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October 18, 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.


AP analysis: FEMA rejects appeals worth $1.2 billion over a decade (AP)

As U.S. communities ravaged by this year’s series of intense hurricanes and wildfires clear debris and begin to rebuild, many are counting on the federal government to help cover their costs. They could be in for a frustrating surprise.If history is any guide, some local governments and nonprofit organizations could get less than they were told to expect from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Others could be asked years from now to repay some or all of the aid they received…

House approves $36.5 billion hurricane and wildfire relief package (New York Times)

The House, dismissing concern for the rising cost, approved a $36.5 billion aid package on Thursday that would provide hurricane and wildfire relief funding while bailing out the financially troubled National Flood Insurance Program.The aid package would also help Puerto Rico’s financially beleaguered government avoid running out of cash in the wake of Hurricane Maria....The House approved the bill 353 to 69, with all of the no votes coming from Republicans.(Editor’s note: All San Diego legislators voted for the bill.)

In Utah, major forest fire fuels push for state, not federal control (CS Monitor)

The costliest fire in Utah's history came this summer, after locals had warned for years that the US Forest Service was mismanaging public land and making it more vulnerable to catastrophic blazes. Now state leaders are asking Washington to return that power to the states.

Trump says military should not have to help with food, water distribution in Puerto Rico (CNBC)

The military is helping distribute water and food in Puerto Rico, but President Trump says that's "something that really they shouldn't have to be doing." The U.S. territory has been reeling in the wake of Hurricane Maria, which left most of the island without power or access to clean drinking water. Trump has faced criticism for an apparent lack of empathy amid the disaster response.

Trump told slain soldier's widow that he "knew what he was getting into," Congresswoman says (CBS)

…. Myeshia Johnson was on her way to the airport to greet the remains of her husband, Army Sgt. La David Johnson, when she received the call from the commander-in-chief…“I was in the car when President Trump called. He never said the word `hero.’ He said to the wife, 'Well, I guess he knew what he was getting into.' How insensitive can you be?"… (Congresswoman) Wilson said Myeshia was livid and "cried forever" after Trump's call.  


U.S. police deaths on duty spiked in 2016: FBI  (Reuters)

Sixty-six police officers were killed on the job by felons in 2016, up about 61 percent from 41 deaths a year ago, the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation said on Monday…. The findings bolster the so-called Blue Lives Matter movement, which advocates tougher hate-crime sentences for the murder of police officers. It was launched in response to Black Lives Matter, a campaign against police brutality toward black men, and gained momentum last year after police officers were killed in both Dallas and Baton Rouge….  The most common circumstances involved ambushes, followed by responses to disturbance calls.

Trump to stop subsidies to health insurers (NBC 7)

In a brash move likely to roil insurance markets, President Donald Trump plans to halt payments to insurers under the Obama-era health care law that he has been trying to unravel for months…The president's action is likely to trigger a lawsuit from state attorneys general, who contend the subsidies to insurers are fully authorized by federal law, and the president's position is reckless.

Trump’s executive order will leave millions of cancer patients without access to adequate coverage (Jamie Reno, Reno Dispatch)

… According to the American Cancer Society, which is hardly a radical, left-wing operation, the order will leave millions of patients who are currently fighting cancer as well as survivors unable to access meaningful coverage. “Today’s executive order jeopardizes the ability of millions of cancer patients, survivors and those at risk for the disease from being able to access or afford meaningful health insurance," Chris Hansen, President of the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN), said…

Trump taps Accuweather CEO to head NOAA, breaking with precedent of nominating scientists (Washington Post)

…AccuWeather has, in the past, supported measures to limit the extent to which the Weather Service can release information to the public, so that private companies could generate their own value-added products using this same information…“Barry Myers defines ‘conflict of interest,'” said Ciaran Clayton, who was communications director at NOAA in the Obama administration. “He actively lobbied to privatize the National Weather Service, which works day in and day out to protect the lives and livelihoods of millions of Americans, to benefit his own company’s bottom line.”

