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Malaysia approves law banning fake news ahead of elections

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia — Malaysia's parliament on Monday passed a law prohibiting fake news that critics fear will be abused to silence dissent ahead of a ge.....»»

Category: newsSource: philstar philstarApr 3rd, 2018

Malaysia proposes 10 years jail for fake news

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia – The Malaysian government on Monday, March 26, proposed a law to combat "fake news" which could see offenders jailed for 10 years, sparking fears authorities aim to stifle criticism as elections loom. Governments in several countries, emboldened by US President Donald Trump's fulminations against "fake news," are ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsMar 26th, 2018

Indonesia battles fake news as elections loom

JAKARTA -- Indonesia is battling a wave of fake news and online hate speech ahead of presidential elections in 2019, as a string of arrests underscore fears it could crack open social and religious fault lines in the world’s largest Muslim-majority country. The pluralist nation’s reputation as a bastion of….....»»

Category: newsSource:  journalRelated NewsMar 15th, 2018

Indonesia battles fake news as elections loom

JAKARTA — Indonesia is battling a wave of fake news and online hate speech ahead of presidential elections in 2019, as a string of arrests underscore fears it could crack open social and religious fault lines in the world’s largest Muslim-majority country. The pluralist nation’s reputation as a bastion of tolerance has been tested in […] The post Indonesia battles fake news as elections loom appeared first on BusinessWorld......»»

Category: newsSource:  bworldonlineRelated NewsMar 15th, 2018

Ahead of Trump summit, Kim Jong Un crafts a careful message

  TOKYO --- Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un have one big thing in common as they prepare for what would be the first ever U.S.-North Korea summit next month in Singapore: They both claim to deserve total credit. In a country where there is no Twitter but lots of fake news, North Koreans are getting a very different take than American media-watchers on what got the two leaders to the negotiating table and what they will be trying to accomplish. What North Koreans are hearing is that Kim is calling all the shots. That he's a strategic genius whose bold nuclear policies have opened the door to Korean-led peace talks with the South. And that he has finally succeeded in forc...Keep on reading: Ahead of Trump summit, Kim Jong Un crafts a careful message.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsMay 18th, 2018

Malaysia convicts first person under fake news law

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia – A Malaysian court Monday, April 30, handed a Danish man a one-week jail term for breaking a law against "fake news," the first person to be punished under the controversial legislation. The law, passed in early April, makes the deliberate dissemination of false information punishable by up ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsApr 30th, 2018

Rappler as fact-checker for Facebook is a sick joke

The Economist in its April 5 issue carried an article that said Asian countries have launched phony assaults on fake news and are finding mixed results. The article reported among others the following: In Malaysia, the Lower House of Parliament passed on April 2nd a law, which decrees that those who publish or spread “any [...] The post Rappler as fact-checker for Facebook is a sick joke appeared first on The Manila Times Online......»»

Category: newsSource:  manilatimes_netRelated NewsApr 16th, 2018

Facebook problems ‘my mistake’ — Zuckerberg

FACEBOOK, Inc. Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg, in prepared testimony for the US House of Representatives, said all of Facebook’s problems are his mistake. The world’s largest social media company didn’t do enough to prevent its tools from being used for harm, especially in terms of fake news, foreign interference in elections, hate speech, developer […] The post Facebook problems ‘my mistake’ — Zuckerberg appeared first on BusinessWorld......»»

Category: newsSource:  bworldonlineRelated NewsApr 11th, 2018

Malaysia proposes 10 years jail for ‘fake news’

KUALA LUMPUR -- The Malaysian government Monday proposed a law to combat “fake news” which could see offenders jailed for 10 years, sparking fears authorities aim to stifle criticism as elections loom. Governments in several countries, emboldened by US President Donald Trump’s fulminations against “fake news”, are considering such legislation.….....»»

Category: newsSource:  journalRelated NewsMar 27th, 2018

Fake news? In Malaysia, scandal-ridden govt wants 10 years’ jail, fines for publishers of that

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak’s government tabled a bill in parliament on Monday outlawing “fake news”, with hefty fines and up to 10 years in jail, raising more concerns about media freedom in the wake of a multi-billion dollar graft scandal......»»

