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November 30, 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 a  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.


‘Individual 1’: Trump emerges as a central subject of Mueller probe (Washington Post)

In two major developments this week, President Trump has been labeled in the parlance of criminal investigations as a major subject of interest, complete with an opaque legal code name: “Individual 1.” New evidence from two separate fronts of special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s investigation casts fresh doubts on Trump’s version of key events involving Russia, signaling potential political and legal peril for the president. Investigators have now publicly cast Trump as a central figure of their probe into whether Trump’s campaign conspired with the Russian government during the 2016 campaign.  Together, the documents show investigators have evidence that Trump was in close contact with his lieutenants as they made outreach to both Russia and WikiLeaks — and that they tried to conceal the extent of their activities.

General Motors to Stop Production and Cut Thousands of Jobs at 5 Plants in North America  (New York Times)

The company will halt operations at three auto and two transmission plants and lay off about 14,000 employees to trim costs in the face of slowing auto sales.


Farm bankruptcies surpass Great Recession levels in upper Midwest (Axios)

An analysis by the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis found that 84 farm operations in the upper Midwest filed for Chapter 12 bankruptcy from June 2017 to June 2018.  The number of bankruptcies filed by these farm operations is double the total from 2014 and even surpassed the mark hit in 2010 at the peak of the Great Recession. Current price levels and trends suggest the number will continue to rise…Agriculture commodity prices have flatlined over the last year…  Farmers have also been hampered by President Trump's retaliatory tariffs …

Here’s Evidence of Collusion: Trump’s Lawyer Discussed Business Deal With Putin’s Office (Mother Jones)

Michael Cohen pleads guilty to lying to Congress and reveals that Trump’s company hooked up with Moscow…it shows that Trump’s company in 2016 was trying to collude with Russian President Vladmir Putin in order to develop a Trump business project in Moscow…During the campaign and afterward, Trump repeatedly said that he had no business links with Russia….But the Mueller filing shows that Trump was even more involved in this deal and that it included a major interaction between the Trump Organization and Putin’s office. 

Native Tribes Could Lose Federal Recognition of Tribal Sovereignty Under Trump (Teen Vogue)

Under the guise of Medicaid reform, it was reported by Politico on April 22 that the Trump administration is considering steps that would undermine the United States Constitution and upend hundreds of years of federal Indian law court precedent by dismantling federal recognition of tribal sovereignty, which acknowledges tribes’ right to govern themselves.

Supreme Court asked to rule on Trump's choice of Matthew Whitaker as acting attorney general (USA Today)

Veteran Supreme Court litigator Thomas Goldstein filed a motion in an unrelated case late Friday that asks the justices to decide if Whitaker was legally installed as the temporary successor to Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who Trump ousted last week. His goal is the same as that of Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh: getting a federal court to rule that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein is the legal and constitutional heir to Sessions. That would protect special counsel Robert Mueller's probe into Russian meddling in the 2016 election and potential coordination with the Trump campaign.

 Federal Court Blocks Trump Administration's Asylum Ban (KPBS)

A federal court in San Francisco has temporarily blocked the Trump administration's new asylum ban, saying it violates existing law and would cause irreparable harm to immigrants. Earlier this month, President Trump issued a proclamation saying anyone crossing the U.S. southern border without doing so through an official port would be ineligible for asylum.

CNN reporter Jim Acosta heads 'back to work' after judge orders White House to restore his press credential (USA Today)

U.S. District Court Judge Timothy Kelly, a Trump appointee, said the White House had violated Acosta’s Fifth Amendment right to due process by suspending his press badge without explanation or a chance for CNN to appeal the decision.

With Jeff Sessions out at the Justice Dept., the marijuana movement exhales (Los Angeles Times)

He described marijuana as a “very real danger” and has said its effects are “only slightly less awful” than those of heroin. Once, during a drug hearing when he was a Senator, he said he wanted to send a clear message: “Good people don’t smoke marijuana.” So when Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions was ousted recently, a collective sigh of relief rose up from proponents of legalized pot — activists, politicians, investors — who felt targeted by the nation’s top law enforcement officer.

Ivanka Trump used a personal email account to send hundreds of emails about government business last year (Washington Post)

Ivanka Trump sent hundreds of emails last year to White House aides, Cabinet officials and her assistants using a personal account, many of them in violation of federal records rules, according to people familiar with a White House examination of her correspondence.


Russia attacks and seizes three Ukrainian naval vessels off the coast of Crimea in Black Sea  (NBC)

Ukraine mobilized all of its naval personnel and ships after Russia seized three of its vessels off the coast of Crimea, which it annexed in 2014.

To avoid sanctions, Kremlin goes off the grid (Washington Post)

How a breakaway region near the Black Sea is helping Russia support rebels in eastern Ukraine: An isolated, war-scarred enclave in the Caucasus Mountains has become a hidden financial crossroads for Russia’s shadow empire around the Black Sea. The Kremlin has for years bankrolled an array of pro-Russian breakaway states within the former Soviet republics of Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova. For Moscow, the goals could not be bigger — rebuilding Russia’s influence and countering the region’s drift toward the West.

Mexico to deport migrants who 'violently' tried to cross the U.S. Border

Reuters - Mexico will deport migrants from a group of 500 who on Sunday tried to “violently” and “illegally” cross the U.S. border, the Mexican Interior Ministry said in a statement.

Rebuking Trump, senators back effort to suspend U.S. support for Saudi-led war in Yemen (Washington Post)

The Senate on Wednesday delivered a historic rebuke of Saudi Arabia and President Trump’s handling of the fallout over journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s killing last month, as a decisive majority voted to advance a measure to end U.S. military support for the Saudi-led war in Yemen. The 63-to-37 vote is only an initial procedural step, but it nonetheless represents an unprecedented challenge to the security relationship between the United States and Saudi Arabia. The vote was prompted by lawmakers’ growing frustration with Trump for defending Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s denials of culpability in Khashoggi’s death, despite the CIA’s finding that he had almost certainly ordered the killing.

CIA concludes Saudi crown prince ordered Jamal Khashoggi’s assassination  (Washington Post)

The CIA has concluded that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ordered the assassination of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul last month, contradicting the Saudi government’s claims that he was not involved in the killing, according to people familiar with the matter.

French police clash violently with protesters on Champs Elysees over petrol costs (Reuters)

Police firing tear gas and water cannons clashed in Paris on Saturday with thousands of protesters angry over rising car fuel costs and President Emmanuel Macron’s economic policies, the second weekend of “yellow vest” protests across France.

At United Nations, Syria threatens to wage war against Israel (Jewish World Review)

Amid flaring tensions along the Israeli-Syrian border, Syria's ambassador to the United Nations on Friday said his country would retake the Golan Heights "by peace or by war…."

EU backs Iran sanctions over foiled France attack plot: diplomats (Reuters)

European Union foreign ministers on Monday endorsed a French government decision to sanction Iranian nationals accused of a bomb plot in France, potentially allowing the measures to take effect across the bloc, three diplomats said.

Head of Russian spy agency accused of British poison attack dies (Reuters)

The head of Russia's GRU military intelligence agency that the West has blamed for a string of brazen attacks died on Wednesday after "a serious and long illness," the Russian defense ministry said.

Airbnb faces Israeli class-action lawsuit for delisting settlements (Reuters)

 Lawyers launched a class action lawsuit in Israel on Thursday against Airbnb, accusing the company of "outrageous discrimination" and demanding monetary damages after it withdrew listings of Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank.

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