on American political life, ranging from escalating lone-wolf terrorism to the rise to power of authoritarian ultranationalist demagogues.    So what is now going on is it exists and it is trying to undermine the democracy and constitution of the United States of America and subject us to the Globalism concepts which President Donald Trump is fighting against everyday.]
10/25/2019 Soros non-profit group spends $72 million in lobbying efforts by OAN Newsroom
FILE Ė In this Thursday, April 27, 2017 file photom, George Soros, Founder and Chairman of the Open Society Foundation,
waits for the start of a meeting at EU headquarters in Brussels. (Olivier Hoslet/Pool Photo via AP)
    An advocacy group funded by billionaire George Soros is ramping up its lobbying efforts in the age of President Trump.    Friday reports showed the Open Society Policy Center (OSPC) spent more than $72 million since January of 2017.
    The 501(c)(4) nonprofit uses its resources to advocate for different domestic and international policies.    However, the recent increase in spending was dramatic.    From 2002 to 2016, the organization spent nearly $4 million per year.    That number has skyrocketed since President Trump took office.    The group now spends an average of $25 million per year.    At this rate of spending, it doesnít look like the figure will decrease ahead of 2020.
    Soros has been open in his opposition to the Trump administration.    On Friday, he expressed support for 2020 hopeful Elizabeth Warren and her campaign promises.    He added the Massachusetts senator is the ďone to beatĒ and said he believes President Trump is a danger to the world.
    ďClearly, I consider the Trump administration a danger to the world,Ē said the billionaire.    ďBut I regard it as a purely temporary phenomenon that will disappear in 2020, or even sooner
    Most of the nonprofitís lobbying efforts have been spent on congressional efforts focused on government oversight and human rights.    OSPC Executive Director Tom Perriello condemned the administration in a recent statement to the Washington Free Beacon.
    ďOn some of the issues we work on, there historically had been a bipartisan consensus,Ē stated Perriello.    ďBut an administration that casually and callously refers to lynchings andÖparts of the Constitution (as) Ďphonyí presents historic challenges
[If you have read my Chapter 8 of my book at that I wrote 35 years ago and how the world has been taken over by a one-world government that developed from suspicious organizations and then from GATT, then the World Trade Organization (WTO), and this DEEP STATE and unknown, who groomed Obama and Hillary into office and Chuck Shumer knows very well and we do not know the extent of who else in our Article 1 and 2 who have bought into it or was who has been attacking Trump within his ranks as we know now that Trump because he ran a campaign that the U.S. is to be its own America First which goes against this entity that will go to any depths to do him in is at play and the man Soros has been one of the leaders of that Cabal trying to do that, so if we do not keep Trump in office for 4 more years we will be controlled by the true biblical word ANTICHRIST, which is what I will call them from that point on until GOD intervenes.    Wake up America.
    1 John 18: "Children, it is the last hour; and just as you have heard that the antichrist is coming, so now many antichrists have appeared.    This is how we know that it is the last hour."
    Romans 1:21: "because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened."].

10/25/2019 Senate passes Deepfake Report Act by OAN Newsroom
The Capitol is seen in Washington, early Friday, Sept. 27, 2019. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
    Bipartisan legislation created to combat deepfake videos was recently passed in the Senate.    In a unanimous decision, congress members voted to pass the Deepfake Report Act on Thursday.
    The act is hoping to get ahead of AI-based technology by requiring the Department of Homeland Security(DHS) to publish an annual assessment report on deepfakes.    The report would track the evolution of what it described as ďdigital content forgery technology.Ē    It would also monitor these videosí ability to harm national security.    The bill would require the DHS to report on how foreign governments could use or misuse such content.
FILE Ė In this May 1, 2018, file photo, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg makes the keynote speech at F8,
Facebookís developer conference, in San Jose, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File)
    Earlier this week, Facebookís CEO called deepfakes a ďmajor emerging cyber threat
    ďI think deepfakes are clearly one of the emerging threats that we need to get in front of and develop policy around to address,Ē said Mark Zuckerberg.    ďThe deepfake challenge to figure out how to identify these things will certainly help inform the policy
    The Deepfake Report Act is on its way to the House for further consideration.

10/25/2019 Steve Bannon to appear in Stone trial by OAN Newsroom
President Donald Trumpís former chief strategist Steve Bannon gestures as he speaks during during an ideas
festival sponsored by The Economist, Saturday, Sept. 15, 2018, in New York. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
    Two former allies are expected to clash in a highly anticipated trial regarding the 2016 election.    Friday reports said former White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon will take the stand against former 2016 Trump campaign adviser Roger Stone.
    Bannon has not been subpoenaed to appear but will likely testify about Stoneís contacts with the Trump campaign regarding WikiLeaks.    The former strategist was reportedly referenced in Muellerís report as the senior official who reached out to Stone about such contacts.
Roger Stone, a longtime confidant of President Donald Trump, accompanied by his wife, Nydia Stone,
leaves federal court in Washington, Tuesday, July 16, 2019. (AP Photo/Sait Serkan Gurbuz)
    Stone has been critical of the Special Counsel investigation and the presidentís legal team, who he said never fully understood the magnitude of the efforts against him.
    ďIím not sure they understood the political ramifications and political nature of this case,Ē he said.
    "The idea of waving executive privilege andÖrelying on the good instincts of Bob Mueller was a naive strategy
    Bannon has not been charged in relation to Stoneís case, which is set to take place next month.

10/25/2019 Hunter Biden under fire for ties to overseas business dealings in Romania by OAN Newsroom
FILE Ė In this Oct. 11, 2012, file photo, Hunter Biden waits for the start of the his fatherís, Vice President
Joe Bidenís, debate at Centre College in Danville, Ky. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)
    Hunter Biden canít seem to shake off bad press over his foreign business dealings.    The crosshairs are now hovering over the former vice presidentís son for his consultation of a Romanian businessman who was charged with fraud.
    A Thursday NBC report drew attention to a 2016 trip Biden took to advise Gabriel Popoviciu.    Popoviciu was caught up in a legal battle over a questionable land deal he made with the rector of a local Romanian university back in 2006.    The school official allegedly sold off government land to the businessman for significantly less money than it was worth.    The official further claimed the land belonged to the school.
    The rector was arrested years later following a government investigation and Popoviciu was charged as an accessory to that deal.    He appealed the decision and eventually hired Hunter Biden as a counselor for his legal team.
    Sources said itís unclear how much Hunter Biden actually contributed, but experts believe the businessman may have hired him for his relationship to Joe Biden, the acting vice president at the time.    Popoviciu allegedly wanted to use Hunterís status as the vice presidentís son as leverage to win his case.
    It is unknown what Hunter discussed with the official or how much he was paid, but pundits have said the optics are not good ó considering his shady business deals in Ukraine and China.    This comes after Hunter Biden stepped down from his position on the board of a Chinese investment company to avoid the appearance of impropriety.

10/25/2019 OíRourke: Bidenís trying to buy the Democrat primary with big bucks by OAN Newsroom
Democratic presidential candidate former Texas Rep. Beto OíRourke speaks during a campaign
rally in Grand Prairie, Texas, Thursday, Oct. 17, 2019. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
    Democrat presidential candidate Beto OíRourke is saying Joe Biden is trying to buy the Democrat Partyís primary process.    The former Texas congressman blasted Biden Thursday following the former vice presidentís announcement that his campaign would now accept political contributions from wealthy donors and super PACs.
    OíRourke said Bidenís decision flies in the face of the countryís democratic values because it allows the rich to have an unfair influence in the election.
    ďWe see far too much influence from those who can buy accessÖin our legislation and in our elections,Ē said OíRourke.    ďThereís no room for political action committees or super PACs
Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden speaks during a campaign event,
Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2019, in Scranton, Pa. (Aimee Dilger/The Times Leader via AP)
    Bidenís decision to accept money from special interest groups comes after he was severely out-raised last quarter by his top competitors.
    This also follows the former vice presidentís decision to roll back President Trumpís tax cuts, which he said he would do if elected in 2020.    Biden touted his middle class background and said the cuts would help the middle class by hitting the wealthy.    The 2020 hopeful also took credit for the current state of the economy.
    ďDonald Trump inherited a strong economy from Barack and me,Ē stated Biden.    ďThings were beginning to really move ó just like everything else heís inherited, heís in the midst of squandering it

10/25/2019 Department of Justice to hand over Mueller grand jury materials by OAN Newsroom
Special counsel Robert Muller speaks at the Department of Justice about the Russia investigation. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
    A federal court has ordered the Department of Justice to give the House Judiciary Committee all grand jury materials relating to the Mueller probe.
    The Friday ruling also means the DOJ must submit any underlying transcripts referenced in the Special Counselís report, which were redacted upon its release.    This includes transcripts and witness testimony obtained in the Russia probe.
    The court order marks a victory for Democrats, who have been calling for a full and un-redacted report for a long time.    The effort was spearheaded by Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler, who is claiming the materials will help uncover possible wrongdoing by the president.
    ďThat information is critically important for our ability to examine witnessesÖand investigate the presidentís misconduct,Ē stated Nadler.
    In its legal argument, the DOJ referenced the infamous Watergate scandal and said it was wrong to hand over information to Congress back then.    However, the judge noted the materials could help Democrats with their impeachment inquiry.

10/25/2019 Report: White House assembling war room amid impeachment inquiry by OAN Newsroom
President Donald Trump stands during a Presidential Medal of Freedom ceremony for auto racing great Roger Penske
in the Oval Office of the White House, Thursday, Oct. 24, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
    The White House may be considering new ways to bolster its defenses amid an escalating impeachment battle.    A Friday Axios report claimed top administration officials are discreetly creating an informal war room.
    President Trumpís allies are seeking to boost support for him in the GOP led Senate as House Democrats move forward with their inquiry.     Recent disagreements on foreign policy between top Senate Republicans and the president have reportedly raised concerns about ensuring an impeachment buffer.    Republicans on Capitol Hill are reportedly confused about the administrationís messaging on the issue.
    White House officials have reportedly been holding regular meetings to discuss their approach.    However, the president has insisted that he doesnít need help fighting the inquiry.
    ďHereís the thing: I donít have teams, Iím the team,Ē stated President Trump.    ďI did nothing wrong Ėthis has been going on from before I got elected
    He has has maintained the impeachment probe is a ďhoaxĒ and further suggested the economy would plunge into a recession if Democrats succeeded in their efforts.

10/26/2019 Oil up $0.63 to $56.70, DOW up 153 to 26,958.

