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NEWS   SUNDAY, MAY 1 , 2016   NEWS

House Defense Policy Bill Would Require Women To Register For Draft
The House Armed Services Committee approved an annual defense policy bill early Thursday morning that includes a provision that would require women to register with the Selective Service System. House passage of the policy measure came about a month after Defense Secretary Ash Carter approved final plans to integrate women into all front-line military combat units. The military services are beginning to put those plans into effect, though officials have cautioned that the full incorporation of women could take years and that they are unlikely to be equally represented in many combat units. The requirement that women register for the draft would be more a symbolic measure than a practical one, as the U.S. hasn't used a draft system since the Vietnam War. Fox News
VOA VIEW: A few women who want to be like men - forced all women to being like men.

White House Correspondents' Dinner: Obama vs. Trump The Sequel?
He's a real estate mogul, a reality show pioneer and now a political phenom on his way to becoming the Republican presidential nominee. And that success sets Donald Trump up for a different role on Saturday night: punch line. As President Barack Obama polishes his annual -- and final -- tart-tongued stand-up riff for the White House Correspondents' Association dinner, Washington is salivating at the prospect of a sequel to his blistering evisceration of Trump in 2011. The President used that speech to publicly ridicule Trump — who was in the audience — for the billionaire's claims that Obama was not a natural born American and was therefore disqualified from being President. CNN

Obama Takes Final Bow At Star-Studded Washington Dinner
With seven performances under his belt, U.S. President Barack Obama will try one last time to bring the house down at the annual White House correspondents' dinner on Saturday, a night of playful ribbing of both politicians and the news media. The black-tie event, which Obama has previously joked is "a night when Washington celebrates itself," brings together journalists and media moguls, Hollywood stars and policy wonks and the powerbrokers from Capitol Hill. For Obama, who is scheduled to speak around 10:20 p.m. ET (0220 GMT Sunday), it will be his final correspondents' dinner as a sitting president. Comedian Larry Wilmore, who hosts a show on the cable outlet Comedy Central, will take to the podium after the president's remarks. Reuters


Donald Trump Blasts California Protesters As "Thugs And Criminals"
Donald Trump slammed the protesters at his recent California campaign events as "thugs and criminals," calling for police to dole out harsh punishments in a tweet early Saturday. Protests erupted Friday in Burlingame, where Trump spoke at California's GOP convention, with demonstrators shutting down streets and spilling out across the grounds of the Hyatt Regency hotel. Video of the crowds showed a largely peaceful demonstration, though there were some pockets of aggressive protesters -- including some flag-burners and egg-throwers. "No hate in our state," demonstrators chanted early in the day, with a few carrying Mexican flags in protest of Trump's anti-immigrant policies. CBS
VOA VIEW: Trump is right.

John McCain: Obama Has "No Strategy" In The Middle East
Just days after President Obama announced the deployment of additional troops to Syria, Arizona Sen. John McCain is trashing the White House's strategy in the Middle East, accusing the administration of being more focused "on withdrawing than succeeding. "What's unfortunately clear is this president has no strategy to successfully reverse the tide of slaughter and mayhem," McCain, a former GOP presidential nominee, said in a video released Saturday. "For the past seven years, President Obama has sought to scale back America's involvement in, and commitment to, the Middle East. He has tried to convince us that the unfolding crisis in the Middle East is simply a local problem." McCain pointed to the deaths in Syria, the collapse of Libya's government and sectarian strife in Iraq as proof that the president has done nothing to mitigate violence in the Middle East region. CBS

Kasich: Republicans Who Are 'Scaring' Hispanic Voters May Hurt GOP In General Election
Republican presidential hopeful John Kasich said Friday evening that some of his fellow party members are alienating Hispanic voters with scare tactics that could hurt the GOP in November's general election. "Do the Republicans actually think that they can win an election by scaring every Hispanic in this country to death?" Kasich told reporters at the California GOP convention in San Francisco, being held ahead of the state's June 7 primary. "Scaring them to the point that they are afraid that their families are going to be torn apart and disrupted? Do you have any idea what those folks are going to do in a general election?" Kasich touted his endorsement on Thursday by the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. The business group backed Kasich, the governor of Ohio, as well as Hillary Clinton on the Democratic side of the presidential race. ABC


