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February 28, 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.




Michael Cohen says President Trump was involved in a hush money scheme. He brought checks to Congress to prove it. (Washington Post)

During his testimony Wednesday on Capitol Hill, President Trump’s former fixer and attorney Michael Cohen submitted copies of checks that Trump, his son Donald Trump Jr. and the COO of the Trump Organization made to him …to support Cohen’s claim that the president engaged in possible criminal conduct while in office. Cohen provided a copy of a check that he says was personally signed by Trump in 2017 to reimburse him for paying off Stormy Daniels, an adult-film actress who had alleged having an affair with Trump. “I am providing a copy of a $35,000 check that President Trump personally signed from his personal bank account on Aug. 1 of 2017 — when he was President of the United States — pursuant to the cover-up, which was the basis of my guilty plea, to reimburse me…for the illegal hush money…This $35,000 check was one of 11 check installments that was paid throughout the year, while he was President,” Cohen said at a House Committee on Oversight and Reform hearing.


Judge rules male-only draft is unconstitutional (Fox 5)

US District Court Judge Gray Miller ruled late Friday that the Military Selective Service Act’s male-only registration is unconstitutional.


Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez just expertly laid a trap to get Donald Trump’s tax returns (Mother Jones)

While Republicans on Wednesday repeatedly hammered Michael Cohen over his efforts to secure a lucrative media deal, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez used her time to focus on one of the most consequential topics concerning investigations into President Donald Trump: his ever-elusive tax returns. … Her clear and purposeful line of questioning, which appeared to lay the groundwork for the committee to subpoena the president’s tax returns while capturing the names of those in Trump’s inner circle who may know details of his financials, was widely praised:


Hiker rescued from quicksand inside Utah national park (NBC News)

 A 34-year-old hiker was trapped in a remote part of Zion National Park after stepping in quicksand in a creek, miles away from cell phone service.


New problem for legal weed: Exploding pot factories (Politico)

 Legalization of marijuana at the state level has resulted in at least 10 recorded instances of fires or explosions at facilities that extract hash oil.




Colombia demolishes drug kingpin Pablo Escobar's former home (Reuters)

 Colombia destroyed an infamous apartment building which was once home to drug trafficker Pablo Escobar in a controlled implosion on Friday, after the site became a tourist destination.


Venezuela's Maduro starts shutting borders to block humanitarian aid (Reuters)

Venezuela President Nicolas Maduro threatened to close the border with Colombia on Thursday as opposition leader Juan Guaido and some 80 lawmakers ran a gauntlet of roadblocks trying to get to the frontier to receive humanitarian aid.


China uses DNA to track its people, with the help of American expertise     (The New York Times)

 The Chinese authorities turned to a Massachusetts company and a prominent Yale researcher as they built an enormous system of surveillance and control.


Eighth lawmaker quits Britain's Labour Party (Reuters)

 Joan Ryan, a Labour member of parliament, has become the eighth lawmaker to resign from Britain's main opposition party. / Ryan, a lawmaker elected from Enfield North, wrote in a tweet late on Tuesday that she was resigning over concerns about anti-Semitism allegations within the party. / Seven other Labour lawmakers quit on Monday over leader Jeremy Corbyn’s approach to Brexit and a row over anti-Semitism, saying Britain’s main opposition party had been “hijacked by the machine politics of the hard left”.


France shaken by outbreak of anti-Semitic violence and abuse (Reuters)

 A series of attacks across France in recent days has alarmed politicians and prompted calls for action against what some commentators describe as a new form of anti-Semitism among the far-left and Islamist preachers.


The Vatican’s secret rules for priests who have children         (The New York Times) 

The Vatican confirmed, apparently for the first time, that it has general guidelines for what to do when clerics break celibacy vows and father children.


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