10/26/2019 Russia probe now a criminal matter by Michael Balsamo, ASSOCIATED PRESS
    WASHINGTON Ė Investigating the investigators, the Justice Department is now scrutinizing the governmentís Russia probe as a criminal matter, raising Democratsí concerns that President Donald Trump may be using federal muscle to go after his opponents.    Trump says to expect the probe to reveal ďreally bad things
    Trump declared anew on Friday that the now-concluded special counsel investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election was a ďhoaxĒ designed to discredit his presidency.
    Word of the criminal investigation comes as Trump is facing the separate House impeachment inquiry examining whether he withheld military aid to pressure the president of Ukraine to launch an investigation of political foe Joe Biden and his son Hunter.
    The person who confirmed the shift in the Justice investigation to a criminal probe was not authorized to discuss the matter publicly and spoke to The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity.
    It is unclear what potential crimes are being investigated or what prompted the change.    But the designation as a formal criminal investigation gives prosecutors the ability to issue subpoenas, empanel a grand jury, compel witnesses to give testimony and bring federal criminal charges.
    The Justice Department had previously considered it to be an administrative review, and Attorney General William Barr appointed John Durham, the U.S. attorney in Connecticut, to lead the inquiry into the origins of special counsel Robert Muellerís probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election.    Itís unclear when Durhamís inquiry shifted to a criminal investigation.
    Asked about the investigation on Friday, Trump responded, ďI canít tell you whatís happening,Ē but ďI will tell you this: I think youíre going to see a lot of really bad things

    ďI think youíll see things that nobody would have believed,Ē he added.
    Durham is examining what led the U.S. to open a counterintelligence investigation into the Trump campaign and the roles that various countries played in the U.S. probe.    He is also investigating whether the surveillance and intelligence-gathering methods used during the investigation were legal and appropriate.
    Trump has long slammed the investigation, saying there was political bias at the FBI and the probe was all part of a ďwitch huntĒ to discredit him and his presidency.
    The chairmen of the House Judiciary and Intelligence committees, which are leading the impeachment inquiry, said in a statement late Thursday that reports of the change ďraise profound new concernsĒ that Barrís Justice Department ďhas lost its independence and become a vehicle for President Trumpís political revenge
    ďIf the Department of Justice may be used as a tool of political retribution, or to help the President with a political narrative for the next election, the rule of law will suffer new and irreparable damage,Ē Democratic Reps. Jerrold Nadler and Adam Schiff said.
    White House counselor Kellyanne Conway said the review was not political and served the public interest.
[The Liberal Leftist Democrats are getting desperate after falling under the control of the elitist One World Economy control because they know their time is short and I expect to continue their corruption with any means they can achieve.].

10/26/2019 President Trump weighs in on Michael Flynn case, impeachment inquiry by OAN Newsroom
President Donald Trump, accompanied by Vice President Mike Pence, left, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, speaks
Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2019, in the Diplomatic Room of the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
    President Trump is taking aim at Michael Flynnís case and the impeachment inquiry.    He took to Twitter on Saturday to defend Flynn, noting the new claim that FBI agents manipulated records against the former National Security adviser was just the beginning of a ďmassive story of injustice and treason
    Earlier this week, Flynn filed a motion against the FBI for an alleged entrapment scheme.    The filing claimed the Intelligence Community tampered with Flynnís 2017 interview records, which led him to be charged for lying to the FBI about his Russian contacts.
    President Trump said the setup of Flynn highlights the Department of Justiceís double standard.    He noted they largely stayed silent in the face of Hillary Clintonís suspicious behavior.
    The president also emphasized that not a single American citizen has been charged with anything related to Russian collusion, despite the Houseís desperate attempts to indict administration members.
    President Trump took aim at the impeachment inquiry, saying the Ukraine investigation is ďjust as corrupt and fake as all of the other garbage that went on before it.Ē The president blasted Adam Schiff, saying the representative presented a parodied version of Ukraine phone call because he couldnít find fault with the real one.
    ďThe conversation I had was perfect,Ē stated President Trump.    ď(Schiff) He went before the United States Congress and he said a made-up story ó he totally fabricated it
    The president said he believes the impeachment case is falling apart, claiming the investigation is a ďwitch hunt.Ē    He further called for Democrats to ďend this scam now

10/26/2019 New border wall under construction in Texas by OAN Newsroom
FILE Ė This March 2, 2019 photo shows a Customs and Border Control agent patrols on the US side of a
razor-wire-covered border wall along the Mexico east of Nogales, Ariz. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel, File)
    Construction of a new border wall is underway in South Texas. U.S. Customs and Border Protection(CBP) officials announced Friday that a brand new wall is under construction in the stateís Rio Grande Valley sector.
    CBP said 159 miles of barrier will be added to the existing border wall in an effort to replace weaker structures and tighten security.    New features will include ďall-weather roads, lighting, enforcement cameras and other related technology.Ē    The enhancements will reportedly contribute to a more effective enforcement zone.
    ďPeople can walk through or across a vehicle barrier with drugs or other contraband, but canít walk through an 18 to 30 foot wall with anti-climb features, sensors and cameras,Ē one CBP spokesman said.
    Of all border sectors, the Rio Grande Valley region sees the most illegal crossings.    Border officials said more than 325,000 people were apprehended there so far this year.
    By the end of 2020, the agency plans to have a total of more than 400 miles of border wall completed.    Reports estimated the project will cost at least $385.7 million.    Customs and Border Patrol has said the U.S. Mexico wall is crucial for immigration control and border security.

10/26/2019 Acting DHS Secretary Kevin McAleenan declines testimony before House by OAN Newsroom
FILE Ė In this Sept. 20, 2019, file photo, Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Kevin McAleenan speaks during a
news conference at the U.S. Customs and Border Protection headquarters in Washington. President Donald Trump
announced Oct. 11, 2019, that McAleenan is stepping down. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)
Outgoing Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan is saying he will not testify before Congress next week, despite an issued subpoena.    In a Friday letter to Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson, McAleenan said he was disappointed and surprised to be called for a hearing.
    The outgoing official added that he plans to focus his efforts on his pending departure, which was announced earlier this month.
    McAleenan previously served as the commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection.    He advocated for additional funding for border security and called on Congress to close the loopholes in immigration law.    McAleenan said he was inspired to serve his country after the September 11th terrorist attacks.
    President Trump thanked the secretary for doing an ďoutstanding job
    Chairman Thompson has said it is inexcusable for such a high ranking official to refuse testimony, but McAleenan has remained firm in his decision.    The secretary also noted that the hearing was impossibly scheduled one day prior to his departure on October 31st.

10/26/2019 Court to rule on impeachment inquiry testimony of key witness by OAN Newsroom
The Capitol in Washington is seen at dawn, Thursday, Oct. 3, 2019. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
    A key witness in the Democratsí impeachment effort is asking the courts to decide how much he can cooperate.    Charles Kupperman filed a lawsuit on Friday, asking a federal judge whether or not he can testify during the process.
    Kupperman was subpoenaed by Democrats, but the White House has invoked Ďconstitutional immunity.í    He said he canít satisfy the demands of both branches of government and is now asking a court to establish which command should prevail.
    ďConstitutional disputes between the legislative and executive branches should be adjudicated by the judicial branch, not by private citizens like Dr. Kupperman,Ē stated attorney Charles Cooper on Kuppermanís behalf.
    Kupperman was Deputy National Security Adviser under John Bolton and eventually took over the role on an acting basis following Boltonís departure.    The lawsuit could have consequences for Bolton as well, who was also urged to testify but has not yet been subpoenaed.    The court case could set a major precedent in the impeachment process.
    The White House is standing firm in its stonewalling until a formal impeachment inquiry is brought for a House vote.

10/27/2019 Trump announces grisly death of Islamic State leader Baghdadi during U.S. raid by Steve Holland and Phil Stewart
U.S. President Donald Trump makes a statement at the White House following reports that U.S. forces attacked Islamic State
leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in northern Syria, in Washington, U.S., October 27, 2019. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) Ė U.S. President Donald Trump on Sunday announced that Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi killed himself during a daring overnight raid by elite U.S. special operations forces in Syria, in a major victory as he fights a Democratic-led impeachment inquiry.
    Baghdadi died alongside three of his children by detonating an explosives-laden vest when he fled U.S. forces into a dead-end tunnel during the attack, which took place in the Idlib region in northwest Syria, the Republican president said in a televised address to the nation from the White House.
    Under Iraqi-born Baghdadiís rule, Islamic State ó which at one point controlled swathes of Syria and Iraq ó is responsible for gruesome attacks against religious minorities and attacks on five continents in the name of a form of ultra-fanatical Islam.
    ďLast night the United States brought the worldís No.1 terrorist leader to justice,Ē Trump said in extended remarks describing the raid.
    U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper said the goal of the operation had been to capture Baghdadi if possible but kill him if necessary.
    Esper said two U.S. forces suffered minor injuries during the operation but have already returned to duty.    Trump said a military dog was wounded.
    A U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the operation was staged from an airbase in western Iraq.
    The death of Baghdadi was an important win for Trump weeks after his sudden decision to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria sparked a wave of harsh criticism, including from fellow Republicans, that the move would lead to a resurgence of Islamic State, which is also known as ISIS.
    ďThe thug who tried so hard to intimidate others spent his last moments in utter fear, panic and dread, terrified of the American forces coming down on him,Ē Trump said.
    ďHe reached the end of the tunnel as our dogs chased him down.    He ignited his vest, killing himself and his three children.    His body was mutilated by the blasts.    The tunnel had caved on him,Ē he added.
    Russia opened up its airspace for the raid and Kurdish allies gave some helpful information, according to Trump, who watched the operation unfold with Vice President Mike Pence and others.
    Trump said the raid would not change his decision to withdraw troops from Syria.    U.S. forces included the elite Delta Force, a U.S. official told Reuters.
    Trump indicated that killing Baghdadi was a greater achievement than the 2011 U.S. operation during the administration of Democratic President Barack Obama that killed al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, who planned the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks in the United States.
    ďBin Laden was a big thing, but this (Baghdadi) is the biggest there is.    This is the worst ever,Ē Trump said.
    The Baghdadi raid put the spotlight on Trumpís uneasy relationship with the U.S. intelligence community.    He praised the role of intelligence officials in laying the groundwork for the attack, saying that is the type of activity it should be focused on.     Trump has taken issue with the intelligence community on various issues, including its conclusion that Russian meddling in the 2016 election was aimed at helping him win.
    His administration is also investigating the origin of the counter intelligence operation into Russian interference during the 2016 election.
    In what may end up being one of Trumpís most important national security achievements, the killing of Baghdadi will help the Republican president project strength as he fights a widening impeachment inquiry launched by Democrats last month.
    The impeachment inquiry focuses on Trumpís request for Ukraine to investigate a domestic rival Ė Democrat Joe Biden Ė for his personal political benefit.    Bidenís son, Hunter, had served on the board of a Ukrainian gas company.
    Biden, who is a contender for the Democratic nomination to face Trump in the 2020 election, congratulated those involved in the operation, but did not mention Trump himself and again criticized the presidentís Syria strategy.
    ďWe cannot afford to get distracted or take our eye off the target.    ISIS remains a threat to the American people and our allies, and we must keep up the pressure to prevent ISIS from ever regrouping or again threatening the United States,Ē Biden said.
    Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, speaking at the White House, praised Trump for making what he called a ďhard callĒ in approving the attack.
    ďWhat the president said today was very reassuring to me Ėthat when it comes to ISIS and other terrorist groups, weíre coming after you, wherever you go, as long as it takes to protect our country and our way of life,Ē he added.
(Reporting by Steve Holland and Phil Stewart; Additional reporting by Lindsay Dunsmuir and Katanga Johnson; Writing by Lawrence Hurley; Editing by Mary Milliken and Lisa Shumaker)

