ECM WORLD WATCH: NATIONAL AND GLOBAL NEWS

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October 4, 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:

U.S.

WORLD

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

U.S.

House passes 20-week abortion ban (The Hill)

The bill, sponsored by Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.), would make it a crime to perform or attempt an abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy, with the possibility of a fine, up to five years in prison or both…The bill allows exceptions in cases of rape, incest or to save the life of the woman and wouldn't penalize women for seeking to get abortions after 20 weeks.

Women who had abortions after 20 weeks explain why they’re necessary (ThinkProgress)

…Largely absent from these discussions are the real women whose lives would be impacted by restrictions on later abortions. Those women are not exactly setting out with the goal of torturing their innocent children. In fact, many of them are making the painful decision to end a pregnancy after discovering their unborn child has serious health complications that won’t allow them to survive outside the womb.

Nearly 300 Baltimore Criminal Cases Dropped Over Police Misconduct (Reason)

The notion that the cameras can be used to fabricate evidence turns on its head the idea that they would protect against police misconduct. Baltimore has uncovered three cases of police staging evidence discoveries, and this led to the dismissal of 169 other cases involving those officers.

U.S. expels 15 Cuban diplomats, fuelling tensions with Havana (Reuters)

 The Trump administration on Tuesday expelled 15 Cuban diplomats to protest Cuba's failure to protect staff at the U.S. embassy in Havana

Feinstein moves to close automatic-rifles loophole in wake of Las Vegas massacre (Sacramento Bee)

Sen. Dianne Feinstein on Wednesday introduced legislation to close what she calls an automatic weapons loophole that allows gun owners to convert semi-automatic rifles into rapid-fire automatic machines.

Las Vegas massacre reverberates in gun-loving Nevada (San Francisco Chronicle)

Guns are as baked into Nevada culture as rattlesnakes, sagebrush and slot machines. It’s a wide-open, Western place where kids grow up learning to shoot early on and weapons laws are among the most relaxed in the country. Murders happen here, sure, but that hasn’t changed attitudes much when it comes to the right to carry a rifle or pistol anywhere and any way you want. The question now is whether that may change.

Las Vegas strip shooter prescribed anti-anxiety Valium drug in June (Las Vegas Review-Journal)

Stephen Paddock, who killed at least 58 people and wounded hundreds more in Las Vegas on Sunday with high-powered rifles, was prescribed an anti-anxiety drug in June that can lead to aggressive behavior, the Las Vegas Review-Journal has learned.

Vegas Shooter's Dad, Patrick Benjamin Paddock, Was a Convicted Bank Robber Who Escaped Federal Prison, Tried to Run Down FBI Agents With His Car (Reason)

Patrick Benjamin Paddock, father of Las Vegas shooter Stephen Paddock, was a bank robber and prison escapee who once made the FBI's "Most Wanted" list.

Homeland Security will start collecting social media info on all immigrants Oct. 18 (Gizmodo)

The US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is expanding the kinds of information that it collects on immigrants to include social media information and search results. The new policy, which covers immigrants who have obtained a green card and even naturalized citizens, will take effect on October 18th.

In Puerto Rico, one radio station is broadcasting hope (CS Monitor)

While power outages and damage to cell services have knocked out almost every method of communication, a radio station using old analog equipment has been broadcasting vital information and encouragement since hurricane Maria hit the island. 

Cruise ships extend aid to hard-hit Caribbean islands (USA Today)

The cruise industry continues to expand its aid efforts in the Caribbean in the wake of hurricanes Irma and Maria.   Royal Caribbean this week dispatched one of its 24 vessels, the 3,114-passenger Adventure of the Seas, to hard-hit Puerto Rico, St. Thomas and St. Croix on a humanitarian mission that will include delivering relief supplies and evacuating people trying to get off the islands.

The bankrupt utility behind Puerto Rico’s power crisis (Reuters)

…Two weeks after the storm plunged the island into a blackout, less than 10 percent of Puerto Rico’s 3.4 million people have seen power restored - and many will wait months.

Trump administration wants being gay to be a fireable offense (Vice)

Trump’s Justice Department appeared in federal court Tuesday to argue that employers should be able to fire people because they are gay. In a rare occurrence, all 13 judges of the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals heard oral arguments in Zarda v. Altitude Express Tuesday. The case originated in 2010 when skydiving instructor Donald Zarda sued his former employer, Altitude Express, alleging he had been fired because of his sexual orientation. The judges are expected to decide if the Title VII provision of the 1964 Civil Rights Act that protects against discrimination based on gender should also apply to discrimination based on sexual orientation.

Why secret Russian ads on Facebook are a worry for America (San Diego Union-Tribune)

Russians used a Black Lives Matter ad on Facebook to “amplify political discord” in Ferguson and Baltimore between late 2015 and early 2016. From the report: “New descriptions of the Russian-bought ads shared with CNN suggest that the apparent goal of the Russian buyers was to amplify political discord and fuel an atmosphere of incivility and chaos, though not necessarily to promote one candidate or cause over another.”

WORLD

Catalonia vote: Spain’s biggest crisis in a generation (BBC)

The sight of masked police smashing their way into polling stations was evidence - if any were needed - that Catalonia's independence drive has plunged Spain into its biggest political crisis for a generation.

Clashes during Catalan independence vote injure more than 300, including 12 police officers (Washington Post)

The portrayal of the day’s events could not have been worse for the central government. Although Madrid might have had the Spanish Constitution on its side, the images being blasted around the world out of Catalonia showed ordinary men and women being dragged from the polls by helmeted police dressed all in black.  The vote in Catalonia was a mass act of civil disobedience.

Terrorists just tried to assassinate Defense Secretary Mattis in Afghanistan (Vox)

Suspected militants unsuccessfully tried to target Secretary of Defense James Mattis in a massive rocket attack during his surprise visit to Kabul, Afghanistan, on September 27.

Why is Africa building a great green wall? (BBC)

Eleven countries are planting a wall of trees from east to west across Africa, just under the southern edge of the Sahara Desert. The goal is to bring the dry lands back to life.

China agrees to participate in UN sanctions against North Korea (CS Monitor)

China will shutdown North Korean businesses within its borders by January 2018, but states that it won't take any actions that could harm ordinary North Koreans.

Egypt 'hunting down' gays, conducting forced anal exams (JPost)

On the same day, Egypt also banned all forms of support toward the LGBT community on media outlets….. Egypt became the second country to ban homosexuality on television in recent weeks after Indonesia last Thursday.

Somali refugee faces terror charges in Canada stabbing, car attacks (Reuters)

A Somali refugee who had been on a watch list over extremist views faced five counts of attempted murder and terror charges on Sunday after Canadian police said he stabbed a police officer and ran down four pedestrians with a car in Edmonton, Alberta.