ECM WORLD WATCH: NATIONAL AND GLOBAL NEWS

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February 13, 2020 (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.

Trump slashes foreign aid, cuts safety net programs in new budget proposal (Reuters)

 U.S. President Donald Trump will propose on Monday a 21% cut in foreign aid and slashes to social safety-net programs in his $4.8 trillion budget proposal for fiscal 2021, according to senior administration officials. .. The White House proposes to slash spending by $4.4 trillion over 10 years. In the fiscal-year 2021 budget, that would include $130 billion from changes to prescription-drug pricing for the Medicare program for older Americans, $292 billion from cuts in safety-net programs - such as … food stamps - and $70 billion from clamping down on eligibility rules for federal disability benefits

Senate passes resolution to limit Trump’s power to order military action against Iran (Washington Post)

The Senate passed a resolution Thursday to limit President Trump’s power to order military action against Iran without first seeking Congress’s permission, a bipartisan rebuke...Eight Republicans joined all Democrats in voting 55 to 45 for the measure...Trump will almost certainly veto the measure once it passes the House, and neither chamber of Congress has the votes to override that veto, lawmakers say.

In campaign of retribution, Trump punishes impeachment witnesses (Washington Post)

The White House ousted Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman from his post on the National Security Council and recalled U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland, moves that were condemned as vindictive and an attempt to intimidate officials.

Majority of voters say Hunter Biden's job at Burisma was 'inappropriate': poll (The Hill)

A new poll found a majority of respondents classified former Vice President Joe Biden’s son Hunter Biden’s job at Burisma as “inappropriate.”

What we learned from Trump’s state of the union speech (NPR)

President Trump took full advantage of the large television audience for his State of the Union speech on Tuesday to make his case for reelection in November, touting the strong economy and delighting Republicans in the room with a series of made-for-TV moments.  But his address also laid bare his bitter partisan standoff with Democrats. .. Before declaring that "the state of our union is stronger than ever before," Trump appeared to snub Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, turning away as she reached out to shake his hand…After Trump finished speaking, as Republicans cheered, she theatrically tore her copy of the address in half. Later, on Twitter, Pelosi called the speech a "manifesto of mistruths."

Prosecutors Quit as Justice Dept. Moves to Lessen Roger Stone Sentence (New York Times)

Four prosecutors withdrew on Tuesday from the case of Roger J. Stone Jr., the longtime friend of President Trump, after senior Justice Department officials intervened to recommend a more lenient sentence for Mr. Stone, who was convicted of impeding investigators in a bid to protect the president...As he did after a jury speedily convicted Mr. Stone on seven felony charges in November, Mr. Trump attacked federal law enforcement officials, saying “the real crimes were on the other side.”

Federal Judge Reverses Conviction of Border Volunteers, Challenging Government’s “Gruesome Logic” (The Intercept)

A federal judge in Tucson, Arizona, reversed the conviction of four humanitarian aid volunteers on religious freedom grounds Monday, ruling that the government had embraced a “gruesome logic” that criminalizes “interfering with a border enforcement strategy of deterrence by death.”

Bernie Sanders wins New Hampshire primary as race shifts to Nevada and South Carolina (CNN)

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders clinched a hard-fought victory in the first-in-the-nation primary in New Hampshire, as he battles with Pete Buttigieg to claim the mantle as the front-runner for the Democratic nomination…All of the candidates quickly turned their attention to upcoming states like Nevada, South Carolina and more diverse states that will vote on Super Tuesday like California and Texas.

How Amy Klobuchar Pulled Off the Big Surprise of the New Hampshire Primary (New York Times)

Senator Amy Klobuchar knew she might have an opportunity in New Hampshire’s presidential primary. As a fiscally moderate Democrat who opposes the “Medicare for all” and free four-year college plans of her liberal rivals, Ms. Klobuchar was in sync with the smaller-government tilt of plenty of Democrats in the state. Her emphasis on bipartisanship and pragmatism was a fit with New Hampshire’s large number of unaffiliated voters, or independents, who could participate in the Democratic primary.

Diana Taylor doesn’t have a name for her relationship with Mike Bloomberg. She just wants him to win. (Washington Post)

When campaigning for Mike Bloomberg, Diana Taylor is usually introduced as simply: Diana Taylor. This is a testament to her personal stature, her formidable résumé and her independence. It's also a reflection of a peculiar cultural conundrum… Taylor and Bloomberg are a couple but they are not married, and so the familiar spousal nicknames and assumptions about East Wing duties do not apply.

Trump allies take aim at Buttigieg’s sexuality, a possible sign of things to come (NPR)

Allies of President Trump have sharply focused attention on the sexual identity of presidential contender Pete Buttigieg in recent days, questioning in stark terms whether Americans are ready for a gay candidate who kisses his husband onstage.

WORLD

Wuhan coronavirus has now killed more people worldwide than SARS (CNN)

The global death toll from the Wuhan coronavirus is at least 805, surpassing the number of fatalities from the deadly 2003 SARS outbreak.

Coronavirus 'could infect 60% of global population if unchecked'  (Guardian)

The coronavirus epidemic could spread to about two-thirds of the world’s population if it cannot be controlled, according to Hong Kong’s leading public health epidemiologist. His warning came after the head of the World Health Organization (WHO) said recent cases of coronavirus patients who had never visited China could be the “tip of the iceberg”.

IDF beefs up troops in West Bank as Palestinian terror attacks continue (Jerusalem Post)

The Israeli army has reinforced troops after three attacks against IDF troops in less than 15 hours as violence continued in the West Bank in response to the release of US Donald Trump’s “Deal of the Century” last week.

Airliner carrying 172 passengers nearly shot down over Syria, Russia says (Washington)

An Airbus A320 jet carrying 172 passengers was nearly shot down on its approach to the Syrian capital, Damascus, shortly after 2 a.m. Thursday after Syria fired antiaircraft missiles in response to an attack, according to a Russian Defense Ministry spokesman, Russian news agencies reported Friday.

‘Lone soldier’ from San Diego was injured in Jerusalem car-ramming attack (Jerusalem Post)

One of the 12 soldiers injured in the car-ramming attack in Jerusalem last week is a “lone soldier” from San Diego. Ori Hamond was in Jerusalem with other soldiers for an early-morning swearing-in ceremony to the elite Golani Brigade when the attack took place early Thursday morning next to the popular First Station entertainment center.

Death toll hits 21 from Thai shooting after raid into mall (Reuters)

A member of the Thai security forces was killed early on Sunday in a raid into a shopping mall to try to stop a soldier on a shooting rampage, bringing the total death toll to 21, the health minister said.