Actress Rose McGowan publicly accused mega-producer Harvey Weinstein of rape (CNN)

She made the accusation via Twitter, adding her name to a growing list of women who have accused Weinstein of wrongdoing in news stories published over the past week. She is the fourth woman to level a rape accusation against Weinstein…


Iraqi forces enter Kirkuk as Kurds flee (BBC)

Iraqi government forces have entered central Kirkuk after taking key installations outside the disputed city from Kurdish fighters…The Iraqi military moved into Kirkuk three weeks after the Kurdistan Region held a controversial independence referendum. They are aiming to retake areas under Kurdish control since Islamic State militants swept through the region.

Defeat of Islamic State in Raqqa may herald wider struggle for U.S. (Reuters)

The defeat of Islamic State in its de facto capital Raqqa may only be the start of a wider struggle by the United States to contain any insurgency launched by the militant group and to stabilize the region, as Washington grapples with defining a comprehensive strategy in Syria.

Kids for sale: ‘My mom was tricked’ (CNN)

…An investigation by CNN into this alleged trafficking scheme found that children are being taken from their homes in Uganda on the promise of better schooling, placed into orphanages even though they aren't orphans, and sold for as much as $15,000 each to unsuspecting American families.

Storm Ophelia hits Ireland, prompting first-ever severe weather alert for the entire island (Verge)

…Ophelia made landfall over the weekend, killing three so far. Ophelia was a post-tropical storm by the time it hit, but earlier in the weekend it was a Category 3 hurricane — and the easternmost Category 3 Atlantic hurricane on record…Hurricanes are created from warm tropical oceans. Since the water on the other side of the Atlantic tends to be colder, European hurricanes are rare…Right now about 120,000 homes in the Irish Republic don’t have power, according to the BBC, which also reported that the government has deployed the army.

Deadly wildfires ravage Portugal and Spain (USA Today)

Wildfire toll hits 37 in Portugal.

Israel says it will not negotiate with a Hamas-based Palestinian government (Jerusalem Post)

srael will not conduct diplomatic negotiations with a Palestinian government that relies on Hamas unless the terrorist organization changes fundamentally, the security cabinet decided on Tuesday. This comes in the wake of the recent Fatah-Hamas reconciliation agreement

U.S., Israel quit U.N. heritage agency citing bias   (Reuters)

 The United States and Israel announced on Thursday they were quitting the U.N.'s cultural agency UNESCO, after Washington accused it of anti-Israeli bias.

Indian Supreme Court Says Sex With Underage Wife Is Rape (NPR)

India's Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that a man is committing rape if he has sex with an underage wife. It is a victory for women's rights advocates.

Somalis Grasp For Answers After 'Deadliest Single Attack Somalia Has Ever Faced' (NPR)

The initial numbers were staggering... More than 300 people dead. At least 300 people injured. A blast area the size of "two or three football fields," as one witness told The Guardian.  The truck bombing in Mogadishu on Saturday — which tore through one of the Somali capital's busiest intersections, at one of its busiest hours — has left the country shaken and a section of the city in ruins. ….

Anti-corruption blogger killed by huge bomb in Malta (Reuters)

Daphne Caruana Galizia, Malta's best-known investigative journalist, was killed on Monday when a powerful bomb blew up her car, police said, in a case that stunned the small Mediterranean island. victory: socialists win a majority of Venezuela gubernatorial elections (CS Monitor)

Pro-government candidates have won 17 of 22 races in which the outcomes were considered irreversible. It was a dramatic contrast to pre-election polls that projected widespread victories for the opposition party, which claims the results are fraudulent. 

Top Global Cities Face Increased Risk Of A Real Estate Bubble (NPR)

Toronto leads this year's UBS Wealth Management list as the city with the biggest housing bubble risk. Real estate in several U.S. cities, including New York and Boston, is considered fair value.