A Look Back At Bernie Sanders' Campaign One Year Later
Sen. Bernie Sanders announced his presidential candidacy a year ago today. And over the past 12 months, his campaign has followed an almost poetic arch: taking the country by storm (and surprise), amassing a staff of over 1,000 people, breaking fundraising records and drawing some of the largest and most energetic crowds of this election cycle. But the momentum continued to slow this week after big losses along the eastern seaboard and his chances to secure the Democratic nomination closed considerably. Sanders’ team also announced they were shrinking their staff as the primary calendar nears its end. ABC

Trump Or Clinton? Buffett Sees Business As Fine With Either
A Donald Trump presidency wouldn’t be the blow to U.S. business that some fear, according to Warren Buffett, chairman and chief executive officer of Berkshire Hathaway Inc. “If either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton becomes president, and one of them is very likely to be, I think Berkshire will continue to do fine,” Buffett, 85, said at the company’s annual shareholders meeting Saturday in Omaha, Nebraska. The outcome of November’s presidential election is unlikely to change the fact that the U.S. is a “remarkably attractive place in which to conduct a business,” said Buffett, who endorsed Democrat Clinton at an Omaha rally in December. U.S. companies have enjoyed “terrific” returns on equity despite a sustained period of ultra-low interest rates, he added. Bloomberg
VOA VIEW: Buffet is becoming senile - a Hillary presidency will destroy the economy of decades.

Trump Spells Doom For Social Conservatives
The 2016 Republican presidential campaign began last year with Ted Cruz, Mike Huckabee, Bobby Jindal and Rick Santorum -- among others -- flashing Bible passages and competing for support from social conservatives in Iowa. It will end in July with the all but certain nomination of Donald Trump. The rout of social conservatives in this campaign is absolute. Their future looks grim. The problem isn't that Trump has a disco ball where his moral compass should be. It's that he isn't particularly interested in the social conservative agenda -- or even in pretending that he is. Aside from a few comic forays into biblical scholarship early in his campaign, and later comments about abortion that were so off message that they merely confirmed his lack of interest in the topic, Trump is running free and clear of the entire movement. He's leaving social conservatives in the dust. Bloomberg

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American Voters Now Agree With Donald Trump: He’s The ‘Presumptive Nominee’ For GOP
When Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump declared he was the “presumptive nominee” this week, much news coverage challenged him on it. A new survey reveals that GOP voters appear to agree with Mr. Trump: 89 percent now agree that the candidate will win the nomination, according to a Rasmussen Reports poll released Friday. The number of Republican voters who believe Mr. Trump will be the nominee has risen by 18 percentage points in less than a week. The poll analysis cites his sweeping primary victories in New York and five other states in recent days as deciding factors. Washington Times
VOA VIEW: The Republican establishment better wake up before they further alienate voters.

Secretary Of State Heads To Switzerland For Talks On Syria
Secretary of State John Kerry is heading to Switzerland this weekend for urgent talks on Syria. His trip comes amid escalating violations of a fragile truce around the city of Aleppo. The State Department says Kerry would leave Sunday for Geneva, where he would hold meetings the following day with the U.N. envoy for Syria as well as the foreign ministers of Jordan and Saudi Arabia. Kerry will be reviewing efforts to reaffirm the truce nationwide and broaden the delivery of humanitarian aid to besieged communities, the department said. He will also be looking at ways in which now suspended peace talks between the Syrian government and opposition can be restarted. Kerry on Friday spoke at length with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov about the same topics. Las Vegas Sun

Supreme Court Trying To Find Its Way After Scalia
Two months, 31 arguments and 18 decisions since the death of Justice Antonin Scalia, is the Supreme Court hopelessly deadlocked or coping as a party of eight?
The answer varies with the issue, but arguments last week in the corruption case of former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell show there are high-profile cases on which justices from the left and the right agree more often than they don't. There also is some indication, hazy though it may be, that the court is trying to avoid division in an era of stark political partisanship and during a rollicking presidential campaign. "The court prides itself appropriately as being an institution that works," said Washington lawyer Andy Pincus, who argues regularly at the Supreme Court. Las Vegas Sun


