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March 21, 2018 (San Diego’s East County) - East County Magazine's World Watch helps you be an informed citizen on important issues globally and nationally. As part of our commitment to reflect all voices and views, we include links to news sources representing a broad spectrum of political, religious, and social views.  Top world and U.S. headlines include:


General News

Trump-Russia investigations


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


General News

Fed raises interest rate and signals faster path in future years (Wall St. Journal)

Federal Reserve officials signaled Wednesday they could pick up the pace of interest-rate increases to cool economic growth after next year. The fed voted unanimously to raise its benchmark federal-funds rate by a quarter of a percentage point to a range between 1.5 and 1.75%.

With police near, suspected Austin bombing suspect blows self up (ABC News)

As a SWAT team closed in, the suspected bomber whose deadly explosives terrorized Austin for three weeks used one of his own devices to blow himself up. But police warned that he could have planted more bombs before his death, and they cautioned the city to stay on guard.

YouTube bans firearm sales and how-to videos, prompting backlash (Portland Press Herald)

YouTube will ban videos that promote or link to websites selling firearms and accessories, including bump stocks, which allow a semi-automatic rifle to fire faster. Additionally, YouTube said it will prohibit videos with instructions on how to assemble firearms. The video site, owned by Alphabet’s Google, has faced intense criticism for hosting videos about guns, bombs and other deadly weapons.

Supreme Court to decide whether immigrants jailed for past crimes can be detained pending deportation (Los Angeles Times)

The Supreme Court agreed Monday to decide another case testing the Trump administration's power to arrest and jail immigrants facing deportation, including longtime lawful residents who committed minor offenses years ago.

Report: Russian Hackers Had the Ability to Shut Down U.S. Power Plants (NPR)

For the first time, the U.S. publicly blamed Russia for cyberattacks on the country's energy grid. The hackers reportedly broke into the core operations systems of companies in the U.S. and Europe. 

Jared Kushner’s company routinely filed false New York city paperwork (Guardian)

Construction applications falsely claimed that no rent-controlled tenants protected by rules to prevent developers from pushing them out.

Former Bush official says John Bolton was ‘by far the most dangerous man we had in the entire eight years’ (Business Insider)

Richard Painter, the former chief White House ethics lawyer in the George W. Bush administration, blasted the prospect of former US Ambassador to the UN John Bolton replacing General H. R. McMaster as President Donald Trump's National Security Advisor.  "John Bolton was by far the most dangerous man we had in the entire eight years of the Bush Administration," Painter tweeted on Friday. "Hiring him as the president's top national security advisor is an invitation to war, perhaps nuclear war."

Trump-Russia investigations

Revealed: Trump’s election consultants filmed saying they use bribes and sex workers to entrap politicians (Channel 4)

An undercover investigation by Channel 4 News reveals how Cambridge Analytica secretly campaigns in elections across the world. Bosses were filmed talking about using bribes, ex-spies, fake IDs and sex workers.

Retired four-star general says Trump is ‘serious threat to national security’ (CBS)

For the first time, a high-ranking and decorated member of America’s military has come out swinging against President Donald Trump.

As he prepares to face Mueller, Trump boasts of his ability to lie (Washington Post)

Newly leaked audio has emerged that captures President Trump boasting about his ability to make up information for sport in a private conversation with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. 

Andrew McCabe, a target of Trump’s FBI scorn, is fired over candor questions (NY Times)

Andrew G. McCabe, the former F.B.I. deputy director and a frequent target of President Trump’s scorn, was fired Friday after Attorney General Jeff Sessions rejected an appeal that would have let him retire this weekend. Mr. McCabe promptly declared that his firing, and Mr. Trump’s persistent needling, were intended to undermine the special counsel’s investigation in which he is a potential witness


Blackout threat to Britain from Russian cyber-attack (Times of London)

Spy chiefs have warned the bosses of Britain’s key power companies to boost their security amid fears of a Russian cyber-attack that could put the lights out. The National Grid was put on alert last week by officials from the National Cyber Security Centre… Electricity, gas and water firms, the Sellafield nuclear power plant, Whitehall departments and NHS hospitals have all been warned to prepare for a state- sponsored assault ordered by the Kremlin after the nerve agent attack in Salisbury.

Putin wins another six years at Russia’s helm in landslide victory (Reuters)

Russian President Vladimir Putin won a landslide re-election victory on Sunday, extending his rule over the world’s largest country for another six years at a time when his ties with the West are on a hostile trajectory.

Russia's Presidential Election Observers Were Pressured and Intimidated (NPR)

Before and during the election, observers said they were targeted. Vladimir Putin won a fourth term.

West calls on Russia to explain nerve toxin attack on former double agent  (Reuters)

 Britain, the United States, Germany and France jointly called on Russia on Thursday to explain a military-grade nerve toxin attack in England on a former Russian double agent, which they said threatened Western security.

Exclusive: European powers propose new Iran sanctions to meet Trump ultimatum (Reuters)

 Britain, France and Germany have proposed fresh EU sanctions on Iran over its ballistic missiles and its role in Syria's war, according to a confidential document, in a bid to persuade Washington to preserve the 2015 nuclear deal with Tehran.

Syria war: Turkish-led forces oust Kurdish fighters from city of Afrin (BBC)

Turkish-backed forces have taken full control of the centre of the Syrian-Kurdish city of Afrin. Fighters waved flags and tore down the statue of a legendary Kurdish figure after claiming the city centre on Sunday.

Venezuelan City Launches Its Own Currency Amid Cash Crunch (NPR)

The city of Elorza is selling its own bills featuring the image of an independence leader from the area. Venezuela's national currency has lost the vast majority of its value in just the last year. 

Slovakia Government's Collapse Not Enough to End Protests Over Journalist's Murder (NPR)

An investigative journalist and his fiancée were killed, sparking a political upheaval. But that failed to quell the largest protests in the Central European country since the 1989 Velvet Revolution.