ECM WORLD WATCH: NATIONAL AND GLOBAL NEWS

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October 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:

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

Two men connected to Giuliani's Ukraine efforts arrested on campaign finance charges (CNN)

Two associates of Rudy Giuliani connected to efforts to dig up dirt in Ukraine on Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden have been arrested and indicted on criminal charges for allegedly funneling foreign money into US elections. The charges against the men suggest Giuliani's push on Ukraine and President Donald Trump's receptiveness to it had ties to an illegal effort to influence US politics and policy using foreign funds. The indictment involves two people central to the impeachment inquiry in the House.

Whistleblower’s attorney says team now represents ‘multiple’ officials  (Washington Post)

The revelation that a second whistleblower has spoken to the intelligence community inspector general adds to the deepening political crisis facing President Trump.

FEC chairwoman confirms accepting ‘opposition research’ from  foreign national is illegal (The Hill)

Federal Election Commission (FEC) chief Ellen Weintraub on Friday stated firmly that accepting any kind of "opposition research" from a foreign national or government would be considered illegal under U.S. elections law. In an appearance on MSNBC's "Morning Joe," Weintraub said that the law was clear on accepting aid from foreign governments during an election, comments which followed President Trump's public call for China and Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden, one of the current front-runners for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination.

CNN Fact check:  Why Trump's sudden fixation on 'investigating corruption' doesn't add up (CNN)

Facing potential impeachment for pressuring Ukraine to help him secure re-election next year, President Donald Trump has pivoted to a new defense, saying his efforts were apolitical and solely motivated by his good-faith desire to root out "corruption." But Trump's latest defense doesn't hold up under scrutiny.

House Democrats seek documents from Mike Pence for impeachment inquiry (CNN)

House Democrats are seeking documents from Vice President Mike Pence as part of their impeachment investigation into President Donald Trump and his conversation with the President of Ukraine.

Other national news

US unemployment rate falls to five-decade low of 3.5% (New York Post)

Joblessness across the US hit a 50-year low last month, easing fears about a possible recession amid President Trump’s trade war with China. Employment growth, however, wasn’t quite as robust as some economists had expected, showing particular weakness in manufacturing and services.

Republican anger at Trump grows as Turkey launches 'sickening' attack on US allies (CNN)

Turkey launched its military operation to flush Kurds allied with the US out of northeastern Syria Wednesday, sparking outrage in Congress and creating rare bipartisan unity about the risks to Kurds, US national security interests, regional stability and the fight against ISIS.  The attack has highlighted a rare Republican willingness to directly criticize President Donald Trump, who apparently gave Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan the go-ahead on Sunday to proceed with his long-planned move against Kurdish fighters who make up part of the Syrian Defense Forces who had fought against ISIS with the US.

New Supreme Court term will decide on ‘Dreamers,’ LGTBQ workplace rights and abortion (Los Angeles Times)

…The justices will decide whether President Trump may revoke the Obama-era protections for more than 700,000 young immigrants, known as the Dreamers, who were brought to country illegally as children. And they will rule on whether the Civil Rights Act of 1964 — which forbids job discrimination “because of sex” — protects gay, lesbian, transgender and queer employees from being fired. The cases come before a court with five conservatives appointed by Republicans and four liberals appointed by Democrats.

With little FAA direction, vaping devices add to fire dangers on planes (Washington Post)

When an e-cigarette battery started smoldering on a flight to Los Angeles in July 2017, a SkyWest flight attendant threw it into an ice bucket before shoving it into a fire containment bag. …In March, Southwest Airlines employees had to pull a smoking suitcase containing e-cigarette batteries from a plane’s cargo hold in San Diego. Adjacent bags were damaged, as was the plane…E-cigarettes and the rechargeable lithium-ion batteries that power them have caused smoke or fire incidents on planes or at airports more than 30 times in three years, according to an FAA database.

Dick's CEO says company destroyed $5M worth of assault rifles (The Hill)

The CEO of Dick’s Sporting Goods says that after the company made the decision to no longer sell assault-style rifles, more than $5 million worth of the weapons were destroyed.

