TEKS NEWS READING MALIKI ENGLISH FESTIVAL 2017
Trump Slams Facebook as Lawmakers Await Ads Amid Russia Probe
U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday criticized Facebook Inc as “anti-Trump” and questioned its role during the 2016 presidential campaign, amid probes into alleged Russian interference in the election and possible collusion by Trump’s associates.
His salvo came as the social media giant prepares to hand over 3,000 political ads to congressional investigators that it has said were likely purchased by Russian entities during and after last year’s presidential contest.
Trump appeared to embrace the focus on the social media network in his comments on Wednesday, which also took aim at more traditional medial outlets, long targeted by the president as “fake news.”
“Facebook was always anti-Trump. The networks were always anti-Trump,” Trump said on Twitter, leveling the same charge against the New York Times and the Washington Post. “Collusion?”
Representatives for Facebook and the newspapers did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Trump’s tweet.
U.S. Representative Adam Schiff, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, which is among those investigating Russia’s role, said he expected to have the ads by next week and that they should be made public.
“You really need to see them … to recognize how cynical an effort this was by the Kremlin, how they sought to just accentuate those divisions … and drive American against American,” Schiff told MSNBC, adding that Facebook and Twitter Inc executives should testify publicly about the issue.
“I have concerns about how long it took Facebook to realize the Russians were advertising on their network,” Schiff told MSNBC, adding that he has spoken several times with the company’s chief executive, Mark Zuckerberg.
Facebook and other technology companies are coming under increased scrutiny amid the Russia investigations. The probes, being conducted by several congressional committees along with the Department of Justice, have clouded Trump’s tenure since he
took office in January and threatened his agenda, which has yet to secure a major legislative victory.
Moscow has denied any collusion.
Trump himself has previously praised Facebook and credited it with helping him win the November election. His campaign has said it spent some $70 million on Facebook ads, and it also ran a live Facebook show.
His latest comments did not appear to affect shares of the company, which were up 1.4 percent at $166.50 a share in late morning trading after analysts raised their price target for the stock.
Michelle Obama: ‘Any woman who voted against Hillary Clinton voted against their own voice’
In candid remarks Wednesday, former first lady Michelle Obama said women who voted for Republican nominee Donald Trump over Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton went against their “authentic voice” in the 2016 presidential election.
“Any woman who voted against Hillary Clinton voted against their own voice,” she said at the Inbound 2017 conference in Boston, according to video from inside the event.
“What does it mean for us as women that we look at those two candidates, as women, and many of us said, that guy, he’s better for me, his voice is more true to me,” Obama said.
“Well, to me that just says you don’t like your voice. You like the thing you’re told to like.”
Obama slammed Trump on the campaign trail after he was heard talking in a leaked “Access Hollywood” video about being sexually aggressive with women.
“I can’t stop thinking about this,” she said at the time. “It has shaken me to my core in a way I could not have predicted.”
Obama said her comments about the election are some of the things she has “rolling around in (her) head” as she pens her book and reflects on the past decade in the political eye.
“When you’re in it, you don’t have a moment, a second, to think,” she said. “This is the first time in eight years, probably 10 years, that I’ll have a chance to think back on what it all meant.”
And despite her criticisms of the current President, Obama noted that she hopes that Trump not only succeeds but is treated more charitably than people — and the Republican Party — treated her husband, former President Barack Obama, while he occupied the Oval Office.
“We want the sitting President to be successful because we live in this country. He is our commander in chief, he was voted in,” she said, adding that she knows from experience that “it is very difficult to lead when you have a peanut gallery of people who don’t know what they’re talking about second-guessing what you do.”
“When you’ve been in that position, you see that most formers do take a step back, they do let the current holder of the office lead. You do step up when you’re asked, and you do try to make sure what you say is constructive,” she continued. “Now, like I said, there was a whole party that didn’t do that for my husband, a whole political party that did not, but what we’ve learned is part of our legacy is leading with grace.”
She suggested part of this kind of leadership comes from learning when to respond and how to respond. Michelle and Barack Obama have stayed largely out of the political fray after leaving office, although he weighed in on the Obamacare fight at an event last week. Michelle Obama said the American people should continue to expect this type of limited response.
“Barack is not going to turn into what this President was, which is somebody tweeting in the wind and stirring up mess without really knowing what they’re talking about,” she said.
