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February 22, 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.


Trump signals shift on guns (The Hill)

President Trump on Thursday signaled a dramatic shift on guns a day after he held an emotional listening session in the Oval Office with the families of victims and survivors of a mass shooting at a Florida high school. In a torrent of morning tweets, the president for the first time expressed support for a range of policies that will put him at odds with the National Rifle Association (NRA), the powerful gun lobby that spent more than $30 million to help elect him in 2016.

Students protest gun violence outside the White House (The Hill)

Washington, D.C., area students on Monday staged protests against gun violence outside of the White House just days after 17 people were killed in a shooting at a South Florida high school. Numerous students took part in a "lie-in" on the road outside of the White House, laying on the ground for three minutes at a time in an effort to symbolize the short amount of time it took alleged shooter Nikolas Cruz to gun down numerous people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., last week. 

“Additional criminal conduct” unearthed against Manafort, special counsel alleges (CBS)

Special counsel Robert Mueller alleged in court filings released late Friday that "additional new crimes" by former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort had been uncovered. These included a series of bank frauds and bank fraud conspiracies… Manafort… is accused of lobbying and doing other work for a pro-Russian political party in Ukraine headed by ousted Ukrainian President Victor Yanukovych, an ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin. Manafort and Gates are accused of failing to register as foreign agents…and also allegedly laundered up to $75 million…They were charged with several counts, including money laundering and failure to register as foreign agents, in Oct. 2017. 

Prosecutors level new claim of bank fraud against Manafort(Politico)

Special counsel Robert Mueller’s office has told a federal judge it has found evidence that Paul Manafort, the former Trump campaign chairman, committed bank fraud not addressed by the indictment last October in which he was charged with money laundering and failure to register as a foreign agent.

Russia investigation leads to charges against lawyer linked to Trump's former campaign aides (Los Angeles Times)

A lawyer linked to Rick Gates and Paul Manafort, two of President Trump’s former campaign aides ensnared in the ongoing Russian probe, has been charged by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III with lying to federal investigators. The lawyer, Alex van der Zwaan, previously worked at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, a prominent law firm that worked on a controversial report used to defend the pro-Russian government of Ukraine in its prosecution of a political opponent. Manafort, Trump’s former campaign manager, was an longtime advisor to former Ukraine’s Kremlin-allied former president, Viktor Yanukovich.

Fed officials see stronger growth and reason to raise rates (CBS)

Federal Reserve officials at their January meeting believed improving global economic prospects and the effects of recently passed tax cuts had raised the prospect for solid economic growth and for continued interest rate increases in 2018.

Mike Pence could be the next president and he was hand-picked by Paul Manafort(Newsweek)

The man who helped put Mike Pence a heartbeat away from the presidency is now facing federal charges.

The second amendment was ratified to preserve slavery (RawStory)

The real reason the Second Amendment was ratified, and why it says “State” instead of “Country” (the Framers knew the difference – see the 10th Amendment), was to preserve the slave patrol militias in the southern states, which was necessary to get Virginia’s vote.  Founders Patrick Henry, George Mason, and James Madison were totally clear on that . . .

‘We would literally not survive’; how Trump’s plan for the social safety net would affect America’s poorest (Washington Post)

… Today, 25-year-old Bias, her boyfriend and their three young children are renting part of a friend’s apartment outside Baltimore. They scrape by on his wages from construction and landscaping jobs, relying on federal food stamps to help feed their children and Medicaid for doctor’s visits …But after hearing the Trump administration’s plans to overhaul the social safety net, Bias is afraid that she and her family could wind up on the streets, where they started.

Billy Graham, 99, dies; pastor filled stadiums and counseled presidents (New York Times)

The Rev. Billy Graham, a North Carolina farmer’s son who preached to millions in stadium events he called crusades, becoming a pastor to presidents and the nation’s best-known Christian evangelist for more than 60 years, died on Wednesday at his home in Montreat, N.C.

Donald Trump, a Playboy model, and a system for concealing infidelity(New Yorker)

One woman’s account of clandestine meetings, financial transactions, and legal pacts designed to hide an extramarital affair.

House Republicans just voted to eliminate the only federal agency that makes sure voting machines can’t be hacked (The Nation)

Republicans would make it easier to steal an election by killing the Election Assistance Commission.


Before Russia’s ‘troll farm’ turned to U.S., it had a more domestic purpose (Christian Science Monitor)

Though the outfit indicted by special counsel Robert Mueller may now be most famous for targeting US audiences, its original purpose was to sway Russians on domestic issues. And it was well covered by the Russian media.

IDF cyber warriors thwart major ISIS aviation terror attack (JPost)

Spread across the country, the online soldiers of Unit 8200 are on the front line of Israel’s cyber wars 24/7, 365 days a year to identify possible threats and effectively neutralize them.

Jokhang Temple: fire engulfs ancient heart of Tibetan Buddhism (Guardian)

A large fire has damaged one of the holiest and most politically sensitive sites in Tibet, the Jokhang temple, stirring an outpouring of grief and concern among Tibetans.

Nigeria’s Boko Haram crisis: More than 100 school girls missing after attack (BBC)

More than 100 Nigerian schoolgirls are missing after an attack on a boarding school by Boko Haram jihadists, Nigerian police say. Militants raided their school on Monday evening, but many of the students and staff had fled before they arrived. It was initially thought that the girls had escaped, but two days later, their whereabouts are still not known.