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Iowa Dem Party Fixes Errors, But Still Unclear Who Got The Most Votes
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton remains the winner of the Iowa caucuses after the Iowa Democratic corrected errors in several precincts. The Des Moines Register quoted Iowa Democratic Party officials as saying on Sunday that Clinton won with 700.47 state delegate equivalents, or 49.84 percent, while Bernie Sanders finished in second with 696.92 state delegate equivalents, or 49.59 percent.The review of the count in select precincts came amid calls for an audit following reported discrepancies in the caucus results last week. UPI
VOA VIEW: The Party is covering in favor of Hillary.

Texas Tabloid Threatens To Publish All Local Cops' Addresses
It's a story heard a lot these days: A cop mistook something a suspect was carrying for a gun and shot him dead. The difference with the Antroine Scott shooting in San Antonio last week is that a local tabloid newspaper wants to publicly expose every local cop over it. CBS affiliate KENS-TV reports the owners of the San Antonio Observer held a press conference and spoke on behalf of Scott's family while revealing their plans. The editor-in-chief, Stephanie Zarriello, said shootings of citizens by officers go unpunished because the officers remain anonymous. CBS

Hillary Clinton Says She Has 'Never, Ever' Let A Donor Influence Her Vote
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton defended her voting record Sunday in an interview on ABC's "This Week with George Stephanopoulos," saying she has never been influenced to vote one way or another by a donor. “I have never, ever been influenced in a view or a vote by anyone who has given me any kind of funding,” she said. The defense came in the wake of criticism over Clinton’s alleged ties to Wall Street from her rival for the nomination, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders. I'm happy to set this record straight and I really want to, once again, call out the Sanders campaign, which claims they like to run a positive campaign, but they have been quite artful in raising questions and trying to cast doubts about my record,” she said. “I really am not going to sit and take it anymore.” ABC
VOA VIEW: Hillary is a liar.

Sanders Pushes Clinton To Defend Wall Street Contributions, Speaking Fees
Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton was on the defense again Sunday for her Wall Street connections, insisting the millions she has received in campaign contributions and speaking fees have never influenced her political stances and suggesting she’s being unfairly targeted. The campaign of primary challenger Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders is now accusing Clinton, as a New York senator, of changing her position on a 2001 bankruptcy bill because of such contributions. “This is one of these innuendo insinuation charges that the Sanders campaign is engaging in,” Clinton said on ABC’s “This Week.” Fox News

Trump Aiming For New Hampshire Win, Rivals Aim To Survive
GOP front-runner Donald Trump is aiming for his first win in New Hampshire's fast-approaching primary, while rival Republican candidates, including Jeb Bush, said their campaigns will go on no matter what the outcome Tuesday. Democrat Hillary Clinton, facing an uphill campaign in the state against Bernie Sanders, took a trip to Michigan. With the otherwise intense race for the White House seemingly toned down Sunday, it's easy to forget that this leadoff primary could be a make or break situation for several lagging campaigns. Trump said he doesn't need to win New Hampshire, but would like to. Republican hopeful Marco Rubio continues to downplay his rough outing in Saturday night's GOP debate, while touting his overall campaign momentum after his third-place finish in the Iowa caucuses. Tampa Tribune


Donald Trump Stands By Waterboarding Debate Answer
Donald Trump said Sunday he would "go through a process" to end waterboarding's status as a war crime in order to use it against ISIS if he is elected president. "I'd go through a process and get it declassified frankly ... certainly waterboarding at a minimum," Trump told CNN's Jake Tapper on "State of the Union." "They're chopping off heads of Christians and many other people in the Middle East. They're chopping heads off, they laugh at us when they hear we're not going to approve waterboarding and then they'll have a James Foley and others where they cut off their heads." Trump said during Saturday night's Republican debate in New Hampshire that he would reinstate waterboarding if elected and "bring back a hell of a lot worse than waterboarding." But he did not say what he would do that was "worse." CNN

Zika Virus Discourages Many Americans From Latin America Travel
The rapidly spreading Zika virus is discouraging many Americans from traveling to Latin America and the Caribbean, with 41 percent of those aware of the disease saying they are less likely to take such a trip, a Reuters/Ipsos poll shows. The poll is the latest sign the virus, suspected to be linked to thousands of birth defects in Brazil, could depress travel to popular cold-weather getaways in the coming months. Airlines and cruise ship operators have yet to report drops in bookings because of Zika, and analysts have downplayed the impact that newly sedentary parents-to-be could have on their revenue. Reuters

