Mar. 16, 2017

BLOOMBERG

President Donald Trump is proposing historically deep budget cuts that would touch almost every federal agency and program and dramatically reorder government priorities to boost defense and security spending, although it's likely to face a fight in Congress.

President Donald Trump is proposing a $639 billion Pentagon budget for fiscal 2018 that pledges to accelerate combat against Islamic State terrorists and replenish a U.S. military worn out by 15 years of war operations.

First in Hawaii, then Maryland -- a pair of judges halted President Donald Trump's revised travel ban before it could be enforced, slamming it for discriminating against Muslims and handing the administration another setback on a core campaign issue.

China's parliament -- never known for its independence -- saw dissenting votes sink to their lowest level in more than a decade as President Xi Jinping demands greater loyalty ahead of a crucial party reshuffle.

Taiwan plans to raise military spending by about 50 percent next year as President Tsai Ing-wen attempts to offset China's growing might and support the local defense industry.

A new internet is being built: it has 1.1 billion users, a third of the world wide web. Indian banks are running transactions on it and Microsoft has embedded it into Skype. The biometric identifier program Aadhaar -- or "foundation" in Hindi -- has taken on a life of its own, authenticating loans and job seekers, pensions and money transfers across India. Other countries are also looking at similar programs, but research shows it's best to develop one standardized system so people can carry their IDs wherever they go in the world, said Paul Romer, chief economist at the World Bank.

U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May rejected calls for Scotland to hold a new referendum on independence before Brexit, putting her on a collision course with the Scottish National Party-led government in Edinburgh.

AP Top Stories

The Republican leader of the House Intelligence Committee says he has yet to see any evidence of President Trump's claim that former President Barack Obama tapped his phones at Trump Tower before the 2016 presidential election.

The death toll from a landslide at a dump in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa has reached 113, officials said on Wednesday, as the government declared three days of national mourning.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said Wednesday that Congress would "flex its muscle" and issue a subpoena if FBI Director James Comey did not respond to his request to say whether the agency is investigating President Trump's unsubstantiated wiretapping claims as well as possible ties between Russia and Trump's campaign.

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang called Wednesday for new talks to reduce tensions on the Korean Peninsula, ahead of a visit to the region this week by U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson that is expected to focus heavily on efforts to end North Korea's nuclear weapons and missile programs.

Sen. John McCain of Arizona accused fellow Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky Wednesday during a senate floor speech and stated that Paul was "achieving the objectives of" and "working for Vladimir Putin."

At least two people were injured in a shooting at a high school in the southern French town of Grasse on Thursday which saw the head teacher targeted, police and local authorities said. One 17-year-old pupil armed with a rifle, two handguns and two grenades was arrested after the shooting at the Tocqueville high school.

There was a rise in reports of sexual assault at U.S. Navy and Army military academies in the last year, the Department of Defense said on Wednesday.

A letter bomb exploded at the Paris offices of the International Monetary Fund on Thursday, injuring a secretary who suffered burns to her hands and face, police said.

China has started fresh construction work in the disputed South China Sea, new satellite images show, a sign that Beijing is continuing to strengthen its military reach across the vital trade waterway.

57-year-old Mitch Seavey became the oldest and fastest musher to win the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, in year marred by an abnormally high number of dog deaths.Seavey set a time record of eight days, 3 hours, 40 minutes and 13 seconds, the Iditarod said. That shaved several hours off the record his son set last year: eight days, 11 hours, 20 minutes and 16 seconds.

BBC

The U.S. State Department, which oversees foreign affairs, faces a budget cut of about 28%.

Tens of thousands of people have taken part in protests across Brazil against planned reforms to the pension system.

A Christian pastor has discovered one of the world's largest uncut diamonds in Sierra Leone's Kono district. The diamond, weighing 709 carats, is now locked up in Sierra Leone's central bank in Freetown. It is one of the 20 largest diamonds ever found.

A river in New Zealand has become the first in the world to be granted the same legal rights as a person. The New Zealand parliament passed the bill recognizing the Whanganui River, in North Island, as a living entity.

WND

A Patriot missile - usually priced at about $3m (£2.5m) - was used to shoot down a small quadcopter drone, according to a US general. That quadcopter that cost 200 bucks from Amazon.com did not stand a chance against a Patriot," he said.

The man who successfully predicted the collapse of the Soviet Union says the world is increasingly dangerous because the U.S. takes less of a leadership role, but he is hopeful President Trump will reverse that trend.

Gold Ridge Elementary School in Folsom, California has banned the game of tag. "Students were instructed that physical contact including tag games, touch football, etc. were not allowed."

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