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March 9, 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.


State Department was granted $120 million to fight Russian meddling. It has spent $0. (New York Times)

As Russia’s virtual war against the United States continues unabated with the midterm elections approaching, the State Department has yet to spend any of the $120 million it has been allocated since late 2016 to counter foreign efforts to meddle in elections or sow distrust in democracy.As a result, not one of the 23 analysts working in the department’s Global Engagement Center — which has been tasked with countering Moscow’s disinformation campaign — speaks Russian, and a department hiring freeze has hindered efforts to recruit the computer experts needed to track the Russian efforts.

Twenty states sue federal government, seeking end to Obamacare (Reuters)

A coalition of 20 U.S. states sued the federal government on Monday over Obamacare, claiming the law was no longer constitutional after the repeal last year of its requirement that people have health insurance or pay a fine. 

Special Counsel wants documents on Trump, numerous campaign associates (NBC)

The grand jury investigating alleged collusion between Russia and Donald Trump's presidential campaign has sent a witness a subpoena seeking all documents involving the president and a host of his closest advisers, according to a copy of the subpoena reviewed by NBC News.  According to the subpoena, which was sent to a witness by special counsel Robert Mueller, investigators want emails, text messages, work papers, telephone logs and other documents going back to Nov. 1, 2015, 4½ months after Trump launched his campaign.

Sessions greenlights police to seize cash, property from people suspected of crimes but not charged (Washington Post)

The Justice Department announced a new federal policy Wednesday to help state and local police take cash and property from people suspected of a crime, even without a criminal charge, reversing an Obama administration rule prompted by past abuse by police. Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein said the Justice Department will include more safeguards to prevent the kind of problems that have been documented in the past.

More flooding along U.S. coast as storm moves out to sea (CBS)

People along the Northeast coast braced for more flooding during high tides Saturday, even as the powerful storm that inundated roads, snapped trees and knocked out power to more than 2 million homes and businesses moved hundreds of miles out to sea. Areas from Maryland to Maine remained under flood warnings.

Defying GOP, Trump imposes steep tariffs on steel,  aluminum next week (The Hill)

President Trump said  Thursday that he will impose steep tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from around the world next week, defying Republican lawmakers who have pushed back against the move.

Trump’s tariffs prompt global threats of retaliation (New York Times)

A day after President Trump took a swing at United States trading partners by threatening stiff and sweeping tariffs on steel and aluminum, they hit back. They promised to retaliate against quintessential American goods like Kentucky bourbon, bluejeans and Harley-Davidson motorcycles. That is likely to turn into a wave of protest aimed at American products as other countries, including traditional allies, respond to Mr. Trump’s plan to clamp down on imports of metals from overseas.

How biased is your news source? You probably won’t agree with this chart (MarketWatch)

Are we even aware of our biases anymore? If you look at this chart and are convinced your “extreme” source belongs in the middle, you just might be part of the problem plaguing America today.

Jared Kushner’s security clearance downgraded (New York Times)

Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law and senior adviser, has been stripped of his top-secret security clearance after months of delays in completing his background check, and will now be limited in his ability to view highly classified information… The Washington Post reported Tuesday that American officials had intercepted conversations among officials from at least four foreign governments — China, the United Arab Emirates, Mexico and Israel — about using business opportunities to seek leverage over Mr. Kushner.

Ethics issues pile up for Trump cabinet officials (The Hill)

… Reports of administration officials taking lavish trips, traveling on private jets, accepting gifts and buying expensive furniture have raised deep concerns among outside groups, Democrats and even some Republicans about the way taxpayer money is being spent under the new administration.

'Protection orders' get a closer look in fight against gun deaths (CS Monitor)

Five states, including Washington, have laws allowing the orders. Research indicates they can be effective at preventing deaths, and they pass the Second Amendment test. But jurisdictions say they need funding and personnel for the laws to work. 

In Ohio, Some Teachers Have Been Armed For Years (NPR)

President Trump says a teacher who is "adept at firearms" could help stop an active shooter. In Ohio, a training program attempts to prepare teachers who plan to concealed-carry on campus.



Putin, before vote, unveils 'invincible' nuclear weapons to counter West (Reuters)

(President Vladimir Putin announced an array of new nuclear weapons on Thursday, in one of his most bellicose speeches in years, saying they could hit almost any point in the world and evade a U.S.-built missile shield.

Under cloud of investigations, Netanyahu leaves for U.S. (Jerusalem Post)

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu leaves Saturday night for five days in the US and a meeting with US President Donald Trump, even as police continue to investigate him and former confidants for alleged wrongdoing in a number of different affairs.

North Korea threatens to `counter’ U.S. over military drills (Reuters)

North Korea threatened on Saturday to“counter the U.S.” if the United States holds joint military exercises with South Korea, and said it would not beg for talks with Washington.

At Least 14 Dead In Papua New Guinea After Strong Quake Sets Off Mudslides (NPR)

The 7.5 magnitude temblor rocked the central highlands in the half-island Pacific nation early Monday. Phone lines are down and roads are blocked, making a full assessment of the remote area hard.

New satellite photos show Iran establishing another base in Syria (Fox)

Iran has built another permanent military base outside Syria’s capital city complete with hangers used to store missiles capable of hitting all of Israel, according to Western intelligence sources. 

Bahrain says seizes armed network set up by Iran's Revolutionary Guard (Reuters)

Bahrain said on Saturday it had rounded up 116 members of an armed network established and supported by Iran's Revolutionary Guard, suspected of plotting attacks on Bahraini government officials and security forces.

North Korea Reportedly Sending Missile, Chemical Weapons Parts To Syria (NPR)

According to a draft report seen by several news organizations, U.N. investigators found that the sanctions-busting shipments date back a decade.

Teacher tried to create 'army of children' to launch terror attacks in London (Reuters)

A British supporter of Islamic State was found guilty on Friday of trying to recruit children he was teaching into an“army” of jihadists to help carry out a wave of attacks across London.  [he] showed the children beheading videos and other violent militant propaganda, forced them to re-enact deadly attacks on the British capital and made them role-play attacking police officers.