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April 18, 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.


Senate votes to require women to register for the draft (New York Times)

On Tuesday, the Senate approved an expansive military policy bill that would for the first time require young women to register for the draft.

Dozens more U.S. troops deployed to Somalia (Voice of America)

Dozens of American soldiers have deployed to Mogadishu to train and equip Somali and AMISOM (African Union Mission in Somalia) forces fighting extremism in Somalia, U.S. military officials told VOA. The troops' arrival marks the first presence of American military forces in Somalia, other than a small unit of counterterrorism advisers, since March 1994 when the U.S. pulled out of the U.N. intervention operation in the war-torn state, five months after 18 U.S. special forces personnel were killed in a battle with Somali militiamen that inspired the movie Black Hawk Down.

CEOs now make 300 times more than their workers. This city is putting a stop to that. (Bill Moyers)

… Across the country, local jurisdictions aren’t waiting for federal action or corporate governance reforms to close the wage gap. In December, for example, the city of Portland, Oregon, passed an ordinance to raise the business tax on companies with CEOs who earn more than 100 times the median pay of their workers. Portland officials said the ordinance is the first of its kind in the country. And now, more cities and states are poised to follow suit.

Trump threatens to stop insurance payments so Democrats negotiate on healthcare (CNN)

President Donald Trump is threatening not to reimburse health insurers for covering low income people as a way of forcing Democrats to the negotiating table on health care.

Trump’s stunning U-turns on NATO, China, Russia and Syria (CNN)

Within a few hours of extraordinary political shape-shifting, President Donald Trump abandoned stances that were at the bedrock of his establishment-bashing campaign.

NATO is “no longer obsolete,” Trump declares (CBS)

President Donald Trump said NATO is “no longer obsolete,” in a joint news conference Wednesday with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg after their first face-to-face meeting at the White House…Mr. Trump, who consistently criticized NATO during his presidential campaign, on Wednesday said the “great alliance” of the U.S. and NATO will work with a “common devotion to human dignity and freedom” to defeat the world’s challenges…

U.S. jury in Vegas begins mulling Bundy Ranch standoff case (USA Today)

A federal jury in Nevada has begun deliberating in the first of three trials stemming from an armed standoff that stopped federal agents from rounding up cattle near state's rights advocate Cliven Bundy's ranch three years ago.

Trump ends hiring freeze, but workplace cuts loom (GovExec)

The Trump administration announced its hiring freeze will end Wednesday, while delivering to agencies promised guidance on how they should reduce the size of their workforces in both the near and long term.

White House confirms it will propose 1.9% pay raise for feds next year (GovExec)

Civilian federal employees would receive an across-the-board 1.9 percent pay raise next year under President Trump’s forthcoming proposal, Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney confirmed Tuesday. The increase would be slightly less than the 2.1 percent raise feds received in 2017, though it would eclipse the 1.6 percent pay bump President Obama initially proposed for this year.

Melania Trump wins damages from Daily Mail over ‘escort’ allegations (BBC)

The newspaper had reported allegations that Melania Trump once worked as an escort, but later retracted the claims. The story was published during the US election campaign last year. Mrs Trump accepted damages and an apology from the newspaper at London's High Court.

Coast Guard Pushes Back Against Rep. Hunter's Pentagon Move (KPBS)

Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Alpine, sent a letter to President Donald Trump saying he believed the U.S. Coast Guard should move to the Department of Defense, with the other branches of the military.

Trump White House to keep visitor logs private (CNN)

The Trump White House will keep visitor logs private, breaking with tradition set by the Obama administration.


As US Navy aircraft steam toward western Pacific, North Korea warns of nuclear strike if provoked (CS Monitor)

State-sponsored media in North Korea said Tuesday that the nation could bring a nuclear attack on the US after a US Navy nuclear-powered aircraft carrier was seen coming toward the western Pacific. 

A ‘Cuban missile crisis in slow motion’ off  North Korea (New York Times)

All the elements of the North Korean nuclear crisis — the relentless drive by Kim Jong-un to assemble an arsenal, the propaganda and deception swirling around his progress, the hints of a covert war by the United States to undermine the effort, rather than be forced into open confrontation — were on vivid display this weekend…

How  North Korea could kill 90% of Americans (The Hill)

The mainstream media, and some officials who should know better, continue to allege North Korea does not yet have capability to deliver on its repeated threats to strike the U.S. with nuclear weapons. False reassurance is given to the American people that North Korea has not “demonstrated” that it can miniaturize a nuclear warhead small enough for missile delivery, or build a reentry vehicle for an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) capable of penetrating the atmosphere to blast a U.S. city…Even if it were true that North Korea does not yet have nuclear missiles, their “Dear Leader” could deliver an atomic bomb hidden on a freighter sailing under a false flag into a U.S. port, or hire their terrorist allies to fly a nuclear 9/11 suicide mission across the unprotected border with Mexico. . populous port cities like New York, New Orleans, Los Angeles, and San Francisco, or big cities nearest the Mexican border, like San Diego, Phoenix, Austin, and Santa Fe, would be most at risk.

Iraq: Islamic State launches chlorine gas attacks in western Mosul (Los Angeles Times)

An Iraqi military officer says Islamic State militants have launched a gas attack in a newly liberated area in western Mosul.The officer with the anti-terrorism forces said Saturday that the attack occurred the night before in the Abar neighborhood.

How Iran enables Syria’s chemical warfare against civilians (JPost)

Tehran built equipment to produce ‘hundreds of tons of precursors for VX, sarin and mustard gas.

Boko Haram Increasingly Using Children In Suicide Bombings, UNICEF Says (NPR)

Twenty-seven children were used in suicide attacks in the first three months of 2017.

As suspect in Stockholm attack confesses, mourning and resolve from Swedes (CS Monitor)

Swedes observed a national day of mourning on Monday for the four people killed and 15 wounded in Friday's attack.