Trump Says New Hampshire Win Not Necessary To Secure Nomination
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump said he does not have to win the New Hampshire primary vote on Tuesday to secure the nomination, apparently tamping down expectations despite holding a double-digit lead in that state's polls. The billionaire businessman came second to Texas Senator Ted Cruz in the Iowa caucuses last week although polls put him ahead. His candidacy has alarmed the Republican establishment and has been marked by rows including over his calls for a temporary ban on Muslims entering the United States. No Republican has won the presidential nomination without winning either the Iowa caucuses or the New Hampshire primary since the 1970s, but it would not technically be impossible. Reuters

Clinton-Sanders Iowa Race Even Tighter
Hillary Clinton's remarkably narrow win over Bernie Sanders in the Iowa caucuses is now even narrower. Nearly a week after the contest, the Iowa Democratic Party on Sunday announced revised results after finding "reporting errors" in several precincts. The Sanders campaign is continuing to push for a broader review. Clinton's share of the delegates awarded was revised slightly downward, to 49.84 percent, while Sanders' total was bumped up to 49.59 percent. Former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley made a small gain as well, finishing with 0.54 percent. The adjustments came after the party agreed to review the results in 14 of the state's 1,681 precincts. Sam Lau, a spokesman for the party, which administers the caucuses, said those 14 precincts were identified by the Sanders and Clinton campaigns as potentially problematic. Philadelphia Inquirer
VOA VIEW: A broader review may put Sanders in the lead.

What's Next In Cosby Case?
The sexual-assault case against Bill Cosby cleared its first major hurdle last week, when a Montgomery County judge rejected the entertainer's request to drop the charges because his defense team said they violated a non-prosecution pledge by a former district attorney. But the issue is far from over. Within hours of Common Pleas Court Judge Steven T. O'Neill's ruling Wednesday, Cosby's lawyers announced they would appeal - a move that, if allowed to proceed, could derail plans for a March 8 preliminary hearing on the evidence and tie up the case for months. Prosecutors contend O'Neill's decision isn't one that can be appealed. And appeals typically occur only after a criminal case has been heard by a jury or judge. Philadelphia Inquirer

The Obamas Throw Super Bowl Parties Like Normal Americans
President Obama is planning a high-tech housewarming gift for the next First Family — working wireless Internet. “We’ve been trying to get that straight for the next group of folks. This is an old building. There are a lot of dead spots where Wi-Fi doesn’t work,” Obama said in live pre-Super Bowl interview with CBS News’s Gayle King. In the extremely lighthearted interview, President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama discussed their tradition of hosting friends for the Super Bowl in the White House. “We’re like everybody else. Folks rate the commercials,” President Obama said. NY Post

We Were Blacklisted For Refusing Politician $250K Bribe
A couple who run a small urban farm said powerful Queens lawmaker James Sanders offered them $1.7 million in taxpayer money to fund their operation — then demanded a $250,000 kickback. Marion Moses and Malisa Rivera said they refused Sanders, then a city councilman, during a 2012 sit-down. Sanders, now a state senator running for Congress, became irate, and the couple believe their charity has been blacklisted by government officials ever since, they told The Post. Three weeks ago, Moses filed a civilian crime report with the office of Manhattan US Attorney Preet Bharara. Sources said the feds were already investigating Sanders for steering City Council discretionary funds to other nonprofits. NY Post


States Taking Action To Keep Guns Out Of Abusers' Hands
More than a dozen states have strengthened laws over the past two years to keep firearms out of the hands of domestic abusers, a rare area of consensus in the nation's highly polarized debate over guns. Lawmakers and governors of both parties have supported bills stripping gun rights from those who have been convicted of domestic violence-related crimes or are subject to protective orders. The measures have been backed by victims' advocates, law enforcement groups and gun control supporters who see easy access to firearms as a major contributor to domestic violence killings. Similar proposals are expected to be debated in several states this year. Fox News

