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December 6, 2017 (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:



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


Religious liberty or right to discriminate? High court to hear arguments in wedding cake case (Christian Science Monitor)

As evidenced by the people who began camping outside the high court for a seat at Tuesday’s oral arguments, the Masterpiece Cakeshop case seems destined to be a historic ruling – with both sides warning that defeat could bring potentially seismic consequences.

Patagonia sues Trump for shrinking national monuments (The Hill)

Outdoor retailer Patagonia announced that it would sue the White House over President Trump’s decision to reduce the size of two national monuments in Utah on Monday….The retailer also fired back at Trump on its website, changing the homepage to feature the message “The President Stole Your Land.”

Supreme Court allows full enforcement of Trump travel ban while challenges continue Washington Post)

The Supreme Court on Monday granted President Trump’s request to fully enforce his revised order banning travel to the United States by residents of six mostly Muslim countries while legal challenges to it proceed in lower courts….Two lower courts had imposed restrictions on Trump’s new order, exempting travelers from the six countries who had “bona fide” connections with relatives — such as grandparents, aunts or uncles — or institutions in the United States.

How an unequal tax cut grew more unequal (Washington Post)

Republicans…announced more benefits for business owners, particularly wealthy ones, but they voted down a proposal by Sens. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Mike Lee (R-Utah) to give low-income families a bigger tax break. The disparate treatment underlined how the legislation — a massive rewrite of the individual and corporate tax code — has evolved since its first incarnation: What began as an effort that would favor wealthy individuals and corporations became, in many ways, even more tilted in their favor …

Republican tax bill could hurt U.S. military, according to some top generals (Newsweek)

...In a letter addressed to Congress…three former defense secretaries, Leon Panetta, Chuck Hagel and Ash Carter, wrote that passing the Republican tax plan will mean that the Pentagon will be forced to cut spending “for training, maintenance, force structure, flight missions, procurement and other key programs.” The result, they wrote, is “the growing danger of a ‘hollowed out’ military force that lacks the ability to sustain the intensive deployment requirements of our global defense mission.” 

How Donald Trump shot down Obamacare with the Senate tax reform bill (Newsweek)

…The new bill repeals Obamacare's key requirement that all Americans obtain health insurance. Policy experts say that removing the mandate will force insurance premiums to rise, as young and healthy Americans opt out, leaving millions of Americans without healthcare.

American Airlines, pilots’ union reach agreement (10 News) If you're flying American Airlines over the holidays, you can breathe a sigh of relief. The carrier and its pilot union said Friday that there will be enough pilots available to cover all of American's December flights, despite its scheduling blunder.

Did Trump’s tweet about Michael Flynn’s guilty plea just admit something it shouldn’t have? (Washington Post)

“I had to fire General Flynn because he lied to the Vice President and the FBI,” Trump began. Except when Trump fired Flynn on Feb. 13, he mentioned only Flynn's comments to Vice President Pence -- not the FBI…Some see a problematic admission in Trump's tweet on Saturday -- possibly even something that could be construed as an admission to obstruction of justice. Here's why:

Emails dispute White House claim that Flynn acted independently on Russia (New York Times)

When President Trump fired his national security adviser, Michael T. Flynn, in February, White House officials portrayed him as a renegade who had acted independently in his discussions with a Russian official during the presidential transition and then lied to his colleagues about the interactions. But emails among top transition officials, provided or described to The New York Times, suggest that Mr. Flynn was far from a rogue actor.

Number of American Children in Foster Care Increases for 4th Consecutive Year (NPR)

Parents' substance abuse is one of the items driving authorities to remove kids from homes.


Trump recognizes Jerusalem as Israel’s capital (CNN)

President Donald Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel's capital on Wednesday and announced plans to relocate the US Embassy there, a move expected to inflame tensions in the region and unsettle the prospects for peace.

151 UN states vote to disavow Israeli ties to Jerusalem (Jerusalem Post)

The UN General Assembly voted overwhelmingly to disavow Israeli ties to Jerusalem as part of six anti-Israel resolutions it approved on Thursday in New York. The vote was 151 in favor and six against, with nine abstentions. The resolution came as the Trump Administration was rumored to be actively considering relocating its embassy to Jerusalem.

The royal family welcomes a divorced, biracial American. That’s a huge change. (Washington Post)

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s engagement is more than a palace love story to cheer in a season of cheerless news. The happy union of a playboy-prince-turned-soldier-and-humanitarian and a biracial, divorced American actress-and-humanitarian — welcomed by Britain’s power structure — marks a striking evolution for the British monarchy.

North Korea:  Trump is begging for nuclear war (CNN)

… The North's latest statement also comes days after North Korea test-fired a brand new intercontinental ballistic missile, which experts said shows a major advance in technology and threat.

U.A.E. denies rebels fired missile at Abu Dhabi nuclear plant (New York Times)

The Houthi rebels claimed they had launched a cruise missile against the $20 billion plant in retaliation for a Saudi-led blockade.

Emperor Akihito sets date for his abdication of Japan's throne (CS Monitor)

Japan's much admired Emperor Akihito is set to abdicate on April 30, 2019, in the first such departure from the Chrysanthemum Throne in about 200 years, the government said Friday.  Akihito's elder son Crown Prince Naruhito will ascend the throne a day later, beginning a new as yet unnamed era.

Plot to kill British premier May foiled (Reuters)

The Metropolitan Police said on Tuesday that two men arrested last week had been charged with terrorism offenses and would appear in Westminster Magistrates' Court on Wednesday…. Earlier on Tuesday, May’s spokesman said Britain had thwarted nine plots in the last 12 months.

Yemen's ex-president Saleh shot dead after switching sides in civil war  (Reuters)

 Veteran former president Ali Abdullah Saleh was killed in a shooting on Monday after switching sides in Yemen's civil war, abandoning his Iran-aligned Houthi allies in favor of a Saudi-led coalition, foes and supporters said.

'Ghost Ships' From North Korea Wash Ashore in Japan (NPR)

North Korean fishing ships continue to wash up on Japanese shores. NPR's Michel Martin talks to Los Angeles Times Beijing bureau chief Jonathan Kaiman about where these ships are coming from.

Mogadishu Truck Bomb's Death Toll Now Tops 500, Probe Committee Says (NPR)

The death toll in what Somalis have described as their 9/11 has risen even higher.  Now, the committee reports that 512 people were killed, 312 were wounded, and that 62 remain missing.

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