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  • Iran backtracks on plan to send flight recorders to Ukraine

    Golocal247.com news

    The Iranian official leading the investigation into the Ukrainian jetliner that was accidentally shot down by the Revolutionary Guard appeared to backtrack Sunday on plans to send the flight recorders abroad for analysis, a day after saying they would be sent to Kyiv. Iranian officials previously said the black boxes were damaged but are usable. Iran may be hesitant to turn over the recorders for fear that more details from the crash — including the harrowing 20 seconds between when the first and second surface-to-air missiles hit the plane — will come to light.

    Sun, 19 Jan 2020 04:50:44 -0500
  • Iran may review cooperation with IAEA if EU pressure mounts -TV

    Iran will review its cooperation with the United Nations' nuclear watchdog over any "unjust" measures, Iranian parliament speaker Ali Larijani said after EU powers last week triggered a dispute mechanism under Tehran's 2015 nuclear deal. "We state openly that if the European powers, for any reason, adopt an unfair approach in using the dispute mechanism, we will seriously reconsider our cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency," State TV quoted Larijani as saying.

    Sun, 19 Jan 2020 04:22:37 -0500
  • House of Lords Could Move to North of England Under Proposal

    (Bloomberg) -- Sign up to our Brexit Bulletin, follow us @Brexit and subscribe to our podcast.Moving the House of Lords out of London is one of a number of ideas under consideration to make sure every part of the U.K. “feels properly connected to politics,” Conservative Party Chairman James Cleverly said.The Sunday Times reported that Prime Minister Boris Johnson is planning to locate Parliament’s upper chamber permanently in York in northern England and has ordered work to begin on the practicalities of a move. Birmingham in the midlands is also in the running, it said.When asked about the report on Sky TV’s “Sophy Ridge on Sunday” show, Cleverly said: “We might. It’s one of range of things we are looking into. It’s about demonstrating to people we are going to do things differently. The Labour Party lost millions of voters because they failed to listen.”Johnson has spoken repeatedly of “leveling up” across the U.K. after traditional Labour strongholds in the north backed the Conservatives for the first time in the Dec. 12 general election.Labour lawmaker Nadia Whittome dismissed the idea of moving the 795-member chamber.“Working-class people don’t care about the unelected House of Lords,” she told BBC TV’s Andrew Marr Show. “We want jobs, proper investment and meaningful decentralization of power. This is superficial. It’s tinkering around the edges.”To contact the reporter on this story: Andrew Atkinson in London at a.atkinson@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Fergal O'Brien at fobrien@bloomberg.net, Sara Marley, James AmottFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

    Sun, 19 Jan 2020 04:21:12 -0500
  • Two Officers Injured as Rally Ends in Violence: Hong Kong Update

    (Bloomberg) -- Two Hong Kong police officers were beaten at a rally in the city center that was dispersed as it descended into confusion and violent clashes.The officers, from the Police Community Liaison Office, the both suffered head wounds after being attacked with wooden sticks and other weapons near the gathering in Chater Garden in the Central business district. The meeting of thousands of protesters started peacefully with speeches and music but was dispersed when police ordered an end to it, citing violent behavior by protesters.Sunday’s events followed a relative lull in the past weeks, after seven months of sometimes-violent protests that were ignited by a bill to allow extraditions to mainland China. The demonstrators’ demands have broadened to include greater democracy and an independent inquiry into police conduct.Here’s the latest (all times local):Venue cleared (5 p.m.)The Chater Garden venue was virtually cleared of the throngs of demonstrators gathered earlier for a rally scheduled to run until 10 p.m. The meeting was meant to reinvigorate the Hong Kong protest movement, with a list speakers from trade unions, religious groups and student associations.Objects thrown at officers (4:30 p.m.)Police said that they asked the organizers to suspend the rally in response to violence from some people at the scene. Objects were thrown at officers, according to a statement.Police scuffled with demonstrators who spilled into roads and set fire to barricades. Officers handcuffed a number of people. At least one person was bleeding from a head wound.‘Refocus on Hong Kong’ (2:30 p.m.)One of the organizers of Sunday’s rally, Ventus Lau of the Hong Kong Civil Assembly team, said at the event: “Today we believe we need to make the world focus on Hong Kong again. In the past few weeks, maybe they’ve been focusing on Iran or even on the Taiwan election. But now, it is time to look at Hong Kong again.”“It is 2020, the year of the Legislative Council election. If the government refuses to give us universal suffrage, this is a clear sign that they are still suppressing our human rights, our freedom and our democracy,” he said.Air traffic drops (11:30 a.m.)Traffic through Hong Kong International Airport declined across the board last year as months of ongoing unrest, including protest-related closures at the transit hub.The airport handled 71.5 million passengers in 2019, down 4.2% from a year earlier, the Airport Authority Hong Kong said in a press release Sunday. Flight movements fell 1.9% while total cargo throughput declined 6.1% from a year ago to 4.8 million tonnes.Some of the more violent clashes seen in Hong Kong happened at the airport and its rail link last year as protesters organized sit-ins that led to the delays and cancellation of hundreds of flights.Watchdog limitations (Sunday 8 a.m.)Lisa Lau, a former member of the Independent Police Complaints Council, said the body’s lack of investigative powers is an impediment to investigating the protests, and added the group has not yet met with the police commander in charge of the July incident in Yuen Long when subway riders were violently attacked, Ming Pao reported Sunday.Wong calls for support (3 p.m.)Activist Joshua Wong said the number of participants in Sunday’s march is crucial to continue informing the international community of Hong Kong’s ongoing struggle. Speaking to local media, he said the movement needs to maintain a sufficient level of demonstrators at the marches to ensure the world’s attention does not wane.Ventus Lau told Radio Television Hong Kong that protesters must be aware they might be involved in clashes with police.Demonstrators “may be stopped and searched by the police or you may face clashes between the police and the citizens,” given past experiences, he said.Pro-establishment support (Saturday 2 p.m.)More than 100 people gathered in Kowloon Tong Saturday to protest what they see as anti-government bias from local broadcaster RTHK. Elsewhere, about 50 pro-police supporters rallied outside the Mong Kok police station, presenting officers with gifts to show their support.\--With assistance from Kari Lindberg.To contact the reporters on this story: Eric Lam in Hong Kong at elam87@bloomberg.net;Aaron Mc Nicholas in Hong Kong at amcnicholas2@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Shamim Adam at sadam2@bloomberg.net, Stanley JamesFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

    Sun, 19 Jan 2020 04:11:43 -0500
  • Lebanon to release protesters detained after night of riots

    Golocal247.com news

    Lebanon's public prosecutor ordered the release Sunday of more than 30 people detained the previous evening, according to the National State News agency, in the worst day of violence since protests erupted three months ago. The public prosecutor said all 34 arrested are to be released, except those with other pending cases. The Cabinet headed by Prime Minister Saad Hariri resigned in late October.