Category: newsSource:  interaksyonRelated NewsMar 26th, 2018

Roque to resign if Congress approves anti-fake news bill - Inquirer.net

Roque to resign if Congress approves anti-fake news bill - Inquirer.net.....»»

Category: newsSource:  googlenewsRelated NewsFeb 13th, 2018

Pacquiao confronts Lorraine Badoy for spreading fake news vs him

MANILA, Philippines – Senator Manny Pacquiao on Tuesday, January 30, confronted a Palace official and rabid supporter of President Rodrigo Duterte for spreading malicious information against him during the 2016 elections. Pacquiao called out Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Undersecretary for new media Lorraine Badoy for posting a photo ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsJan 30th, 2018

Drilon on Charter Change, Bongbong Marcos on 2019 elections, Veloso’s birthday message | Evening wRap

Today on Rappler: The Senate minority plans to question before the Supreme Court the manner of voting should there be Charter Change via Constituent Assembly.  Former senator Bongbong Marcos says he is not running for senator in 2019.  Communist Party of the Philippines founding chairman Jose Maria Sison slams Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque for spreading 'fake news' he has become a Dutch ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsJan 10th, 2018

Popovich s odd alliance with red state fans

By Shaun Powell, NBA.com SAN ANTONIO -- About 400 people gathered at the Oak Hills Country Club in June 2016 and paid $500 to $250,000 to sip iced tea and nibble hors d’oeuvres next to a golf course designed by noted architect AW Tillinghast, who built many. One is owned by the man who was feted at this political fundraiser, Donald J. Trump. The presidential campaign was in full blast and saltier than the crackers on the cheese plate being passed around. Fresh off the plane, Trump thanked the Republicans for the big ‘ole Texas welcome, witnesses say, before launching a blistering attack on the usual targets: Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, illegal immigration. Then, near the end of his 30-minute lunchtime appearance, in an effort to connect with the locals, he pivoted and mentioned perhaps the most famous man in town: Gregg Popovich. Witnesses say Trump called Popovich “a great coach” and said “he does a good job” and then there was some fidgeting in the room when the soon-to-be polarizing leader of the free world said this: “I don’t know if the coach is on my side.” Confirmation came emphatically, right after Trump won a divisive election that November. The coach of the Spurs lit into the President over the next several months with a handful of rants that had the stealth of Kawhi Leonard ambushing a timid ball-handler. In no particular order, here were Pop’s Greatest Hits, all issued through the media and without prompting or provocation: “The disgusting tenure and tone and all the comments … have been xenophobic, homophobic, racist, misogynistic. I live in a country where half the people ignored that to elect someone.” And: “He is in charge of our country. That’s disgusting.” And: “The man in the Oval Office is a soulless coward who thinks he can only become large by belittling others.” And: “We have a pathological liar in the White House ... You can’t believe anything that comes out of his mouth.” Popovich didn’t stop there with a President whose sensitivity and intelligence he questioned and accused of being guilty of “gratuitous fear-mongering.” When he took Trump to task for criticizing NFL players who knelt during the National Anthem and defended their rights to do so, Popovich also suspected a measure of the public outrage was racially motivated. “Our country is an embarrassment to the world,” he said. A 68-year-old wealthy white man, therefore, became a sports voice with weight in the political and social justice arena, where the NBA league office has greenlighted players and coaches to speak up. Popovich has done so with clarity and insight to gain national applause in certain corners. He wasn’t the first or the last in sports to verbally spank the president or tackle right-leaning sensitivities, yet he’s certainly the most unique in one respect. As a graduate of the Air Force Academy who works in a military town, and a five-time NBA champion coach who might symbolize the city more than The Alamo, Popovich has long been elevated to icon status, perhaps permanently so, in San Antonio, where folks are mad about the Spurs. Still, this is mostly conservative Texas, one of the most Republican of states based on the state legislature and the congressional delegation, a state that voted Republican in 10 straight presidential elections and saw 52.6 percent of voters punch for Trump. While voters in San Antonio-proper lean liberal, the surrounding areas swing solidly the opposite. Julianna Holt, the Spurs CEO and Popovich’s boss since March after assuming the position held for 20 years by her husband Peter, supported