NEWS - WEDNESDAY, MAY 27, 2020 - NEWS
President Trump says he'll pull the Republican National Convention out of North Carolina unless its governor agrees to a full-capacity gathering. LA Times
VOA VIEW: NC will lose big time if their governor fails to agree to the RNC terms.
Google employees who don’t want to return to the office this summer can start shopping for a nice home office. The search giant said Tuesday that it will begin letting employees come back to the office beginning July 6, and will gradually ramp up its in-person attendance throughout late summer and early fall. New York Post
President Trump has repeatedly voiced a desire to leave Afghanistan sooner than the timeline laid out in the Feb. 29 peace agreement. He may want to campaign on bringing home every soldier. New York Times
VOA VIEW: Time will tell - don't count on it.

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The Taliban stand on the brink of realizing their most fervent desire: U.S. troops leaving Afghanistan. They have given up little of their extremist ideology to do it. New York Times
VOA VIEW: It seems like the Taliban may be ahead.
U.S. House of Representatives Republicans will sue Democratic Speaker Nancy Pelosi over rule changes that allow members to vote on each other's behalf during the coronavirus pandemic, Republican aides said on Tuesday. Rueters
VOA VIEW: Pelosi is an idiot.
U.S. President Donald Trump said on Tuesday he is preparing to take action against China this week over its effort to impose national security laws on Hong Kong, but did not give details. Rueters
Joe Biden hired a senior staffer to work on voter protection issues, his presidential campaign said on Tuesday, as President Donald Trump again blasted states' efforts to expand voting by mail in light of the coronavirus pandemic ahead of the Nov. 3 election. Rueters
VOA VIEW: A waste.
The AFL-CIO, the largest U.S. coalition of labor unions, endorsed Democrat Joe Biden for president on Tuesday, promising to launch an effort to beat Republican President Donald Trump in the Nov. 3 election. Rueters
VOA VIEW: The members will vote for Trump.
Federal prosecutors on Tuesday lodged mail-fraud charges against a postal worker they say altered absentee ballot requests in last month's primary election. Thomas Cooper, 47, admitted to changing information on the requests for ballots — including five where he switched the party primary from Democrat to Republican, according to investigators. ... Washington Times
VOA VIEW: Pitiful!

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President Trump on Tuesday continued to attack sweeping plans in some states to let voters cast their ballot via mail, saying it invites mischief. "You're asking for fraud," Mr. Trump said at a White House event on insulin costs. As many Americans remain hunkered down to the coronavirus, many states ... Washington Times
VOA VIEW: As he should.
The NYSE president says it will look "different" than it did before. ABC
VOA VIEW: Good!
The owner of a boat service company said the husband of Michigan's governor dropped her name while pleading to get his boat in the water for Memorial Day weekend ABC
VOA VIEW: Oops!
GOP officials in several states are moving forward with preparations for increased mail-in voting. CBS
VOA VIEW: No mail-in voting.

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The CDC recommends it, but the president mocks it. CBS
VOA VIEW: It showed Biden weakness.
Trump's tweets revived a baseless theory that MSNBC host Joe Scarborough was somehow involved in the death of his former staffer. CNBC
VOA VIEW: Good!
Several Republican officials are pitching their states as possible venues for the upcoming Republican National Convention after President Donald Trump threatened to move it out of North Carolina over coronavirus restrictions. CNBC
VOA VIEW: That will teach NC stupidity.

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Dating is hard enough in the best of times. Throw in nationwide social distancing mandates, and a highly contagious virus for which there's no cure or vaccine, and you would expect the search for love to be the last thing on everyone's mind. But dating is thriving as singles turn to dating apps in record numbers. CNBC
VOA VIEW: Foolish!
President Donald Trump retweeted Fox News contributor Brit Hume's criticism of Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden for wearing a mask in public. CNN
VOA VIEW: As he should.
Floor trading reopened at the New York Stock Exchange Tuesday. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo rang the opening bell, and traders exulted in cheers. It was the perfect setting for investors' unbridled enthusiasm about the markets. CNN
VOA VIEW: Biden did not like the good news.
The streets of downtown Miami were turned into canals on Memorial Day, stranding some drivers as a slow-moving tropical disturbance brought heavy rainfall and significant flooding to South Florida.  FOX News
The Defense Department's deputy inspector general resigned on Tuesday, more than a month after President Donald Trump removed him as the Pentagon's acting inspector general, becoming the latest official in a federal oversight role to depart. Reuters