    Sun, 19 Jan 2020 03:53:03 -0500
  • North Korea Picks Army Man Who Led Korean Talks as Top Envoy

    (Bloomberg) -- North Korea named a former army officer who led military and high-level talks between the two Koreas as its top diplomat, Yonhap News reported, in a move that could change the course of stalled nuclear negotiations between Kim Jong Un and U.S. President Donald Trump.Foreign envoys in Pyongyang were notified late last week that Ri Son Gwon replaced Ri Yong Ho as foreign minister, Yonhap said, citing various sources it didn’t identify. Ri Yong Ho had served as the top diplomat since 2016.South Korea’s Unification Ministry said in a text message that the government is trying to confirm whether the foreign minister was replaced and Ri Son Gwon’s official title has been changed. The move, which is yet to be announced in North Korea’s state media, is likely to be confirmed to resident diplomats at an event scheduled for Jan. 23 in Pyongyang, NK News reported separately.Ri Son Gwon, former chairman of the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland, became known to South Koreans after he led a delegation to high-level inter-Korean talks in January 2018. He was accused of being rude to a visiting group of South Korean conglomerate chiefs later that year, appearing to rebuke them for not taking enough action to boost business development between the two sides.The apparent replacement comes days after the isolated nation publicly declared that it won’t rely on its leader’s personal relationship with Trump as it doesn’t intend to trade its nuclear weapons for a halt in sanctions.Since the failure of working-level denuclearization talks in October in Stockholm, Pyongyang hasn’t responded to Washington’s continued demands for another talk and instead stepped up tensions verbally and with weapons tests.‘Crucial’ TestMost recently, it said late last year that it successfully conducted a “crucial” test at a long-range projectile launch site and had boosted its nuclear-deterrent capabilities, without elaborating on details.Kim declared in a speech at the start of the year that a lack of U.S. response in nuclear talks meant he was no longer bound by his pledge to halt major missile tests and would soon debut a “new strategic weapon.” Declining to go into detail, Kim also left the outside world guessing what “new path” he will take, and how he will deal with the U.S. in 2020.Ri Son Gwon served as a senior colonel in 2010 and last appeared in the North’s state media when the KCNA reported in April he was elected as a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee along with Choe Son Hui, first vice-minister of foreign affairs. He previously also led a working-level military dialogue between the two Koreas in 2011.Ri has no direct experience of dealing with the U.S., nor is an official with the traditional elite-diplomat background, said Cheong Seong-chang, a researcher at the Sejong Institute in South Korea, casting doubts over a possible breakthrough in the U.S.-North Korea talks.“I think the North will take a harder line against the U.S.,” Cheong said. It “will be under greater influence of the military, which has urged to strengthen its position as a nuclear power,” he said.The replacement of foreign minister also coincides with Seoul’s sudden turn to improve inter-Korean ties as the Kim-Trump talks for denuclearization remain in deadlock and rising cracks in South Korea’s relations with the U.S.South Korean President Moon Jae-in said he would help on projects such as individual tourism with North Korea if they require approval from the United Nations to exempt them from sanctions. His Unification Ministry later said the government is considering allowing South Korean individuals to travel to North Korea to expand inter-Korean exchanges in the private sector.U.S. Ambassador to South Korea Harry Harris said such a push by Seoul should be discussed with the U.S., and his comment was immediately denounced by Moon’s office as “very inappropriate.”(Updates with comments from South Korea’s Unification Ministry and analyst from third paragraph)To contact the reporter on this story: Kanga Kong in Seoul at kkong50@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Shamim Adam at sadam2@bloomberg.net, Virginia Van Natta, Jiyeun LeeFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

    Sun, 19 Jan 2020 03:49:01 -0500
  • Iran warns of repercussions for IAEA over European moves

    Golocal247.com news

    Iran's parliamentary speaker on Sunday warned of unspecified repercussions for the UN's nuclear watchdog if European nations that launched a dispute mechanism against the Islamic republic act "unfairly". Britain, France and Germany launched a process last week charging Iran with failing to observe the terms of the 2015 deal curtailing its nuclear programme, while Tehran accuses the bloc of inaction over US sanctions. The EU three insisted they remained committed to the agreement, which has already been severely undermined by the US exit from it in 2018 and its reimposition of unilateral sanctions on key sectors of Iran's economy.

    Sun, 19 Jan 2020 03:47:48 -0500
  • World powers in Berlin to seek elusive Libya peace

    Golocal247.com news

    World leaders gather in Berlin on Sunday to make a fresh push for peace in Libya, in a desperate bid to stop the conflict-wracked nation from turning into a "second Syria". Chancellor Angela Merkel will be joined by the presidents of Russia, Turkey and France and other world leaders for talks from around 2:00 pm (1300 GMT) held under the auspices of the United Nations. Leaders of both warring factions -- strongman Khalifa Haftar and the head of Tripoli's UN-recognised government Fayez al-Sarraj -- are also expected at what is the first such gathering since 2018.

    Sun, 19 Jan 2020 03:42:13 -0500
  • Israel building underground defense system on Lebanon border

    Golocal247.com news

    Israel's military said it began construction of an underground defense system Sunday along its northern frontier with Lebanon to protect against cross-border tunnels. The infrastructure project will identify underground acoustic and seismic activity indicating tunnel digging, accompanied other defensive measures, said Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus, a military spokesman. Israel destroyed a series of what it said were attack tunnels last year, dug under the border by the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah.

    Sun, 19 Jan 2020 03:41:00 -0500
  • Erdogan demands stand against 'blood and chaos' in Libya

    Golocal247.com news

    Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called on the international community to stand against “the merchants of blood and chaos” as he headed Sunday to a Berlin summit seeking to resolve the Libya conflict. Erdogan supports the U.N.-backed administration in Tripoli led by Fayez Sarraj and sent troops to Libya earlier this month to help them in their battle with eastern-based forces led by Gen. Khalifa Hifter.

    Sun, 19 Jan 2020 03:28:45 -0500
  • Iran says it is preparing for satellite launch

    Iran said Sunday that two newly constructed satellites have passed pre-launch tests and will be transported to the nation's space center for eventual launch, without elaborating. Iran has not said when it will launch the satellites, but often coordinates its launches with national holidays. Iran's largely state-run media say the 90-kilogram (200-pound) Zafar satellites each have four high-resolution color cameras and will monitor and transmit data on natural resources as well as agricultural and environmental developments.

    Sun, 19 Jan 2020 03:23:35 -0500
  • Yemen missile, drone attack kills at least 70 soldiers

    Golocal247.com news

    At least 70 Yemeni soldiers have been killed in missile and drone attacks blamed on Huthi rebels, on a mosque in the central province of Marib, medical and military sources said Sunday. Saturday's strike follows months of relative calm in the war between the Iran-backed Huthis and Yemen's internationally recognised government which is backed by a Saudi-led military coalition. The Huthis attacked a mosque in a military camp in Marib -- about 170 kilometres (105 miles) east of the capital Sanaa -- during evening prayers, military sources told AFP.

    Sun, 19 Jan 2020 03:16:19 -0500
  • Germany hosts Libya summit in bid to curb military meddling

    Golocal247.com news

    Germany is bringing together the key players in Libya’s long-running civil war in a bid to curb foreign military meddling, solidify a cease-fire and help relaunch a political process to determine the North African nation’s future. Chancellor Angela Merkel invited leaders from 12 countries as well as the United Nations, the European Union, the African Union and the Arab League to Sunday’s summit at the chancellery in Berlin. Germany’s months-long diplomatic drive seeks to bolster efforts to stop the fighting in Libya by U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and his envoy for Libya, Ghassan Salame.