various Republican presidential candidates before eventually donating $5,400 to Trump’s campaign and $250,000 to the Trump Victory Fund, according to Federal Election Commission records. Popovich is therefore a blue blood in a red state and the contrast makes for strange if not uncomfortable alliance between a beloved coach and a group of conflicted Spurs worshippers. His views have in fact shattered the sacrilege by generating hostility from a segment of the basketball flock, something no coach with his credentials would ever feel. The constant winning and acts of charity do not insulate him from those who would prefer Popovich stuff a sweat sock in his bullhorn. Party lines not Popovich's focus “While we all believe Gregg Popovich has the right to his opinions, where was Popovich when Hillary called half of us a 'basket of deplorables?’Many were Spurs fans who are now tired of being insulted ... many of us will never pay to see a Spurs game again.” -- Donna Howington  “The money I will save this year not attending Spurs games should buy me a nice set of golf clubs. Thanks Pop!” -- Jake Ingorgia  “I will never watch them again until Popovich is gone. He is just like all the other leftist celebrities.” -- Lee Harbach, Bulverde They arrive on cue, most from the dusty towns that orbit around San Antonio, some from the city itself. Popovich has unloaded three times this year on Trump, once after the election, once at the start of training camp and most recently by cold-calling Dave Zirin, a friend and liberal writer from The Nation, a progressive magazine. And each time, the letters land in the office of Ricardo Pimentel, the editor who coordinates the comments section of the Express-News, San Antonio’s newspaper of record. “It’s a cycle,” says Pimental, with a sigh. “He speaks out. People who disagree with him send us letters to the editor, then people who object to their disagreement write us letters to the editor defending Pop. Then they respond to one another.” The initial reaction, he said, is always stacked against Popovich and many identify themselves as Spurs fans ripping up their tickets or promising to never attend or watch games again. Even if those who made threats actually carried them out, the change in the Spurs’ home attendance is a blip, from 99.2 percent capacity last season to 98.6 so far this season. Popovich, of course, has been big for business since his first full season as coach in 1997-98. Besides the titles, the Spurs have reached the playoffs every season and won 50 games every season (except for the lockout-shortened 50-game 1998-99 campaign, when they won 37). In short, Popovich's Spurs have a track record beyond reproach in the NBA. If the 2017-18 Spurs stay on pace, it’ll be 20 straight winning seasons for Popovich, one more than Phil Jackson for the all-time NBA record. He hasn’t been this politically vocal until lately, due to Trump, yet was always politically aware, say those who know him. Well-versed through his readings and observations, Popovich welcomes discussion with acquaintences about classism, leadership, government and preferably over a bottle of wine. His two-decades exposure to young black men from humble beginnings raised his awareness and sensitivities about race and bias. Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr once played for the Spurs and lately has echoed many of the same thoughts as Popovich. But Kerr coaches in the Bay Area, where folks nod their heads in agreement. Kerr said he can only imagine the flak Popovich catches in Texas. “Here’s this iconic coach who stands for everything that’s right and for honor and integrity, he served in the military, you see him stand at attention for the American flag — man, Pop loves his country,” Kerr said. “And in the middle of Texas for him to be questioning the Republican President, some of the people down there are probably confused. Like, 'I don’t get it, we love this guy but he’s on the other side from us.' “What I love about Pop is that it’s not about party, not about politics. It’s about integrity and character and that’s what people need to pay attention to. It’s not about some policy, not about how much we pay in taxes. If we can just get back to the point where character matters, then we’ll be in better shape. The problem is, it’s clear character has gone down the tubes in many leadership positions in our country. That’s what Pop is calling out.” True enough, Popovich never publicly attached himself to a political party; to suggest he is against Republicans might be as misleading as believing Colin Kaepernick is against the military. When he played for Popovich, Kerr couldn’t recall a time when the coach was this annoyed by the country’s leadership. “The country was in a better place in terms of a relatively peaceful time back then,” Kerr said. “Yes, 9-11 happened and the whole world changed. But we didn’t have quite the same partisan nature, not only in politics but the national conversation. And