10/27/2019 White House confirms ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is dead by OAN Newsroom
FILE Ė This file image made from video posted on a militant website April 29, 2019, purports to show the leader of the Islamic
State group, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, being interviewed by his groupís Al-Furqan media outlet. (Al-Furqan media via AP, File)
    President Trump confirmed Sunday that ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi died during U.S. military operations in Syria.    During a White House press conference, the president announced Baghdadi died following a special raid in the northwestern Syrian province of Idlib overnight.
    ďLast night, the United States brought the worldís number one terrorist leader to justice,Ē stated President Trump.    ďHe was the founder and leader of ISIS, the most ruthless and violent terror organization in the world
    The president said Baghdadi ďdied like a cowardĒ while hiding in a dead-end tunnel in a compound by Syriaís border with Turkey.    He said the terrorist took his own life ó and the lives of his three kids ó by detonating a suicide vest when he realized he was trapped.
    President Trump confirmed that no U.S. personnel were lost during the operation, but said many of Baghdadiís fighters and companions were killed.    He said U.S. fighters did a phenomenal job in the operation and emphasized that the take-down of Baghdadi has been a huge priority for his administration.
President Donald Trump speaks in the Diplomatic Room of the White House, Sunday, Oct. 27, 2019 in Washington.
Trump says Islamic State group leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi died after running into a dead-end tunnel
and igniting an explosive vest, killing himself and three of his young children, (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
    ďThe United States has been searching for Baghdadi for many years,Ē stated President Trump.    ďCapturing or killing Baghdadi has been the top national security priority of my administration
    Last week, the president approved the top secret mission into the Idlib province.    DNA evidence was collected from al Baghdadiís remains, confirming that the administration achieved its goal to eliminate the terrorist.    He thanked Russia, Turkey, Syria, Iraq and the Kurds for helping the U.S. in the operation.
    ďThe world is now a much safer place,Ē stated the president.
    Senator Lindsey Graham gave a press conference at the White House shortly after the presidentís announcement.
    ďTrumpís most fervent critics should say, Ďgood job Mr. President,íĒ stated Graham.    ďNot just for the missionís success, but for the model Trump is laying out in Syria ó a minimal U.S. footprint that works closely with local leaders on the ground
    The senator said this accomplishment was made possible specifically because President Trump changed the rules of engagement.    He said it ensured that the killing of al-Baghdadi would take place in months instead of years, which reportedly is a game-changer bound to have worldwide ramifications.
White House Social Media Director Dan Scavino, left, Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., center left, National Security
Council Senior Director of Counterterrorism Kashyap ĎKashí Pramod Patel, second from right, and National
Security Council Senior Director for Counterterrorism and Threat Networks Chris Miller, right, watch as
President Donald Trump speaks in the Diplomatic Room of the White House in Washington, Sunday, Oct. 27, 2019, to announce
that Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has been killed during a US raid in Syria. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
    Vice President Mike Pence has said the president demonstrated ďdecisivenessĒ by working with Intelligence officials to confirm the terroristís location and ultimately take him down.    He also said the ISIS leader was still delivering orders to the terrorist group up to a few weeks ago, making his death that much more significant.    However, the vice president cautioned that this victory does not mean the U.S. fight against terror is over.
    ďWe believe we will have a measurable impact on the effectiveness of that terrorist organization, but were not going to let up,Ē stated Pence.    ďWeíre not going to stop the fight
    Pence also offered support for the presidentís decision to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria.
    ďWeíre going to continue to work with our allies to establish that safe zone between Kurdish Syria and Turkey,Ē said the vice president.    ďThe president had myself and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo negotiate (it) in Ankara just a week ago.Ē
In this photo provided by the White House, President Donald Trump is joined by from left, national security adviser
Robert OíBrien, Vice President Mike Pence, Defense Secretary mark Esper, Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Mark Milley
and Brig. Gen. Marcus Evans, Deputy Director for Special Operations on the Joint Staff, Saturday, Oct. 26, 2019,
in the Situation Room of the White House in Washington. monitoring developments as in the U.S. Special Operations
forces raid that took out Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. (Shealah Craighead/The White House via AP)
    Secretary of State Mike Pompeo also weighed in, saying the death of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi marks a great day for the United States and the world.    In a Sunday statement, Pompeo said the ďISIS leader met the fate he long deserved
    Pompeo said that while there is still work left to do to ensure the final defeat of ISIS, Baghdadi can no longer spread vile ideology.    The secretary added, ďhis evil acts of beheadings, enslavement of women and pure brutality will follow him to his grave.Ē    He called Baghdadiís demise further evidence the U.S. will not stop in the pursuit of bringing evil to justice.
    There has been some speculation that President Trumpís earlier decision to withdraw troops from the Syrian-Turkish border may have been a red herring to draw out the terrorist.    The president has since told One America News that the two events were unrelated and that al-Baghdadi was a target from the start.
    ďI wanted this from the start of my term,Ē stated President Trump.    ďWith al-Baghdadi now dead, the U.S. top priority in Syria is to protect its oil supply from falling into the hands of remnant ISIS groups

10/27/2019 Former NATO Commander: ISIS still a threat despite al-Baghdadiís death by OAN Newsroom
In this photo provided by the White House, President Donald Trump is joined by from left, national security adviser
Robert OíBrien, Vice President Mike Pence, Defense Secretary mark Esper, Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Mark Milley
and Brig. Gen. Marcus Evans, Deputy Director for Special Operations on the Joint Staff, Saturday, Oct. 26, 2019,
in the Situation Room of the White House in Washington monitoring developments as in the U.S. Special Operations forces
raid that took out Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. (Shealah Craighead/The White House via AP)
    Syrian citizens are celebrating the death of the Islamic Stateís leader, but U.S. officials are saying the fight against the terrorist group isnít over yet.    In a Sunday interview, Former Supreme Allied Commander James Stavridis emphasized that ISIS could still make a comeback.
    The former NATO commander said the recent elimination of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi marks an important milestone in the war on terror.    However, Stavridis pointed out that ISIS has shown adaptability in the past and remains a threat.
    ďThose embers are still on the ground and the potential for them to re-flash is actually quite high,Ē stated Stavridis.    ďThe Islamic State is not just Baghdadi ó it is an ideology and it is also a network.Ē
    He went on to say ISIS has deep ties to other Islamic terror groups, including al-Shabaab and al-Qaeda.    Stavridis claimed these organizations will continue trying to sow death and destruction across the Middle East and beyond.
FILE Ė In this Nov. 29, 2016 file photo, Iraqi Army soldiers celebrate as they hold a flag of the Islamic State group they
captured during a military operation to regain control of a village outside Mosul, Iraq. (AP Photo/Hadi Mizban, File)
National Security Advisor Robert OíBrien is saying Baghdadi was the number one person wanted in the world before his death.    OíBrien said Sunday the late ISIS leader was a ďbrutal vicious terrorist
    The security official was in the Situation Room at the time of the operation.    He said he witnessed incredible bravery and skill from members of the U.S. Armed Forces and Intelligence Community.    Despite being in ďforeign enemy territory at night,Ē OíBrien said troops were able to conduct the long-range helicopter raid ďflawlessly.Ēbr>     ďThe president made a very difficult decision to put men in harmís wayÖand it worked,Ē stated OíBrien.    ďIt was a good day for the United States
    The official went on to say that the White House appreciated the Syrians, Russians, Turks and others
for allowing troops to fly over their land despite significant anti-aircraft measures.

10/27/2019 The Washington Post appears to glorify Baghdadi by OAN Newsroom
FILE Ė This file image made from video posted on a militant website April 29, 2019, purports to show the leader of the Islamic
State group, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, being interviewed by his groupís Al-Furqan media outlet. (Al-Furqan media via AP, File)
    The Washington Post appears to be glorifying the legacy of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
    In its Sunday obituary, the newspaper initially referred to Baghdadi as the ďIslamic Stateís terrorist-in-chief.Ē    They later changed the headline to define him as an ďaustere religious scholar at the helm of the Islamic State.Ē
    Following backlash from audiences and other publications, The Washington Post again changed the headline to define Baghdadi as an ďextremist leader.Ē    The paperís vice president of communications has since released a statement, apologizing for the characterization.
    However, readers have pointed out the substance of the article itself is problematic.    It reportedly normalizes and embellishes aspects of Baghdadiís life.
ďThe man who would become the founding leader of the worldís most brutal terrorist group spent his early adult years as an obscure academic, aiming for a quiet life as a professor of Islamic law,Ē read the obituary.

10/27/2019 U.S. Supreme Court prepares for hectic term by OAN Newsroom
FILE Ė In this June 17, 2019 file photo, The Supreme Court is shown in Washington. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
    Immigration, the presidentís financial records and the impeachment inquiry are on the docket for the U.S. Supreme Court this term.
    With justices back at the bench for the start of their judicial calendar, President Trump believes his case against the southern district of New York will be taken up by the court.    He has also made the argument his finances have already been reviewed, meaning thereís no longer a legislative purpose for obtaining the records.
    ďMueller I assume ó for $35 million ó checked my taxes, checked my financials,Ē stated President Trump.    ďAll you have to do is go look at the records, theyíre all over the place
    The presidentís legal team recently asked the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals to review a panelís decision earlier this month, which upheld the House Oversight Committeeís subpoena of his financial records.    President Trumpís team filed a motion for a stay on the circuit courtís decision.    They said they want to ask the Supreme Court to review whether the committeeís subpoena on the presidentís accounting firm is legal.    His attorneys also argued that because thereís a large chance the Supreme Court will take up their case, the appeals court should wait to expedite the order for a subpoena.
    Regarding immigration, the nationís highest court could set major precedent this year.    This will be the second time justices hear the case against Jesus Mesa by the family of Sergio Hernandez.    The 2010 case alleged that the border patrol agent fired a lethal gunshot across the Texas-Mexico border, killing young HernŠndez instantly.    The boyís parents begged the Mexican government to take action; after falling on deaf ears, theyíre now seeking recourse from the U.S.
    ďItís the obligation of our government to fight ó these are Mexican citizens,Ē stated Hernandezís father.    ďWhy hasnít the Mexican government done its job?Ē
    When the court ruled on the case in 2017, the justices did not determine whether Hernandezís family could sue for a violation of the Fourth Amendment, which prohibits unjustified deadly force.    The Fifth Circuit ruled last year against the childís family, prompting them to seek the Supreme Courtís intervention.
    Those arguments are set to be heard in November.

10/27/2019 Former Clinton adviser says Hillary Clinton ďwants toĒ enter 2020 race by OAN Newsroom
FILE Ė In this April 23, 2019, file photo, Hillary Clinton speaks during the TIME 100 Summit, in New York. Clinton is popping up in
presidential politics again, and some Democrats are wary even as they praise her role as a senior party leader. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)
    A former adviser to Bill Clinton is saying Hillary Clinton ďwants toĒ enter the 2020 presidential election race.    During a Sunday interview, Dick Morris said he thinks Clinton is hoping for a set of circumstances where she could enter the race.
    ďMy feeling is that she wants to do it ó she feels that God put her on the Earth to do it,Ē stated Morris.    ďBut sheís hesitant because she realizes the timing is bad
    Morris suggested that if former Vice President Joe Biden were to drop out of the primary, there would be an opening for Clinton as a moderate candidate.    He said she would receive momentum from moderates who believe Elizabeth Warren is too progressive to win a general election.    Morris added that former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg would be a very good candidate in the general election, but wouldnít be able to win the Democrat primary.
    The former first lady recently joked about entering the race.
[Hillary you might want to stifle that because it will not be long before evidence of criminal activity while running last time trying to get rid of Trump is going to catch up to you by that time.].

