ECM WORLD WATCH: NATIONAL AND GLOBAL NEWS

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February 6, 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:

U.S.

WORLD

For excerpts and links to full stories, click “read more” and scroll down.

U.S.

50 Photos That Show Just How Insanely Cold It Is In America Right Now (Bored Panda)

With much of the Midwest on lockdown and people urged to stay indoors, some people have been braving the plunging temperatures to take incredible images of the effects that the polar vortex is having on their daily lives.

5 key takeaways from Donald Trump’s State of the Union speech (CNN)

President Donald Trump delivered his State of the Union address Tuesday night, a speech that was, in equal measure, surprisingly bipartisan and deeply divisive -- reflective of the deep contradictions that sit at the heart of his presidency…Trump swerved from calls for unity and shared victory to blasting Democrats on their opposition to his proposed border wall. In one breath, he touted the low unemployment rate. In the next, he insisted that if Democrats wanted peace and prosperity, then they could not carry on "partisan investigations."

Dems unveil bill for Medicare to negotiate drug prices (The Hill)

Democrats on Thursday unveiled a bill to allow Medicare to negotiate drug prices, a key part of their agenda to lower pharmaceutical costs.

Trump lashes out as Democrats step up inquiries of president and administration (Washington Post)

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in turn accused Trump of delivering an “all-out threat” to lawmakers sworn to provide a check and balance on his power.

Trump Admin Says It’s Too Hard To Reunite Thousands Of Separated Families: Court Filing (Huffington Post)

…In the declaration submitted Friday, HHS officials said they don’t know the exact number of children who were taken from their parents before “zero tolerance” and that finding them would be too much of a “burden” since there was no formal tracking system in place.

ICE confirms it is force feeding detainees on hunger strike (San Diego Union-Tribune)

Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials have confirmed they are force-feeding nine detainees (from Nicaragua and India) who initiated a hunger strike at an El Paso, Texas, detention center...They are on a hunger strike to protest "rampant verbal abuse and threats of deportation from guards."

Russia’s propaganda machine discovers 2020 Democratic candidate Tulsi Gabbard (NBC)

The Russian propaganda machine that tried to influence the 2016 U.S. election is now promoting the presidential aspirations of a controversial Hawaii Democrat who earlier this month declared her intention to run for president in 2020.

A simple technology could secure the border for a fraction of the cost of a wall — but no one's talking about it  (Business Insider)

Roughly 10 years ago, a bizarre parade of animals, people, and vehicles lined up in the middle of the Sonoran Desert to trot, walk, and drive over a 100-foot cable stretched out across the dirt by a team of scientists. By the University of Arizona researchers' accounts, the experiment was a resounding success, heralding a new frontier in border-security technology. A fiber-optic cable installed in the loose, sandy soil could tell precisely what was moving above it — be it a 200-pound man, a group of people concealed in a cloud of dust from a passing car, a wandering dog, or a pair of cantering horses.

Travel agents charged with bringing pregnant Chinese women to give birth in U.S. (Los Angeles Times)

It was a scheme that federal authorities say went on for years. But Thursday, the operator of You Win USA and the owners of another allegedly illicit “birth tourism” company in Southern California were arrested and charged with an array of crimes including immigration fraud, money laundering and identity theft, according to indictments filed in U.S. District Court.

WORLD

Russia pulls out of nuclear treaty in “symmetrical” response to U.S. move (NY Times)

President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia, in a decision that was widely expected, suspended his country’s observance of a key nuclear arms control pact on Saturday in response to a similar move by the United States a day before. But adding to a sense that the broader architecture of nuclear disarmament has started to unravel, Mr. Putin also said that Russia would build weapons previously banned under the treaty and would no longer initiate talks with the United States on any matters related to nuclear arms control.

Pentagon report warns about the future of ISIS in Syria, as Trump says US troops can return 'very quickly' (ABC)

A Pentagon report released on Monday indicated that the Islamic State remains an active insurgent group in Iraq and Syria and that, without sustained pressure, the group could reconstitute in Syria within six to 12 months.

Iran unveils long-range cruise missile on anniversary of revolution (Reuters)

 Iran unveiled a new cruise missile with a range of 1,300 km (800 miles) on Saturday, state television reported, as the Middle Eastern country displays its achievements during celebrations marking the 40th anniversary of the 1979 Islamic Revolution. 

The U.S. And Russia Are Stocking Up On Missiles And Nukes For A Different Kind Of War (NPR)

 The U.S. and Russia seem increasingly interested in battlefield nuclear weapons. Arms control advocates fear a return to the darkest days of the Cold War.