    Sun, 19 Jan 2020 02:47:38 -0500
  • Hong Kong police fire tear gas as thousands rally

    Golocal247.com news

    Hong Kong police fired tear gas Sunday at a public park that was overflowing with thousands of protesters calling for electoral reforms and a boycott of the Chinese Communist Party. A former British colony, Hong Kong was returned to China in 1997.

    Sun, 19 Jan 2020 02:35:25 -0500
  • China and Myanmar’s Latest Sign of Improving Relations

    (Bloomberg) -- China and neighboring Myanmar agreed to expedite several projects designated as part of the pan-Eurasia Belt and Road Initiative in a sign of growing ties between both countries.The two sides inked 33 agreements as Chinese President Xi Jinping wrapped up a visit to the Myanmar capital of Naypyidaw on Saturday, where he met his counterpart Aung San Suu Kyi.They agreed to jointly develop the so-called China-Myanmar Economic Corridor between the southern Yunnan province and Mandalay. There was also a concession and shareholders agreement for the development of the multi-billion dollar special economic zone and deep-sea port in Myanmar’s western Rakhine State.The two-day trip, Xi’s first of the year, saw the Chinese leader also meet the commander-in-chief of Myanmar’s powerful armed forces, Min Aung Hlaing. As the sole land bridge between two regional giants -- India and China -- Myanmar has the potential to tap into global supply chains at a time when western businesses have been hesitant to bankroll projects due to the ongoing Rohingya crisis.Beijing reiterated its willingness to provide support to Myanmar over the repatriation and resettlement of those displaced from Rakhine State, without mentioning the Rohingya, according to a joint statement released Saturday.That follows the statement earlier this month from Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Luo Zhaohui, who said China will support talks with Dhaka for the repatriation of some 700,000 Rohingya refugees living in camps across the border in Bangladesh.Since the mass exodus of Myanmar’s ethnic Muslim population began in 2017, the nation has increasingly turned to China to fulfill its economic expansion ambitions. In the first 11 months of 2019, investment from China reached $20.9 billion, accounting for more than a quarter of foreign direct investment, according to government data.(Updates with statement in fifth paragraph)To contact the reporters on this story: Khine Lin Kyaw in Myanmar (Non BLP Loc) at kkyaw1@bloomberg.net;Philip J. Heijmans in Singapore at pheijmans1@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Ruth Pollard at rpollard2@bloomberg.net, Shamim AdamFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

    Sun, 19 Jan 2020 00:26:28 -0500
  • Fires set stage for irreversible forest losses in Australia

    Australia’s forests are burning at a rate unmatched in modern times and scientists say the landscape is being permanently altered as a warming climate brings profound changes to the island continent. Heat waves and drought have fueled bigger and more frequent fires in parts of Australia, so far this season torching some 40,000 square miles (104,000 square kilometers), an area about as big as Ohio. Before the recent wildfires, ecologists divided up Australia’s native vegetation into two categories: fire-adapted landscapes that burn periodically, and those that don’t burn.

    Sat, 18 Jan 2020 22:02:15 -0500
  • Argentines remember prosecutor killed while probing attack on Jews

    Golocal247.com news

    Argentines paid tribute Saturday to a prosecutor on the fifth anniversary of his unsolved death while probing the bombing of a Jewish community center -- an attack in which he alleged a presidential cover-up to shield Iran in exchange for trade. Prosecutor Alberto Nisman led the probe of the 1994 bombing of the Argentine Israelite Mutual Association headquarters, which left 85 dead and 300 wounded. In 2015, his body was found in his Buenos Aires apartment with a gunshot wound to the head, delivered at close range from a handgun found at his side.

    Sat, 18 Jan 2020 20:44:14 -0500
  • US seeks to deport Honduran mom, sick children to Guatemala

    Golocal247.com news

    The U.S. government says it will deport a Honduran mother and her two sick children, both of whom are currently hospitalized, to Guatemala as soon as it can get them medically cleared to travel, according to court documents and the family’s advocates. The family’s advocates accuse the U.S. of disregarding the health of the children, ages 1 and 6, to push forward a plan currently being challenged in court to send planeloads of families to different countries so that they can seek asylum elsewhere. Both children have been hospitalized in recent days in South Texas’ Rio Grande Valley.

    Sat, 18 Jan 2020 20:20:21 -0500
  • ICE ups ante in standoff with NYC: 'This is not a request'

    Golocal247.com news

    Federal authorities are turning to a new tactic in the escalating conflict over New York City's so-called sanctuary policies, issuing four “immigration subpoenas” to the city for information about inmates wanted for deportation. “This is not a request — it's a demand,” Henry Lucero, a senior U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement official, told The Associated Press. Mayor Bill de Blasio's administration said Saturday the city would review the subpoenas.

    Sat, 18 Jan 2020 19:23:51 -0500
  • Welcome to ‘Peak Decade,’ From Globalization to Central Banks