Jeb Bush Calls Donald Trump A 'Loser'
A very fired up Jeb Bush brought a New Hampshire crowd to its feet Sunday, when he called Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump a "loser." "It's a sign of weakness when you make fun of the disabled," Bush said. "What kind of man would do that? You do not want that man as president of the United States, I can promise you that. ... it's a sign of real weakness when you call John McCain or Leo Thorsness or anybody else that is a POW, who served this country in a way that should be admired, American heroes. Calling them losers? Donald Trump, you're the loser!" The former Florida governor also made a passionate defense of his brother, former President George W. Bush. CNN

North Korea Launches Long-Range Rocket In Defiance Of U.N. Ban
North Korea launched a long-range rocket Sunday, drawing stern condemnation from the U.S., Japan and the United Nations. While Pyongyang said the rocket carried a satellite, the launch was widely viewed as a cover for testing ballistic missile technology — in defiance of United Nations sanctions. "We have totally succeeded in launching the fourth Kwangmyongsong satellite," North Korean state media said in a broadcast after the launch. It said the satellite reached its planned location in space in 9 minutes and 46 seconds. MSNBC

Ex-French Minister In Court For Tax Fraud, Money Laundering
A former French budget minister will appear in court on charges of tax fraud and money laundering that forced him to dramatically resign three years ago in the first political scandal under President Francois Hollande. The trial of Jerome Cahuzac, once a champion in the fight against tax evasion, starts Monday afternoon in the main hearing room of the Paris criminal court in the presence of dozens of journalists and a large audience. The 63-year-old is accused of financing a lavish lifestyle by fraudulently concealing 687,000 euros ($765,000) of income to French tax authorities in 2009-2012 and laundering money in 2003-2013 through foreign bank accounts based in tax havens, including Switzerland, Panama, the Seychelles and Singapore. Tampa Tribune

Peyton Manning Has No Choice But To Retire Now
After becoming the oldest and luckiest man to quarterback a team to a Super Bowl victory, Peyton Manning knows what he needs to do now. He can wait a few more days if he wishes, or a few more weeks if he must, but he surely knows what must come next, and we know it too. He must retire. Manning really has no choice. You saw the Super Bowl. He did too. He saw what the Denver Broncos’ defense did to poor Cam Newton. He knows that defense saved him. He knows he didn’t play particularly well Sunday night in Denver’s 24-10 victory over Carolina. “I was just glad I was on the same team as our defense and didn’t have to play against them,” he said. Manning's Super Bowl stat sheet was decidedly mediocre: 13 completions in 23 attempts for just 141 passing yards. One interception. No touchdown passes. Eight punts. USA Today

Bill Clinton Seeks One More New Hampshire Comeback
Bernie Sanders’ best attack lines against Hillary Clinton focus on “unfair” trade deals like NAFTA, the end of Glass-Steagall Act anti-trust laws and the Defense of Marriage Act that opposed gay marriage. What he doesn’t say: It’s her husband who owns these policies. In the closing days before New Hampshire’s first-in-the-nation primary, Bill Clinton’s legacy is being litigated by a party that’s moved leftward since the days of the 42nd president’s “New Democrat” movement that sought to shift to the center and cut deals with Republicans. It’s been 24 years since Bill Clinton became the “comeback kid” in New Hampshire after finishing second behind Paul Tsongas, a senator from neighboring Massachusetts. USA Today

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Highly Radioactive Leak Found At N.Y. Nuclear Plant
Gov. Andrew Cuomo is calling for an investigation after an apparent overflow at the Indian Point nuclear power plant spilled highly radioactive water into an underground monitoring well, but nuclear regulators said the public isn't at risk. Officials at Indian Point in Buchanan reported on Friday that water contaminated by tritium leaked into the groundwater under the facility. The contamination has remained contained to the site, said Cuomo, who ordered the state's environmental conservation and health departments to investigate. CBS

Hillary Clinton Blasts 'State's Neglect' For Flint Water Crisis During Visit To City
Hillary Clinton blasted the "state's neglect" for the ongoing water crisis in Flint, Michigan, during an emotional visit today to an African-American church in the city. "We don't yet know how many children have been affected by lead poisoning, we don't yet know how many challenges they will face," she said from the pulpit of Flint's House of Prayers. "What we do know we know is that even a single child suffering lead poisoning due to the state's neglect is one child too many." Clinton, who took a break from campaigning in New Hampshire to visit Flint, is the first presidential candidate to visit the city. During her remarks today, she called the situation in Flint "immoral" and said that if a situation like this had happened in a wealthier community, "I think we all know we would have had a solution yesterday." ABC