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Hong Kong police issued a warning late on Tuesday that they would not tolerate disruptions to public order, after activists circulated calls online for fresh demonstrations on Wednesday. Reuters
U.S. President Donald Trump is displeased with China over Beijing's effort to impose a new security law on Hong Kong after last year's pro-democracy unrest, White House spokeswoman Kayleigh McEnany said on Tuesday. Reuters
VOA VIEW: China is digging their own grave.
The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday declined to block a judge's ruling that requires the U.S. government to evaluate moving up to 837 potentially at-risk prisoners out of a federal prison in Ohio due to concerns about the health risks of the coronavirus. Reuters

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The World Health Organization (WHO) on Tuesday promised a swift review of data on hydroxychloroquine, probably by mid-June, after safety concerns prompted the group to suspend the malaria drug's use in a large trial on COVID-19 patients. Reuters
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said he will travel to Washington to meet with President Donald Trump on Wednesday and planned to discuss major investments in infrastructure as a way to jumpstart a U.S. economy devastated by the coronavirus pandemic. Reuters
VOA VIEW: The federal government should not bailout Cuomo's blunder.
Sales of new single-family homes rose 0.6 percent in April buoyed by a nearly 9 percent increase in the Northeast, according to figures released by the U.S. Census Bureau on Tuesday. UPI
VOA VIEW: Good news for the US, bad for Biden.
Germany's highest civil court has ruled that Volkswagen must buy back vehicles that were fitted with illegal emissions software in a landmark decision in the "Dieselgate" scandal. UPI

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COMMENTARY OF THE DAY
By
Robert Namer
Voice Of America
©2018 All rights reserved
May 27, 2020

     Scam artists who should be punished. A multibillion-dollar institution in the Seattle area invests in hedge funds, runs a pair of venture capital funds and works with elite private equity firms like the Carlyle Group. But it is not just another deep-pocketed investor hunting for high returns. It is the Providence Health System, one of the country’s largest and richest hospital chains. It is sitting on nearly $12 billion in cash, which it invests, Wall Street-style, in a good year generating more than $1 billion in profits.

     And this spring, Providence received at least $509 million in government funds, one of many wealthy beneficiaries of a federal program that is supposed to prevent health care providers from capsizing during the coronavirus pandemic. With states restricting hospitals from performing elective surgery and other nonessential services, their revenue has shriveled. The Department of Health and Human Services has disbursed $72 billion in grants since April to hospitals and other health care providers through the bailout program, which was part of the CARES Act economic stimulus package. The department plans to eventually distribute more than $100 billion more.

     So far, the riches are flowing in large part to hospitals that had already built up deep financial reserves to help them withstand an economic storm. Smaller, poorer hospitals are receiving tiny amounts of federal aid by comparison. Twenty large recipients, including Providence, have received a total of more than $5 billion in recent weeks, according to an analysis of federal data by Good Jobs First, a research group. Those hospital chains were already sitting on more than $108 billion in cash, according to regulatory filings and the bond-rating firms S&P Global and Fitch. A Providence spokeswoman said the grants helped make up for losses from the coronavirus.

     Those cash piles come from a mix of sources: no-strings-attached private donations, income from investments with hedge funds and private equity firms, and any profits from treating patients. Some chains, like Providence, also run their own venture-capital firms to invest their cash in cutting-edge start-ups. The investment portfolios often generate billions of dollars in annual profits, dwarfing what the hospitals earn from serving patients. Many of these hospital groups, including Providence, are set up as nonprofits, which generally don’t have to pay federal taxes on their billions of dollars of income.

     By contrast, hospitals that serve low-income patients often have only enough cash on hand to finance a few weeks of their operations. After the CARES Act was passed in March, hospital industry lobbyists reached out to senior Health and Human Services officials to discuss how the money would be distributed.