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July 26, 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:


General news

Trump-Russia probe



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


General news

Trump seeks to ban transgender people from serving in military ‘in any capacity (USA Today)

President Trump said Wednesday that the U.S. military will not accept transgender troops into its ranks or allow them to serve in any capacity, reversing a policy that began under the Obama administration – and triggering intense criticism from lawmakers and civil libertarians.

Trump Boy Scout Jamboree speech angers parents (BBC)

Parents have expressed anger after President Donald Trump delivered a highly politicised speech to tens of thousands of boy scouts. Mr Trump started by saying: "Who the hell wants to speak about politics?" But his speech to the Jamboree in West Virginia railed against Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and the "cesspool" of politics, drawing whoops and cheers.

Detroit judge blocks deportation of more than 1,400 Iraqi nationals (Los Angeles Times)

…In a ruling Monday, U.S. District Judge Mark Goldsmith said the immigrants faced a “compelling confluence of extraordinary circumstances” and that the government’s attempt to rush their deportations was a violation of their rights. Many of the Iraqis arrived in the U.S. as children …The majority are members of religious or ethnic minorities such as Chaldean Christians or Kurds, who have been subjected to torture and other forms of repression in Iraq.

McCain’s sermon on how politics should be (CNN)

In a Washington moment for the ages, Sen. John McCain claimed the role of an aging lion to try to save the Senate, composing a moving political aria for the chamber and the country that he loves. With a deep-red scar etched from his eyebrow to his temple, the legacy of brain surgery less than two weeks ago, McCain beseeched his colleagues to forsake political tribalism and restore the chamber to a spirit of compromise that had helped forge national greatness.

A close look at Trump’s Surgeon General nominee (Healthline)

Jerome Adams supports needle exchange and opioid addiction programs, but critics say they don’t think he can influence the president to change his policies.

Trump’s pick for EPA post writes ‘science Bible stories” and has ties to chemical industry (Buzzfeed)

Michael Dourson is a toxicologist known for mingling science and religious ideas. Two religious leaders were quoted in an Environmental Protection Agency press release announcing his nomination.

Tilllerson to shutter State Department war crimes department (Foreign Policy)

Critics charge top U.S. diplomat with giving the green light to perpetrators of mass atrocities.

Trump-Russia probe

Trump team seeks to control block Mueller’s Russia investigation (Washington Post)

Some of President Trump’s lawyers are exploring ways to limit or undercut special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s Russia investigation, building a case against what they allege are his conflicts of interest and discussing the president’s authority to grant pardons, according to people familiar with the effort. Trump has asked his advisers about his power to pardon aides, family members and even himself in connection with the probe, according to one of those people. A second person said Trump’s lawyers have been discussing the president’s pardoning powers among themselves.

Mueller expands probe to Trump business transactions (Bloomberg News)

Special counsel examines dealings of Kushner, Manafort, Trump.

Trump escalates shame campaign against Sessions (Politico)

President Donald Trump on Tuesday ramped up his public shame campaign against Attorney General Jeff Sessions, even as conservatives and some White House advisers are cautioning Trump against seeking his ouster…The latest attack came after Trump referred to Sessions, one of his earliest high-profile supporters, as “beleaguered” on Monday, and dressed him down in a New York Times interview last week for recusing himself from the FBI’s Russia investigation.

Trump ends covert CIA program to arm anti-Assad rebels in Syria, a move sought by Moscow (Wash. Post)

President Trump has decided to end the CIA’s covert program to arm and train moderate Syrian rebels battling the government of Bashar al-Assad, a move long sought by Russia, according to U.S. officials.

Trump’s Russian Laundromat (New Republic)

How to use Trump Tower and other luxury high-rises to clean dirty money, run an international crime syndicate, and propel a failed real estate developer into the White House.

Sessions discussed Trump campaign-related matters with Russian ambassador, U.S. intelligence intercepts show (Washington Post)

Russia’s ambassador to Washington told his superiors in Moscow that he discussed campaign-related matters, including policy issues important to Moscow, with Jeff Sessions during the 2016 presidential race, contrary to public assertions by the embattled attorney general, according to current and former U.S. officials.


North Korea could cross ICBM threshold next year, U.S. officials warn in new assessment (Washington Post)

North Korea will be able to field a reliable, nuclear-capable intercontinental ballistic missile as early as next year, U.S. officials have concluded in a confidential assessment that dramatically shrinks the timeline for when Pyongyang could strike North American cities with atomic weapons.

U.S. Navy ship fires warning shot near Iranian vessel: official (Reuters)

U.S. Navy ship fired warning shots when an Iranian vessel in the Gulf came within 150 yards (137 meters) on Tuesday in the first such incident since President Donald Trump took office in January, a U.S. official told Reuters.

Hawaii prepares for ‘unlikely’ North Korea missile threat (ABC)

Hawaii is the first state to prepare the public for the possibility of a ballistic missile strike from North Korea.

Dozens Convicted of Human Trafficking in Landmark Thai Trial (NPR)

Thailand has come under international criticism for years over human trafficking in the country. A Thai army general was convicted, which is a rare occurrence under the military-led government.

Nearly 550 German Choirboys Abused at Renowned Catholic School, Report Says (NPR)

An independent probe alleges that over about 50 years, at least 547 boys were abused while part of Germany's famed Domspatzen choir, which was once led by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI's brother.

Japan, China, and South Korea violate Paris agreement by funding coal in Indonesia (CS Monitor)

The three nations – all members of the Paris climate agreement – are involved with 18 of 22 coal power deals made in Indonesia since 2010, according to a report from Market Forces, an Australia-based environmental finance organization.