so people could just admire Pop for who he was and people might not have been aware of his political leanings because they didn’t ask. When we won and went to the White House, Pop and the team went when Bush was in office. We went in ’99 when President Clinton was there. Republican, Democrat, didn’t matter. The times are so different now.” Kerr laughed quickly when asked about the semi-serious groundswell of social media support for a Kerr-Popovich ticket in 2020. Kerr said he hopes to be on his fifth NBA title as a coach then, but turned semi-serious about Popovich. “Our country needs somebody like Pop who can actually lead and unite from a position of authority and credibility,” Kerr said. “This guy served in the military, grew up in a melting pot, understands leadership. More than anything, he’ll cut through all the [expletive].” Since going nuclear on Trump, Popovich declined invites from the national political shows (and wouldn’t comment for this story). That proves what friends have maintained all along: Popovich doesn’t want to be anyone’s political hero or pundit. He’d rather speak when the moment calls for it, then be left alone. That last part is tricky, though. Empathy often marks Popovich's way “Can you imagine being Republican on the Spurs? Would you feel welcome? He’s like Berkeley -- for free speech unless you disagree with him. Shut up and coach, Gregg.” -- Shannon Deason  “When it comes to coaching basketball or drinking wine, Popovich has experience. When it comes to our country, his opinion is no better than anyone else’s." -- Harold Siemens, Seguin  “Open letter to the NBA referee who ejected Pop from the Warriors-Spurs game: Don’t feel bad about what Gregg Popovich called you. He called the POTUS worse and got away with it.” -- Larry Peabody Once the wheels touched down, the pilot jokingly announced over the loudspeaker: “Welcome to Gregg Popovich International Airport,” and one particular passenger noticed that nobody on the plane thought it was strange. Sean Elliott always knew how deeply rooted Popovich is with San Antonio. Aside from the famous Spanish missions and the River Walk, the city is known for the only professional sports team in town. And while George Gervin, David Robinson and Tim Duncan have come and gone, the one lingering reminder is a sometimes gruff and scruffy coach, maybe the NBA’s best ever. “He’s one of the pillars of the community,” said Elliott, twice an All-Star with the Spurs. “He’s looked at with great admiration. He is as respected as anyone who has ever lived in or been part of the city. It’s not just because he’s a basketball coach. Pop has been a big part of the community, huge contributor to charitable functions, good leader.” Elliott was a Spurs rookie in 1989 when their relationship began and he saw the start of Popovich’s reach in the region. Popovich then was an assistant coach under Larry Brown and just planting his feet in the NBA. That summer, Elliott and Popovich piled into a van with the team's "Coyote" mascot and conducted basketball clinics in San Marcos, Corpus Christi, Laredo and similar places. They were signing autographs in malls and running kids through drills in 100 degree heat, never hearing a complaint from the coach. Elliott said folks in those small conservative towns loved him. “If you sit and hear him talk about something, you tend to agree with him,” Elliott said. “He’ll put it in a logical way and he’s very thoughtful, well read and super intelligent, maybe the most intelligent person I’ve ever known.” The owner of the Spurs then was Red McCombs, a homespun Texan who made his fortune in car dealerships and media companies. McCombs didn’t give Popovich the coaching job after firing Brown, telling Popovich “you’ve got a chance to be a great coach” if he got more experience, which he did, going to the Warriors to work for Don Nelson. Popovich returned to San Antonio two years later as general manager, then became coach and the rest is history. Now 90, McCombs said: “Popovich has become the distinguished part of the franchise. He wears it well. Can’t say enough about what kind of man he is and what he’s meant to San Antonio. God has blessed us with Gregg Popovich.” McCombs loves to tell how Popovich, by chance, learned that a local family needed a car. The coach wrote a check, gave it to the father and walked away. McCombs said it was “typical Popovich” who has empathy for those with less. McCombs, curiously, has traditionally been one of the biggest Republican bankrollers in the state, who gave to the Trump campaign and is fully aware of what Popovich thinks of his choice for President. And so one of the most powerful men in Central Texas, who leans politically to the color of his nickname, had a strong reaction to that. “He’s earned the right to give his comments about citizenship or Trump or anything else,” said McCombs, voice rising. “Yes, he made some statements that others might disagree with. But I’ll tell you this: Popovich