    Golocal247.com news

    (Bloomberg) -- Sign up here to receive the Davos Diary, a special daily newsletter that will run from Jan. 20-24.Amid the Alpine peaks of the Swiss resort of Davos in the week ahead, politicians, investors and executives will be busy debating whether we are witnessing peaks in key drivers of the world economy.From oil demand, car production and the proportion of young people as a share of the population, to less-measurable themes like globalization, inequality and central banking power, there’s an argument each will ebb in the 2020’s.Strategists at Bank of America Corp. are already telling clients to brace for a “ground-breaking ‘peak decade’” that will disrupt business and investing. Ian Bremmer, a delegate at the World Economy Forum’s annual meeting and founder of Eurasia Group, describes this year as a “tipping point.”The theme is captured throughout the Davos program, which contains multiple panels on “stakeholder capitalism” and tackling inequality. Participants will also discuss the future of globalization and whether central banks are out of ammunition.Here are the hot talking points:PEAK GLOBALIZATION?The era of people, goods and money flowing increasingly unchecked around the world may have past its high point as governments pursue protectionism and erect more obstacles to migration. Already there are around 77 physical barriers delineating international borders compared with 15 in 1989 after the fall of the Berlin Wall, according to Bank of America. The World Trade Organization calculates the pace of growth in international commerce fell below the rate of economic expansion in 2019 for the fifth time since the financial crisis. Foreign direct investment inflows have been on the decline since 2015, says the United Nations.The U.S.-China trade war is at the center of the shift. But even with the signing of an interim deal, the Peterson Institute for International Economics reckons the average U.S. tariff on imports from China is still 19.3% versus 3.1% at the start of 2018.Away from Beijing, Trump is also seeking to remodel the World Trade Organization and potentially clamp down on European auto exports. The U.K. still needs to strike a post-Brexit trade deal with the European Union.Still, the continued development of the digital economy, rising tourism and mounting reliance of companies on revenues generated outside their home market provide room for confidence globalization is evolving rather than ending.PEAK CAPITALISM?JPMorgan Chase & Co. CEO Jamie Dimon and BlackRock Inc. Founder Laurence Fink, both of whom will be in Davos, are among those who have entered the debate over whether companies should better weigh stakeholders such as customers and employees, a departure from the decades-old shareholder-first mindset.Behind the shift: the rise of populism, concern wages aren’t keeping up with assets such as equities and fears over climate change.The maturing millennial generation are a driving force too. When making investment decisions, 87% of those born between 1981 and 1996 believe environmental, social and governance factors are important, according to Bank of America.PEAK INEQUALITY?The pressure to reduce inequality will become more urgent this decade as the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals approach their 2030 deadline. 193 governments have signed up to 17 goals, 169 targets and 304 indicators on how to end poverty, clean up the environment and share prosperity for all.There has already been some progress. Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo, last year’s winners of the Nobel Prize for economics, estimate the average income of the world’s bottom 50% of earners also almost doubled since 1980.But William Gale of the Brookings Institution notes the 400 richest Americans owned 3.26% of wealth in 2018, up from 0.93% in 1982. The top 1% also paid about a third of their income in tax in both 1979 and 2019, he says. Expect such numbers to be bandied about ahead of the U.S. election in November, with some Democrat candidates promoting higher corporate and wealth taxes.PEAK YOUTH?For the first time, there are now more seniors than children in the world and that trend is set to escalate, according to the UN.The global fertility rate already halved from 5 children per woman in 1955 and the average life expectancy has increased from 31 in 1900 to 72 today and is tipped to reach 83 by the end of this century.While another 1 billion people are expected on the planet by 2030, the demographic mix will be starkly different. For starters, the number of those aged 65 or older will outnumber children under the age of 5.The growth of the working age population is also set to slow, straining pensions and healthcare resources. In a recent paper, Stanford University Professor Charles Jones said there is a “distinct possibility” that global population will decline rather than stabilize in the long run, threatening economic growth.PEAK CLIMATE CHANGE?The world faces a sweeping series of climate-related tipping points -- from melting ice caps to droughts and dying coral reefs. Nature magazine in November collated the risks, which they described as a climate emergency that will compel political and economic actions on emissions. 21 of the hottest years on record came in the last quarter century.“We argue that the intervention time left to prevent tipping could already have shrunk towards zero, whereas the reaction time to achieve net zero emissions is 30 years at best,” the article’s authors wrote.The international effort to rein in fossil fuel pollution took a knock in December after marathon UN talks watered down language on issues they had agreed on in previous years.PEAK OIL DEMAND?Hotter temperatures have put new scrutiny on the world’s energy mix.This means renewable energy like solar and wind, plus electric vehicles are going to soar up the policy agenda at the cost of fossil fuel gurgling vehicles. Big Oil executives believe that peak oil demand is increasingly likely in the late 2030s.For example, Saudi Aramco, the world’s largest oil producer and the most profitable company in the planet, said on its initial public offering prospectus that oil demand may peak around 2035, with demand “leveling off.”PEAK CARS?The 1.3 billion vehicles on the roads today are probably the most there will ever be. Megacities will house around two thirds of the global population by mid-century, cutting back on the need for expensive cars.Evolving urban architecture will also increasingly constrain car usage. The shift is already underway in mature markets. Only 26% of U.S. 16-year-olds earned a driver’s license in 2017 compared with almost half just 36 years ago, according to Sivak Applied Research. Even if overall car sales remain robust, cheaper technology such as robotaxis and developments such as ride-sharing stand to take the shine off their attractiveness.PEAK CENTRAL BANKS?Central banks may have rescued the world from depression in the wake of the financial crisis, but their ability to turnaround their economies from here is limited after what Bank of America estimates is more than 700 interest rate cuts and around $12 trillion in quantitative easing since 2009.Negative interest rates are already being blamed for hurting banks, while demographic shifts, record debt levels, technological disruption and bank deleveraging all sap the potency of monetary policy. That leaves politicians under pressure to loosen fiscal policy the next time trouble hits the world economy.\--With assistance from Zoe Schneeweiss.To contact the reporter on this story: Enda Curran in Hong Kong at ecurran8@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Simon Kennedy at skennedy4@bloomberg.net, Malcolm ScottFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

    Sat, 18 Jan 2020 19:01:00 -0500
  • Libya oil exports blocked, raising stakes for Berlin peace summit

    Golocal247.com news

    Forces loyal to Libyan military strongman Khalifa Haftar blocked oil exports from the war-ravaged country's main ports Saturday, raising the stakes on the eve of an international summit aimed at bringing peace to the North African nation. The move to cripple the country's main income source was a protest against Turkey's decision to send troops to shore up Haftar's rival, the head of Tripoli's UN-recognised government Fayez al-Sarraj. It comes ahead of Sunday's conference in Berlin that will see the United Nations try to extract a pledge from world leaders to stop meddling in the Libyan conflict -- be it through supplying troops, weapons or financing.

    Sat, 18 Jan 2020 18:55:56 -0500
  • Trump team, House managers trade sharp views on impeachment

    Golocal247.com news

    President Donald Trump's legal team issued a fiery response ahead of opening arguments in his impeachment trial Saturday while House Democrats laid out their case in forceful fashion, saying the president had betrayed public trust with behavior that was the “worst nightmare" of the founding fathers. The dueling statements previewed arguments both sides intend to make once Trump's impeachment trial begins in earnest on Tuesday. The House’s 111-page brief pulled together the private and public testimony of a dozen witnesses -- ambassadors and national security officials at high levels of government -- who raised concerns about the president's actions with Ukraine.

    Sat, 18 Jan 2020 18:54:53 -0500
  • Boy arrested after shooting that killed 4 in small Utah town

    Golocal247.com news

    A boy armed with a gun killed three children and a woman inside a Utah home, then accompanied a fifth victim to a hospital, where he was arrested, police said Saturday. Police were still trying to piece together who's who and what happened leading up to Friday night's shooting in Grantsville. “We're trying to make certain that we verify people's relationships among the deceased and the survivor,” Grantsville Police Cpl.

    Sat, 18 Jan 2020 18:29:27 -0500
  • Biden rips Sanders campaign for Social Security attacks

    Golocal247.com news

    Joe Biden has called for Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign to “disown” what he calls “doctored video” that some Sanders supporters say shows the former vice president endorsing Republican calls to cut Social Security and Medicare. “There’s a little doctored video going around ... put out by one of Bernie’s people,” Biden told supporters Saturday in Indianola, Iowa, referring to a 2018 speech in which Biden discussed then-House Speaker Paul Ryan saying rising deficit demanded action on the popular entitlement programs.

    Sat, 18 Jan 2020 18:15:23 -0500
  • Newly released texts tie Nunes aide closer to Ukraine plot

    New documents released by House Democrats suggest that Rep. Devin Nunes, the top Republican on the House Intelligence Committee, was more deeply involved than was previously known in efforts by allies of President Donald Trump to dig up dirt in Ukraine on former Vice President Joe Biden. Democrats on the Intelligence Committee released a trove of text messages, photos and other documents Friday night as part of the impeachment inquiry. The materials were provided to the House by Lev Parnas, a Florida businessman who worked with Trump personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani to try to persuade the Ukrainian government to launch an investigation into Biden.

