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December 28, 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.


Border officials announce changes after two migrant children die in U.S. custody (Fox 5)

After two Guatemalan children died in its custody, US Customs and Border Protection is changing how it handles health care for migrant detainees.

Trump visits U.S. troops in Iraq in first trip to a conflict zone (Washington Post)

The president’s visit to an air base west of Baghdad, which was shrouded in secrecy, followed months of public pressure for him to spend time with troops deployed to conflicts in the Middle East.

Russia Picked Donald Trump and Ran Him for President, Former Israeli Intelligence Officer Says (Newsweek)

“Officials in Moscow looked at the 2016 U.S. presidential race and asked, ‘Which candidate would we like to have sitting in the White House? Who will help us achieve our goals?’ And they chose him. From that moment, they deployed a system [of bots] for the length of the elections, and ran him for president,” former Mossad chief Tamir Pardo told the audience at the Marker’s digital conference in Israel…where experts gathered to discuss online disinformation campaigns and bots. “What we’ve seen so far with respect to bots and the distortion of information is just the tip of the iceberg. It is the greatest threat of recent years, and it threatens the basic values that we share—democracy and the world order created since World War Two.”

General Wesley Clark on Trump's Syria withdrawal: 'Did Erdogan blackmail the president? Was there a payoff?'     (The Hill)

Wesley Clark on Monday questioned whether Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan blackmailed President Trump into his decision to remove U.S. troops from Syria.  "There doesn’t seem to be any strategic rationale for the decision. And if there’s no strategic rationale for the decision then you have to ask, why was the decision made?" the retired U.S. Army general and former NATO commander said on CNN's "New Day."  "People around the world are asking this and some of our friends and our allies in the Middle East are asking, did Erdogan blackmail the president? Was there a payoff or something? Why would a guy make a decision like this? Because all the recommendations were against it," he added.

The giant timeline of everything Russia, Trump and the investigations (PBS)

The investigation into Russian attempts to influence the 2016 election has grown dramatically in both size and scope. A complex probe from the start, it is now a nearly indiscernible blur of characters, charges and counter-charges.  This timeline is a tool aimed at understanding the growing number of dots and where they connect.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg released from hospital after cancer surgery  (CNN)

 Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was discharged from the hospital on Tuesday and is recuperating at home after undergoing surgery…Ginsburg, 85, had two cancerous nodules removed from her left lung Friday at Memorial Sloan Kettering hospital in New York City. There is no evidence of any remaining disease nor is there evidence of disease elsewhere in the body, the court said last week.

Did a Queens podiatrist help Donald Trump avoid Vietnam? (New York Times)

n the fall of 1968, Donald J. Trump received a timely diagnosis of bone spurs in his heels that led to his medical exemption from the military during Vietnam. For 50 years, the details of how the exemption came about, and who made the diagnosis, have remained a mystery.. The podiatrist, Dr. Larry Braunstein, died in 2007. But his daughters say their father often told the story of coming to the aid of a young Mr. Trump during the Vietnam War as a favor to his father.


Indonesia tsunami: Grim search for survivors continues as death toll reaches 430 (CNN)

At least 430 people were killed Saturday when the tsunami -- sparked by landslides from an erupting volcano -- swept through the Sunda Strait, leaving about 1,500 injured and almost 22,000 displaced in villages on the Java and Sumatra coasts, officials said Wednesday… Widodo claimed the tsunami which struck over the weekend was beyond Indonesia's currently ability to predict.

"Usually it was preceded by earthquake. That's why the residents and visitors in Carita and Labuan beaches and Tanjung Lesung and Sumur beaches were not prepared to escape," he said.

After Trump's visit, Iraqi lawmakers demand U.S. withdrawal (CBS News)

Iraqi lawmakers Thursday demanded U.S. forces leave the country in the wake of a surprise visit by President Donald Trump that politicians denounced as arrogant and a violation of Iraqi sovereignty. Politicians from both blocs of Iraq's divided Parliament called for a vote to expel U.S. troops and promised to schedule an extraordinary session to debate the matter.

Putin says Russia is ready to deploy new hypersonic nuclear missile (Reuters) President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday that Russia would deploy its first regiment of hypersonic nuclear-capable missiles next year, saying the move meant his country now had a new type of strategic weapon.

Is Israel creating a utopia for the disabled? (Jerusalem Post)

When musical superstar Itzhak Perlman won the 2016 Genesis Prize – known as the “Jewish Nobel” – he brought the issue of inclusion of people with disabilities in Israeli society to the forefront. Perlman chose to direct his $1 million in prize money toward projects fostering greater inclusion. Two years later, as we mark the International Day For People With Disabilities (December 3), many of these projects are under way and other, unrelated and equally innovative initiatives are sprouting or growing across the Jewish state. They are enabling more children and adults – even some with severe disabilities – to work and play alongside their “typical” peers.