would be elected to anything he wants to in San Antonio.” Remaining silent never an option “Our country is not an embarrassment to the world. I will tell you what an embarrassment is. It is an American citizen who got a free education from the great Air Force Academy ... and then has the audacity to say that the greatest nation in the world is an embarrassment because the President rightly demands that Americans stand for the anthem. Popovich should be ashamed of himself.” -- Nick DeLouis, Fair Oaks Ranch  “Nowhere on God’s green Earth do they have the right to disrespect our flag and the men and women who died to keep us free. I’m appalled that you stooped so low to join in that disrespect. Shame on you!” -- Fred Martin, Fair Oaks Ranch  “Coach Pop has squashed my love and enthusiasm for the team. A national treasure, he is not. Coach Pop has a voice, but not my voice." -- Jo Ivan A few years ago Popovich was in New York with his daughter to catch a Broadway play when the coach had a last minute change in strategy. He learned that John Carlos was giving a lecture at New York University that night. So Popovich told his daughter to take one of her friends instead; said he was going to see “Dr. Carlos” speak. “When he came in I was surprised and delighted,” Carlos said recently. “Quite naturally, everyone knew who he was but he just wanted to sit and listen.” A year later, in 2015, Popovich flew Carlos to San Antonio to address the team and Carlos admitted to being star struck around Tim Duncan and others. Yet Carlos was most curious about Popovich and why the coach took a strong interest in an Olympic sprinter who raised a fist on the victory stand in 1968, which is frozen as an iconic civil rights moment. “Being with the Spurs gave me an opportunity to check his character out,” Carlos said. “I knew he was a whiz at putting players together to bring out their best ability. But through my conversations with him it became apparent that he was a social activist himself at one point in his life. He was teaching his players about activism and to be concerned about their fellow man and what was going on around their lives, not just basketball. “I was impressed. He just wanted them to know they had a larger role than just playing basketball in the society in which they live.” Carlos, therefore, was not surprised to see Popovich defend the rights of kneeling black football players who came under attack from Trump. On the first day of training camp in September, Popovich said: “Obviously race is the elephant in the room and we all understand that. Unless it is talked about constantly it is not going to get better.” What followed was another swirl of exchanges between Popovich critics and supporters in San Antonio, and Popovich acknowledged receiving mail from both sides. The anti-Pop mail, though, was jarring to Carlos, given the coach’s work in town. “When people write and lambast him for taking leaders to task for what they’re doing to society, that’s like water rolling off a duck’s back, man,” Carlos said. “When they write negative things about him, it encourages him to keep doing what he’s doing. Those people are the problem. Go ahead and throw stones and it just motivates him to do his job. “Look, I’m a black man who spoke out. Imagine what they think of him as a white man who speaks just as strong, to try and get people to see things in a better light? They throw stones at him even more, like, 'Hey you’re white, you have a great life. Keep your mouth shut.’ Well, God points people in certain directions. We know who we are. We do what we do.” And what Popovich does is enlist the help of giants in the social justice world and bring them into his world. He did that with Cornel West, the Harvard professor and civil rights activist, last fall. Popovich invited West to San Antonio to speak at an East Side community center with a few hundred mostly black and Latino students and their parents. Done without TV cameras or media invitation, the discussion was about the importance of education, the imperfect world, self respect and how to help communities. This was an audience that, presumably and unanimously, connected with a white man who didn’t live among them, but was with them. They were the people Popovich had in mind when he attacked present leadership. This was not the audience that writes to the Spurs and the Express-News asking him to take a vow of silence, though he is aware of them, too. “Some responses make you wonder what country you live in,” Popovich said, “and other responses make you very hopeful … overall, it renews my feeling that something must be done because there is enough people willing to listen.” Veteran NBA writer Shaun Powell has worked for newspapers and other publications for more than 25 years. You can e-mail him here or follow him on Twitter. The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA, its clubs or Turner Broadcasting. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 5th, 2018