Russia Defends Intercept Of U.S. Reconnaissance Plane Over Baltic
Russia said on Saturday it had sent a fighter plane on Friday to intercept a U.S. aircraft approaching its border over the Baltic Sea because the American plane had turned off its transponder, which is needed for identification. The Pentagon said the U.S. Air Force RC-135 plane had been flying a routine route in international airspace and that the Russian SU-27 fighter had intercepted it in an "unsafe and unprofessional" way. CNN reported that the Russian jet had come within about 100 feet (30 meters) of the U.S. plane and had performed a barrel roll. Reuters

'Bathroom' Protests Will Likely Leave Target Unscathed, Experts Say
Conservative groups are taking aim at Target, but retail analysts don't think they'll leave a mark. The company's announcement on its website a week ago saying that transgender employees and customers could use the restroom (or fitting room) that corresponds to their gender identity, in response to North Carolina's so-called "bathroom law," kicked off a firestorm of opposition from right-wing and evangelical groups. "Target supports the federal Equality Act, which provides protections to LGBT individuals, and opposes action that enables discrimination." the company said on its site, referring obliquely to the debate over North Carolina's law, which requires people to use public bathrooms that correspond to their birth certificate rather than their gender. MSNBC
VOA VIEW: Time will tell - the lieral media is trying to play down the fallout for Target.

Sanders Withdraws Lawsuit Against Democratic National Committee
Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders' campaign withdrew a lawsuit against the Democratic National Committee that alleged the DNC wrongly cut off access to the campaign's voter identification data ahead of the Iowa caucuses. The DNC cut off the voter data access after it said Sanders' campaign improperly accessed data belonging to his opponent, Hillary Clinton, after a firewall that separated the two campaigns' data on a DNC server was temporarily taken down.  UPI

Nissan: Airbag Problems Cause 'Urgent' Recall Of 3.5M Vehicles
Nissan has recalled about 3.5 million vehicles worldwide due to issues with its front-passenger airbag and other safety systems. The company asked owners of 2001-2003 Nissan Maximas, 2002-2004 Pathfinders and 2002-2006 Sentras to return their vehicles to a dealer for Takata-branded airbag repairs as soon as possible. More recent models, including the 2013-2016 Altima, 2014-2017 Rogue, 2016-2017 Maxima, 2015-2016 Murano, 2013-2017 Pathfinder, 2013-2016 Leaf and the 2014-2016 Infinity Q50 and Qx60 have also been recalled. UPI

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Criminal Investigation Reportedly Launched Into Dole Food Over Listeria Outbreak Linked To Deaths
The U.S. Justice Department has launched a criminal investigation into Dole Food Co. over a listeria outbreak linked to four deaths in the U.S. and Canada and multiple other illnesses. Dole “has recently been contacted” by the DOJ regarding the outbreak, which involved packaged salad produced in its Springfield, Ohio, facility, the company said, adding that it was cooperating with the investigation. The Justice Department declined to comment. The produce company in January stopped production at its Ohio facility and voluntarily removed products from stores in 23 U.S. states and three Canadian provinces after salads it produced were tied to fatal illnesses. The company said last week that it had restarted limited production in its Springfield plant, and would expand in coming weeks. Fox News

Malawi's Albinos At Risk Of 'Total Extinction,'
Malawi's albinos are at risk of "total extinction" amid escalating attacks against them for their body parts, the United Nations warned. Albinism is a genetic condition that leads to little or no pigment in the eyes, skin and hair. The southern African nation has about 10,000 albinos, according to the U.N. In some African countries, albinos' body parts are believed to bring wealth and good luck. As a result, attackers chop off their limbs and pluck out organs, and sell them to witchdoctors. Even after albinos are killed, some attackers go a step further and steal their remains from graveyards, said Ikponwosa Ero, the United Nations' expert on albinism. CNN

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Ex-London Mayor: My Hitler-Backed-Zionism Comments Echoed Netanyahu
Ken Livingstone, the veteran Labor Party official who earned himself a suspension and widespread condemnation for insisting that Adolf Hitler was a Zionist, invoked Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s controversial statements about the Holocaust in his defense on Saturday. The former mayor of London told a British radio network that his suspension from Labor was the handiwork of political operatives loyal to former party head and prime minister Tony Blair. When pressed to retract his comments, Livingstone repeatedly refused. He told LBC on Saturday that while he was sorry if his statements hurt Jews, he was simply making a "statement of fact" that was buttressed by Netanyahu. "I never regret saying something that is true," he said. “How can I have hurt and offended the Jewish community when the prime minister of Israel said exactly the same thing?" Jerusalem Post