10/28/2019 Oil falls on weak Chinese industrial data by Bozorgmehr Sharafedin
FILE PHOTO: An oil pump is seen just after sunset outside Saint-Fiacre, near Paris, France September 17, 2019. REUTERS/Christian Hartmann
    LONDON (Reuters) Ė Oil prices fell on Monday after strong gains last week, as data released in China reinforced signs that its economy is slowing, though progress in China-U.S. trade talks has supported prices.
    Brent crude was down 32 cents, or 0.5%, at $61.70 a barrel by ??0??933 GMT, having gained more than 4% last week, its best weekly gain since Sept. 20.
    West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude was down 33 cents, or 0.6%, at $56.33 a barrel, after rising more than 5% last week, also the biggest weekly increase since Sept. 20
    Profits at Chinese industrial companies fell for the second straight month in September as producer prices continued their slide, highlighting the impact of a slowing economy and protracted U.S. trade war on corporate balance sheets.
    Still, traders were optimistic after the U.S. Trade Representativeís office and Chinaís Commerce Ministry said on Friday that the two countries were ďclose to finalizingĒ some parts of a trade agreement.
    ďLooking further ahead, if trade talks continue to progress, and we see full agreement to phase 1 of the deal, this should help to improve sentiment further,Ē ING analyst Warren Patterson said.
    U.S. energy companies reduced the number of oil rigs operating this week, leading to a record 11-month decline as producers follow through on plans to cut spending on new drilling.
(Graphic: U.S. Rig count,
    Russiaís energy ministry said that OPEC and its oil-exporting allies, known as OPEC+, would factor in the slowdown of U.S. oil output growth when they meet to discuss their output agreement in December.
    However, Russian Deputy Energy Minister Pavel Sorokin said it was premature to talk about deeper production cuts.
    OPEC+ has since January implemented a deal to cut output by 1.2 million bpd to support the market.    The pact runs to March 2020 and the producers meet to review policy on Dec. 5-6.
    ďWe are of the view that an extension of current cuts is path of least resistance for the producer group, while deeper cuts will be far more difficult to agree on,Ē Harry Tchilinguirian, global oil strategist at BNP Paribas in London said.
    Elsewhere, a suggestion by U.S. President Donald Trump that Exxon Mobil or another U.S. oil company could operate Syrian oil fields drew rebukes from legal and energy experts.
    Money managers cut their net long U.S. crude futures and options positions in the week to Oct. 22, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission said on Friday.
(Additional reporting by Aaron Sheldrick in Tokyo; Editing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise)

10/28/2019 President Trump: Adam Schiff is Ďthe biggest leakerí in Washington by OAN Newsroom
Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., speaks with members of the media after former deputy national security adviser Charles Kupperman
signaled that he would not appear as scheduled for a closed door meeting to testify as part of the House impeachment inquiry
into President Donald Trump, Monday, Oct. 28, 2019, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
    President Trump blasted Adam Schiff for being ďthe biggest leakerĒ in Washington, while Democrats continue to call witnesses behind closed-doors in relation to their ongoing attempts to push presidential impeachment.
    Before leaving for Chicago Monday, reporters asked the president why he didnít alert the Democrats about the special forces raid on the now dead founder of ISIS. President Trump replied by calling the House Intelligence Committee chairman ďa corrupt politicianĒ who runs ďa biased operation
    This comes after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi issued a statement demanding the House majority be briefed on the al-Baghdadi raid.    The president then blasted the left-wing party as the ďdo-nothing DemocratsĒ before denouncing the impeachment inquiry as a ďwitch huntĒ and a ďscam
    Meanwhile, President Trump is considering releasing video from the U.S. raid which led to the death of the ISIS founder.
President Donald Trump talks to reporters before boarding Air Force One for a trip to Chicago to attend the International Association
of Chiefs of Police Annual Conference and Exposition, Monday, Oct. 28, 2019, in Andrews Air Force Base, Md. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

10/28/2019 Sen. Graham praises President Trump for his work fighting ISIS in Middle East by OAN Newsroom
Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., speaks in the Briefing Room of the White House in Washington, Sunday, Oct. 27, 2019, following an announcement
from President Donald Trump that Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi dead after US raid in Syria. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
    Senator Lindsey Graham is giving credit to President Trump when it comes to fighting ISIS. While speaking to reporters at the White House Sunday, the South Carolina lawmaker said even the presidentís biggest critics should be saying ďwell done
    His comments came shortly after the announcement that the leader of ISIS was killed in a strike.    Graham said this is a moment where we should all be proud of the U.S. military and intelligence agencies for keeping us safe.    He added, ISIS is not a group that can be approached from a diplomatic perspective.
    The Republican lawmaker pointed out that the president came up with a new strategy in Syria, which he believes should have been utilized in Iraq.    In regards to the model, heís calling it a ďgame-changer
People look at a destroyed houses near the village of Barisha, in Idlib province, Syria, Sunday, Oct. 27, 2019, after an operation
by the U.S. military which targeted Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the shadowy leader of the Islamic State group. President Donald Trump
says Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is dead after a U.S. military operation in Syria targeted the Islamic State group leader. (AP Photo/Ghaith Alsayed)

10/28/2019 President Trump anticipates signing Ďphase oneí trade deal with China by OAN Newsroom
The American flag is seen flying alongside the flag of China. (Andy Wong/AP Photo)
    Progress is being made in trade negotiations between the U.S. and China.    While speaking to reporters Monday, President Trump said the deal is moving far ahead of schedule.    He said the two nations could come to an agreement soon, but noted itís not the entire trade deal ó only a section of it.
    ďWe are looking, probably, to be ahead of schedule to sign a very big portion of the China deal,Ē he stated.    ďAnd, weíll call it Ďphase one,í but itís a very big portion
    China sung a similar tune over the weekend with officials noting Ďphase oneí of the deal is ďbasically complete.Ē    While few details surrounding the agreement have been released, President Trump said Ďphase oneí will address several concerns.
    ďThat (phase one deal) would take care of the farmers, it would take care of some of the other things, itíll also take care of a lot of the banking needs,Ē he explained.
    Meanwhile, this portion of the deal is expected to be signed during the presidentís visit to Chile in November.    It will take place on the sidelines of the annual APEC CEO summit, where leaders of the worldís top economies will gather for two days of discussions.    That event is set to take place November 14th through the 16th.
President Donald Trump departs OíHare International Airport after speaking at the International Association of
Chiefs of Police Annual Conference and Exposition, Monday, Oct. 28, 2019, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

10/28/2019 Former acting national security adviser will not testify before Congress in impeachment probe by OAN Newsroom
    A former White House staffer is refusing to testify in the ongoing Democrat impeachment probe.    Charles Kupperman, the deputy to former National Security Advisor John Bolton, will not provide testimony to the House Intelligence Committee.
    A letter from Kuppermanís attorney said his client isnít contesting a constitutional right to testimony, but rather itís President Trump whoís asserting testimonial immunity to confidential advisors.    The letter says if the committeeís position prevails in court then Kupperman will comply.    He filed a lawsuit on Friday asking the courts how much he can cooperate after the White House invoked constitutional immunity.
    Meanwhile, House Intelligence Committee chairman Adam Schiff is claiming the former national security deputyís refusal to testify has ďno basis in law.Ē    While speaking to reporters, Schiff said it was ďdeeply regrettableĒ Kupperman didnít appear Monday.    The chairman went on to say the Intelligence Committee believes his testimony will corroborate allegations of misconduct other witnesses have already made.
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., followed by Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., left, and Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Calif.,
leaves a secure area at the Capitol to speak to reporters, in Washington, Monday, Oct. 28, 2019. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
    ďI think we can infer from the White House on position to Dr. Kuppermanís testimony that they believe that his testimony would be incriminating of the president,Ē he stated.
    Schiff added, the committee may inform Kuppermanís attorney his failure to appear may warrant a contempt proceeding against him.    He called the refusal more evidence of the White Houseís obstruction after a district court affirmed Congress can proceed with the inquiry.
[Shift is too stupid to know that he is violating the Constitution or maybe he does know he is doing it.].

10/29/2019 Oil down $0.85 to $55.81, DOW up 133 to 27,091 new record.

10/29/2019 U.S. military envisions broad defense of Syrian oilfields by Phil Stewart
FILE PHOTO: U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper speaks during an event at the Concert Noble
in Brussels, Belgium October 24, 2019. Francisco Seco/Pool via REUTERS
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) Ė The United States will repel any attempt to take Syriaís oil fields away from U.S.-backed Syrian militia with ďoverwhelming force,Ē whether the opponent is Islamic State or even forces backed by Russia or Syria, the Pentagon said on Monday.
    The U.S. military announced last week it was reinforcing its position in Syria with additional assets, including mechanized forces, to prevent oilfields from being taken over by remnants of the Islamic State militant group or others.
    U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper offered some of his most detailed remarks to date about the mission at a news briefing on Monday.
    ďU.S. troops will remain positioned in this strategic area to deny ISIS access those vital resources.    And we will respond with overwhelming military force against any group that threatens the safety of our forces there,Ē Esper told reporters at the Pentagon.
    Pressed on whether the U.S. military mission included denying any Russian or Syrian government forces access to the oilfields, Esper said: ďThe short answer is, yes, it presently does
    He noted that the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces, or SDF, relied on that oil income to fund its fighters, including the ones guarding prisons that hold captured Islamic State fighters.
    ďWe want to make sure that SDF does have access to resources in order to guard the prisons, in order to arm their own troops, in order to assist us with the defeat-ISIS mission,Ē he said, using an acronym for Islamic State.
    ďSo thatís our mission, is to secure the oilfields
    President Donald Trump has softened his pullout plans for Syria after a backlash from Congress, including among key Republicans who say he cleared the way for a long-threatened Turkish incursion against the SDF, which had been Americaís top ally in the battle against Islamic State.    Amid concerns that Islamic State could stage a resurgence in the ensuing power vacuum, Trump said last week a small number of U.S. troops would remain in the area of Syria ďwhere they have the oil,Ē a reference to oilfields in the Kurdish-controlled region.
    That plan for Syria appears unaltered by the U.S. raid on Saturday that led to the death of Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
(Reporting by Phil Stewart; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)

10/29/2019 Chicago slammed in Trump address by Aamer Madhani and Don Babwin, ASSOCIATED PRESS
    CHICAGO Ė President Donald Trump used a conference of police chiefs on Monday to slam the host city as ďembarrassing to us as a nationĒ under the leadership of its top cop, who skipped the event over disagreements with Trumpís immigration policies.
    Trump has criticized Chicago frequently for its crime problems and status as a sanctuary city, one of scores of cities around the country that refuses to work with federal authorities to round up people who are living in the U.S. illegally.
    ďItís embarrassing to us as a nation,Ē Trump said.    ďAll over the world theyíre talking about Chicago.    Afghanistan is a safe place by comparison
    Trump also lashed out at Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson, who angered Chicagoís police by skipping Trumpís first appearance in the city as president.
    ďMore than anyone else he should be here, because maybe he could maybe learn something,Ē Trump said, claiming Johnson puts the needs of illegal immigrants above the needs of the law-abiding residents of Chicago.
    Chicagoís police department had no comment on Trumpís remarks.
    Johnsonís decision to skip Trumpís address angered the cityís chapter of the Fraternal Order of Police, which announced that it cast a vote of no confidence in Johnson.