France s Macron vows law vs fake news, eyeing Russia

PARIS, France – French President Emmanuel Macron announced plans Wednesday, January 3, for legislation to stop fake news spreading online in the run-up to elections, in a veiled reference to Moscow-backed RT and Sputnik. Macron, who came to power in May, has previously lashed out at the Russian outlets as ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsJan 4th, 2018

Duterte did not promote fake news on FB to win votes – Roque to MSNBC

President Rodrigo Duterte did not push fake news to win the presidential vote, his spokesperson said Friday, disputing an MSNBC report that his team went into overdrive promoting fake news after a Facebook briefing in 2016.   The then Davao City mayor, like other candidates, took advantage of the platform offered by Facebook to advance his campaign in the 2016 presidential elections, Harry Roque said.   Mr. Duterte has no policy of promoting fake news, he said.   According to Roque, Mr. Duterte used the tools available to him during the campaign.   Campaign tool   "The technology exists and it would have been foolhardy for any politi...Keep on reading: Duterte did not promote fake news on FB to win votes – Roque to MSNBC.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsDec 30th, 2017

Facebook, not fake news, helped Duterte

PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte made good use of Facebook during the 2016 campaign, Malacañang said on Friday after American news cable and satellite television network MSNBC anchor Ari Melber indicated the Chief Executive benefited from fake news on social media to win the elections. “On the other issue of Facebook being….....»»

Category: newsSource:  journalRelated NewsDec 29th, 2017

Mark Zuckerberg named ‘Misinformer of the Year’ by media watchdog

Mark Zuckerberg has received yet another award---though it appears he won't like this one. Due to Facebook's role in spreading multiple false news during the 2016 US Presidential elections, progressive media watchdog group Media Matters for America (MMFA) bestowed the title "Misinformer of the Year" to the company's founder and CEO. Fake news was rampant on popular social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Google, YouTube and others throughout the campaign period, which many believed played pivotal role on the nationwide poll results. The not-so-prestigious award is usually reserved for media personalities who often spread biased information through their respective mediu...Keep on reading: Mark Zuckerberg named ‘Misinformer of the Year’ by media watchdog.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsDec 23rd, 2017

Duterte: I am sure they cannot pass a law banning fake news

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday said he doubts that Congress could pass a law prohibiting the proliferation of fake news, arguin.....»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsOct 4th, 2017