More Wall Street Strategists Are Cutting Their S&P 500 Estimates
Amid the normal consensus of bullish calls for stocks in 2016, evidence is mounting that Wall Street strategists are losing their resolve as everything from China to oil and interest rates roil markets. Just five weeks into 2016, seven of the 21 strategists tracked by Bloomberg have lowered their projections for the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index amid a rout that wiped more than $2 trillion from prices. The cuts have reduced the average annual estimate, the first time that’s happened this early in a year since the Iraq war in 2003. Bloomberg

North Korea's New Satellite Flew Over Super Bowl Site
Here's a bit of Super Bowl trivia: North Korea's newest satellite passed almost right over the stadium just an hour after it ended. Whatever motives Pyongyang may have about using its rocket launches to develop nuclear-tipped long-range missiles, it now has two satellites circling the Earth, according to NORAD, the North American Aerospace Command, which monitors all satellites in orbit. Both of the Kwangmyongsong, or "Shining Star," satellites complete their orbits in about 94 minutes and based on data released by international organizations tracking them, the new one passed almost right over Levi's Stadium about an hour after the Super Bowl ended. Houston Chronicle

Elizabeth Warren's Hard Choice In Democrats' White House Run
Coveted but coy, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren is staying painstakingly neutral in the Democratic presidential contest for now, frustrating supporters of Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders while awaiting the right moment to lay her considerable chits on the table. Both candidates would love to win the endorsement of the populist Warren, especially with the primary in next-door New Hampshire on Tuesday. Warren is idolized by an army of liberal voters, crestfallen that she didn't run herself, And her longtime antipathy toward a financial system that she says is rigged against average Americans has become a dominant Democratic theme of 2016.
Yet many in the party say she faces a complicated decision best addressed by letting the race percolate longer while using her leverage to shape the debate with her progressive agenda. Houston Chronicle

Chelsea Clinton Accidentally Calls Bernie Sanders 'President'
At a campaign event in Minnesota earlier this week, Chelsea Clinton made a slight mix-up. "We also need to strip away the immunity that President Sanders –– I'm sorry, excuse me. Sen. Sanders. I hope not President Sanders," Chelsea Clinton said at a campaign event. Chelsea Clinton was in the Twin Cities Wednesday fundraising for her mother, Hillary Clinton, ahead of Minnesota's caucuses. The slip up could be a sign that the Clinton campaign is feeling a little pressure. Sanders just narrowly lost to Hillary Clinton in Iowa's Democratic caucus. And a RealClearPolitics poll put Sanders up by almost 17 percent in New Hampshire ahead of the primary. However, Hillary Clinton leads by roughly 20 percent in Nevada and 30 percent in South Carolina. Electoral events there follow New Hampshire's, and voters in those two states are considered more diverse, both racially and politically. Atlanta Journal


Hillary Clinton Hits Marco Rubio’s Remarks About Her Support For Abortion
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton on Sunday denounced as “pathetic” Florida Sen. Marco Rubio’s assertion that she would support abortion as late as the baby’s due date during Saturday’s Republican presidential candidates debate. “This illustrates how Senator Rubio has been just going as far as he can try to, I guess, buttress his credentials with certain parts of the Republican constituency,” she said on CBS’s “Face the Nation.” “I have been on record for years about where I stand on making abortion safe and legal, the exceptions that are appropriate, that should be looked into, and the very difficult choices that very few women have to confront that lead to excruciating kinds of decisions,” Mrs. Clinton said. said. Washington Times

Yellen To Balance Confidence With Caution In Testimony
Janet Yellen is preparing to walk a tightrope. When the Federal Reserve chair addresses lawmakers this week in Washington, she will have to strike a balance between sounding confident on the domestic economy and acknowledging increased risks from abroad. Two weeks after officials signaled interest rates may rise more slowly than previously expected, economists and investors will be trying to gauge Yellen’s willingness to delay tightening at the March meeting. With financial market-turmoil causing uncertainty about the outlook, energy prices damping inflation and the European Central Bank preparing a stimulus boost that may bolster the dollar, the market-implied probability for a rate increase next month has dropped to 10 percent from more than 50 percent at the start of the year. Policy makers including Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer have cautioned that it’s still too soon to decide the next step. Bloomberg