10/29/2019 House will vote on impeachment rules by Christal Hayes and Bart Jansen, USA TODAY
    WASHINGTON Ė The House of Representatives will vote this week to formalize impeachment inquiry procedures after weeks of resisting a full House vote and unrelenting attacks by Republicans.
    The vote on the resolution is expected Thursday. The text was not immediately available, but it will lay out the next steps in the inquiry, including establishing procedures for public hearings, transferring the inquiry to the Judiciary Committee and outlining the rights of President Donald Trump and his attorneys.
    It marks the first time House members will be forced to vote on the inquiry and puts several moderate Democrats and Republicans under scrutiny ahead of the 2020 election.
    House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, DCalif., sent a letter to members outlining that the resolution sought to combat a key line of Republican attack: that the inquiry was illegitimate because there was no House vote on it.
    ďFor weeks, the President, his Counsel in the White House, and his allies in Congress have made the baseless claim that the House of Representativesíimpeachment inquiry Ďlacks the necessary authorization for a valid impeachment proceeding.í    They argue that, because the House has not taken a vote, they may simply pretend the impeachment inquiry does not exist,Ē Pelosi wrote Monday.
    The White House and congressional Republicans have attacked the investigation as a ďwitch hunt.Ē    House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., accused Democrats of ďbacktrackingĒ and said it was an admission that the inquiry ďhas been botched from the start

10/29/2019 DOJ appeals release of secret Mueller evidence by Kevin Johnson, USA TODAY
    WASHINGTON Ė The Justice Department is appealing a federal judgeís order directing the release of secret grand jury evidence gathered by special counsel Robert Mueller during an investigation into Russiaís interference in the 2016 election.
    Justice Department lawyers called for U.S. District Judge Beryl Howellís decision to be set aside, arguing the department would be ďirreparably harmedĒ if the material is turned over to the House Judiciary Committee.
    ďOnce the information is disclosed, it cannot be recalled and the confidentiality of the grand jury information will be lost for all time Ė particularly if the (House panel) decides to publicize the now-secret ... materials,Ē the government argued in court papers filed Monday.
    The legal fight is viewed as a test of the legitimacy of the House impeachment inquiry.    Judiciary Committee Chairman Rep. Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., has argued the panel needs to review the evidence that Attorney General William Barr redacted from the report so committee members can review whether President Donald Trump obstructed justice.
    The Justice Department claims Congress is not entitled to the information, which typically remains secret, because the House panel didnít explain how the access would help its investigation.
    Friday, Howell ordered the Justice Department to disclose by Oct. 30 all portions of Muellerís report that were redacted because of grand jury evidence, as well as underlying exhibits.
    ďThe White Houseís stated policy of non-cooperation with the impeachment inquiry weighs heavily in favor of disclosure,Ē Howell wrote Friday.    ďCongressís need to access grand jury material relevant to potential impeachable conduct by a president is heightened when the Executive Branch willfully obstructs channels for accessing other relevant evidence

10/29/2019 Spy chief says right-wing radicalism spreads in Germany
FILE PHOTO: Participants carry flags and a banner that reads, "We are the people!" during a far-right
"Pro Chemnitz" group demonstration in Chemnitz, Germany August 25, 2019. REUTERS/Hannibal Hanschke/File Photo
    BERLIN (Reuters) Ė The head of Germanyís domestic intelligence agency said on Tuesday that militant right-wingers were mixing with less radical conservatives, blurring the lines to make extremism more acceptable and harder to detect.
    Speaking less than three weeks after a man who had published a racist and anti-Semitic manifesto shot two people near a synagogue in Halle, Thomas Haldenwang added that lone attackers were also an increasing threat.
    ďThe proverbial Ďright wing cornerí which allows for a clear distinction between extremists and the conservative camp, no longer exists,Ē said President of the BfV domestic intelligence agency Haldenwang in a parliamentary hearing.
    ďWe are increasingly dealing with mixed scenes including people who are open to the right Ė such as at the demonstrations in Chemnitz in 2018,Ē he said.
    Last August, Germany saw the worst far-right riots in decades after in the eastern city of Chemnitz after a man was stabbed to death.
    The leader of the anti-immigrant Alternative for Germany (AfD) in the state of Thuringia, Bjoern Hoecke, a hardliner within the party, joined in those demonstrations.
    Hoecke, who wants to rewrite history books to focus more on German rather than Jewish suffering in World War Two, is intent on pulling the party further to the right.    In Thuringia, he overtook Chancellor Angela Merkelís conservatives to come second in an election on Sunday.
    Haldenwang said individuals belonging to the ďnew rightĒ were becoming politically active with the aim of making right-wing radical thinking, even extremist thinking, acceptable.
    ďBridgeheads are established in the media and attention-grabbing forms of protest are carried out to find resonance,Ē he said, adding that ideologies often included anti-pluristic tendencies.
    Haldenwang reiterated his agencyís estimates that around half of the roughly 24,100 ďright wing extremistsĒ in Germany were potentially violent.
    He also highlighted the increasing danger from attackers who are radicalized on the Internet and act alone and compared the Halle attacker to those in Oslo and Christchurch, New Zealand.
    ďInvestigations so far indicate that the perpetrator had not shared his plan for the anti-Semitically motivated attack in Halle with anyone at all up until the moment he carried it out,Ē said Haldenwang.
(Reporting by Madeline Chambers and Sabine Siebold, Editing by Angus MacSwan)

10/29/2019 Democrats release impeachment resolution language by OAN Newsroom
The text of a House resolution released by the Democrats that authorizes the next phase of the impeachment inquiry
against President Donald Trump is photographed in Washington, Tuesday, Oct. 29, 2019. (AP Photo/Jon Elswick)
    The push for impeachment has intensified on Capitol Hill.    House Democrats will not only question several witnesses of the Ukraine scandal this week, but they have released official language detailing how they plan to conduct the next phase of the impeachment inquiry.    The House Rules Committee unveiled the resolution Tuesday, which sets up open public hearings, parameters for releasing witness testimony and due process rights for President Trump.
    For public hearings, chairmen and ranking members get to divide their 90 minutes to ask questions and can delegate that time to staffers.    The Republicans will be able to issue subpoenas with the approval of the Democrat chairs.    The proposed rules also state the White House will be able to cross-examine witnesses, but only if the Trump administration cooperates with the inquiry.
    On Wednesday, House committees will hear from acting Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs Kathryn Wheelbarger as well as two State Department officials.    Lawmakers will then hear from their first White House official, National Security Council Tim Morrison, on Thursday.    On that same day, Democrats are set to vote on a resolution, which will break down guidelines for the impeachment inquiry moving forward.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif., walks with her staff at the conclusion of a House Democratic Caucus
meeting on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Oct. 22, 2019. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
    In a letter to colleagues Monday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the resolution will establish the procedure for hearings that are open to the American people.    This decision to open hearings to the public comes after immense pressure from Republicans, who accused Democrats like Pelosi and House Intelligence chairman Adam Schiff of keeping their investigation hidden from the public and only leaking information which benefits them.
    ďThe attempt to open up an inquiry of impeachment against President Trump failed miserably, so theyíve created a new process that, I think, is very dangerous for the country,Ē said Sen. Lindsey Graham.    ďInstead of the Judiciary looking at a potential impeachable offense, theyíve created a process in the Intel Committee thatís behind closed doorsÖdoesnít provide access to the presidentís accuser, shuts Republicans out for all practical purposes and is a unworthy substitute for the way you need to do it
    While making hearings public is what Republicans asked for, Rep. Mark Meadows has argued about the timing.    He pointed out the decision came after the House conducted several important interviews and meetings in secret.
    In addition to open hearings, the resolution will also authorize the disclosure of deposition transcripts and outline procedures to transfer evidence to the Judiciary Committee.    Meanwhile, lawmakers note this vote will not authorize an impeachment inquiry, but only outline the steps of this investigation moving forward.

10/29/2019 GOP Rep. Yoho says upcoming House vote is not official inquiry, but procedural hurdle by OAN Newsroom
Rep. Ted Yoho, R-Fla. (Tom Williams/AP)
    As Republicans push for more transparency in the impeachment battle, at least one member of the party is boycotting part of the process.    In an interview Tuesday, Florida congressman Ted Yoho blasted an upcoming vote by Democrats.    He said it wonít launch an official inquiry, but rather set the framework.
    Yoho also revealed that he has chosen to skip all impeachment-related hearings.    His comments come a day after Democrats announced they will hold a vote Thursday to formalize the impeachment inquiry, which Republicans have called ďillegitimate
    Congressman Yoho said he would be attending Tuesdayís hearing, but explained why he has chosen ó up until now ó to focus on other work in Congress.
    Although Tuesdayís deposition with Alexander Vindman was behind closed-doors, details are continuing to be leaked to the media.    Partisan clashes have reportedly centered on efforts to unmask the identity of the whistleblower during questioning.
Army Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman, a military officer at the National Security Council, center,
arrives on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Oct. 29, 2019, to appear before a House Committee on Foreign Affairs,
Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, and Committee on Oversight and Reform joint interview with the
transcript to be part of the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump.(AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

10/29/2019 Rep. Amodei accuses CNN reporter of bias in impeachment inquiry reporting by OAN Newsroom
FILE Ė Rep. Mark Amodei, R-NV., speaks at the 19th Annual Lake Tahoe Summit in South Lake Tahoe, Nevada. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, File)
    A Republican congressman fired back at a CNN reporter after he implied President Trump pressured a Ukrainian investigation into Joe Biden.    On Monday, Representative Mark Amodei told CNNís Manu Raju to interview himself instead of asking him pointed questions about impeachment.     Raju asked Amodei if it was ďokayĒ that President Trump asked a foreign government to conduct an investigation, which Amodei said was a predetermined conclusion the reporter made.    The Nevada lawmaker said a probe of the whistleblower complaint was needed amid closed-door impeachment proceedings by Democrats.
    Amodei has said he does not back impeachment, but supports the oversight process.

10/30/2019 Oil down $0.27 to $55.54, DOW down 20 to 27,071.