Senate opens ‘Obamacare’ debate at last but outcome in doubt – ABC News

Prodded by President Donald Trump, a bitterly divided Senate voted, at last, Tuesday to move forward with the Republicans' long-promised legislation to repeal and replace &'8220;Obamacare.&'8221; There was high drama as Sen. John McCain returned to the Capitol for the first time after being diagnosed with brain cancer to cast a decisive &'8220;yes&'8221; vote. The final tally was 51-50, with Vice President Mike Pence, exercising his constitutional prerogative, breaking the tie after two Republicans joined all 48 Democrats in voting &'8220;no.&'8221; When the Senate voted Tuesday evening on the bill's initial amendment, it underscored how hard it will be for the chamber's divided Republicans to pass a sweeping replacement of Obama's law. By 57-43 — including nine GOP defectors — it blocked a wide-ranging proposal by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to erase and replace much of the statute. It included language by Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, letting insurers sell cut-rate policies with skimpy coverage, plus an additional $100 billion to help states ease out-of-pocket costs for people losing Medicaid — a provision sought by Midwestern moderates including Rob Portman, R-Ohio. On the day's opening vote to begin debate, and with all senators in their seats and protesters agitating outside and briefly inside the chamber, the vote was held open at length before McCain, 80, entered the chamber. Greeted by cheers, he smiled and dispensed hugs — but with the scars from recent surgery starkly visible on the left side of his face. Despite voting &'8220;yes,&'8221; he took a lecturing tone afterward and hardly saw success assured for the legislation after weeks of misfires, even after Tuesday's victory for Trump and Republican leader Mitch McConnell. &'8220;If this process ends in failure, which seems likely, then let's return to regular order,&'8221; McCain said as he chided Republican leaders for devising the legislation in secret along with the administration and &'8220;springing it on skeptical members.&'8221; &'8220;Stop listening to the bombastic loudmouths on the radio, TV and internet. To hell with them!&'8221; McCain said, raising his voice as he urged senators to reach for the comity of earlier times. At the White House earlier, after senators voted to consider the bill, Trump wasted no time in declaring a win and slamming the Democrats anew. &'8220;I'm very happy to announce that, with zero of the Democrats' votes, the motion to proceed on health care has just passed. And now we move forward toward truly great health care for the American people,&'8221; Trump said. &'8220;This was a big step. I want to thank Senator John McCain — very brave man.&'8221; Trump continued to celebrate the vote at a rally in Youngstown, Ohio that doubled as a victory lap. &'8220;We're now one step closer to liberating our citizens from this &'8220;Obamacare&'8221; nightmare and delivering great health care for the American people&'8221; he said. At its most basic, the Republican legislation is aimed at undoing &'8220;Obamacare&'8221;'s unpopular mandates for most people to carry insurance and businesses to offer it. The GOP would repeal &'8220;Obamacare&'8221; taxes and unwind an expansion of the Medicaid program for the poor, the disabled and nursing home residents The result would be 20 million to 30 million people losing insurance over a decade, depending on the version of the bill. The GOP legislation has polled abysmally, while &'8220;Obamacare&'8221; itself has grown steadily more popular. Yet most Republicans argue that failing to deliver on their promises to pass repeal-and-replace legislation would be worse than passing an unpopular bill, because it would expose the GOP as unable to govern despite controlling majorities in the House, Senate and White House. Tuesday's vote amounted to a procedural hurdle for legislation whose final form is impossible to predict under the Senate's byzantine amendment process, which will unfold over the next several days. Indeed senators had no clear idea of what they would ultimately be voting on, and in an indication of the uncertainty ahead, McConnell, R-Ky., said the Senate will &'8220;let the voting take us where it will.&'8221; The expectation is that he will bring up a series of amendments. Yet after seven years of empty promises, and weeks of hand-wringing and false starts on Capitol Hill, it was the Senate's first concrete step toward delivering on innumerable pledges to undo former President Barack Obama's law. It came after several near-death experiences for earlier versions of the legislation, and only after Trump summoned senators to the White House last week to order them to try again after McConnell had essentially conceded defeat. &'8220;The people who sent us here expect us to begin this debate, to have the courage to tackle the tough issues,&'8221; McConnell said ahead of the vote. Democrats stood implacably opposed, and in an unusual maneuver they sat in their seats refusing to vote until it was clear Republicans would be able to reach the 50-vote margin needed to get them over the top with Pence's help. &'8220;Turn back,&'8221; Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York implored his GOP colleagues before the vote. &'8220;Turn back now, before it's too late and millions and millions and millions of Americans are hurt so badly.&'8221; Schumer's pleas fell on deaf ears, as several GOP senators who'd announced they would oppose moving forward with the legislation reversed themselves to vote &'8220;yes.&'8221; Among them were Dean Heller of Nevada, the most vulnerable Republican senator in next year's midterm elections, Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia and Ron Johnson of Wisconsin. Johnson has recently accused McConnell of [&'].....»»