    Sat, 18 Jan 2020 17:25:38 -0500
  • Discovery of unused disaster supplies angers Puerto Rico

    Golocal247.com news

    People in a southern Puerto Rico city discovered a warehouse filled with water, cots and other unused emergency supplies, then set off a social media uproar Saturday when they broke in to retrieve goods as the area struggles to recover from a strong earthquake. With anger spreading in the U.S. territory after video of the event in Ponce appeared on Facebook, Gov. Wanda Vázquez quickly fired the director of the island's emergency management agency. The governor said she had ordered an investigation after learning the emergency supplies had been piled in the warehouse since Hurricane Maria battered Puerto Rico in September 2017.

    Sat, 18 Jan 2020 16:56:18 -0500
  • Countdown to death: Trump details Soleimani's end

    Golocal247.com news

    Cameras "miles in the sky", a countdown and then "boom": US President Donald Trump has recounted the final moments of Iran's powerful General Qasem Soleimani in an American drone strike. Trump delivered the account Friday night to Republican Party donors gathered at his Florida residence Mar-a-Lago for a fundraising dinner, US media said. It killed the Revolutionary Guards Quds Force commander and members of Iraq's Hashed al-Shaabi, a paramilitary force with close ties to Iran.

    Sat, 18 Jan 2020 15:13:53 -0500
  • U.S. sanctions Iranian commander over Mahshahr killings

    The U.S. State Department said on Saturday it had imposed sanctions on a general of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps who commanded units blamed for a massacre of protesters in November. The U.S. State Department has said previously it had received videos of the Revolutionary Guards opening fire without warning on protesters in Mahshahr county in southwest Iran.

    Sat, 18 Jan 2020 14:56:22 -0500
  • Yemeni officials: 25 troops killed in Houthi missile strike

    A missile attack launched by Shiite rebels in Yemen hit an army camp Saturday, killing at least 25 troops, Yemeni officials said. The strike in the central province of Marib wounded around 10 others. The Houthi attack on the military training camp followed an ongoing barrage of assaults by Saudi-backed government forces on rebel targets east of Sanaa.

    Sat, 18 Jan 2020 14:46:08 -0500
  • Thousands gather for Women's March rallies across the US

    Golocal247.com news

    Hundreds showed up in New York City and thousands in Washington, D.C. for the rallies, which aim to harness the political power of women, although crowds were noticeably smaller than in previous years. The first marches in 2017 drew hundreds of thousands of people to rallies in cities across the country on the day after President Donald Trump was inaugurated.

    Sat, 18 Jan 2020 13:36:36 -0500
  • Facing Senate trial crunch, Dems blitzing Iowa, early states

    Golocal247.com news

    As a winter storm barreled down on Iowa, Elizabeth Warren’s campaign team struggled with whether to scrap a town hall scheduled at the old Maytag headquarters. For the Democratic presidential candidate, the event was probably one of her last chances to make a face-to-face appeal to voters in Iowa before the Feb. 3 caucus. Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, is soon to be marooned in the Senate as a juror in President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial.

    Sat, 18 Jan 2020 12:46:23 -0500
  • RPT-Facebook apologises after vulgar translation of Chinese leader's name

    Facebook Inc said on Saturday it was working to find out how Chinese leader Xi Jinping’s name appeared as “Mr Shithole” in posts on its platform when translated into English from Burmese, apologising for any offence caused and saying the problem had been fixed. The error came to light on the second day of a visit by the president to the Southeast Asian country, where Xi and state counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi signed dozens of agreements covering massive Beijing-backed infrastructure plans. A statement about the visit published on Suu Kyi’s official Facebook page was littered with references to “Mr Shithole” when translated to English, while a headline in local news journal the Irrawaddy appeared as “Dinner honors president shithole”.

    Sat, 18 Jan 2020 12:20:35 -0500
  • Officials: Palestinian wounds Israeli man in stabbing

    A Palestinian attacker stabbed and moderately wounded an Israeli man Saturday near the West Bank flashpoint city of Hebron, police said. The 22-year-old Israeli was evacuated to a hospital for treatment, according to the rescue agency Magen David Adom. The Israeli military said it arrested the assailant.

    Sat, 18 Jan 2020 12:01:23 -0500
  • The Trump Administration Moved To Roll Back Michelle Obama’s School Lunch Program On Her Birthday

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    In a continuation of their dedication to deregulation, the Trump administration recently moved to ease restrictions placed on school nutrition programs put in place as part of Michelle Obama’s push to reduce childhood obesity. The administration claims it was not intentional, but the move came on the same day as Obama’s birthday, the New York Times reports.Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue released a statement explaining the decision. “Schools and school districts continue to tell us that there is still too much food waste and that more common-sense flexibility is needed to provide students nutritious and appetizing meals,” said Perdue. “We listened and now we’re getting to work.”The new proposed rule from the Department of Agriculture would ease restrictions on how much fruit schools were required to offer during breakfast, what types of vegetables needed to be included in meals, and would also broaden what foods could be counted as a snack. Nutritionists are concerned that the deregulation of what constitutes a snack will lead to schools offering cheap but unhealthy options at every meal. In addition, the loosening of restrictions on what vegetables need to be offered could lead to a return of starchy potatoes overtaking healthier options such as leafy greens in school meals. Colin Schwartz, the Center for Science in the Public Interest’s deputy director of legislative affairs, released a statement saying that the proposal would create a loophole that encourages unhealthy eating habits. “[It] would create a huge loophole in school nutrition guidelines, paving the way for children to choose pizza, burgers, french fries, and other foods high in calories, saturated fat, or sodium in place of balanced school meals every day,” Schwartz said.The School Nutrition Association, a trade union of school food-service manufacturers and school food professionals, were in support of the easing of restrictions. SNA’s president, Gay Anderson, said that the organization would study the new proposals further, but noted that a few of the requirements of Obama’s nutritional guidelines under the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 contributed to reduced lunch participation, high costs, and food waste, The Washington Post reports. Obama’s “Let’s Move” campaign for improving school nutrition and encouraging a healthier lifestyle for children came as a reaction to childhood obesity statistics. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that 13.7 million children and adolescents aged two to 19 are currently considered obese. Many Democrats reacted negatively to the proposals from the USDA. Rep. Ayanna Presley of Massachusetts spoke out about the proposed rule and called it more evidence that Trump’s administration is intentionally being cruel with their policies. “Egregious. The Occupant is trying to play petty with the food our babies eat. Add it to the list affirming that the cruelty is the point with this White House,” tweeted Presley. Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?Jared Kushner Takes A Tacky Dig At Monica LewinskyWill The Iran Attack Affect Trump's Impeachment?Warren & Sanders Fight May Break Their Peace Pact

    Sat, 18 Jan 2020 11:45:36 -0500
  • Russia's Putin says he opposes unlimited presidential term

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    Russian President Vladimir Putin said Saturday that he opposes the idea of an unlimited term in office for the country's leader like the system that existed in the Soviet Union. Putin's comment at a meeting with World War II veterans in St. Petersburg came days after he called for constitutional changes that could help him remain in power once his presidential term ends in 2024. There has been uncertainty about Russia's future political course since Putin suggested in his Wednesday state-of-the-nation address amending the constitution to allow lawmakers to name prime ministers and Cabinet members.

