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October 25, 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.


Children are dying at alarming rates and nobody is bothering to investigate (The Intercept)

Children in the for-profit foster care system are dying at alarming rates, but the deaths are not being investigated, and autopsies are not even being attached to the now-closed case files, a two-year investigation has found. The investigation, conducted and released in rare bipartisan fashion by the Senate Finance Committee, looked closely at one of the largest private providers of foster care services, the MENTOR Network.

Road kill: sideswiping the Environmental Protection Act (Bill Moyers)

A senate appropriations subcommittee, led by Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) will resist the Trump administration’s efforts to slash spending for the Environmental Protection Agency and the Interior Department this week. ... But the budget isn’t the only thing that’s endangered. The administration is leading a campaign to toss out a growing list of rules and regulations that protect our environment and the all plants and animals that are trying to thrive alongside us.

EPA’s climate change website reappears, minus the word “climate” (Mashable)

… According to the Environmental Data and Governance Initiative's website monitoring group (EDGI), an EPA website that previously offered climate and energy resources for state, local, and tribal governments have been stripped of its references and links to climate science and policy… The new website’s main page has no links to pages such as the “State Climate Action Framework”, “Local Climate Action Framework”, and “Climate Showcase Communities," among others, the report found.

Still waiting for FEMA in Texas and Florida after hurricanes (New York Times)

Outside Rachel Roberts’s house, a skeleton sits on a chair next to the driveway, a skeleton child on its lap, an empty cup in its hand and a sign at its feet that reads “Waiting on FEMA.” It is a Halloween reminder that, for many, getting help to recover from Hurricane Harvey remains a long, uncertain journey.

U.S. proposes fee hikes at national parks to pay for upgrades (Reuters)

The National Park Service proposed peak-season entrance fee increases on Tuesday at 17 of its most popular attractions, including Yellowstone, Grand Canyon and Yosemite national parks, to help finance a backlog of maintenance and improvements.

Native American tribe sues Amazon and Microsoft (BBC)

The Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe was assigned data-processing patents by technology company SRC Labs.

Read Sen. Jeff Flake's stunning retirement speech: 'I will not be complicit or silent' (San Diego Union-Tribune)

Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Arizona, on Tuesday said he would not seek re-election and in a speech on the senate floor he slams President Donald Trump for his "reckless, outrageous and undignified behavior.”

Poll: Most Americans Think Their Own Group Faces Discrimination (NPR)

The sense that their own group suffers discrimination crosses racial and identity lines.

Trump plans massive private prison expansion to jail undocumented immigrants (Independent)

… Notices published in recent weeks to a federal contracting website ask for the identification of privately-run jail sites to boost current jail capacity by 4,000 inmates in five areas of the US, including Chicago, Detroit, Salt Lake City, St Paul, and southern Texas. A public announcement did not accompany those notices.

A 2018 wave is building. But how big will it be? (CNN)

Don't look now but the 2018 midterm elections are just over a year away! That may well be very unwelcome news to members of the House and Senate up for re-election next November, according to a new CNN national poll, which paints a very grim picture for incumbents -- especially on the Republican side. Asked whether "most members of Congress" deserve re-election, just 22% of Americans say they do while 68% think they don't. Among registered voters, only 20% want most members re-elected…

Trump does not plan to block release of JFK documents (Guardian)

Donald Trump does not plan to block the scheduled release of thousands of never publicly seen government documents related to the assassination of President John F Kennedy…The National Archives has until Thursday to disclose the remaining files related to Kennedy’s 1963 assassination. The documents include more than 3,000 that have never been seen by the public and more than 30,000 that have been released with redactions.

Trump administration considers pausing U.S. refugee family reunification program (Reuters)

President Trump’s administration has drafted a plan to pause a program that allows family members join refugees already settled in the United States until they can undergo increased security checks, two sources with knowledge of the situation told Reuters…. The proposals, if implemented, could significantly slow down refugee admissions and leave refugees who thought they were headed to the United States in perilous situations abroad, say refugee advocates and former officials.


U.N. Rights Chief: Myanmar's Treatment of Rohingya Includes 'Almost ISIS-Type Crimes' (NPR)

The violence includes "some of the most awful crimes we have ever seen," including beheadings and cutting children's throats, U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein tells NPR.

In Turkey, Teachers, Parents Concerned About Religious Nature of New Curriculum (NPR)

Schoolchildren are back in class in Turkey, but concern is growing about the latest changes to the curriculum that emphasize religion in what has long been a secular school system.

Catalonia warns of civil disobedience as Madrid readies direct rule (Reuters)

 Catalonia said on Monday it was confident all officials including police would defy attempts by Madrid to enforce direct rule on the region in a dispute that is raising fears of unrest among Spain's European allies.

Demoralized and divided: inside Catalonia's police force (Reuters)

 With the Spanish government ready to take over the running of Catalonia on Friday, the loyalty of the local police to Madrid or to the Catalan cause will be tested if they are ordered to drag their former political masters from office.

Milan And Venice Head to Polls in Push for Greater Autonomy from Italy (NPR)

Voters in Milan and Venice decide Sunday whether they want more autonomy from Italy. The non-binding poll comes on the heels of the violent secessionist effort in Spain's Catalan region.

China Communist Party enshrines Xi in constitution (Reuters)

 China's ruling Communist Party on Tuesday approved an amendment to its constitution directly mentioning Chinese President Xi Jinping's name and his "Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era".

As Food Crisis Continues, Venezuelans Turn to American Friends and Relatives for Help (Reason)

“If the bourgeoisie hide the food, I myself will bring it to your house," President Nicolas Maduro promised. That's not what happened.