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February 13, 2018 (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 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.


Trump’s budget hits poor the hardest (Washington Post)

President Trump proposed a budget Monday that hits the poorest Americans the hardest, slashing billions of dollars in food stamps, health insurance and federal housing subsidies while pushing legislation to institute broad work requirements for families receiving housing vouchers, expanding on moves by some states to require recipients of Medicaid and food stamps to work.

White house proposes $4.4 trillion budget that adds $7 trillion to deficits (New York Times)

President Trump sent Congress a $4.4 trillion budget proposal on Monday outlining steep cuts to domestic programs, large increases in military spending and a ballooning federal deficit that illustrates how far Republicans have strayed from their longtime embrace of balanced budgets.

Trump blocks release of memo rebutting Republican claims (New York Times)

President Trump on Friday blocked the release of a classified Democratic memo rebutting Republican claims that top federal law enforcement officials had abused their powers in spying on a former Trump campaign aide, a move that Democrats denounced as politically motivated hypocrisy. Last week, the president moved quickly, over the objections of the Justice Department and the F.B.I., to declassify the contents of a rival Republican memo drafted by House Intelligence Committee staff members.

FDA to investigate after report exposes euthanasia drug in dog food (ABC 7)

New Year’s Eve 2016 was no celebration for Nikki Mael and her family. “Nobody should have to go through what we went through,” said Mael….Within minutes of sharing a can of Evanger’s pet food among her five dogs, she was racing the lifeless animals to the emergency vet.

Who Should Warn the Public of Nuclear War? (NPR)

Investigators are blaming human error for the panic-inducing false missile alert in Hawaii last month….  At the same time, the incident has exposed what may be a more widespread problem: disagreement over whose job it should be to warn the public about missile attacks.

Puerto Ricans take matters into their own hands to restore power (CS Monitor)

Tired of months of ineffectiveness, volunteers and workers are working to fix downed power lines in attempts to restore electricity for the 400,000 people still in the dark still since hurricane Maria. So far, power has been restored to 2,000 homes.

U.S. added 200,000 jobs in January, and pay is up by most in 8 years (Marketplace)

U.S. employers added a robust 200,000 jobs in January, and wages rose at the fastest pace in more than eight years, evidence of a consistently healthy job market. / The unemployment rate remained 4.1 percent for a fourth straight month, the lowest level since 2000, the Labor Department said in its monthly jobs report Friday.

Trump decries lack of ‘due process’ for men accused of sexual harassment, abuse (Washington Post)

President Trump on Saturday appeared to side with men accused of domestic abuse or sexual misconduct, following a week of turmoil surrounding allegations of spousal abuse against two male aides that brought the national #MeToo movement inside the White House.

Trump aide resigns after abuse allegations; ex-wife pictured with black eye (Seattle Times)

A senior White House official said Wednesday that he would resign after his two ex-wives accused him of physical and emotional abuse, with one presenting pictures of her blackened eye. The official, Rob Porter, served as the staff secretary…. Porter functioned as Chief of Staff John Kelly’s chief enforcer… He is the gatekeeper to the Oval Office, determining which articles and policy proposals fall into the president’s hands…

Trump pitches plan to replace food stamps with food boxes (Politico)

… The proposal, buried in the White House’s fiscal 2019 budget, would replace about half of the money most families receive via the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, also known as food stamps, with what the Department of Agriculture is calling “America’s Harvest Box.” That package would be made up of "100 percent U.S. grown and produced food" and would include items like shelf-stable milk, peanut butter, canned fruits and meats, and cereal. But America’s Harvest Box, which USDA contends would save over $129 billion over 10 years, is not very comparable to startup meal-delivery companies like Blue Apron. For one, the Trump administration’s proposal doesn’t include fresh items, like produce or meat, which are the core of Blue Apron and its competitors.

Public Officials in Town with Polygamous Sect Resign After Elections (NPR)

One man's resignation letter said it is against his faith to follow a woman or to work with "apostates." A woman had been elected mayor and church members had lost city council seats.

GOP rips Rand for shutdown (Politico)

Rand Paul took a stand, consequences be damned. And Senate Republicans are livid about it. After driving the government into a brief shutdown over his demand for an amendment to cut government spending, the Kentucky Republican took friendly fire from a significant number of his Republican colleagues for delaying an inevitable passage vote in the Senate


Cape Town rejoices as rain falls on drought-stricken city (CNN)

When it finally came, restaurant diners rushed outside mid-meal to see the deluge for themselves. Others grabbed buckets to collect precious water from gutters to be used for washing clothes. The rain that fell on Cape Town Friday evening was cause for celebration in a drought-stricken city headed for "Day Zero" -- the day when taps are expected to run dry.

Problems in the pipeline for Sempra’s subsidiary in Mexico (San Diego Union-Tribune)

A n indigenous group in a small town in Mexico has disrupted a pipeline project operated by a subsidiary of San Diego-based Sempra Energy by taking a chunk out of a natural gas line. The disruption is one of a number of protests that have caused delays to energy projects in the country.

Highlights of the Pyeongchang Olympics opening ceremony in photos (NPR)

Beginning with fireworks and ending with the lighting of the Olympic cauldron, Pyeongchang's Winter Olympics opening ceremony, called "Peace in Motion," took place Friday evening amid gusts of wind and frigid temperatures.

With Holocaust law, Poland imperils reconciliation with its past (Christian Science Monitor)

The new law, which makes blaming Poland for Nazi war crimes a criminal offense, is meant to correct a common error about Polish involvement in the Holocaust. But it also threatens growing introspection into what role Poles did have in the genocide.

Where does this end? Dangers if the U.S. leaves Syria, or stays (CNN)

It was not the freshness of the meat or piquancy of the sauce that made the chicken kebab remarkable, but that it was being eaten by a US special operations forces commander on a dusty street in Raqqa, once the self-declared capital of ISIS.

Philippines says more than 2,200 citizens in Kuwait want to go home (Reuters)

More than 2,200 Filipinos are ready to take up President Rodrigo Duterte’s offer to repatriate workers from Kuwait due to reports of abuse….after the body of a Filipino worker was found in a freezer of an abandoned apartment.

Israeli Jet Downed During Attack on Syria After Drone Intercepted, Says Israel (NPR)

Israel said it attacked several targets in Syria after intercepting an Iranian drone that had been launched from that country. 

In Russia, a grass-roots bid to expose Stalin's ‘Great Terror’ (CS Monitor)

Public opinion polls show that Russians themselves are increasingly inclined to see Stalin as an effective leader and play down the mass crimes that he oversaw.

South Africa's ANC decides to remove Zuma as head of state (Reuters)

South Africa’s ruling party ordered Jacob Zuma on Tuesday to step down as head of state after marathon talks over the fate of a leader whose scandal-plagued years in power darkened and divided Nelson Mandela’s post-apartheid ‘Rainbow Nation’.

Cyclone wreaks havoc in Tonga's capital, parliament flattened, homes wrecked (Reuters)

Tonga's neighbors scrambled to deliver emergency relief on Tuesday after Cyclone Gita tore across the Pacific island nation in the middle of the night, flattening the parliament, tearing roofs off homes and causing widespread flooding.