    Sat, 18 Jan 2020 11:39:32 -0500
  • Riots in Lebanon's capital leave more than 150 injured

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    Police fired volleys of tear gas and rubber bullets in Lebanon's capital Saturday to disperse thousands of protesters amid some of the worst rioting since demonstrations against the country's ruling elite erupted three months ago. Thick white smoke covered the downtown Beirut area near Parliament as police and protesters engaged in confrontations that saw groups of young men hurl stones and firecrackers at police who responded with water cannons and tear gas. Some protesters were seen vomiting on the street from inhaling the gas.

    Sat, 18 Jan 2020 11:07:03 -0500
  • Putin Says He Doesn’t Want Return to Soviet-Era Lifetime Leaders

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    (Bloomberg) -- Sign up here to receive the Davos Diary, a special daily newsletter that will run from Jan. 20-24.Russian President Vladimir Putin said he favors keeping term limits in place, arguing against a return to the Soviet-era practice of lifetime leaders.Asked by a World War II veteran if he backed ending a ban on more than two presidential terms -- which would allow Putin to continue ruling after 2024, when he will be 71 -- the president said this would make it impossible to ensure an orderly transition of power.“It would be very worrying to return to the situation in the mid-1980s, when heads of state stayed in power until the end of their days, one after another,” Putin said on a visit to St. Petersburg to mark the 77th anniversary of the lifting of the siege of Leningrad, according to the government newspaper Rossiiskaya Gazeta.Putin proposed sweeping changes to the Russian constitution on Wednesday that would limit the powers of his successor as president by giving more authority to Parliament and the State Council, an advisory body, potentially allowing him to keep control of the country in another role. He also put forward a plan to tighten term limits by barring more than two mandates in total rather than two consecutive terms as now. Putin used that loophole to return to the Kremlin in 2012 after serving four years as prime minister.Under the Russian leader’s shake-up, he replaced his long-serving prime minister, Dmitry Medvedev, who stood in for him as president from 2008-2012, with the little-known head of the tax service, Mikhail Mishustin.To contact the reporter on this story: Henry Meyer in Moscow at hmeyer4@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Gregory L. White at gwhite64@bloomberg.net, Brian Wingfield, James AmottFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

    Sat, 18 Jan 2020 11:00:26 -0500
  • LGBT activists say new bills target transgender youth

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    At the urging of conservative advocacy groups, Republican legislators in more than a dozen states are promoting bills that focus on transgender young people. One batch of bills would bar doctors from providing them certain gender-related medical treatment; another batch would bar trans students from participating on school sports teams of the gender they identify with. The proposed laws, if enacted, “would bring devastating harms to the transgender community,” said Chase Strangio, a transgender-rights lawyer with the American Civil Liberties Union.

    Sat, 18 Jan 2020 10:42:56 -0500
  • Iran to send flight recorders from downed jet to Ukraine

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    Iran will send the black box flight recorders from the Ukrainian jetliner that it accidentally shot down last week to Ukraine for further analysis, an Iranian official said Saturday. Hassan Rezaeifer, the head of accident investigations for the civil aviation department, said it was not possible to read the black boxes in Iran, without elaborating.

    Sat, 18 Jan 2020 10:18:06 -0500
  • Trump Says Soleimani Strike Followed General Saying ‘Bad Things’

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    (Bloomberg) -- President Donald Trump gave a new justification for killing Qassem Soleimani, telling a gathering of Republican donors that the top Iranian general was “saying bad things about our country.”“How much are we going to listen to?” Trump said Friday, according to remarks from a fundraiser obtained by CNN. He also used a vulgar expression to describe the nature of Soleimani’s comments.Trump spoke amid a brewing controversy in Washington, where some lawmakers, especially Democrats, have said the White House has repeatedly shifted its justification for the Jan. 3 strike, which pushed Washington and Tehran to the brink of war.The drone strike in Baghdad that killed Soleimani came days after a violent protest by Iranian-backed protesters at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad and a rocket attack that killed an American contractor at a facility in Iraq.‘Imminent Attack’Secretary of State Michael Pompeo has said Soleimani was planning an imminent attack on Americans and working “to build out a network of campaign activities that were going to lead, potentially, to the death of many more Americans.” But he’s also acknowledged that the administration didn’t necessarily know when and where future attacks were being planned.Trump told Fox News on Jan. 10 that he believed Soleimani was planning attacks on the U.S. embassy in Baghdad and three other U.S. embassies in the region. Two days later, U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper told CBS News that he “didn’t see” intelligence suggesting the specific threat Trump described.“What the President said was, he believed it probably could have been,” Esper said in a separate interview with CNN. “He didn’t cite intelligence.”How U.S.-Iran Enmity Grew for Decades, Burst in Days: QuickTakeTrump on Monday said his administration has been “totally consistent” in its explanation of the intelligence that justified the strike.“Here’s what’s been consistent: We killed Soleimani, the number-one terrorist in the world by every account,” Trump said. “Bad person.”At Friday’s fundraiser, held at the president’s Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida, Trump described the attack on Soleimani in vivid detail, according to the recording obtained by CNN. He said military officials counted down the last minutes of the Iranian general’s life as they watched the strike from “cameras that are miles in the sky.”The president also erroneously claimed -- as he has before -- that Soleimani was meeting “the head of Hezbollah” while in Baghdad.Soleimani was met at the airport by Iraqi paramilitary leader Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the leader of Kata’ib Hezbollah. That’s a paramilitary group separate from the more prominent Lebanese militant organization, which also receives backing from Iran.About 100 people attended Friday’s fund-raiser, according to the president’s re-election campaign. The event was expected to raise $10 million.In addition to his fundraising remarks, Trump tweeted publicly about Iran on Friday evening, saying that Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei “should be very careful with his words!” and that the people of Iran “deserve a government that’s more interested in helping them achieve their dreams than killing them for demanding respect.”Earlier in the day, Khamenei said Iran had delivered a “slap to the U.S.’s image as a superpower” in a rare appearance leading Friday prayer in Tehran, the capital.To contact the reporter on this story: Justin Sink in Palm Beach, Florida at jsink1@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: James Ludden at jludden@bloomberg.net, Steve GeimannFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

    Sat, 18 Jan 2020 10:07:33 -0500
  • Impeachment lands Sen. Collins in familiar spot: crosshairs

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    Facing perhaps her toughest reelection fight, veteran Sen. Susan Collins has parachuted into familiar terrain — the heart of a hot-button issue, this time President Donald Trump's impeachment. With Senate trial proceedings starting Tuesday, the moderate Maine Republican says she'll probably support a motion to call witnesses, aligning herself with Democrats. Collins, 67, has embraced that approach for nearly 24 years in the Senate, even as compromise has grown increasingly scarce and politically perilous in the age of the retaliation-prone Trump.