Study: 75 Percent of World’s Children Are Victims of Violence
Nearly three out of four children around the globe experience violence each year. That’s according to a new study of children in both rich and poor countries.
What’s more, the report confirms that violence in childhood is linked with violence against women. Children who witness abuse of their mothers are more likely to become victims or perpetrators of abuse when they grow up, it said.
The report, Ending Violence in Childhood: Global Report 2017, was issued by Know Violence in Childhood, an international advocacy group launched three years ago in India.
The study found that violence in childhood is nearly universal, affecting 1.7 billion children over the course of a year. This includes bullying or fighting, sexual abuse, corporal punishment at home and in school, and sexual violence.
The researchers focused on violence between the perpetrator and the child. They did not include violence from war and other events. They took more than three years to document the scale of violence experienced by millions of the world’s children.
The report also looked at strategies to end the violence.
Rayma Subrahmanian, executive director of Know Violence in Childhood, said children are exposed to emotional and physical punishment from as early as 2 years old.
Subrahmanian said violence is a learned behavior that is rooted in deep cultural norms. In some societies, beating is a form of discipline.
Children who are victims of violence often suffer immediate harm, but they also face lifelong physical and mental health problems — anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, depression or attachment disorders, among others. As teens, boys are more likely to be involved with homicide and suicide. Girls are more likely to suffer sexual assault.
Violence in childhood also inflicts an economic cost on society. Know Violence in Childhood said that children who experience violence at home or at school are more likely to be absent from school or to drop out. They are less likely to succeed in life and to get an education, researchers found. Also, up to 8 percent of global GDP is spent each year on repairing the damage caused by childhood violence, the study said.
While governments can put preventive measures in place, most governments fail to invest in tackling the root causes of violence, the report said.
US preparing for North Korea’s ‘final step’
CIA Director Mike Pompeo said the United States has to act as if North Korea is on the verge of being able to strike it with a missile and act accordingly — and that President Donald Trump is ready to do so.
“From a US policy perspective, we ought to behave as if we are on the cusp of them achieving that objective,” Pompeo said Thursday at a security forum held by the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. “They are so far along in that, it’s now a matter of thinking about how do you stop the final step.”
“Whether it happens on Tuesday or a month from Tuesday, we’re in a time where the President has concluded that we have a global effort to ensure that [North Korean leader] Kim Jong Un does not obtain that capacity,” Pompeo continued.
Pompeo is among a number of former officials who have been signaling the increased possibility of a slide into military confrontation with North Korea over its refusal to back down from its nuclear program.
N. Korea: No diplomacy until ICBM can hit US
N. Korea: No diplomacy until ICBM can hit US 02:29
The CIA chief spoke at the forum shortly before national security adviser H.R. McMaster, who also said the President wasn’t prepared to accept a nuclear Pyongyang.
The Trump administration comments came a day after former CIA Director John Brennan put the chances of military conflict with North Korea as high as 20% to 25%.
The isolated Asian nation conducted its sixth and most powerful nuclear test in September, claiming it had detonated a miniaturized hydrogen bomb that could be mounted on a missile. It’s also been steadily working on its missile capabilities, firing 22 missiles during 15 tests from February to mid-September.
Even as other countries have urged caution, dialogue and reciprocal confidence-building measures, Trump has belittled the North Korean leader as “rocket man,” dismissed Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s efforts to broker a diplomatic solution, and hinted that he is ready to take military action.
Tillerson: US wouldn't walk from N. Korea deal
Tillerson: US wouldn’t walk from N. Korea deal 01:56
Asked at Thursday’s event about the threat posed by North Korea, McMaster said that Trump will not accept a nuclear North Korea that threatens the US, putting the administration in a “race” to resolve the increasingly tense standoff before it devolves into a military confrontation.
“He’s not going to accept this regime threatening the United States with nuclear weapons,” McMaster said. “There are those who would say, well, why not accept and deter. Well, accept and deter is unacceptable.”
“So this puts us in a situation where we are in a race to resolve this short of military action,” McMaster said. “Everybody knows it. We all know it. … Our allies and partners know it. China knows it. Russia knows it.”
Brennan, speaking Wednesday night at Fordham University School of Law, stressed that, “there really is no good military solution to this issue.”
Pollution linked to one in six deaths
By Katie Silver
Health reporter, BBC News
Pollution has been linked to nine million deaths worldwide in 2015, a report in The Lancet has found.