National Gas Prices Drop 8 Cents In 2 Weeks
The average price of gasoline has dropped 8 cents over the past two weeks, to $1.82 a gallon. Industry analyst Trilby Lundberg said Sunday that the price is 37 cents per gallon under its year-ago point. Lundberg says the price drop may continue if crude oil costs continue to slide. In the Lower 48 states, the highest average price of regular gasoline was $2.62 per gallon in Los Angeles. The lowest was $1.44 in Tulsa, Okla. The U.S. average diesel price is $2.13 per gallon, down about 7 cents from two weeks ago. Las Vegas Sun

Somalia Says Video Shows Laptop Handed To Bomb Suspect; Pilot Says Airport Had No Security
A Somalia government spokesman says that CCTV video footage at Mogadishu airport shows two men handing what looks like a laptop computer to the suspected suicide bomber after he passed through the security checkpoint. Spokesman Abdisalam Atto said at least one of the men delivering the laptop was an airport employee and that 20 people, including airport employees and others, have been arrested. The man who received the laptop is the suspected suicide bomber who was blown from the Daallo Airlines jet creating a gaping hole in the fuselage and forcing the plane to make an emergency landing back at the Mogadishu airport. It is believed the laptop-like device was the bomb that caused the explosion. The plane’s pilot said that if the explosion happened when the aircraft was at a higher altitude it could have caused the jet to crash. Charlotte Observer

Trump: Unlikely He'd Run For President If He Had NFL Team
Donald Trump's flirtation with professional football lasted for three decades. He never ended up with an NFL franchise despite repeated demonstrations of interest. That's probably for the best, he says. Had his 2014 bid for the Buffalo Bills worked out, he probably wouldn't be running for president now. "If I bought that team, I wouldn't be doing what I'm doing," he said in an interview with The Associated Press. It's been 30 years since the demise of the United States Football League, an upstart group that Trump led in a high-profile but ultimately unsuccessful legal battle against the NFL. Along the way, Trump signed high-profile players such as quarterback Doug Flutie and others, basked in national publicity and antagonized the NFL every chance he got. Charlotte Observer

Top Philippine Diplomat And China Critic Resigns Over Health
Philippine officials say the country's top diplomat, who was behind a bold government move to challenge the validity of China's vast territorial claims in the South China Sea before an international tribunal, has resigned due to health reasons. Presidential spokesman Herminio Coloma Jr. said Monday that President Benigno Aquino III has accepted Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario's resignation, which will take effect on March 7. The 76-year-old del Rosario has been an outspoken critic in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations of China's increasingly assertive stance in disputed waters. San Diego Union

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Clinton Questions Whether Sanders Has A Foreign Policy Network
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton continued to hit rival Sen. Bernie Sanders' for his perceived lack of foreign policy experience during her appearance on NBC's "Meet the Press." "There really isn't any kind of foreign policy network that is supporting and advising Senator Sanders," Clinton said. Many of her attacks on Sanders have been reminiscent of comments she made about now-President Obama during their primary fight eight years ago. But when asked to compare the Vermont Senator's foreign policy chops to the experience then-Sen. Barack Obama had in 2008 she replied: MSNBC

Sanders Addresses ‘Bernie Bros,’ Says He Doesn’t Want Support From Sexists
Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernard Sanders said Sunday that he doesn’t want support from “Bernie bros,” a group backing the Vermont senator who often attack his rival Hillary Clinton in crude and sexist ways. In an interview on CNN’s “State of the Union,” Mr. Sanders disavowed the largely online group that has tried to raise him up by bashing Mrs. Clinton for being a woman. “I have heard about it. It’s disgusting,” Mr. Sanders said. “Look, we don’t want that crap. We will do everything we can, and I think we have tried.” Washington Times

Facing N.H. Loss, Clinton Looks Ahead To Counter Sanders
With a victory seemingly out of reach in New Hampshire, Hillary Clinton is looking ahead to the next round of voting to reposition her campaign to counter the rising primary threat of insurgent Sen. Bernie Sanders. Clinton hopes to use a narrower-than-expected loss in this first primary state as a springboard into contests later this month in Nevada and South Carolina, where she hopes a more heavily-minority electorate will build the foundation for a delegate-by-delegate drive toward the Democratic nomination. Part of that strategy means cutting into the double-digit advantage that Sanders has enjoyed in New Hampshire for several months. Her aides fear that a huge win here will help him make headway among women and minority voters, two key blocs of the coalition that twice elected President Barack Obama. Sanders' strength with younger voters only heightens the threat he poses to what was once her decisive national lead. Las Vegas Sun

