ECM WORLD WATCH: NATIONAL AND GLOBAL NEWS

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October 4, 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.

Impeachment inquiry

Other national news

WORLD

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

U.S.

Impeachment inquiry

Trump slams impeachment probe as Democrats seek White House documents (Reuters)

President Trump angrily denounced an impeachment inquiry into his July telephone call with Ukraine's leader as Democratic lawmakers said they would subpoena White House records about the call.

Fox News Legal Expert: Trump 'Arguably Walked Into the Area of Bribery' With Ukraine Scandal, and 'That's an Impeachable Offense' (Newsweek)

Fox News senior judicial analyst Andrew Napolitano said that President Donald Trump had "arguably walked into the area of bribery" with his actions toward Ukraine, pointing out that it appears to be "an impeachable offense."

Trump urges China to investigate Bidens, despite impeachment inquiry over a similar request to Ukraine (Washington Post)

President Trump’s comments came as Kurt D. Volker, who resigned last week as the special envoy for Ukraine, arrived for a closed-door interview in front of three House committees — part of the inquiry sparked by a whistleblower’s complaint that Trump had pressed the Ukrainian president for a similar investigation of the Bidens.

Giuliani’s Ukraine Work Tied to Firm Whose Website Has Vanished (Yahoo News)

The website of the consulting firm that forged business contacts for Rudy Giuliani in Ukraine and Russia for more than a decade vanished suddenly after his communications were subpoenaed…The genesis of many of those foreign connections was TriGlobal Strategic Ventures. The firm was set up in the U.S. in 2003 by a group of Russians …Using the group’s network, Giuliani amassed security contracts around the globe, which continued even after he became the U.S. president’s unpaid lawyer last year.

Trump suggests intel chairman should be arrested for 'treason' (Reuters)

U.S. President Donald Trump on Monday escalated his attacks against the lawmaker leading the impeachment inquiry against him, suggesting that Representative Adam Schiff be arrested for “treason.”

John Dean: When I was a whistleblower, the Justice Department protected me (CNN)

Let me tell you how it used to be for a White House whistleblower. In 1973, a few weeks before my testimony to the Senate Watergate Committee, the chairman, Sam Ervin of North Carolina, became concerned for my safety. There had been a steady stream of death threats against me that he felt could not be ignored.

Trump Pushed Australian Leader to Help Investigate Origins of Mueller Inquiry  (New York Times)

President Trump wanted the Australian prime minister to help Attorney General William Barr in an effort to discredit the Mueller investigation, officials said. The White House restricted access to a transcript of the call, an unusual decision similar to the handling of a Ukraine call at the heart of an impeachment inquiry.

Trump involved Pence in efforts to pressure Ukraine’s leader, though aides say vice president was unaware of pursuit of dirt on Bidens (Washington Post)

President Trump repeatedly involved Vice President Pence in efforts to exert pressure on the leader of Ukraine at a time when the president was using other channels to solicit information that he hoped would be damaging to a Democratic rival, current and former U.S. officials said.

Barr personally asked foreign officials to aid inquiry into CIA, FBI activities in 2016 (Washington Post)

Attorney General William P. Barr has held private meetings overseas with foreign intelligence officials seeking their help in a Justice Department inquiry that President Trump hopes will discredit U.S. intelligence agencies’ examination of possible connections between Russia and members of the Trump campaign during the 2016 election.

New Ads Call On Republicans To Stand Up For The Law Amid Ukraine Tangle (HuffPost)

The $1 million campaign by a group of prominent conservatives is targeting GOP senators with the message, “Stand up and say it’s wrong.”

 

Other national news

The U.S. economy's most important sector is weakening (CBS)

A sharp downturn among U.S. manufacturers caused by slowing global growth and the Trump administration's trade wars is spilling over into the crucial services sector, a worrying signal for an economy that is already losing speed. 

How Trump's 'Maximum Pressure' Iran Policy is Leading the U.S. Into War (Newsweek)

Analysts say the region is headed for a major conflagration.

A bad day for Trump administration on immigrant front as it suffers three legal defeats in one day (Los Angeles Times)

In a third defeat in less than a day for the Trump administration, a federal judge blocked it from vastly extending the authority of immigration officers to deport people without first allowing them to appear before judges. The decision late Friday came before the policy, which was announced in July, was even enforced. The move would have applied to anyone in the country less than two years. The decision came just after a federal judge barred Immigration and Customs Enforcement from relying solely on flawed databases to target people for being in the country illegally. Early Friday, the administration suffered what would be its first defeat on the immigrant front in less than 24 hours when a federal judge blocked its plan to dismantle protections for immigrant youths and indefinitely hold families with children in detention.