Almost all of these deaths occurred in low- and middle-income countries, where pollution could account for up to a quarter of deaths. Bangladesh and Somalia were the worst affected.
Air pollution had the biggest impact, accounting for two-thirds of deaths from pollution.
Brunei and Sweden had the lowest numbers of pollution-related deaths.
Most of these deaths were caused by non-infectious diseases linked to pollution, such as heart disease, stroke and lung cancer.
Highest level of pollution deaths
“Pollution is much more than an environmental challenge – it is a profound and pervasive threat that affects many aspects of human health and wellbeing,” said the study’s author, Prof Philip Landrigan, of the Icahn School of Medicine, at Mount Sinai in New York.
The biggest risk factor, air pollution, contributed to 6.5 million premature deaths. This included pollution from outdoor sources, such as gases, and in households, such as burning wood or charcoal indoors.
The next largest risk factor, water pollution, accounted for 1.8 million deaths, while pollution in the workplace was linked to 800,000 deaths globally.
About 92% of these deaths occurred in poorer countries, with the greatest impact felt in places undergoing rapid economic development such as India, which had the fifth highest level of pollution deaths, and China, which had the 16th.
How bad is air pollution in the UK?
In the UK, about 8% or 50,000 deaths are estimated to be linked to pollution. This puts the UK in 55th place out of the 188 countries measured, placing them behind the US and many European countries, including Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Denmark.
Dr Penny Woods, of the British Lung Foundation, said: “Air pollution is reaching crisis point worldwide, and the UK is faring worse than many countries in Western Europe and the US.
“A contributing factor could be our dependence on diesel vehicles, notorious for pumping out a higher amount of poisonous particles and gases.
“These hit people with a lung condition, children and the elderly hardest.”
Lowest level countries, plus US and UK
In the United States, more than 5.8% – or 155,000 – deaths could be linked to pollution.
The authors said air pollution affected the poor disproportionately, including those in poor countries as well as poor people in wealthy countries.
Study author Karti Sandilya, from Pure Earth, a non-governmental organisation, said: “Pollution, poverty, poor health, and social injustice are deeply intertwined.
“Pollution threatens fundamental human rights, such as the right to life, health, wellbeing, safe work, as well as protections of children and the most vulnerable.”
Pollution linked to 9 million deaths worldwide in 2015, study says
The fatal effects of pollution are seen across our planet.
In 2015, nearly one in six deaths, an estimated nine million worldwide, was related to pollution in some form — air, water, soil, chemical or occupational pollution, according to a new report published Thursday in The Lancet.
Air pollution is by far the largest contributor to early death, according to the new research produced by The Lancet Commission on Pollution and Health. This form of pollution is linked to 6.5 million fatalities in 2015.
Water pollution, responsible for 1.8 million deaths, and workplace-related pollution, which led to 0.8 million deaths, pose the next largest risks, the report noted.
The overwhelming majority of pollution-related casualties — 92% — occur among people living in low- and middle-income countries. And, one in every four early deaths in nations trying to industrialize rapidly — such as India, Pakistan, China, Bangladesh,
Madagascar and Kenya — could be connected to filthy air, water, soil or other contamination.
“Pollution disproportionately impacts the poor and the vulnerable,” said Dr. Olusoji Adeyi, a commissioner and director of the health, nutrition and population global practice at the World Bank Group.
In countries at every income level, disease caused by pollution is most prevalent among minorities and the marginalized.
“Children face the highest risks,” said Adeyi. “It is important to translate awareness into action at the local, national, and global levels.”
Dr. Philip J. Landrigan, co-leader of the commission, said the problem is chemicals.
“There are thousands of chemicals out there and we know that people are exposed to them,” said Landrigan. “We just didn’t know enough about what chemicals are doing to people.”
Unlikely case study
In the months leading up to the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, China’s air quality became a matter of international concern. Smog obscured the blue sky and distant buildings even on days the nation’s Ministry of Environmental Protection reported excellent air quality.
Quietly, the United States Embassy in Beijing acquired a stationary monitor to track particulates and later, three additional hand-held air monitors. Embassy officials “worked closely with the US EPA “to set up the rooftop air monitoring equipment, explained Noel Clay, a spokesperson for the State Department.
To “put it gently,” said Landrigan, people saw the US Embassy data as “unbiased” compared to the air quality data being released by Chinese officials. Embassy officials wanted the more reliable data to “make better daily decisions regarding the safety of outdoor activities,” said Clay.