    Sat, 18 Jan 2020 09:33:42 -0500
  • 10 things you need to know today: January 17, 2020

    1.Lev Parnas, the indicted associate of Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani who worked as his envoy in Ukraine, communicated with a top aide to Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) about an effort to find damaging information on former Vice President Joe Biden, documents released Friday night by House Democrats revealed. The evidence shows Derek Harvey, a former White House official and top aide to Nunes, communicated extensively with Parnas and sought to speak with Ukrainian prosecutors who were giving Giuliani information about Biden. Parnas has said President Trump and his associates were working to push Ukraine into announcing an investigation into Biden. The allegations are central to Trump's impeachment. Nunes, the top Republican on the House Intelligence Committee, did not comment on the documents. [The Washington Post, NBC News] 2.President Trump has reportedly tapped former Special Counsel Ken Starr, his successor Robert Ray, and famous defense lawyer Alan Dershowitz to join his impeachment defense team. Starr and Ray worked on former President Bill Clinton's impeachment, while Dershowitz was on the defense team for O.J. Simpson. They will reportedly join White House Counsel Pat Cipollone and Trump's lawyer Jay Sekulow, who will lead the defense as House impeachment managers present the case against Trump. Dershowitz will present oral arguments at the Senate trial, but said he is not a "full-fledged" member of the defense. Former Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi and Trump's personal counsel Jane Raskin will reportedly also be on the team. [The Wall Street Journal, CNN] 3.Former GOP Rep. Chris Collins was sentenced on Friday to two years in federal prison on charges of insider trading and lying to the FBI. Collins, who was a New York representative since 2013 and was the first member of Congress to endorse President Trump's candidacy, pleaded guilty in October to tipping off his son to confidential information regarding an Australian biotechnology company, which allowed them to make illegal stock trades avoiding more than $700,000 in losses. At his sentencing, Collins tearfully apologized. "I stand here today a disgraced former congressman," he said. "I cannot face my constituents. What I have done has marked me for life." The 26-month sentence will begin on March 17, and will likely be served at a federal prison camp in Pensacola, Florida. [NBC News, The Washington Post] 4.Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, led Friday prayers at the Mosella mosque in Tehran on Friday for the first time since 2012, trying to rally support among intertwined crises facing his government. He called President Trump a "clown" who is only pretending to support Iran's people, said the U.S. killing of top Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani was "cowardly" and demonstrative of America's "terrorist nature," and called Iran's retaliatory missile strikes a "slap on the face" to the U.S. that "shows the hand of God" and Iran's "power." Trump responded via tweet, writing the supreme leader had "not been so Supreme lately," and criticizing his "nasty" comments about the U.S. Trump said Khamenei "should be very careful with his words!" [Reuters, Donald Trump] 5.Eleven Americans were injured in Iran's recent missile strike on the Al Asad Air base in Iraq, which President Trump and the Pentagon previously said resulted in no injuries. The military confirmed Thursday that 11 Americans were treated for concussions after Iran last week struck two Iraqi bases housing U.S. troops; the concussion symptoms emerged several days later. "While no U.S. servicemembers were killed ... several were treated for concussion symptoms from the blast and are still being assessed," said a United States Central Command spokesperson. The attack on the bases came in response to a U.S. drone strike that killed Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani. CNN's Jim Sciutto said the update indicated "the Iranian missile strike was a nearer miss than advertised." [The New York Times, CNN] 6.Jury selection in the trial of disgraced film producer Harvey Weinstein ended Friday with seven men and five women set to serve. Lead prosecutor Joan Illuzzi accused the defense of trying to "systematically exclude" young white women. The defense, in turn, accused the prosecution of trying to exclude men from the jury, but Judge James Burke didn't accept either argument. The defense reportedly said it didn't seek to exclude young women but they "didn't want jurors who were too young to understand the way men and women interacted in the early 1990s." Weinstein is facing rape and sexual assault charges, to which he has pleaded not guilty. Opening arguments in the trial are set to begin on Jan. 22. [Variety, The Hollywood Reporter] 7.The Democratic National Committee announced requirements for making February's primary debate Friday, leaving the donor threshold steady at a minimum 225,000 unique donors. Candidates will also, as before, need to hit at least five percent in four qualifying national polls or seven percent in two polls of New Hampshire, Nevada, or South Carolina voters. But there's now a third path that candidates can take to replace the poll requirement: If they win just one delegate in Iowa, they're in. This could open a path for candidates such as entrepreneur Andrew Yang, who hit the donor requirement but didn't have enough qualifying polls to make January's debate. The Iowa caucuses are Feb. 3, and the next debate is Feb. 7 in New Hampshire. [The New York Times] 8.Activists expected thousands of demonstrators to turn out across the country for the fourth annual Women's March is on Saturday. The first Women's March took place the day after President Trump's inauguration, and drew hundreds of thousands of participants. This year, the march was expected to be smaller and without the celebrity appearances of years past, in part due to criticism the march's organizers have faced regarding inclusion and diversity. The demonstration in Washington, D.C., was expected to attract up to 10,000 demonstrators. 9.A winter storm is expected to spread across much of the Midwest, Northeast and Plains regions of the U.S. through Saturday, bringing snow, ice, and frigid rain. Some areas, like parts of Minnesota and the eastern Dakotas, will likely face blizzard conditions, and high winds will contribute to low visibility as snow piles up. Other areas will see freezing rain and sleet — the slick conditions caused one plane at Kansas City International Airport to slide off the taxiway on Friday, leading to a closure of the airport. Most snow and most extreme conditions are expected to taper off by Sunday. [The Weather Channel] 10.Microsoft announced plans to become "carbon negative" by 2030, seeking to erase its entire carbon footprint since the company's founding in 1975 and begin removing more carbon from the environment than it emits. The company first wants to reduce emissions to zero across its entire supply chain by 2030, and then focus on eliminating all of the carbon dioxide it has ever released by 2050. Microsoft has been carbon neutral since 2012, achieving this through purchasing renewable energy and carbon offsets. Going negative will require more technology and investment than going neutral. "Technology does exist that does this, but getting the price and the scalability to where we need it to be is a significant challenge," said Lucas Joppa, the company's chief sustainability officer. [The Verge, CBS News]More stories from theweek.com Mindhunter just got Netflixed Trump is getting the band back together French officials warn of violence from subgroups in protest movement

    Sat, 18 Jan 2020 09:30:00 -0500
  • Libya's eastern-based forces move to halt oil exports

    Golocal247.com news

    A move by Libya's east-based forces to choke off oil exports from its territory threatens to throttle much of the country’s oil production, the national oil corporation said Saturday, escalating tensions ahead of an international peace summit to end the civil war. Powerful tribal groups loyal to Gen. Khalifa Hifter, whose forces control eastern Libya and much of the south, seized several large export terminals Friday along the eastern coast as well as southern oil fields. It marked a major challenge to the rival U.N.-backed government based in Tripoli, which collects revenues from oil production.

