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January 11, 2019 (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.


White House eyes disaster money to help fund border wall under emergency plan (Washington Post)

The administration is looking at unused money in the Army Corps of Engineers budget, specifically a disaster bill passed by Congress that includes $13.9 billion for projects in areas such as hurricane-hit regions in Texas and Puerto Rico.

Delta, United, and JetBlue pilots are warning that flying will become more dangerous as government shutdown continues (Business Insider)

…On Wednesday, the Air Line Pilots Association International (ALPA) sent a letter to President Donald Trump urging him to end the shutdown. … The union, which represents 61,000 pilots flying for airlines such as Delta, United, JetBlue, and Alaska Air, is concerned that the lack of working inspectors and regulators could compromise the safety of air travel in the US.

Courts run  out of cash next Friday. Here’s what happens then. (MSN)

Companies that turn to the federal courts to resolve fights with rivals and customers may find themselves in limbo if the government shutdown continues beyond next week. The system has enough money left over from fees and other sources to run through Jan. 11…After that, nonessential workers at the 94 federal district courts, and at higher courts across the country, may have to stay home even as skeleton crews show up -- without pay -- to handle matters deemed essential under U.S. law, including many criminal cases.

First on CNN: hundreds of TSA screeners calling in sick (MSN)

Hundreds of Transportation Security Administration officers, who are required to work without paychecks through the partial government shutdown, have called out from work this week from at least four major airports… "This problem of call outs is really going to explode over the next week or two when employees miss their first paycheck," a union official at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport told CNN. "TSA officers are telling the union they will find another way to make money. That means calling out to work other jobs."

Trump’s national address escalates border wall fight (New York Times)

President Trump doubled down on one of the biggest gambles of his presidency on Tuesday night with a televised appeal to pressure Congress into paying for his long-promised border wall, even at the cost of leaving the government partly closed until lawmakers give in….In a nine-minute speech that made no new arguments but included multiple misleading assertions, the president sought to recast the situation at the Mexican border as a “humanitarian crisis” and opted against declaring a national emergency to bypass Congress, which he had threatened to do, at least for now.

Rod Rosenstein, who oversaw Mueller probe, leaving Justice Department (NBC)

The No. 2 official is set to depart within the next month, officials said, with Trump's pick for AG expected to be confirmed soon.

Manafort accused of sharing Trump polling data with Russian associate (New York Times)

As a top official in President Trump’s campaign, Paul Manafort shared political polling data with a business associate tied to Russian intelligence, according to a court filing unsealed on Tuesday. The document provided the clearest evidence to date that the Trump campaign may have tried to coordinate with Russians during the 2016 presidential race.

Acting ICE director wants politicians in sanctuary cities charged with crimes (CBS)

Thomas Homan said in an interview Tuesday with Fox News Channel's Neil Cavuto that the Department of Justice needs to file charges against municipalities that don't cooperate with federal immigration authorities and deny them funding.  He also says politicians should be held "personally accountable" for crimes committed by people living in the U.S. illegally.

Donald Trump’s Border Speech Gets A Savage Instant Fact-Check On Fox News (Huffington Post)

Critics immediately panned President Donald Trump’s prime-time speech pushing for a U.S.-Mexico border wall for its numerous lies and misrepresentations, even on the president’s favorite network. Fox News anchor Shepard Smith challenged many of Trump’s claims by using the government’s own numbers.

House Democrats introduce anti-corruption bill as symbolic act (NPR)

It isn't your usual bill, the For The People Act introduced Friday by House Democrats. Also known as HR 1, symbolically their first legislation, it is a 571-page compendium of existing problems and proposed solutions in four political hot zones: voting, political money, redistricting and ethics.


Macron reeling as tough stance against `yellow vests’ backfires (Reuters)

Emmanuel Macron intended to start the new year on the offensive against the ‘yellow vest’ protesters. Instead, the French president is reeling from more violent street demonstrations.

Egypt opens Middle East’s biggest cathedral (BBC)

President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi has inaugurated Egypt's largest cathedral in the new administrative capital east of Cairo, a day after a deadly bomb blast near a Coptic church.

Iran's central bank proposes slashing four zeros from falling currency: IRNA (Reuters)

 Iran's central bank has proposed slashing four zeros from the rial, state news agency IRNA reported on Sunday, after the currency plunged in a year marked by an economic crisis fueled by U.S. sanctions.

Ecumenical Patriarch hands over decree, sealing Ukraine church independence (Reuters)

The spiritual leader of Orthodox Christians worldwide on Sunday presented the head of the Ukrainian church with a decree granting it independence from Moscow, a historic split strongly opposed by Russia.

PA orders Palestinian landlords to seek approval for Israeli-Arab tenants (JPost)

The measure, announced last week by the PA, has drawn sharp criticism from Arab residents of east Jerusalem, who hold Israeli ID cards.  Tens of thousands of east Jerusalem residents live in PA-controlled cities and villages in the West Bank near Jerusalem but located outside the city’s municipal boundaries.

In shift, EU sanctions Iran over planned Europe attacks (Reuters)

The European Union on Tuesday froze the assets of an Iranian intelligence unit and two of its staff, as the Netherlands accused Iran of two killings on its soil and joined France and Denmark in alleging Tehran plotted other attacks in Europe.

Mexican president owns no cars or real estate, but his wife does (Reuters)

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said on Friday he owns no real estate, vehicles or personal property, echoing what experts say is a pattern among the country's politicians of shifting assets to relatives.

Egypt police officer killed defusing church bomb: security source (i24 News)

 A policeman was killed and two wounded in an explosion outside a church in Egypt on Saturday, a security source said. The blast took place when security personnel were dismantling an explosive device in Nasr City on the edge of Cairo, the source said. The incident came two days before Egypt's minority Coptic Christians celebrate Christmas on January 7.

Malaysia's king abdicates after two years on throne (Reuters)

- Malaysia's King Muhammad V abdicated on Sunday, the palace said, after two years on the throne, the first time a monarch has stepped down before completing their five-year tenure.

Saudi men can no longer divorce wives without informing them, court rules (Telegraph)

 Saudi Arabian wives can no longer be divorced without their knowledge, after a court ruling came into effect on Sunday  requiring courts to notify women by text message of the end of their marriages.  / The ruling takes aim at divorces registered at courts by men who have not informed their wives that the union is over. In these cases, often referred to as secret divorces, women often end up missing out on alimony payments.