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January 17, 2018 (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.


Missile threat alert for Hawaii a false alarm; officials blame employee who pushed ‘wrong button’ (CNN)

An emergency alert notification sent out on Saturday claiming a "ballistic missile threat inbound to Hawaii" was a false alarm, according to state leaders and emergency officials, who blamed it on an employee who "pushed the wrong button."

As Dreamers begin renewing permits again, Trump tweets ‘DACA is probably dead’ (KPBS)

Hours after the U.S. government announced it would again begin processing renewal applications for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals due to a federal court order, President Trump claimed in a tweet that the program, which has granted a temporary legal reprieve to people who were brought to the U.S. illegally as children, was "likely dead."

Who is Stormy Daniels? Trump paid former porn star $130k to keep quiet (Newsweek)

Donald Trump had his lawyer arrange a payment of $130,000 to a woman known as Stormy Daniels just one month before the 2016 election, according to The Wall Street Journal. Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, is a former adult-film star who allegedly had a sexual encounter with Trump.

Trump administration wants to arrest mayors of ‘sanctuary cities’ (Newsweek)

The Department of Justice is considering subjecting state and local officials to criminal charges if they implement or enforce so-called sanctuary policies that bar jurisdictions from cooperating with immigration authorities. Immigration advocates argue such a move would be illegal. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen made the disclosure Tuesday during a Senate committee hearing on the department’s operations.

Kentucky becomes first U.S. state to impose Medicaid work restrictions (Reuters)

Kentucky on Friday became the first U.S. state to require that Medicaid recipients work or get jobs training, after gaining federal approval for the fundamental change to the 50-year-old health insurance program for the poor… Democrats and health advocacy groups blasted the federal policy on Thursday, saying it would make it tougher for the most vulnerable Americans to have access to healthcare. The Southern Poverty Law Center liberal advocacy group said it planned to file a legal challenge.

The Senate’s push to overrule the FCC on net neutrality now has 50 votes, Democrats say (Wash. Post)

…The tally leaves supporters just one Republican vote shy of the 51 required to pass a Senate resolution of disapproval, in a legislative gambit aimed at restoring the agency's net neutrality rules.

U.S. charges Maryland businessman with bribing Russian official (Reuters)

 U.S. authorities have charged a Maryland businessman with bribing a Russian official in an effort to win contracts to ship uranium to the United States.

Court Kills Most of Idaho’s Law Against Secret Farm Recordings (Reason)

Last week, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that parts of Idaho's "ag gag" law are unconstitutional. The court upheld, in part, a U.S. District Court ruling from 2015 that found the Idaho criminal law runs afoul of the First Amendment.

Detroit Kit Tests Indicate Hundreds of Serial Rapists (NPR)

Eight years ago, Wayne County prosecutor Kym Worthy made processing untested rape kits a priority. She tells NPR's Scott Simon her office has discovered more than 800 serial rapists in the process.  "We have discovered that we have - just from our project in one city in one county in one state - over 800 identified serial rapists."


Will Cape Town be the first city to run out of water? (BBC)

Most recent projections suggest that its water could run out as early as March. The crisis has been caused by three years of very low rainfall, coupled with increasing consumption by a growing population.  The local government is racing to address the situation, with desalination plants to make sea water drinkable, groundwater collection projects, and water recycling programmes

Huge quake rattles Peru’s Pacific coast (BBC)

A huge earthquake off south-western Peru's Pacific coast has killed at least one person and injured at least 65, as buildings collapsed. The magnitude 7.1 tremor struck at 04:18 local time…

Death of leading opposition negotiator is further blow to Syrian peace talks (Washington Post)

The death of a leading Syrian opposition figure who was wounded in a hit-and-run outside his Damascus home has left his allies shaken and appears to have poisoned an already fractious peace process. Mounir Darwish, 80, was a leading member of Syria’s internationally backed opposition movement and a familiar figure at peace talks brokered by the United Nations.

Russia deploys more surface-to-air missiles in Crimean build-up (Reuters)

 Russia deployed a new division of S-400 surface-to-air missiles in Crimea on Saturday, Russian news agencies reported, in an escalation of military tensions on the Crimean Peninsula.

Denmark will increase defense spending to counter Russia: PM (Reuters)

The Danish government expects to win backing for a substantial increase in defense spending next month, to counter Russia's intensified military activity in eastern and northern Europe, the NATO-member's prime minister said Monday.

North Korea's Punggye-ri nuclear test site showing 'significant tunneling’ activity (CNBC)

"Significant tunneling" excavation is underway at North Korea's Punggye-ri nuclear test site... a think tank specializing in tracking North Korean activities reported Thursday.  It follows reports in October that the test site is unstable and experienced tunnel collapses that have killed several hundred North Korean laborers.

Hundreds protest against austerity in Tunis, tear gas fired (Jerusalem Post)

Almost 800 people have been arrested for vandalism and acts of violence, including throwing petrol bombs at police stations, according to the interior ministry.

Report Shows It's Increasingly Dangerous to Be a Christian In Many Countries (NPR)

Open Doors USA released its annual list of the most dangerous countries for Christians. Among those where anti-Christian hostility has grown are India and Turkey, two important U.S. allies.

Myanmar prosecutor seeks Official Secrets Act charges against two Reuters reporters (Reuters)

Myanmar prosecutors sought charges on Wednesday against two Reuters reporters under the Official Secrets Act, which carries a maximum prison sentence of 14 years, the reporters’ lawyer said.