Republicans Changing Delegate Rules to Prevent Discord at Convention (New York Times)

President Trump’s political advisers have been working for months to get states to adjust their plans to ensure that nothing disrupts next year’s convention.

Trump Ordered to Turn Over 8 Years of Tax Returns to the Manhattan D.A. (New York Times)

A federal judge on Monday rejected a bold argument from President Trump that sitting presidents are immune from criminal investigations, allowing the Manhattan district attorney’s office to subpoena eight years of the president’s personal and corporate tax returns.  Read the judge’s opinion:  https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/6455470-Marrero-ruling.html

Ex-Marine Who Claimed Sexual Involvement with Elizabeth Warren Lied about Military Service, Corps Says (Newsweek)

An ex-U.S. Marine infantryman, who claims to be a combat veteran of the Afghanistan war, is involved in a far-right plot to smear Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts with claims of being in a long-term sexual affair with the 2020 presidential hopeful. The U.S. Marine Corps told Newsweek he did not deploy to Afghanistan.

WORLD

Turkey launches military offensive in Syria, days after Trump announced pullback of US troops (CNN)

Turkey began a planned military offensive into northeastern Syria on Wednesday, launching airstrikes and artillery fire across the border just days after the Trump administration announced it was pulling US troops back from the area. The operation is aimed at pushing Kurdish forces -- who were a key ally of the US in the fight against ISIS -- away from Turkey's border.

Notre-Dame: How an underwater forest in Ghana could help rebuild a Paris icon (BBC)

Wood from a vast underwater forest in Ghana could be used to rebuild Notre-Dame Cathedral after its spire and roof were consumed by a blaze in April.

19 people have been  murdered in Mexico by cartels fighting over avocado trade (Newsweek)

…nineteen bodies were displayed around the Mexican city of Uruapan, in the state of Michoacán. A local cartel took the credit for the murders, saying the victims had acted against the cartel.

Thousands rally in Kiev to protest autonomy plan for eastern Ukraine (Reuters)

Thousands of people gathered in Kiev's main square on Sunday to protest against President Volodymyr Zelenskiy's deal with Moscow to grant autonomy to Ukraine's pro-Russian rebel-held east as part of efforts to end a five-year conflict there.

Iraqi police fire on protesters in new unrest, death toll passes 100 (Reuters)

At least eight people were killed in new clashes between Iraqi security forces and anti-government protesters on Sunday, the sixth day of unrest in which the death toll has now passed 100 and more than 6,000 have been wounded.

Japanese Court Acquits Former Utility Executives Over 2011 Fukushima Disaster  (NPR)

Three former Japanese utility executives responsible for the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant when it was smashed by a tsunami in 2011 were acquitted Thursday of negligence in connection with multiple reactor meltdowns at the station.

Ecuador's Government Departs Capital Amid Deepening Violence And Unrest (NPR)

Less than a week after Ecuador scrapped its nationwide fuel subsidies, prompting a massive spike in prices and popular anger, violent protests have helped drive President Lenín Moreno and his government from the country's capital. In a nationwide address Monday, Moreno announced that he and his ministers are presiding from the coastal city of Guayaquil after Quito's dangerous descent into "looting, vandalism and violence."

After Saudi attacks, Russia makes its regional presence felt (Reuters)

In the two weeks since attacks blamed on missiles or drones shut down half of Saudi Arabia's oil output, the country that has arguably moved most deftly to position itself for any upside is Russia.

At a German synagogue, lives were likely saved because a gunman couldn't break down the door (CNN)

Streaming live from a camera mounted on his helmet, a gunman pushed on the doors of a synagogue, fired several shots at a lock on the door, stuck an explosive in a door jam and lit it.

Special Report: China quietly doubles troop levels in Hong Kong, envoys say (Reuters)

Last month, Beijing moved thousands of troops across the border into this restive city. They came in on trucks and armored cars, by bus and by ship.