10/30/2019 Colonel says he raised concerns over Ukraine - Vindman testifies in inquiry against orders by Lisa Mascaro, Mary Clare Jalonick and Colleen Long, ASSOCIATED PRESS
    WASHINGTON Ė Defying White House orders, an Army officer serving with President Donald Trumpís National Security Council testified to impeachment investigators Tuesday that he twice raised concerns over Trumpís push to have Ukraine investigate Democrats and Joe Biden.
    Alexander Vindman, a lieutenant colonel who served in Iraq and later as a diplomat, is the first official to testify who actually heard Trumpís July 25 call with new Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy.    He reported his concerns to the NSCís lead counsel, he said in his prepared remarks.
    His arrival in military blue, with medals , created a striking image at the Capitol as the impeachment inquiry reached deeper into the White House.
    ďI was concerned by the call,Ē Vindman said, according to his testimony obtained by The Associated Press.    ďI did not think it was proper to demand that a foreign government investigate a U.S. citizen, and I was worried about the implications for the U.S. governmentís support of Ukraine
    Vindman, a 20-year military officer, added to the mounting evidence from other witnesses Ė diplomats, defense and former administration officials Ė who are corroborating the initial whistleblowerís complaint against Trump and providing new details ahead of a House vote in the impeachment inquiry.
    ďEvery person has put it in higher resolution,Ē said Rep. Denny Heck, DWash., during a break in the day-long session.
    ďThatís the story: Thereís not like a new headline out of all of these,Ē said Rep. Tom Malinowski, D-N.J. ďEvery single witness, from their own advantage point, has corroborated the central facts of the story weíve heard
    The inquiry is looking into Trumpís call, in which he asked Zelenskiy for a ďfavorĒ Ė to investigate Democrats Ė that the Democrats say was a quid pro quo for military aid and could be an impeachable offense.    With the administration directing staff not to appear, Vindman was the first current White House official to testify before the impeachment panels.    He was issued a subpoena to appear.
    Trump took to Twitter Tuesday to denounce the probe as a ďsham
    Some Trump allies questioned Vindman loyalties because he was born in the region.    But the line of attack was rejected by some Republicans, including Rep. Liz Cheney, who said it was ďshamefulĒ to criticize his patriotism.
    Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah called the slams on Vindman ďabsurd, disgusting and way off the mark.    This is a decorated American soldier and he should be given the respect that his service to our country demands
    The testimony came the day after Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced the House would vote on a resolution to set rules for public hearings and a possible vote on articles of impeachment.
Army Lt. Col. Alexander Vindmanís arrival in military blue, with medals, created
a striking image as he entered the Capitol on Tuesday. MANUEL BALCE CENETA/AP

10/30/2019 Border arrests hit 11-year high, U.S. seeks to expedite deportations by Julio-Cesar Chavez
FILE PHOTO: Migrant men sit on the ground after being detained by law enforcement for illegally crossing the Rio Grande
and attempting to evade capture in Hidalgo, Texas, U.S., August 23, 2019. REUTERS/Loren Elliott/File Photo
    EL PASO, Texas (Reuters) Ė Immigration arrests at the U.S. border with Mexico soared 88 percent in fiscal 2019 in what U.S. officials on Tuesday labeled a crisis while unveiling their latest measure to combat the trend: expediting the deportation of asylum seekers.
    The number of people apprehended or turned away at the border actually fell in September to the lowest monthly total of the year, to 52,546, down 64% from a peak in May as migration typically slows during the hot summer months.
    But the total still rose 4% over the same month a year ago, and border arrests for the fiscal year ending in September reached an 11-year high.    Southern border apprehensions and rejections combined totaled 977,509.
    Nearly half all those detained in September were children or families, many of them led by human-trafficking cartels, said Robert Perez, deputy commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
    ďThey are profiting on the backs of this vulnerable population, and thatís why itís still a crisis,Ē Perez told an outdoor news conference, standing before CBP personnel at the border barrier in El Paso.
    Acting Commissioner Mark Morgan said the average 1,400 people apprehended each day underscored a security risk.
    President Donald Trump has made restricting immigration a centerpiece of his first term and his 2020 re-election campaign, and U.S. officials and immigrant advocates alike say his policies and cooperation from Mexico have contributed to four straight months of declining arrests.
    While Trumpís supporters cheer his crackdown on illegal border-crossings, critics have attacked his policies as cruel, resulting in overcrowded detention facilities and the separation of children from their parents.
    U.S. policy has targeted asylum seekers, most of them from the impoverished and violent Central American countries of Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador.
    Now U.S. officials say they hope to speed up the processing of some asylum claims to just a few days, compared to the months or years it takes currently, in a shift that has raised concerns over due-process rights.
    Morgan and Perez confirmed they launched a pilot program in El Paso earlier this month, the Prompt Asylum Claim Review, first reported by the Washington Post last week.
    ďThe objective is within that same handful of days Ö to get people through an immigration process as quickly as we possibly can, so that a judge, hopefully, makes a decision,Ē Perez said.
    Some immigration attorneys say they have yet to receive notification of the program, and that clients were placed in it without their knowledge.    Attorneys also said they had only been given telephone access to clients.
    U.S. Representative Veronica Escobar, a Democrat from El Paso, raised ďpressing concernsĒ in a letter to Morgan after her staff received an informal Border Patrol briefing.
    Migrants in custody would have 24 hours to contact an immigration lawyer, she said, and would be swiftly given an interview with an immigration officer to determine if they had a credible fear of persecution back home.    If rejected, migrants could appeal through a phone interview with an immigration judge, Escobar said.
(Reporting by Julio-Cesar Chavez; Writing by Daniel Trotta; Editing by Bernadette Baum, David Gregorio and Cynthia Osterman)

10/30/2019 Schumer claims President Trump willing to shutdown government as impeachment diversion by OAN Newsroom
Senate Minority Leader Sen. Chuck Schumer of N.Y., left, with Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., answers a question from a reporter,
Tuesday, Oct. 29, 2019, after a weekly policy luncheon on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
    President Trump says Republicans are very ďunified and energizedĒ in their fight against what he calls ďthe impeachment hoax by the do nothing Democrats.Ē    He took to Twitter Wednesday, saying the impeachment process is unfair and everybody can see that after a ďcasual reading of the transcript
    The president was referring to House Intelligence Committee chairman Adam Schiffís parody of his phone call with his Ukraine counterpart.    President Trump said the call was ďtotally appropriateĒ and "there was no pressure.Ē    He called the impeachment inquiry a continuation of the ďwitch hunt hoaxĒ against him, and urged Republicans to ďgo with substance and close it out
    With a looming government shutdown just a month away, Democrats fear it could be weaponized against their ongoing impeachment effort.    On Tuesday, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said heís becoming increasingly worried that President Trump would be willing to shut down the government.
    The Democrat claims his party is putting together a short-term funding bill to fund the government a little bit longer.        However, Schumer fears Republicans could ignore the proposal in order to slow down Democratsí efforts to investigate the president.
    On the other hand, Republicans are saying itís Democrats who have rejected proposals thus far, citing a recent defense spending bill.    Nonetheless, lawmakers will have to make a decision by November 22nd if they want to keep the government open.
President Donald Trump speaks to the International Association of Chiefs of Police Annual Conference and Exposition,
at the McCormick Place Convention Center Chicago, Monday, Oct. 28, 2019, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

10/30/2019 GOP Sen. Joni Ernst introduces ĎSWAG Actí to cut government spending on P.R. campaigns by OAN Newsroom
Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, right, stands alongside Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky., center,
and Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., as they speak to members of the media following a Senate policy luncheon,
Tuesday, Oct. 22, 2019, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
    Republican Sen. Joni Ernst introduced a proposal to cut wasteful spending on federal promotional materials commonly referred to as ďswag.Ē    The Iowa lawmaker unveiled her legislation addressing the issue on Monday.    The measure is titled ĎStop Wasteful Advertising by the Governmentí or the ĎSWAG Act.í
    Ernst has already made a name for herself as a spending watchdog and has started calling out agencies over their expenses using the Twitter hash tag #MakeEmSqueal.    Her bill cites the massive $1.4 billion tab accrued by federal agencies for merchandise like advertisements, mascot costumes, and evening coloring books.
    While speaking to Breitbart News, she emphasized the need to shift the focus back on the governmentís responsibilities and how they should be spending tax dollars.
    ďWhat I canít understand is how a bureaucrat sitting in their cubicle at the Department of Energy or EPA would think it was okay to spend taxpayer dollars on things like this,Ē she stated.    ďThere are important things the federal government needs to do; buying fidget spinners and coozies is not one of them
    If passed, the ĎSWAG Actí would stop the government from spending tax dollars on mascots which arenít already funded under law such as Smokey Bear.    It would also remove the ability to purchase fake social media followers, which was the case in 2011 and 2012 under former President Barack Obama.
    A report from the Office of the Inspector General found the State Department spent over $600,000 to purchase around 100,000 Facebook ĎĒfans,Ē but ultimately failed to improve their engagement numbers.    The ĎSWAG Actí would additionally require all federal agencies to publicly disclose spending for P.R. campaigns annually.
    Ernst recently introduced another bipartisan bicameral bill limiting the amount of tax-funded perks granted to former presidents from office space to travel expenses.
    ďWhat we have seen is that taxpayers are footing the bill for their staff, for postage, for their phone expenses, for their travel expenses, office ó you name it ó tax payers are paying for that,Ē she stated.    ďAnd many of our former presidentís receive tremendous books deals, they get expensive speaking engagements, they charge enormous fees ó so why is the taxpayer absorbing that?Ē
    As it stands, a formal vote for the ĎSWAG Actí has yet to be scheduled and still must undergo review in the House as well as the Senate.

10/30/2019 President Trump praises court decision to re-open Covington studentís libel suit by OAN Newsroom
Nathan Philips is seen beating a drum in the face of Nick Sandmann in Washington, D.C. (Photo/ka_ya11/Instagram/Screenshot)
    President Trump is cheering on Covington Catholic High School student Nick Sandmann after a federal judge partially re-opened his libel suit against The Washington Post.    In a tweet Wednesday, the president said the decision will now allow Sandmann to have a good chance of winning.
    On Monday, the judge reversed his own ruling to dismiss the studentís $250 million defamation lawsuit over the mediaís coverage of his interaction with Native American protester Nathan Philips in Washington, D.C. earlier this year.
    Sandmannís lawyer said the Washington Post falsely accused him and other students of racist acts and instigating a confrontation.    The student himself has always maintained his innocence.
    ďAs for as standing there, I had every right to do so.    My position is that I was not disrespectful to Mr. Phillips, I respect him
    The judgeís reversal means the case may now proceed into the ďdiscoveryĒ phase, which allows Sandmann to obtain documents from The Washington Post and present it as new evidence to claim the paper was negligent in its reporting.

