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NEWS - WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 19, 2020 - NEWS
The containment of the 2003 SARS outbreak is considered one of the biggest public health victories in recent years. Stopping the new coronavirus, known as COVID-19, will probably be much harder. LA Times
VOA VIEW: Wishful thinking.
Liberal: Trump’s Impressive Latino Support “Donald Trump has done almost everything he can to anger Latino voters,” Kristian Ramos opines at The Atlantic — yet the president’s support among Latinos hasn’t fallen but rose to 30 percent, up from 28 percent four years ago. While that number “may not seem high,” it should worry Democrats:... New York Post
President Donald Trump accused Mike Bloomberg in a tweet Tuesday of spending so much cash to get the Democratic nomination that he’s breaking the law. “What Mini Mike is doing is nothing less than a large scale illegal campaign contribution,” the president wrote in a Twitter missive from Air Force One on Tuesday afternoon, using... New York Post
VOA VIEW: A good point.

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Amazon is pointing the finger right at the president over the awarding of the JEDI military contract. New York Times
VOA VIEW: Bezos should lose.
A federal judge in Texas on Tuesday rejected Chinese telecommunications equipment maker Huawei Technologies Co Ltd's constitutional challenge to a U.S. law that restricted its ability to do business with federal agencies and their contractors. Rueters
VOA VIEW: Good!
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said on Tuesday all passengers on the quarantined Diamond Princess cruise ship in Japan would be restricted from traveling to the United States for at least 14 days after leaving the ship. Rueters
The Utah state Senate voted unanimously on Tuesday effectively to decriminalize polygamy among consenting adults, reducing penalties for a practice with deep religious roots in the predominantly Mormon state. Rueters
VOA VIEW: Consenting adults makes sense.
A former guest star on Trump's television program, "The Apprentice," Blagojevich was serving a 14-year prison sentence on federal corruption charges.        USA Today
VOA VIEW: As is his right.
"I do make his job harder," Trump said of Barr."He's a very straight shooter. We have a great attorney general and he's working very hard."        USA Today
VOA VIEW: As he should.

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The U.S. Secret Service is taking its effort to curb school violence on the road to help thousands of educators, law enforcement personnel, mental health professionals and others learn how to identify people who may be threats. The latest stop in the Secret Service tour is this ... Washington Times
Advocates for overhauling Arizona’s criminal justice system want to put a proposal on the November ballot that would cut the sentences of non-dangerous offenders for good behavior. A ballot proposal filed on Tuesday would allow for the release of non-dangerous offenders after serving 50% of their sentences. ... Washington Times
VOA VIEW: If passed, any time taken off should be added if found guilty of another crime.
President Donald Trump took to Twitter on Tuesday morning, further pushing criticism of the judge in the Roger Stone case, while also bashing the Mueller investigation. ABC
VOA VIEW: He is the President.
Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has qualified for Wednesday’s Democratic presidential debate after meeting the Democratic Party’s latest qualification needs. ABC
VOA VIEW: It will be an interesting debate.

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President Donald Trump announced that he will pardon several other high-profile individuals, including Eddie DeBartolo Jr., Bernie Kerik and Rod Blagojevich. ABC
The event Wednesday night marks the final debate before Nevada caucus-goers pick their candidates February 22. CBS
VOA VIEW: Interesting!
Judge Amy Berman Jackson denied a request from former Trump campaign adviser Roger Stone to delay his sentencing. Thousands of former Justice Department officials have criticized Attorney General William Barr for intervening in the case. CBS

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His proposals include toughening the Volcker rule, merging Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and strengthening consumer protections. CNBC
VOA VIEW: A desperate candidate.
Bloomberg's transactions tax would exact a 0.1% duty on all trades of stocks, bonds and payments on derivate contracts. CNBC
VOA VIEW: Wishful promise.
In rural communities across the U.S., hospitals are shutting down. According to the National Rural Health Association, 121 rural hospitals have closed since 2010 and almost 700 others are in danger of closing. CNBC
VOA VIEW: Money talks.
Mike Bloomberg's campaign said on Tuesday that it sees Bernie Sanders as the only threat to Bloomberg winning the nomination and defeating Donald Trump. CNBC
VOA VIEW: Time will tell for all the fools.
The top intelligence community lawyer whose initial decision to block the Ukraine whistleblower complaint from reaching Congress helped set off the House impeachment inquiry, will resign from his post, a spokesperson for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence confirms to CNN. CNN
VOA VIEW: Good!

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The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy early on Tuesday after decades of sexual abuse claims. FOX News
VOA VIEW: Sad!
President Donald Trump on Tuesday said he has total confidence in U.S. Attorney General William Barr, who last week said in an interview that Trump's tweeting habit had made it impossible for him to do his job. Reuters
VOA VIEW: Good!
U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday blasted proposals that could hinder U.S. companies from supplying jet engines and other components to China's aviation industry and said he had instructed his administration to prevent such moves. Reuters
VOA VIEW: Questionable decision.

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The United States on Tuesday ramped up pressure on Venezuela, blacklisting a subsidiary of Russian state oil major Rosneft that President Donald Trump's administration said provides a financial lifeline to President Nicolas Maduro's government. Reuters
VOA VIEW: As we should.
U.S. President Donald Trump said on Tuesday that he knew the identity of an anonymous Trump administration official who wrote an essay for the New York Times and later a book about efforts from within to thwart parts of the president's agenda to protect the country from his worst impulses. Reuters
The jury in former Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein's rape trial began deliberations on Tuesday on charges that could send him to prison for life, in a case that has become a milestone for the #MeToo movement. Reuters
VOA VIEW: Now it is wait game.
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani has won a second term in office, officials announced Tuesday, nearly five months after the election was staged. UPI
Democratic hopeful Michael Bloomberg unveiled a $700 billion plan Tuesday that would grant free community college tuition in the United States and double the number of Pell Grants available to low-income students. UPI
VOA VIEW: Madness!
Attorneys for British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his estranged wife Marina Wheeler said Tuesday the pair have reached a financial settlement, allowing their divorce to proceed. UPI

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COMMENTARY OF THE DAY
By
Robert Namer
Voice Of America
©2018 All rights reserved
February 19, 2020

     Obama is a joke and no one is laughing.  President Trump and his predecessor got into a Presidents Day spat Monday over who deserved the credit for America’s ongoing economic expansion.  “Eleven years ago today, near the bottom of the worst recession in generations, I signed the Recovery Act, paving the way for more than a decade of economic growth and the longest streak of job creation in American history,” former President Obama tweeted at 10:46 a.m., along with a photo of his John Hancock on the bill. A foolish statement and thought.
 
     But the Trump campaign, in a statement to Fox News, countered that the economy was only booming because Trump dismantled many of Obama’s policies.  “President Trump reversed every single failed Obama-era economic policy, and with it, reversed the floundering Obama/Biden economy,” Trump campaign spokeswoman Kayleigh McEnany asserted. “Obama and Biden orchestrated the worst economic recovery in modern history. By contrast, though, deregulating, lowering taxes and supporting free-market policies, President Trump has created the hottest economy on record, with unemployment hitting generational lows and all-time lows for African Americans, Hispanics, the disabled, veterans and many other hard-working Americans,” she continued.