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East County News Service

January 11, 2017 (San Diego’s East County) -- East County Magazine's World Watch helps you be an informed citizen about important issues globally and nationally. As part of our commitment to reflect all voices and views, we include links to a wide variety of news sources representing a broad spectrum of political, religious, and social views. Top world and U.S. headlines include:





For excerpts and links to full stories, click “read more” and scroll down.



U.S. lists 17 nuclear reactors with parts from forge under probe (Reuters)

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) on Tuesday unveiled a letter showing that 17 of the country's nuclear reactors have parts from Areva SA's Le Creusot forge in France, which is under investigation for allegedly falsifying documents on the quality of its parts.

The U.S. Dropped More Than 26,000 Bombs Last Year (Reason)

Both the number of bombs and the number of countries being bombed was higher in 2016 than in 2015.

Jewish centers report bomb threats in several U.S. states (Reuters)

[Fifteen] Jewish community centers in several U.S. states were evacuated on Monday after they reported receiving bomb threats, according to the organizations and national umbrella organization, though no explosives were found and no injuries reported.

Fort Lauderdale shooting:  5 dead, suspect had gun in bag (CNN)

Five people were shot dead and eight wounded in a baggage claim area at Fort Lauderdale's airport, and law enforcement sources tell CNN the suspect, identified as Esteban Santiago, had brought the firearm in his checked luggage.

Iraq War veteran accused of killing 5 at Florida airport (Reuters)

An Iraq war veteran took a gun out of his checked luggage and opened fire in a crowded baggage claim area at Fort Lauderdale's airport on Friday, killing five people before being taken into custody, authorities said… In November, Santiago told the Federal Bureau of Investigation that his mind was being controlled and agents sent him to a mental hospital, said a federal law enforcement official, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Is Free College Really Free? (NPR)

Free tuition has been a buzz phrase lately, and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo's statewide proposal puts it front and center this week. Here's our look at the fine print.


Treatment of black lawmakers becomes flashpoint of Sessions hearing (CNN)

Members of Congress and outside progressive groups were visibly disturbed and disappointed that several members of the Congressional Black Caucus were not given the courtesy of testifying earlier in the committee proceedings on the nomination of Sen. Jeff Sessions -- President-elect Donald Trump's nominee for attorney general -- and instead left to testify at the end of the second day of hearings alongside outside witnesses. "To have a senator, a House member and a living civil rights legend testify at the end of all of this is the equivalent of being made to go to the back of the bus," said Rep. Cedric Richmond of Louisiana…

Trump names former Sen. Dan Coates to be intelligence chief (CBS)

President-elect Donald Trump on Saturday named retired Sen. Dan Coats as national intelligence director, saying the former member of the Senate Intelligence Committee was the right person to lead the new administration’s “ceaseless vigilance against those who seek to do us harm.”

Rex Tillerson could be America’s most dangerous secretary of state (In These Times)

On January 1, Rex Tillerson retired from oil giant Exxon Mobil after 41 years, the last 10 as CEO and chairman of the board. When he appears in January before the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee to be considered for U.S. Secretary of State, Exxon Mobil will be preparing to appear before a jury at the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia… the company will face allegations that security forces under its employ engaged in serious human rights abuses, including murder, torture, sexual violence, kidnapping, battery, assault, burning, arbitrary arrest, detention and false imprisonment. The complaint specifically names Rex Tillerson.

Tillerson fails to win over key GOP Senators (CNN)

President-elect Donald Trump's choice for secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, is facing resistance from a notable quarter -- Republican Sen. Marco Rubio.  Rubio -- who refused to say if he would vote for Tillerson after a day of testimony -- pressed the former ExxonMobil CEO hard Wednesday on a slew of human rights questions, pushing him to denounce the behavior of Russia, China, Saudi Arabia and the Philippines and expressing deep disappointment when the Texan refused to do so.

Declassified report: Putin ordered election interference to help Trump (The Hill)

Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered a widespread influence campaign intended to help elect Donald Trump, the intelligence community said in a declassified report released Friday afternoon.

Russia hacked Republican state campaigns but not Trump's: FBI head (Reuters)

Russia hacked into Republican state political campaigns and old email domains of the Republican National Committee but there is no evidence it successfully penetrated President-elect Donald Trump's campaign, FBI Director James Comey said on Tuesday.

Angst grows in GOP over Obamacare repeal plan (The Hill)

Concerns are growing among Republicans about moving forward with their plan to repeal ObamaCare without putting forward a replacement at the same time. 