Madeleine Albright: 'Special Place In Hell' For Women Who Don't Support Women
Feminist icons Madeleine Albright and Gloria Steinem criticized young women who support Bernie Sanders instead of backing Hillary Clinton for president. Albright, who was the first female secretary of state, talked on Saturday at a Clinton rally about the importance of electing a first female president. In reference to Sanders' "political revolution" mantra, Albright said electing a female commander in chief would be a true revolution. "We can tell our story of how we climbed the ladder, and a lot of you younger women think it's done. It's not done," Albright said of the fight for women's equality. "There's a special place in hell for women who don't help each other!" UPI
VOA VIEW: Extreme feminism is dangerous.

Gas Prices Fall Again In South Florida, But Increases On Horizon
Prices at the pump continued to slide in South Florida last week, falling 3.5 cents and averaging $1.90 a gallon. Gas prices fell even more across the country, dipping more than 5 cents a gallon and averaging $1.74, according to GasBuddy.com. In Florida, gas averaged $1.80 a gallon last week, a fall of 3 cents, according to AAA. GasBuddy surveyed nearly 1,700 outlets in Miami-Dade County last week. For perspective, gas prices are 18 cents lower than a month ago and nearly 40 cents lower than a year ago. “Gasoline prices continue to plunge coast to coast,” said Patrick DeHaan, a GasBuddy petroleum analyst. The trend will continue in upcoming days, he said, and then shift upward “once winter gasoline is gone.” AAA advises to prepare for a price uptick as refineries slow gasoline output because of seasonal maintenance. Miami Herald

Study Explores How Black Men Find Success In College
James Wanda, a senior at Pennsylvania's Lafayette College and one of two black computer science majors in his class, says at times he has felt pressure to succeed not just for himself, but for his entire race. "I realized if I fail, in some ways, it means that people might take that as either confirmation that other black students will fail, or as a sign that they might fail," said the 21-year-old from Arlington, Virginia. For black students — especially men — at many mainstream colleges, these pressures, racial slights and other negative interactions can push them to transfer or even drop out. A new study in the Harvard Educational Review is highlighting how some black male college students are overcoming those challenges, and the reasons for their success. SF Gate

Heroin Scourge Changes Role Of Police In Hard-Hit Areas
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports heroin overdose death rates more than tripled since 2010 as powerful, cheap forms swept America. Ohio ranked among the top five states in drug overdose deaths in 2014, including 1,177 linked to heroin, and had one of the biggest increases. In Massachusetts, Gloucester's police chief famously pioneered a program last year to help get addicts into treatment if they turn in their drugs and drug equipment, no questions asked. Departments in other states have adopted aspects of the program. Tharp's Drug Abuse Response Team (D.A.R.T.) was formed in June 2014 amid rising overdose deaths in the Toledo area. Police, accompanied by counselors, meet with users and families as soon as possible after overdoses, even providing rides to treatment. Hundreds have entered treatment through the effort. SF Gate

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PM: Military Aid Package With US May Not Be Completed During Obama’s Term
Just weeks after saying in Davos that Israel and the US may conclude a 10-year Memorandum of Understanding “in the coming months,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told the cabinet on Sunday that these negotiations may not be concluded during US President Barack Obama's remaining months in power. Netanyahu told the cabinet that he would like to conclude the MoU as soon as possible, but that these issues are complex, detailed, and take time. Israeli and US teams have already been working for months on a new MoU that will replace the 10-year framework that expires in 2017, and which provided Israel with about $3 billion annually. A high-level US team is currently in the country holding talks with their Israeli counterparts. In light of the recently signed nuclear agreement with Iran and the new strategic threats this presents for Israel and the region, Israel is asking for an increase in the annual package, with reports putting that number at some $5 billion a year. Jerusalem Post

IDF's Upgraded Battle Management System Designed To Cripple Israel's Enemies
A new version of a key battle management system received by the IDF is designed to ensure that crippling, successive, accurate strikes are leveled at Israel’s enemies in future conflicts, senior military sources told The Jerusalem Post. The system, known as Lake Castle, was upgraded in under three months by the Military Systems for Command, Control and Management, which is made up of hundreds of young computer programmers. The changes became operational in January. Lake Castle, first created a decade ago, generates a centralized operations picture for military decision-makers that can be accessed by commanders at the General Staff and territorial command levels.  Jerusalem Post

