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May 31, 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.


How Congress dismantled federal internet privacy rules (Washington Post)

Congressional Republicans knew their plan was potentially explosive. They wanted to kill landmark privacy regulations that would soon ban Internet providers, such as Comcast and AT&T, from storing and selling customers’ browsing histories without their express consent.

Ex-CIA director: CIA would consider Kushner actions ‘espionage’ (The Hill)

Former acting CIA director John McLaughlan on Friday responded to reports that President Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner discussed setting up a secret communications line between Trump's transition team and the Kremlin, saying if such reports are true, it would be considered espionage.

Trump launches new course with allies and autocrats in first foreign trip (Los Angeles Times)

Donald Trump made no secret during the presidential campaign of his disdain for America’s trading partners, his skepticism of longtime alliances and his eagerness to refocus U.S. foreign policy on the single-minded pursuit of American security. That was the largely the president the world got as Trump made his way through the Middle East and Western Europe over the last nine days.

Blackwater founder held secret Seychelles meeting to establish Trump-Putin back channel (Washington Post)

The United Arab Emirates arranged a secret meeting in January between Blackwater founder Erik Prince and a Russian close to President Vladi­mir Putin as part of an apparent effort to establish a back-channel line of communication between Moscow and President-elect Donald Trump, according to U.S., European and Arab officials. denies exploiting users' DNA (BBC)

The company, which uses customers' saliva samples to predict their genetic ethnicity and find new family connections, claims to have more than 4 million DNA profiles in its database. / The company's terms and conditions have stated that users grant the company a "perpetual, royalty-free, worldwide, sublicensable, transferable license" to their DNA data, for purposes including "personalised products and services”.

U.S. Census director resigns amid turmoil over 2020 count (Washington Post)

The director of the U.S. Census Bureau is resigning, leaving the agency leaderless at a time when it faces a crisis over funding for the 2020 decennial count of the U.S. population and beyond

Tillerson declines to host Ramadan reception (CNN)

In an apparent break with a nearly two-decades long bipartisan tradition, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has declined to host an event commemorating the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, according to two administration officials familiar with the decision.


Homeless man who aided Manchester Arena attack victims hailed as hero (WGNTV)

Stephen Jones, a homeless man who was outside the Manchester Arena when Monday's deadly attack took place, is being hailed as a hero after he helped the wounded as they fled the scene.

European allies see the two sides of Trump (New York Times)

In Sicily, Donald Trump listened attentively during complex G7 debates over trade and climate change, smiled for the cameras, and for the most part refrained from provocative tweets. In Brussels, he bashed NATO partners for not spending more on defense, shoved the prime minister of Montenegro and renewed his attacks on Germany's trade surplus with the United States. America’s allies witnessed the two sides of Trump on his first foreign trip as U.S. president, a nine-day tour that began with sword dancing in Saudi Arabia and vague pledges in Israel to deliver Middle East peace.

G-7 leaders divided on climate change, closer on trade issues (Reuters)

Under pressure from Group of Seven allies, U.S. President Donald Trump backed a pledge to fight protectionism on Saturday, but refused to endorse a global climate change accord, saying he needed more time to decide. The summit of G7 wealthy nations pitted Trump against the leaders of Germany, France, Britain, Italy, Canada and Japan on several issues, with European diplomats frustrated at having to revisit questions they had hoped were long settled.

Trudeau invites pope to Canada for Church apology to indigenous peoples (Reuters)

 Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Monday urged Pope Francis to visit Canada to apologize to indigenous peoples for the Catholic Church's treatment of aboriginal children in schools it ran there.

The Philippines in flames: citizens flee as ISIS flag flies over Marawi (Guardian)

The Philippine government has declared an Islamic State ‘invasion’ after an Isis flag was hoisted over the southern city of Marawi. The army, which is embroiled in a deadly battle with Muslim extremists, claims foreign fighters are among rebels who have held the city since Tuesday, when troops raided the hideout of a notorious militant leader. With the city overtaken by violence that has claimed the lives of at least 46 people and prompted President Rodrigo Duterte to declare martial law on the island of Mindanao, citizens are fleeing en masse.  (More here: ISIS-linked militants lay siege to city in southern Philippines, Duterte declares martial law)

Israel reduces Gaza electricity after PA refuses to pay (Jerusalem Post)

 Israel has reduced electricity in the Gaza Strip to three hours a day after the Palestinian Authority said it would not foot all of the bill.  For the last few months the Palestinian Authority has cut electricity to the Gaza, as it seeks to regain control of the area, a decade after Hamas ousted Fatah from the Strip in a bloody coup. 

North Korea fires missile into waters off Japan (Los Angeles Times)

North Korea on Monday fired what appeared to be a ballistic missile that landed in waters off Japan…The incident angered Japan, which said the launch violated United Nations Security Council resolutions.

Muslim women in India challenge ‘instant divorce’ law (New York Times)

…In person, over the phone, in a letter or even on WhatsApp, Muslim men who repeat talaq — the Arabic word for divorce — three times can instantly end their marriages, according to some interpretations of Islamic law…But now the Supreme Court of India is poised to rule on complaints filed by five Muslim women who argue that being divorced in this way violates their fundamental right to equality under the Indian Constitution.

Russian opposition leader finds new platform on YouTube (CS Monitor)

Alexei Navalny is barred from television, but his videos online have earned him millions of views.

Chechnya's anti-gay pogrom: Too much even for the Kremlin? (CS Monitor)

The Kremlin has sent a team of reputable investigators into Russia's tyrannical republic of Chechnya to examine reports of the rounding up, torture, and murder of dozens of gay men.

Egypt blocks 21 websites, including Al Jazeera: state news agency  (Reuters)

 Egypt has banned 21 websites, including the main website of Qatar-based al Jazeera television, for "supporting terrorism", state news agency MENA and security sources said on Wednesday.

At Least 28 Dead, Many Wounded, After Attack on Christians In Egypt (NPR)

There was another deadly attack on Christians in Egypt Friday as gunmen opened fire on two buses taking worshippers to mass. At least 28 people were killed in the attack.

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