ECM WORLD WATCH: NATIONAL AND GLOBAL NEWS

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February 14, 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.

Tax code change leave Americans asking ‘What happened to my refund?’ (NBC news)

Early tax returns suggest some Americans will get less money than expected and could owe the IRS.

Trump suggests he’s open to border deal as lawmakers resolve late snags (Washington Post)

…The days of negotiations that followed produced a deal offering Trump less than a quarter of the $5.7 billion he wanted for barriers along the U.S.-Mexico border. Nevertheless, Trump is expected to sign the bill — although the president has changed his mind at the last minute before, creating a level of uncertainty.

Supreme Court blocks Louisiana abortion law (New York Times)

The Supreme Court on Thursday blocked a Louisiana law that its opponents say could have left the state with only one doctor in a single clinic authorized to provide abortions. The vote was 5 to 4, with Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. joining the court’s four-member liberal wing to form a majority.

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos says National Enquirer publisher tried to extort him (CNN)

Bezos, the billionaire founder and CEO of Amazon (AMZN), [and owner of the Washington Post] alleged that AMI threatened to release compromising photos of him. His post included what he said were emails from AMI detailing what he described as "extortion and blackmail.

Judge rules Manafort lied, breached plea deal (Reuters)

President Trump's former campaign manager Paul Manafort breached his plea agreement with Special Counsel Robert Mueller's office by lying to prosecutors, a federal judge ruled.

Sen. Ted Cruz's solution to border wall impasse: Make El Chapo pay for it (Washington Post)

The Ensuring Lawful Collection of Hidden Assets to Provide Order (EL CHAPO) Act, first introduced by Cruz, R-Texas, in April 2017 and reintroduced Tuesday, would divert billions in drug proceeds from cartel leaders to border security.

Virginia scandals pit Democrats against themselves and their message (The Hill)

The Hill - Democrats who took uncompromising stands against racism and sexual harassment and assault find themselves questioning just how far their idealism goes as Virginia’s top three officeholders struggle to weather political storms that threaten their careers.

Senate Passes Anti-BDS Bill (Jewish Journal)

The Senate passed a bill on Feb. 5 that cracks down on the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement as well as Bashar al-Assad’s regime in Syria.  The final margin on the S.1 bill, titled “Strengthening America’s Security in the Middle East Act of 2019,” was 77-23.

WORLD

Military-police partnership targeting Tijuana's high homicide numbers rolls out (SDUT)

A plan to reduce Tijuana’s high homicide numbers geared up on Tuesday with new traffic checkpoints set up across the city, along with the establishment of military outposts in some of its most violent neighborhoods.

U.S. meeting on Middle East brings together Israel, Gulf Arab states (Reuters)

 A U.S.-sponsored Middle East conference aimed at building a coalition against what Washington sees as the threat posed by Iran also produced signs of a warming of ties between Israel and some Arab countries on Wednesday.

Suicide bomber kills 27 members of Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards (Reuters)

A suicide bomber killed 27 members of Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards on Wednesday, state media said, in a southeastern region where security forces are facing a rise in attacks by militants from the country's Sunni Muslim minority.

Russia plans new missile systems to counter U.S. by 2021  (Reuters)

Russia will race to develop two new land-based missile launch systems before 2021 to respond to Washington's planned exit from a landmark nuclear arms control pact, it said on Tuesday.

Macedonia signs accord to join NATO despite Russian misgivings (Reuters)

 NATO members signed an accord with Macedonia on Wednesday allowing the tiny ex-Yugoslav republic to become the 30th member of the U.S.-led alliance after a deal with Greece ended a 27-year-old dispute over its name.

Russia jails Jehovah's Witness for six years in landmark case (Reuters)

 A Russian court on Wednesday found a Danish adherent of the Jehovah's Witnesses guilty of organizing the activities of a banned extremist organization and jailed him for six years in a case Western governments cast as a test of religious freedom.