EU Calls On Turkey To Let Syrian Refugees Cross Border
Officials in the EU have urged Turkey to let in tens of thousands of Syrian refugees trapped on its border at Kilis after fleeing fighting. EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said there was a moral, if not legal, duty to provide protection. Turkey says the refugees are receiving food and shelter inside Syria and there is no need to allow them to cross. About 35,000 Syrians have fled a Syrian government offensive on rebel-held positions near Aleppo. Ms Mogherini said the EU was providing funding to Turkey to make sure it had the "means, the instruments, the resources to protect and to host people that are seeking asylum". BBC

Germany Closes Local Arm Of Canada's Maple Bank
The German arm of Canada's Maple Bank has been closed by German authorities. Bafin, Germany's financial watchdog, said Maple had to set aside funds to cover unpaid taxes and that was threatening its financial position. Maple Bank's German arm came to the attention of the public in 2008 when it helped Porsche in its attempt to takeover Volkswagen. The attempt failed, and in 2009 the tables were turned when Volkswagen took over the sports car maker. In September German prosecutors searched Maple Bank offices in an investigation into tax evasion and money laundering. BBC

Flint Water Crisis: Residents Say Hillary Clinton ‘Coming For The Entertainment’
Hillary Clinton has made every effort to make Flint her own. The water crisis afflicting this predominantly black Michigan city – ignored by Washington politicians for years – has become another battlefield in a progressive war between Clinton and Bernie Sanders. Race, class and the environment matter again in an issues-based, neck-and-neck race for the Democratic presidential nomination. Looking past Tuesday’s primary in New Hampshire, where Sanders is tipped to win, and toward the March primary states where she will be counting on African American support, Clinton made a symbolic campaign stop here on Sunday. “I feel blessed to be here but I wish it were for a different reason,” she said, as she took to the stage at the House of Prayer Missionary Baptist Church, flanked by purple-robed members of a choir and surrounded by a sea of nodding heads. Guardian

Financial Despair, Addiction And The Rise Of Suicide In White America
A study released late last year by two Princeton academics, Anne Case and Angus Deaton, who won the 2014 Nobel prize for economics, revealed that the death rate for white Americans aged 45 to 54 has risen sharply since 1999 after declining for decades. The increase, by 20% over the 14 years to 2013, represents about half a million lives cut short.The uptick in the mortality rate is unique to that age and racial group. Death rates for African Americans of a similar age remain notably higher but continue to fall. Neither was the increase seen in other developed countries. In the UK, the mortality rate for middle-aged people dropped by one third over the same period. “This change reversed decades of progress in mortality and was unique to the United States; no other rich country saw a similar turnaround,” the study said. Guardian

Haiti: Ban Welcomes Agreement Reached Towards 'Swift' Conclusion Of Ongoing Electoral Cycle
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today welcomed the agreement reached by Haitian stakeholders, noting that it provides for immediate arrangements to preserve the institutional continuity of the country as well as a roadmap for the swift conclusion of the ongoing electoral cycle. “Acknowledging that the agreement is in the spirit of the Haitian Constitution, the Secretary-General calls on all actors concerned to implement it in order to ensure the democratic transfer of power to elected officials,” Mr. Ban said in a statement issued by his spokesperson. The UN chief also encouraged all Haitian stakeholders to continue engaging in constructive dialogue to guide their country to a stable and democratic future, which he said is essential for tackling the challenges facing the Caribbean nation. UN News

Condemning DPR Korea's Missile Launch, Security Council To Pursue 'Significant Measures' In Response
Following emergency consultations today, the United Nations Security Council strongly condemned the missile launched by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), and announced that it will “expeditiously” adopt a new resolution in response to “these dangerous and serious violations.” “The members of the Security Council underscored that this launch, as well as any other DPRK launch that uses ballistic missile technology, even if characterized as a satellite launch or space launch vehicle, contributes to the DPRK's development of nuclear weapon delivery systems and is a serious violation of Security Council resolutions,” the UN Permanent Representative of Venezuela, Rafael Darío Ramírez Carreño, told reporters delivering the Council's presidential statement. UN News

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