Category: newsSource:  mindanaoexaminerRelated NewsJul 26th, 2017

Malaysians stranded in North Korea return home – BBC News

Nine Malaysians who were prevented from leaving North Korea have arrived home, after the two countries struck a deal to end a diplomatic row. The quarrel, over last month's killing of Kim Jong-nam in Kuala Lumpur, had resulted in both countries banning each other's citizens from leaving. Malaysia has also allowed North Koreans to leave and released Mr Kim's body. There is widespread suspicion that Pyongyang was responsible for orchestrating Mr Kim's murder. Mr Kim was the half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. The late Kim Jong-il's eldest son is thought to have fled North Korea after being passed over for the leadership. The nine Malaysian nationals were met by their relatives and a large media contingent at Kuala Lumpur airport early on Friday. Those who have returned include the country's counsellor to North Korea, Mohd Nor Azrin Md Zain, embassy staff, and their families. The counsellor said that when Pyongyang told them they could not leave North Korea, &'8220;we were very concerned especially since we had committed no wrong&'8221;. But he added they were &'8220;not particularly harassed&'8221; by North Korean authorities. &'8220;We were given the assurance that life could go on as normal,&'8221; he said. They were flown home in a business jet plane piloted by members of the Malaysian air force. Following Mr Kim's killing on 13 February, North Korean officials demanded that the body be handed to them immediately without an autopsy. Pyongyang reacted angrily when Malaysia refused their requests. Malaysian authorities said they had the right to conduct an autopsy as he had been killed on Malaysian soil, and said they would only release the body to Mr Kim's family. This prompted a war of words where North Korea's ambassador Kang Chol accused Malaysia of colluding with &'8220;hostile forces&'8221;, allegations which Kuala Lumpur dubbed as &'8220;delusions, lies and half-truths&'8221;. Kang Chol was expelled and the Malaysian ambassador to North Korea was also recalled. Pyongyang then said it would ban all Malaysians in North Korea from leaving until the &'8220;situation was resolved&'8221;, which Malaysia's Prime Minister Najib Razak called an &'8220;abhorrent act&'8221; that effectively held his citizens hostage. Kuala Lumpur enacted a tit-for-tat exit ban on North Koreans. Malaysian officials have not hesitated in branding the return of their citizens as a triumph of diplomatic deal-making. On Friday morning Malaysian Foreign Minister Anifah Aman told reporters: &'8220;There can be no substitute for diplomacy, for level-headedness in dealing with such situations, and this has served Malaysia well in this instance.&'8221; But the exact circumstances of how the deal was struck remain unclear. Correspondents say that Malaysia appears to have acceded to North Korea's wishes to get the Malaysians released. Mr Najib had said earlier that, after challenging negotiations, all North Koreans would be allowed to leave Malaysia &'' which probably includes North Korean suspects in the murder who are wanted by Malaysian police. Japanese news agency Kyodo said two men resembling two of the suspects were seen on a Beijing-bound flight transporting Mr Kim's body on Friday. The suspects are Hyon Kwang Song, the second secretary at the North Korean embassy in Kuala Lumpur, and Kim Uk Il, an employee of North Korea's state airline Air Koryo. The two men were previously reported to have holed up in the embassy and refused to take part in investigations. Mr Kim's body was released to North Korea and flown to Beijing, where North Korean officials are expected to receive it. &'160; Malaysia had previously said they would not release the body until a request came from family members. On Thursday, Mr Najib said a formal request had been received from the family, but did not give further details. It is not known who exactly requested for the body. Mr Kim's own family previously lived in Macau but they are now thought to be in hiding. His son Kim Han-sol appeared in a video earlier this month confirming he was with his mother and sister at an unspecified location. It was with barely disguised relief that Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak announced the deal with North Korea to release Kim Jong-nam's body, after what he described as &'8220;sensitive&'8221; negotiations posing many challenges. Dealing with a regime that, in Malaysia's view, was holding its citizens hostage and had carried out a lethal chemical weapons attack inside its main international gateway was a delicate task. Malaysia appears to have given North Korea what it wanted &'' the body and the North Korean suspects sought by the Malaysian police &'' in order to get its nine citizens back safely. To that end, North Korea has refused to recognise that the body was that of its supreme leader's half-brother, or to cooperate in clarifying the role of its agents in the attack. But by permitting a letter from an as-yet unnamed family member in North Korea to be forwarded to Malaysia, authorising the body's release, there is at least tacit acknowledgement from Pyongyang that the body is indeed Kim Jong-nam &'' something the Malaysian authorities say they have already confirmed through DNA samples obtained from his relatives outside North Korea. But with all the North Korean suspects in the attack now apparently out of Malaysia it is not clear how the investigation can move forward. The two women, an Indonesian and a Vietnamese, who smeared the nerve agent on Kim Jong-nam's face are in custody facing murder charges, but we do not know how [&'].....»»

Category: newsSource:  mindanaoexaminerRelated NewsMar 31st, 2017