10/30/2019 Report: State Department officials to testify on Giulianiís Ukraine policy by OAN Newsroom
Catherine Croft, a State Department adviser on Ukraine, departs a secure area of the Capitol after a closed door
meeting where she testified as part of the House impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump,
Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2019, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
    Two State Department officials are visiting Capitol Hill to testify on Rudy Giulianiís Ukraine policy.    Catherine Croft and Chris Anderson appeared before the House impeachment committees on Wednesday.
    In his opening statement, Chris Anderson said former National Security Adviser John Bolton warned him about Rudy Giuliani.    Bolton allegedly claimed Giuliani was an obstacle to maintaining positive relations with Ukraine.    Bolton has since been invited back to testify before lawmakers in November.
    Anderson also alleged that the White House blocked the State Department from issuing a statement condemning a Russian attack on Ukrainian ships.    Special Envoy Kurt Volker would eventually send a tweet addressing the situation.
    Catherine Croft testified that she received several calls from lobbyist and former Congressman Robert Livingston, who allegedly pressured her to fire ousted former Ukraine Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch.    She said Livingston described the ambassador as an ďObama hold-overĒ and an associate of George Soros.    Livingston has denied the accusations.
    Around the same time, the presidentís nominee for U.S. Ambassador to Russia appeared for a confirmation hearing in the Senate.    John Sullivan confirmed the House testimony from former Ambassador Yovanovitch.
Former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch, arrives on Capitol Hill, Friday, Oct. 11, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
    Sullivan did not dispute that he told the former ambassador there was a ďconcerted campaignĒ to force her out.    He alleged the effort was led by President Trump.    Sullivan was then asked about Rudy Giulianiís efforts to force the removal of the ambassador.
    ďMy knowledge in the spring and summer of this year about any involvement of Mr. Giuliani was in connection with a campaign against our ambassador to Ukraine,Ē stated Sullivan.
    He added that he was not aware of any efforts from the president to solicit investigations into the Bidens from any foreign government.
    Prior to the depositions, Congressman Jim Jordan blasted Adam Schiff for Tuesdayís hearing.    The chairman reportedly blocked the GOP from asking certain questions about the whistleblower.
    ďYesterday, Mr. Schiff felt that even though he gets to subpoena the witnesses and decide who comes in, only his questions and the majorityís questions get answered,Ē stated Jordan.    ďHopefully the witness will get to answer our questions today

10/30/2019 Report: Whistleblower possibly identified, attorneys caution against speculation by OAN Newsroom
The Capitol in Washington is seen at dawn, Thursday, Oct. 3, 2019. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
    New developments are surfacing in the impeachment inquiry.    Media company RealClear Politics claimed Wednesday thereís strong evidence that the alleged whistleblower could be Eric Ciaramella.
    Ciaramella is a registered Democrat who previously worked with former Vice President Joe Biden and former CIA Director John Brennan.    His name has been tossed around on social media platforms for weeks and is known by many on Capitol Hill.
    ďIíve heard the name.    CNN has the name.    The White House has the name.    House Intel Committee has a name.    Who is this guy being protected from? ó The American people.Ē ó Fred Fleitz, NSC Chief of Staff
    Ciaramella left the National Security Council in 2017 to return to the CIA.    An official interviewed by RealClear Politics said Ciaramella has been accused of working against the president.
    Following the release of the report, Ciaramellaís legal team issued a statement.    Attorneys Mark Zaid and Andrew Bakaj said they can ďneither confirm nor deny the identity of the Intelligence Community Whistleblower.Ē    They went on to caution against speculation, claiming that it can cause harm to any person who may be suspected to be the whistleblower.
    ďDisclosure of the name of any person who may be suspected to be the whistleblower places that individual and their family in great physical danger,Ē read the statement.    ďSuch behavior is at the pinnacle of irresponsibility and is intentionally reckless
    This is developing news.    One America News has not confirmed this information.

10/30/2019 Report: Bill Taylor open to public testimony by OAN Newsroom
A top U.S. diplomat, William Taylor, departs the Capitol after testifying in the Democratsí impeachment investigation
of President Donald Trump, in Washington, Tuesday, Oct. 22, 2019. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
    After speaking privately to impeachment investigators, the acting ambassador to Ukraine said he is willing to testify publicly. Reports released on Wednesday claimed William Taylor is open to sharing his knowledge of U.S. relations with Ukraine.
    The House is set to vote on a resolution Thursday that would formalize the impeachment procedures.    If approved, the measure would enable witnesses to appear for public hearings before members of Congress.
    In his recent closed-door deposition, Taylor raised allegations of a quid pro quo related to Ukraine.    His testimony has come under scrutiny by the president and his Republicans allies on Capitol Hill.
    ďItís not firsthand from Ambassador Taylor, itís not secondhand from Ambassador Taylor (and) itís not third-hand from Ambassador Taylor,Ē stated Representative Lee Zeldin.    ďOn the process and the substance, this whole thing has been a joke
    As House Democrats move forward with impeachment, there has reportedly been no request made to have Taylor publicly appear before lawmakers.    Democrats are continuing to schedule private hearings with more witnesses in the coming days and weeks.

10/30/2019 FBI Director Chris Wray says domestic terror is a persistent threat by OAN Newsroom
FBI Director Christopher Wray testifies before the House Homeland Security Committee on Capitol Hill
in Washington, Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2019, during a hearing on domestic terrorism. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
    FBI Director Christopher Wray is warning the public of the elevated threat of violent extremism on U.S. soil.    In his Wednesday testimony to Congress, Wray said the bureau sees roughly one thousand domestic terror cases per year.
    ďWe see domestic terrorism as a persistent, evolving threat,Ē stated Wray.
    When Democrat lawmakers asked about what they called ĎNeo-Nazi extremism,í the director claimed these groups may have connections in some Eastern European countries.
    ďWe have seen some connections between U.S. based Neo-Nazis and Neo-Nazis in overseas analogs,Ē explained Wray.    ďProbably a more prevalent phenomenon that we see right now is racially motivated violent extremists here, who are inspired by what they see overseas
    Critics have said Wrayís remarks may damage U.S. relations with the region and further alienate Eastern European communities.
    The director concluded his testimony by urging the public to not become complacent.
    ďWe must seek out new technologies and solutions for the problems that exist today as well as those that are on the horizon,Ē stated Wray.    ďWe must build toward the future so that we are prepared to deal with the threats we will face at home and abroad and understand how those threats may be connected

10/30/2019 New Trump campaign advertisement denounces Ďimpeachment scamí by OAN Newsroom
President Donald Trump gives a Ďthumbs-upí towards members of the media on the South Lawn of the White House
in Washington, Thursday, Oct. 3, 2019, after his return from Florida. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
    President Trumpís reelection campaign just released a new video that denounces the House impeachment inquiry.    In the video, the presidentís supporters claimed the impeachment proceedings are a politically motivated effort by the Democrat Party.
    ďImpeachment in a scam ó itís a waste of time and tax dollars,Ē supporters stated in the advertisement.
    The video showed advocates praising the administrationís policies.    The ad also highlighted the presidentís achievements during his first term in office.
    Recent reports suggested that the growing impeachment push could alienate more moderate voters in key swing states and energize the presidentís base.    Two recent polls showed the push to remove President Trump from office is unpopular among voters in several battleground states.    One poll by Marquette Law surveyed voters in Wisconsin, while a New York Times/ Siena College poll surveyed voters in six states ó including Pennsylvania and Florida.    The majority of respondents in both surveys donít appear to support the presidentís impeachment.    These figures also showed a lack of support for the House moving forward with hearings.
    The president has said he believes the move will backfire on Democrats in 2020.
    ďI do believe that because of what theyíre doingÖthat theyíre going to pay a tremendous price at the polls,Ē stated President Trump.

10/31/2019 Oil down $0.48 to $55.06, DOW up 115 to 27,187.

10/31/2019 U.S. releases Baghdadi raid video, warns of likely retribution attack by Phil Stewart
FILE PHOTO: A bearded man with Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi's appearance speaks in this screen grab taken
from video released on April 29, 2019. Islamic State Group/Al Furqan Media Network/Reuters TV via REUTERS
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) Ė The Pentagon on Wednesday released its first images from last weekendís commando raid in Syria that led to the death of Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and warned the militant group may attempt to stage a ďretribution attack
    The declassified, grainy, black-and-white aerial videos from Saturdayís raid showed U.S. special operations forces closing in on the compound and U.S. aircraft firing on militants nearby.
    The most dramatic video showed a massive, black plume of smoke rising from the ground after U.S. military bombs leveled Baghdadiís compound.
    ďIt looks pretty much like a parking lot, with large potholes,Ē said Marine General Kenneth McKenzie, the commander of U.S. Central Command, which oversees American forces in the Middle East.
    McKenzie, briefing Pentagon reporters, said the idea of destroying the compound was at least in part ďto ensure that it would not be a shrine or otherwise memorable in any way."
    ďItís just another piece of ground,Ē he said.
    Baghdadi, an Iraqi jihadist who rose from obscurity to declare himself ďcaliphĒ of all Muslims as the leader of Islamic State, died by detonating a suicide vest as he fled into a dead-end tunnel as elite U.S. special forces closed in.
    McKenzie said he brought two young children into the tunnel with him Ė not three, as had been the U.S. government estimate. Both children were believed to be under the age of 12 and both were killed, he said.
    He portrayed Baghdadi as isolated at his Syrian compound, just four miles from the Turkish border, saying fighters from other militant groups nearby probably did not even know he was there.    McKenzie suggested it was unlikely that Baghdadi used the Internet or had digital connections to the outside world.
    ďI think youíd find (he was using) probably a messenger system that allows you to put something on a floppy or on a bit of electronics and have someone physically move it somewhere,Ē he said.
    McKenzie said Islamic State would likely try to stage some kind of retaliatory attack.
    ďWe suspect they will try some form of retribution attack.    And we are postured and prepared for that,Ē he said.
    McKenzie did not back up or knock down Trumpís dramatic account of Baghdadiís final moments, which the president delivered during a televised address to the nation on Sunday.    Trump said Baghdadi ďdied a coward ó crying, whimpering, screaming
    Asked about Trumpís account, McKenzie said: ďAbout Baghdadiís last moments, I can tell you this: He crawled into a hole with two small children and blew himself up as his people stayed on the ground
    ďSo you can deduce what kind of person he is based on that activityÖ Iím not able to confirm anything else about his last seconds.    I just canít confirm that one way or another
    On Monday, Army General Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, also declined to confirm Trumpís account, saying he presumed Trump got that information from his direct conversations with members of the elite unit that conducted the operation.    Milley had not yet spoken with them, he said.
    McKenzie suggested the U.S. military had secured a large amount of intelligence about Islamic Stateís activities during the raid.
    ďWhile the assault force was securing the remains, they also secured whatever documentation and electronics we could find, which was substantial,Ē McKenzie said, declining to provide further details.
    McKenzie said Turkeyís incursion into Syria this month, and the U.S. pullback from the border, was not a factor in deciding the timing of the raid.    Instead, McKenzie pointed to a host of other factors, including the amount of moonlight.
    ďWe struck because the time is about right to do it then, given the totality of the intelligence and the other factors that would affect the raid force going into and coming out,Ē McKenzie said.
(Reporting by Phil Stewart, additional reporting by Daphne Psaledakis, Editing by Rosalba OíBrien)

10/31/2019 Pompeo says U.S. must confront Chinaís Communist Party by David Brunnstrom
FILE PHOTO: U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is pictured at NATO headquarters
in Brussels, Belgium October 18, 2019. Francisco Seco//Pool via REUTERS/File Photo
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) Ė U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Wednesday stepped up recent U.S. rhetoric targeting Chinaís ruling Communist Party, saying it was focused on international domination and needed to be confronted.
    Pompeo made the remarks even as the Trump administration said it still expected to sign the first phase of deal to end a damaging trade war with Beijing next month, despite Chileís withdrawal on Wednesday as the host of an APEC summit where U.S. officials had hoped this would happen.
    Echoing a speech last week by U.S. Vice President Mike Pence attacking Chinaís record on human rights, trade and methods to expand its global influence, Pompeo said the United States had long cherished its friendship with the Chinese people, but added:
    ďThe Communist government in China today is not the same as the people of China.    They are reaching for and using methods that have created challenges for the United States and for the world and we collectively, all of us, need to confront these challenges Ö head on
    ďIt is no longer realistic to ignore the fundamental differences between our two systems, and the impact that Ö the differences in those systems have on American national security,Ē Pompeo said in an address to a gala dinner in New York of the conservative Hudson Institute think tank.
    He said President Donald Trump, who is seeking re-election next year, had sounded the alarm about China from his very first day in office.
    ďToday, weíre finally realizing the degree to which the Communist Party is truly hostile to the United States and our values Ö and we are able to do this because of the leadership of President Trump
    Pompeo said he would deliver a series of speeches in coming months on the competing ideologies and values, including on global influence campaigns by the Chinese Communist Partyís intelligence agencies and ďunfair and predatoryĒ economic practices by Beijing.
    ďThe Chinese Communist Party is a Marxist-Leninist Party focused on a Ďstruggleí and international domination Ė we need only listen to the words of their leaders,Ē he said.
    Pompeo said he would also address the build-up of Chinaís military capabilities ďthat far exceed what they would need for self defense
    Pompeo said the United States was not seeking confrontation with China and wanted to see a transparent, competitive market-driven system there that was mutually beneficial. He said the first steps towards that could be seen in phase one of the trade deal, which was close to being signed.
    ďI am optimistic that we will get there.    Itís a good thing, a place that we can work together,Ē he said.    ďI think this will show that there is common ground to be had
    On Tuesday, Chinaís ambassador to the United Nations hit back at criticism of Beijingís human rights record, saying it was not ďhelpfulĒ for trade talks between Beijing and Washington.
(Reporting by David Brunnstrom; additional reporting by Humeyra Pamuk; Editing by Sandra Maler)