GOP doesn’t want public to know how much Obamacare repeal will cost.  Studies show it could be trillions. (Common Dreams)

… “the new Republican rules package specifically instructs the Congressional Budget Office not to say how much it would cost to repeal Obamacare"—a provision that "distorts" federal budget analysis "for political gain.

House Republicans revive obscure rule that allows them to slash the pay of individual federal workers to $1 (Washington Post)

House Republicans this week reinstated an arcane procedural rule that enables lawmakers to reach deep into the budget and slash the pay of an individual federal worker — down to $1 — a move that threatens to upend the 130-year-old civil service. The Holman Rule, named after an Indiana congressman who devised it in 1876, empowers any member of Congress to propose amending an appropriations bill to single out a government employee or cut a specific program.

Trump Partied New Year’s Eve with Convicted Felon-With-Mob-Ties ‘Joey No Socks’ Cinque (People)

… At a New Year’s Eve bash at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida on Saturday, Donald Trump shared the stage with a convicted felon who goes by the nickname “Joey No Socks,” a video obtained by the Palm Beach Daily News reveals…. Cinque was convicted in 1989 of criminal possession of stolen art, a felony, CNN reported. And according to a 1995 profile in New York magazine, Cinque was friends with the infamous Gambino crime family boss John Gotti. The magazine also reported that Cinque was “shot three times and left for dead” in a 1980 incident that Cinque insisted was a “robbery,” but that “officials” said was “more likely a hit.”

Trump’s Border Wall, Deportation Plans Face Pushback from GOP (Bloomberg)

Three Republican senators are working with Democrats to shield about 750,000 young undocumented immigrants from deportation if Trump cancels a 2012 order from President Barack Obama that let them stay in the U.S.

Libertarian Party Suit Against FEC for Restrictions on How It Can Spend Its Donations to Proceed (Reason)

The Libertarian Party's National Committee (LNC) is suing the Federal Elections Commission (FEC) over aspects of the Federal Elections Campaign Act (FECA) that they say unjustly and unconstitutionally prohibit it from using contributions over a certain limit for the purposes they want to use them.


Iraqis close in on Tigris River, force ISIS to retreat in Mosul (Newsweek)

Iraqi special forces closed in on the Tigris river that runs through central Mosul on Saturday, advancing in parallel with other troops and forcing the Islamic State militant group (ISIS) to retreat in its last major stronghold in the country.

Dozens Dead in Multiple ISIS Bombings Across Baghdad (NPR)

Dozens are dead in Baghdad after bombs were detonated across the city on Monday. ISIS has claimed responsibility for the bombings.

These are the most productive countries in the world (Time)

The U.S. isn’t at the top of the list.

Syrian suspected of planning truck attack in Germany arrested: prosecutors (Reuters)

A Syrian migrant who arrived in Germany two years ago has been arrested on suspicion of seeking funds from Islamic State to drive truck bombs into a crowd, a German state prosecutor's office said on Monday.

How Russia's Disinformation Campaign Could Extend Its Tentacle (NPR)

If unaddressed, Russia's disinformation tactics will have at least three significant consequences for global stability.

As Venezuelans Go Hungry, The Military Is Trafficking in Food (NPR)

In Venezuela, food has become so scarce it's now being sold on the black market. One person tells the Associated Press, "it's a better business than drugs.” And the food traffickers are the very people sworn to protect Venezuela: the nation's military.

Brazil gang kills 31, many hacked to death, as prison violence explodes  (Reuters)

Jailed members of Brazil's most powerful drug gang killed 31 inmates at a penitentiary on Friday, decapitating and cutting out the hearts of most of them, in revenge for a separate prison massacre that left 56 dead this week.

North Korea's claim on ICBM test plausible: experts (Reuters)

North Korea has been working through 2016 on developing components for an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), making the isolated nation's claim that it was close to a test-launch plausible, international weapons experts said on Monday.

Armed men storm prison in southern Philippines, freeing more than 150 inmates (Reuters)

Armed men with links to Muslim rebels stormed a prison early on Wednesday in the southern Philippines, killing a guard and freeing more than a 150 inmates, police said.

Political Exile, A Centuries-Old Russian Tradition, Returns (NPR)

When the Soviet Union came crashing down 25 years ago, many Russians hoped their country would become a democracy. But increasingly, government critics are choosing political exile.

Former Iran president Rafsanjani dies in blow to moderates  (Reuters)

Former Iranian president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani died on Sunday at the age of 82, a big blow to moderates and reformists deprived now of their most influential supporter in the Islamic establishment.