Top News Stories for Today – March 8, 2017
China approves Trump Trademarks
China has granted preliminary approval for 38 new Trump trademarks, paving the way for President Donald Trump and his family to develop a host of branded businesses from hotels to insurance to bodyguard and escort services, public documents show.
Trump’s lawyers in China applied for the marks in April 2016, as Trump railed against China at campaign rallies, accusing it of currency manipulation and stealing US jobs. Critics maintain that Trump’s swelling portfolio of China trademarks raises serious conflict of interest questions. China’s Trademark Office published the provisional approvals on Feb. 27 and Monday.
If President Trump receives any special treatment in securing trademark rights, it would violate the US Constitution, which bans public servants from accepting anything of value from foreign governments unless approved by Congress, ethics lawyers from across the political spectrum say. VOA
Conservatives slam GOP health care proposal
Conservative advocacy groups on Tuesday widely criticized the new Republican health care proposal, known as the American Health Care Act. Heritage Action for America said Republicans had not made a “genuine effort” to reform health care: “In many ways, the House Republican proposal released last night not only accepts the flawed progressive premises of ObamaCare but expands upon them,” said the group’s chief executive officer, Michael A. Needham.
Club for Growth wrote that “the problems with this bill are not just what’s in it, but also what it’s missing: namely, the critical free-market solution of selling health insurance across state lines.” Freedom Partners wrote in a letter to House Speaker Paul Ryan that “as the bill stands today, it is ObamaCare 2.0. Passing it would be making the same mistake that President Obama, Harry Reid, and Nancy Pelosi made in 2010.” Heritage Action for America, NBC News, The Week
Kim Jong-nam’s son emerges
A video has emerged of the son of Kim Jong-nam, the murdered half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. In the short and censored clip, the man says: “My name is Kim Han-sol, from North Korea, part of the Kim family.” He says he is with his mother and sister, but there are no details on the date or location. It’s the Kim family’s first public comment since the murder.
The 40-second clip features the man identified as Kim Han-sol sitting against a grey wall. In perfect, slightly accented English, he introduces himself and says: “My father has been killed a few days ago. I’m currently with my mother and my sister.” He shows what appears to be a North Korean diplomatic passport to confirm his identity, though the details have been blocked out, and says he is “grateful to…” before the audio and images are censored. He ends by saying: “We hope this gets better soon.”
It was put online by a group called the Cheollima Civil Defense – they have not previously been heard of, and appear to have registered a website and YouTube account only recently. South Korea’s Yonhap news agency said the group presumably assists escaping North Koreans – there is a town south-west of Pyongyang named Cheollima. They sent the video link to the Malaysia correspondent for Channel News Asia. BBC
Diabetes linked to Cancer in Asians
Researchers at New York University’s School of Medicine found that diabetes increased the risk of cancer death among Asians by an average of 26 percent, a statistic similar in the West. Data for the new study drew on an analysis of 770,000 people with Type 2 diabetes throughout East and South Asia. Diabetics were followed for an average of 13 years to see if they developed cancer and what types. During that time more than 37,300 cancer deaths were identified.
Yu Chen, an epidemiology professor at the NYU School of Medicine’s Department of Population Health who was the study’s lead author, says Asians with Type 2 diabetes are more likely to be diagnosed with rarer cancers than Westerners, including cancers of the liver, thyroid and kidney which was double the risk compared to non-diabetics in Asia. The findings were published in the journal Diabetologia. VOA
Hawaii to challenge Trump’s new travel ban
Attorneys for the state of Hawaii have said in court filings that on Wednesday, they will seek a temporary restraining order against President Trump’s revised executive order on travel from six Muslim-majority countries. On Monday, after his original executive order was blocked multiple times in court, Trump signed a new order that restricts citizens of Iran, Syria, Somalia, Sudan, Yemen, and Libya from receiving US visas for at least 90 days, and bans all refugees for 120 days.
“To be sure, the new executive order covers fewer people than the old one,” Neal Katyal, a lead attorney for Hawaii, told CNN, but still, the new ban “suffers from the same constitutional and statutory defects.” Hawaii is asking a judge that its request be heard before the new executive order goes into effect on March 16. CNN, The Week
A day without a woman
On the first International Women’s Day, in 1908, about 15,000 women marched through New York City with the goal of achieving better pay, shorter hours, and the right to vote. This year, the same organizers behind January’s Women’s March are hoping to demonstrate with the largest-ever Women’s Day protests on Wednesday, including a “Day Without a Woman” strike that encourages women to refrain from paid or unpaid work, not shop at stores other than small, local, or women-owned businesses, and wear red a symbol of “revolutionary love and sacrifice.”
More than 50 countries around the globe have similar protests planned, and there are nearly 400 separate rallies or marches scheduled around the world. “I have tremendous respect for women and the many roles they serve that are vital to the fabric of our society and our economy,” President Trump tweeted Wednesday morning. “On International Women’s Day, join me in honoring the critical role of women here in America and around the world.” Fortune, NBC News, The Week
WikiLeaks releases CIA documents
WikiLeaks on Tuesday morning published what appear to be thousands of documents that account for “the entire hacking capacity of the CIA,” founder Julian Assange said. The “Vault 7” dump could not immediately be authenticated by The Associated Press, but it is believed by at least one expert who spoke with the publication to be legitimate. The 8,761 documents would be the biggest release of US spy files ever, surpassing even the Edward Snowden files.
The documents appear to reveal that the CIA used hacking tools to turn smart TVs into “covert microphones” and also “weaponized exploits against a wide range of US and European company products, including Apple’s iPhone, Google’s Android, and Microsoft’s Windows.” The files were reportedly leaked to WikiLeaks by a source who was concerned about the CIA possibly having gained too much power. WikiLeaks, The Independent, The Week
House committee to hold Russian meddling
The House Intelligence Committee will hold its first public hearing into Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election on March 20, committee chairman Rep. Devin Nunes (D-Calif.) announced Tuesday. FBI Director James Comey, National Security Agency Director Mike Rogers, former CIA Director John Brennan, former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, and former acting Attorney General Sally Yates have been asked to testify.
The hearing will examine questions of Russian government-sponsored hacking ahead of the 2016 presidential election that may have helped President Trump by revealing unflattering information about his Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton. Asked about Trump’s recent allegation that former President Barack Obama wiretapped his phones at Trump Tower, Nunes said no evidence had yet been found to support the claim, but that the committee would investigate the matter. CNN, CNBC, The Week
New blood test to pinpoint location of cancer
Researchers are developing a blood test that can tell not only whether someone has cancer, but in what organ the tumors are lurking. It is able to detect the presence of dying tumor cells in blood as well as tissue signatures, to signal to clinicians which organ is affected by the cancer.
There already are tests that screen for traces of DNA released by dying cancer cells. Such blood tests show promise in the treatment of patients to see how well anti-cancer therapies are working. But researchers at the University of California, San Diego discovered a new clue, using organ-specific DNA signatures, that leads them to the particular organ that is affected. The finding makes the new blood test potentially useful as a screening tool in people suspected of having cancer. VOA
- 12 Foods That Lower Cholesterol Naturally
- 16 Cancer Causing Foods You Should Never Eat
- Donald Trump vs. China
- FBI suspects Russia hacked DNC to help Donald Trump