Judge bars Trump fast-track deportation policy, saying threat to legal migrants was not assessed (Washington Post)

A federal judge has blocked the Trump administration from dramatically expanding its power to deport migrants who have illegally entered the United States in the past two years by using a fast-track deportation process that bypasses immigration judges….Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia issued a nationwide preliminary injunction shortly before midnight Friday, halting enforcement of the administration’s July 23 policy widening application of the “expedited removal” program to undocumented immigrants anywhere in the country who entered over the past two years. Previously, only migrants caught within 100 miles of the border who illegally had entered within the preceding two weeks were subject to deportation without access to courts or lawyers.

Judge Blocks Trump Administration Plan to Detain Migrant Children (New York Times)

 A federal judge on Friday rejected new regulations that would allow the government to hold children and their parents in detention for indefinite periods, one of the Trump administration’s signature efforts to curtail the large number of families arriving from Central America.

The administration is cutting the number of refugees the U.S. will take, and that’s attracting criticism from some evangelicals (Washington Post)

The Trump administration announced this week that it will slash the number of refugees allowed into the United States to an all-time low. But the plan is a reminder that the president’s hard-line immigration policies often go beyond attempting to curtail illegal immigration — and end up directly affecting some among the groups that support Trump most strongly.

FEC chair tweets memo on foreign election activity, alleges GOP colleague tried to block her (The Hill)

The chairwoman of the Federal Election Commission (FEC) shared a now-viral 57-tweet thread Friday alleging that a Republican colleague blocked her from releasing a draft memo on prohibited election involvement by foreign nationals in a weekly digest and tweeting the memo herself.  "Funny story. The @FEC puts out a 'Weekly Digest' of everything we do, an immensely helpful public resource,” Ellen L. Weintraub tweeted Friday evening. "This week, I published a 'Draft Interpretive Rule Concerning Prohibited Activities Involving Foreign Nationals' on the [FEC] web site."

Egypt planned to arrest a New York Times reporter. The Trump administration reportedly wanted to let it happen. (Washington Post)

In late 2017, the New York Times received an urgent warning from a U.S. official. Egyptian authorities were looking to arrest Declan Walsh, the newspaper’s reporter in Cairo, according to its publisher… what was striking is what the official said next: The Trump administration had tried to keep the warning about Walsh from ever reaching the Times. Officials “intended to sit on the information and let the arrest be carried out,” Times publisher A.G. Sulzberger wrote

WORLD

American retirees in Mexico say their life savings vanished from a Mexican bank (NBC)

Nine American families told NBC News that they trusted a local banker in San Miguel de Allende only to find millions missing from their accounts.

The Amazon Rain Forest Is Nearly Gone (Time)

We Went to the Front Lines to See If It Could Be Saved…The forest stores up to 120 billion metric tons of carbon, equivalent to almost 12 years of global emissions at current rates. If cleared, much of that will go into the atmosphere. That alone could push the global climate beyond safe limits.

Kremlin says it hopes Putin’s calls with Trump won’t be made public (New York Times)

Amid the uproar over President Trump’s call to the leader of Ukraine, the Kremlin said on Friday that it hoped the contents of Mr. Trump’s phone conversations with President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia would not be made public — a disclosure that would likely generate far more attention. Mr. Trump’s conversations with Mr. Putin have been an enduring mystery and a subject of intense interest, given the evidence that Russia interfered in the 2016 election to benefit Mr. Trump, who has

Syria demands withdrawal of U.S., Turkish forces, warns of countermeasures (Reuters)

Syria's Foreign Minister Walid al-Moualem on Saturday demanded an immediate withdrawal of all U.S. and Turkish troops from his country and warned that Syrian government forces had the right to take countermeasures if they refused.

China accused of harvesting tens of thousands of organs from members of religious minorities (Quartz)

Barely two months after Han Junqing, from Beijing, was imprisoned for practicing the spiritual discipline of Falun Gong, he died in captivity. When his family was briefly allowed to see his body, more than a month after he died, his daughter says they discovered it had been sliced open. “There were stitches at the throat area,...

China quietly doubles troop levels in Hong Kong  (Reuters)

There are now up to 12,000 Chinese troops in Hong Kong, diplomats tell Reuters. Among them: members of the People’s Armed Police, a paramilitary force that answers to Xi Jinping.