10/31/2019 Republicans slam Schiff, impeachment inquiry by OAN Newsroom
Vote Tallies are displayed as House members vote on a resolution on impeachment procedure to move forward
into the next phase of the impeachment inquiry into President Trump, in the House Chamber on Capitol Hill
in Washington, Thursday, Oct. 31, 2019. The resolution passed 232-196. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
    President Trump called on House Republicans to stand united against the Democrats impeachment inquiry.    Many Republicans sounded off ahead of the proceedings and also during debate on the House floor before the vote to formalize the probe.
    Congressman Mark Meadows suggested the impeachment resolution should be renamed the ďAdam Schiff Empowerment Act.Ē    While speaking to reporters Thursday, Meadows said the vote allows Schiff to maintain complete control over the process without giving any rights to the White House or to Republicans.    The North Carolina lawmaker then criticized Schiff for his interactions with witnesses during these closed-door hearings.
    ďWeíve asked a number of questions that we felt like deserved an answer and instead of Adam Schiff allowing the witness to answer those questions, heís cut the witness off and last time I checked Adam Schiff is not the attorney for the witness,Ē he stated.    ďAnd todayís (Thursday) resolution just empowers him more to control the process, and I think one reporter called it the Adam Schiff Empowerment actÖthatís probably what it needs to be renamed
    Rep. Meadows was backed up by his colleague Jim Jordan, who described the resolution as an attempt by Democrats to ďput a bowĒ on the ďsham process

Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, left, speaking to members of the media as Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., right, looks on
as they arrive for closed door meeting to hear testimony from Tim Morrison, a former senior
National Security Council official, in the House impeachment inquiry, Oct. 31, 2019. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
    Congressman Devin Nunes also chimed in by accusing House Democrats of blindly following chairman Schiff.    During a statement on the House floor Thursday, Nunes said Democrats always intended to use their place in the House to turn the Intelligence Committee into the ďImpeachment Committee.Ē    He then compared the impeachment inquiry to a cult, calling Schiff the cult leader and the mainstream media the followers.
    ďAfter today (Thursday) the House Intelligence Committee ceases to exist, oversight is not being done and we now have a full fledged impeachment committee in the basement of the capitol ó think about that America,Ē he stated.
    Nunes went on to say Democrats have been fixated on ďpursuing their bizarre obsession with overturning the results of the last presidential election
    President Trump has continued to blast the Democratsí impeachment efforts as:

10/31/2019 Rep. Gaetz files ethics complaint against House Intelligence chairman Schiff by OAN Newsroom
Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., speaks to reporters outside a closed-door meeting where Catherine Croft, a State Department
adviser on Ukraine, and Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Laura Cooper testify as part of the House
impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2019. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
    Congressman Matt Gaetz has filed an ethics complaint against House Intelligence Committee chairman Adam Schiff.    On Wednesday, the representative called on the House Ethics Committee to open an official investigation into Schiff for his conduct during the impeachment inquiry.
    In his complaint Gaetz said Schiff must be made to answer for ďdistortingĒ the presidentís call with his Ukrainian counterpart, lying about having evidence of collusion, and blocking Republican House members from impeachment depositions.
    ďMy goal is to show the American people and, most importantly, the 30 plus members of Congress who represent districts that President     Trump won that this is unprecedented and unwarranted,Ē he stated.    ďItís unprecedented because never before in our nations history has an impeachment process been born out of the Intelligence Committee, the Intelligence Committee is not even a standing committee of the House of Representatives
    In a later tweet, Gaetz said any Republican who votes for this impeachment resolution have ďabandoned this presidentĒ and are ďallowing this illegitimate investigation to be cloaked in faux legitimacy
    The House is set to vote on whether to formalize an impeachment inquiry into the president Thursday.    The votes are expected to be stratified along party lines with 218 Ďyaysí likely needed for the resolution to pass.    This will mark the first time congressional lawmakers will take an official vote on whether the President Trumpís dealings with Ukraine is worth investigating.    The vote wonít be on official articles of impeachment rather it will simply be a vote on whether the House should launch a formal probe into the matter.
Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., walks to a secure area of the Capitol where Christopher Anderson, a State Department
Foreign Service officer, appeared for a closed door meeting to testify as part of the House
impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump, Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2019, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

10/31/2019 House approves impeachment resolution by OAN Newsroom
Vote Tallies are displayed as House members vote on a resolution on impeachment procedure to move forward
into the next phase of the impeachment inquiry into President Trump, in the House Chamber on Capitol Hill
in Washington, Thursday, Oct. 31, 2019. The resolution passed 232-196. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
    The House vote officially formalized an impeachment inquiry into President Trump on Thursday. The vote came down along party lines, with 232 lawmakers in favor and 196 against the resolution.    Two Democrats voted with Republicans and lone Independent Congressman Justin Amash sided with the Democrats.
    Following the vote, the White House released a statement.    Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham said Nancy Pelosi and the Democratsí obsession with impeachment ďhurts the American people
    ďThe President has done nothing wrong and the Democrats know it,Ē stated Grisham.
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., second from right, speaks during
a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Oct. 31, 2019. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
    House Democrats argued that impeachment was written into the Constitution for a reason.    Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff said the authors foresaw the kind of misconduct President Trump is now being accused of.
    ďThe Founding Fathers understood that a leader might take hold of the Oval OfficeÖ(and) place his personal or political interest above the interest of the country,Ē stated Schiff.    ďThey understood that might happen and they provided a mechanism to deal with it
    The Democrats said this is an important step to hold the president accountable, but the GOP continued to slam the inquiry as illegitimate and illegal.
    During a Thursday press conference, congressional Republicans uniformly condemned the Houseís impeachment resolution and called on Adam Schiff to release all transcripts.    Lawmakers criticized Representative Adam Schiff and Speaker Nancy Pelosi for pushing what they called a ďtaintedĒ investigation.    They claimed the inquiry has been fueled solely by politics and that the American people deserve a real investigation.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of Calif., center, is joined by fellow Republican lawmakers while speaking during
a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Oct. 31, 2019. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
    Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said the only thing the vote proved is that the entire probe is a sham.
    ďThe only bipartisan vote on that floor was against,Ē stated McCarthy.    ďThe speaker should follow her own words ó end the sham that has been putting this country through this nightmare
    President Trump has previously spoken out against the impeachment inquiry.    He took to Twitter Thursday morning to condemn the ďimpeachment hoax,Ē claiming it wastes our countryís time and money.

10/31/2019 Senate passes $332 billion spending package weeks after start of 2020 fiscal year by OAN Newsroom
The Capitol is seen at dawn in Washington, Tuesday, Oct. 29, 2019. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
    The Senate is passing a $332 billion spending package ahead of a potential government shutdown, which may occur next month.    Senators voted 84 to 9 on Thursday to pass the package, which will help fund the government for the next fiscal year.
    ďDemocrats and Republicans have been working through a package of appropriations bills,Ē stated Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer.    ďThis week has shown the Senate can efficiently work through these bills when we have a bipartisan buy-in
    The fiscal package contained a total of four bills and included funding for six departments.    However, the Senate still needs to pass eight more spending bills and iron out any differences with the House versions of those bills.    They have until November 21st to fund the government.
    Senate Appropriations Chairman Richard Shelby said Congress may have to pass a stop-gap bill to ensure government funding before adopting next yearís budget.
    ďUnless a miracle happens around here with the House and the Senate, we will have to come forth with another (resolution) CR,Ē stated Shelby.

10/31/2019 Rep. Collins calls for Schiff to testify amid continued closed-door hearings by OAN Newsroom
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., second from right, speaks during a
news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Oct. 31, 2019. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
    Representative Doug Collins is calling on House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff to testify before the House Judiciary Committee.    The Georgia congressman said Thursdayís vote on the impeachment resolution is not the end of the road for Republicans.
    He argued that ďprocess leads to substanceĒ and called for Schiff to answer for the way heís handled the impeachment inquiry so far.
    ďHereís my challenge to Mr. Schiff,Ē stated Collins.    ďCome to the Judiciary Committee, be the first witness and take every question asked of you ó starting with your own involvement with the whistleblower
    Collins also criticized Schiff for breaking with the traditions established under both Nixon and Clinton.    He claimed the new resolution will empower Schiffís committee and ďneuterĒ the Judiciary Committee, which has traditionally handled impeachment.
FILE Ė In this May 21, 2019, file photo, Rep. Doug Collins, R-Ga., ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee,
speaks alongside chairman Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., during a hearing without former White House
Counsel Don McGahn on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)
    Despite authorizing public hearings as part of the impeachment inquiry, House Democrats still have private depositions on the books.    Reports this week said several officials are scheduled to testify behind closed-doors in the coming days.
    Democrats have said the newly approved resolution marks the public phase of their probe, but Republicans argue nothing has changed.    They said the rules are still unfair and empower the House Intelligence chairman to call witnesses at his discretion. The resolution also doesnít require the release of transcribed witness testimony.
    Democrats have insisted the hearings will now be held publicly, but thereís nothing in the resolution that requires them to do so.    Republicans introduced more than a dozen amendments to the resolution, seeking more transparency in the process, but Democrats blocked them all.

10/31/2019 Trump administration, GOP focusing on tax cuts by OAN Newsroom
As President Donald Trump listens left, White House chief economic adviser Larry Kudlow, standing, speaks during a Cabinet
meeting in the Cabinet Room of the White House, Monday, Oct. 21, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
    As Democrats on Capitol Hill continue their impeachment inquiry, their GOP counterparts and the Trump administration are focusing on another round of tax cuts.
    A Thursday report from The Washington Post said White House officials and congressional Republicans are working on a new package of economic growth measures, which will include new tax cuts.    Negotiations are reportedly in the beginning stages with White House Economic Adviser Larry Kudlow spearheading the move.
    The president has previously mentioned the effort is something he would like to get done ahead of the 2020 election cycle.
    ďWeíre now working on a tax cut for the middle income people,Ē stated President Trump.    ďWeíll be announcing it sometime in the next year
Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell speaks during a news conference in Washington, Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2019. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
    This comes after the Federal Reserve announced another round of interest rate cuts on Wednesday.
    They have since drawn criticism from President Trump, who berated the bank for putting the U.S. economy at a ďcompetitive disadvantage

    This page created on 10/1/2019, and updated each month by 10/31/2019.

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