Germany Rethinks Its Policy Of Automatic Support For Israel
Germany is beginning to re-examine its longstanding policy of near-automatic support for Israel in light of what it perceives as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s disinclination to move toward a two-state solution to the Palestine question. According to a report in the prestigious magazine Der Spiegel, diplomatic officials in Berlin are taking a hard look at a decades-long policy of “unconditional support” for Israel in light of continued settlement expansion in the West Bank. The reassessment has been triggered by the realization among officials in Berlin that as long as Netanyahu is in power, Israel has no intention of creating a Palestinian state in the West Bank, thus ushering in an era of “apartheid” – according to Der Spiegel. "The perception has been growing in the German government that Netanyahu is instrumentalizing our friendship," Rolf Mützenich, a top official with the Social Democratic Party (SPD), a key member of Angela Merkel’s coalition, is quoted as saying by Der Spiegel. Jerusalem Post

Iraqi Shia Protesters Storm Baghdad Parliament
Supporters of cleric Moqtada Sadr broke through barricades of the fortified Green Zone for the first time, after MPs failed to convene for a vote. A state of emergency was declared and security forces near the US embassy fired tear gas. Protesters set up camp outside the parliament after occupying the chamber. Nearby foreign embassies are watching anxiously but there has been no serious violence so far. "We still view this as a demonstration," Sabah al-Numan, spokesman for the counterterrorism forces, was quoted as saying by the Associated Press news agency. "We aren't taking any part in this as it's not something regarding terrorism." BBC

RAF Strikes In Iraq And Syria Have Killed 996
In response to a freedom of information request, the Ministry of Defence estimated 974 "enemy combatants" had died since the UK bombing campaign started in Iraq in September 2014. A further 22 had been killed in Syria since air strikes began in December last year, it estimated. The MoD said no civilians had died. The figures cover the period from September 2014 to March 2016 and were released in response to a request made by Vice News. The MoD said they were estimates based on "post-strike analysis" because the UK was unable to visit sites to verify the numbers dead. BBC

Zika Virus: First American Dies Of Complications Linked To Disease
The first American has died from complications related to the Zika virus, health officials with the Centers for Disease Control reported late Friday. A Puerto Rican man in his 70s died in February from “complications related to severe thrombocytopenia”, the CDC reported in its Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. The man, from the San Juan area, fell ill with the Zika virus and experienced symptoms including fever, rash and joint pain. After recovering from the Zika symptoms, the man then developed immune thrombocytopenic purpura, or ITP, an autoimmune disorder that has been linked to the virus. The bleeding disorder that killed him was as a side-effect of the ITP. Guardian

Who Will Hillary Clinton's Running Mate Be? Here Are Some Ideas
Hillary Clinton emerged this week as all but certain to secure the Democratic party’s nomination for president after a drawn-out and at times contentious battle with Vermont senator Bernie Sanders. And with just seven weeks remaining in the presidential primaries, Clinton’s campaign has begun to pivot toward the general election – a process that will include selecting a running mate ahead of the Democratic convention in Philadelphia this July. Ted Cruz drew headlines for taking the unusual step of naming his vice-presidential pick, despite lacking a plausible path to his party’s nomination in an increasingly forlorn effort to stop Donald Trump. Guardian

Yemen Talks 'Moving Forward Towards Peace', UN Envoy Reports
The United Nations envoy for Yemen reported today that the latest session of peace negotiations among Yemeni parties in Kuwait “went on in a positive and constructive atmosphere and reflected a mutual desire to move forward in the talks”. Last night, both the Government of Yemen's delegation and the delegation of Ansarullah and the General People's Congress submitted a comprehensive paper that included a proposal on the political and security tracks including withdrawals, handover of heavy weapons to the State, and the issue of prisoners and detainees. UN News

On International Day, UN Spotlights History And Power Of Jazz In Building Peace
Jazz is a universal message of peace that harmonizes rhythm and meaning, carries values significant for every woman and man, and provides unique opportunities for mutual understanding, the top United Nations cultural official said today, as music enthusiasts around the world celebrate International Jazz Day. “This spirit has inspired musicians, as well as poets, painters and writers all over the world, reminding us that culture is far more than entertainment – culture is a window onto the soul, culture is the shape we give to that which we most cherish,” said Irina Bokova, Director-General of the UN Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in a message to mark the International Day today. UN News

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