ECM WORLD WATCH: NATIONAL AND GLOBAL NEWS

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November 16, 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.

GOP tax plan clears house, faces obstacles in Senate (Washington Post)

The House passed its version of the Republican tax overhaul Thursday, notching a key win for President Trump and House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.). But obstacles remain in the Senate, which is refining its own version of the legislation amid objections from key GOP senators.The bill passed with 227 votes in favor and 205 against. Thirteen Republicans voted against the bill. No Democrats voted for it.

FCC opens door to more consolidation in TV business (New York Times)

The Federal Communications Commission voted on Thursday to allow a single company to own a newspaper and television and radio stations in the same town, reversing a decades-old rule aimed at preventing any individual or company from having too much power over local coverage.

The GOP tax plan will destroy graduate education (Forbes)

… the American dream includes many years of graduate school and extremely frugal living along the journey to a Ph.D. Traditionally, in a great many fields (such as biology, physics, chemistry, and mathematics), the only way this has been possible is through teaching and/or research assistantships, which grant graduate students with a small stipend (in the ~$20K-$30K/year range) to live off of.  Under the new GOP tax plan…tuition waivers would be taxed as regular income, making graduate school an unaffordable proposition except for those already independently wealthy.

U.S. officials tout cleaner fossil fuels, nuclear power at international talk (Marketplace)

At the United Nations climate talks in Germany, White House officials are talking about plans to make fossil fuels cleaner or more efficient, and to expand nuclear power, as approaches to reducing emissions. While the rest of the world may be more into discussing renewable energy, the focus of the current U.S. delegation would reduce carbon as well, as fossil fuels and nuclear are expected to remain a big part of the global energy mix.

Drug-Shooting 'Bazooka' Seized In Mexico As Smugglers Aim Skyward (NPR)

Mexican officials say they seized a bazooka adapted to shoot drugs alongside nearly a ton of marijuana in the town of Agua Prieta on the U.S.-Mexico border.

U.S. mass shooters are disproportionately veterans (Let’sTryDemocracy)

…Following a quick search of 82 shootings on the internet, I’ve been able to find that at least 28 of the shooters had been in the U.S. military…On the other side, I’ve been able to confirm very few of the shooters as having not been in the military.

Hate Crimes in 2016: New FBI Numbers Show Little Change (Reason)

After widespread worry over a supposed spike in election-adjacent hate crimes last year, many of the alleged incidents turned out to be hoaxes or misunderstandings. Now new data from the FBI further undermines the idea that 2016 saw a sort of crime wave spurred by prejudice.

WORLD

Russia attacked energy, telecom and media in Britain: government official (Reuters)

Russian cyber operatives have attacked Britain's media, telecommunications and energy sectors over the past year, according to prepared remarks by the head of the government's main cyber defense agency.

Iran-Iraq earthquake topples state-constructed buildings (CS Monitor)

The Iran-Iraq earthquake devastated the town of Sarpol-e-Zahab, including many of the town's newest buildings. President Hassan Rouhani is calling for an investigation into why the recently built state-constructed buildings fell so easily.

Israel offers aid to Iran and Iraq in earthquake aftermath (JPost)

Gripe not with Iranian and Iraqi peoples, but with their governments, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says.

Air Pollution In New Delhi Forced Airlines To Ground Planes, Factories And Schools To Close (NPR)

...the air pollution is so bad, United Airlines had to cancel flights over the weekend, factories had to be shut down and schools had to close at one point.

North Korea nuclear arsenal too developed to destroy quickly, says Moon  (Reuters)

South Korean President Moon Jae-in said on Tuesday it would not be easy for reclusive North Korea to destroy its nuclear arsenal quickly, even if wanted to, given its weapons programs were so developed.

Russia Using Disinformation To 'Sow Discord In West,' Britain's Prime Minister Says (NPR)

The British prime minister's remarks come after a U.K. parliamentary committee launched an investigation into the influence of "fake news" on last year's EU "Brexit" referendum and June's general election.

Venezuela says debt refinancing under way, S&P calls selective default  (Reuters)

Venezuela's cash-strapped government insisted it had successfully begun efforts to refinance some $60 billion in bonds, though creditors disagreed following fruitless talks and a ratings firm declared the nation in selective default.

Tanks seen near Zimbabwe capital but streets calm as political tensions rise  (Reuters)

Armored vehicles were seen heading toward Harare but the streets of the Zimbabwe capital remained calm, a day after the armed forces chief said he was prepared to "step in" to end a purge of supporters of a vice president sacked last week.

Soldiers seize Zimbabwe state broadcaster, anti-Mugabe coup talk intensifies (Reuters)

 Soldiers deployed across the Zimbabwe capital Harare and seized the state broadcaster on Wednesday after 93-year-old President Robert Mugabe's ruling ZANU-PF party accused the head of the military of treason, prompting frenzied speculation of a coup.