    Sat, 18 Jan 2020 09:23:34 -0500
  • Venezuelan theater becomes Plan B in lawmakers' turf battle

    Golocal247.com news

    Venezuelan opposition lawmakers are expected in the coming days to make their third attempt to get inside the legislative chamber in downtown Caracas, after twice this month being blocked by forces loyal to President Nicolás Maduro. The losing turf battle recently drove the lawmakers to a covered amphitheater in El Hatillo, a normally quiet community in the hilly outskirts of the capital that's popular for its souvenir shops, restaurants and visitors strolling around the colonial square. It’s unclear whether the National Assembly led by U.S.-backed Juan Guaidó will be forced on Tuesday to retreat again to El Hatillo, or perhaps the office of The Nation newspaper — where they also met in early January — or scramble for yet another safe meeting place.

    Sat, 18 Jan 2020 09:10:08 -0500
  • Iran to Transfer Black Boxes of Crashed Plane to Ukraine

    (Bloomberg) -- Sign up here to receive the Davos Diary, a special daily newsletter that will run from Jan. 20-24.Iran will transfer the flight data recorder and the cockpit voice recorder of a crashed Boeing aircraft to Ukraine for further investigation, according to Iranian media.“The black boxes of Flight 752 will not be decoded in Iran and will be transferred to Ukraine instead as per the country’s request,” semi-official Tasnim news agency reported, citing Hassan Rezaeifar, head of the Iranian Civil Aviation Organization’s accident-investigation office.Iran is under intense international pressure to provide full accountability over the circumstances that caused the crash of the Ukrainian International Airlines plane on Jan. 8. The country’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps later said it had mistaken the aircraft for a cruise missile.The three-year-old Boeing Co. 737-800 abruptly stopped transmitting its position and plunged to the ground about two minutes after takeoff from Tehran, killing all 176 aboard. The crash occurred hours after the Islamic Republic started launching rockets against Iraqi bases where U.S. forces are stationed, in retaliation for the killing of Iran’s top general, Qassem Soleimani.Iranian officials at first fiercely denied that Iran was to blame for the crash, provoking outrage and protests in Iran once they accepted culpability.To contact the reporter on this story: Arsalan Shahla in Tehran at ashahla@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Shaji Mathew at shajimathew@bloomberg.netFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

    Sat, 18 Jan 2020 09:00:36 -0500
  • Records reveal concerns of deceased GOP redistricting expert

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    Behind the scenes, GOP consultant Thomas Hofeller was worried that Democrats were far ahead of Republicans in collecting data that could help them draw districts in their favor following the next round of redistricting that will occur after the 2020 census. Hofeller died in August 2018 after a battle with cancer. Stephanie Hofeller did not respond to a request for comment sent through her lawyer.

    Sat, 18 Jan 2020 08:38:41 -0500
  • Justices taking up bans on state money to religious schools

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    A Supreme Court that seems more favorable to religion-based discrimination claims is set to hear a case that could make it easier to use public money to pay for religious schooling in many states. The justices will hear arguments Wednesday in a dispute over a Montana scholarship program for private K-12 education that also makes donors eligible for up to $150 in state tax credits. Advocates on both sides say the outcome could be momentous because it could lead to efforts in other states to funnel taxpayer money to religious schools.

    Sat, 18 Jan 2020 08:21:50 -0500
  • Gun-rights activists gear up for show of force in Virginia

    Golocal247.com news

    Police are scouring the internet for clues about plans for mayhem, workers are putting up chain link holding pens around Virginia's picturesque Capitol Square, and one lawmaker even plans to hide in a safe house in advance of what's expected to be an unprecedented show of force by gun-rights activists. What is provoking their anger in this once reliably conservative state is the new Democratic majority leadership and its plans to enact a slew of gun restrictions. This clash of old and new has made Virginia - determined to prevent a replay of the Charlottesville violence in 2017 - ground zero in the nation's raging debate over gun control.

    Sat, 18 Jan 2020 08:20:43 -0500
  • Putin's moves leave Russian opposition with few options

    Golocal247.com news

    Russian President Vladimir Putin played it differently this time. Instead of openly declaring plans to extend his rule like he did in 2011, Putin proposed constitutional amendments to appear to give more power to Russia's parliament. Putin announced what many see as a strategy for staying in power well past the end of his term in 2024.

    Sat, 18 Jan 2020 07:31:10 -0500
  • Impeachment: is Trump set to survive and win a second term?

    Golocal247.com news

    As Democrats marched the articles to the Senate, the president basked in policy success. Many think re-election is comingIt was, the White House tweeted on Friday, “an incredible week” for Donald Trump. On that, no one could disagree. But what kind of incredible depended on which end of Pennsylvania Avenue you were standing.At the Capitol, the third impeachment trial of a US president got under way in hushed solemnity as senators contemplated the ultimate sanction, removing Trump from office. It was a day his most ardent critics had long awaited and some thought inevitable.Yet the White House, less than two miles away, might have been in a different cosmos. The president held a boisterous ceremony to sign a trade agreement with China, “the biggest deal anybody has ever seen”, and celebrated as Congress passed another deal with Canada and Mexico. He toasted stock market records, low unemployment and a sustained fall in illegal crossings at the southern border.It had the makings of an election year narrative of “promises made, promises kept” that Trump’s campaign hopes will resonate more than a Senate litigation of his dealings with Ukraine which, in any case, appears certain to lead to his acquittal.“He seems determined to check as many boxes as he can,” said Bill Galston, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution thinktank in Washington. “If you look at the three pillars of the distinct outlook he brought with him to the White House – getting tough on immigrants, leaning hard against unbalanced trade relationships and an ‘America first’ foreign policy – you’d have to say over recent months he’s gone three for three.”To be sure, there was plenty of bad news for Trump. Democrats from the House of Representatives marched funereally through the Capitol to transfer the articles of impeachment, for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, to their Senate counterparts. The entrance of Chief Justice John Roberts injected sudden grandeur and gravity. Chuck Schumer, Democratic minority leader in the Senate, said: “When the chief justice walked in, you could feel the weight of the moment. I saw members on both sides of the aisle visibly gulp.”Moreover, as senators prepare to weigh evidence that Trump improperly pressured Ukraine to investigate a political rival, a federal watchdog concluded that he broke the law when he froze military aid to the country last year. And Lev Parnas, a close associate of Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani, tossed in another hand grenade with a TV interview that directly implicated the president in efforts to pressure Ukraine. “President Trump knew exactly what was going on,” Parnas told MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow.For most viewers of that network, and millions of liberals across America, it was yet another nail in the coffin of a man who has long been beyond redemption and whose re-election is unthinkable.> I think there’s an element of genuine incomprehension. He thinks he’s the greatest president of all time> > Bill GalstonBut not the first time, there was a profound disconnection with Trumpworld, a place where the sun is always shining. Here, in meetings, ceremonies and rallies, the president basks in constant affirmation from fervent supporters and sycophantic staff. Such is the bubble of self-congratulation, it is perhaps not surprising Trump is baffled by the contempt and derision he glimpses outside it. He frequently asks bemusedly how a president with his record could be impeached.Galston said: “I think there’s an element of genuine incomprehension. He thinks he’s the greatest president of all time and his protestations of injured innocence I take seriously as a representation of his inner state.” ‘Clinton was more disciplined’On Wednesday, as dozens of reporters craned their necks beneath the crystal chandeliers of the ornate East Room, Trump stood with with Chinese vice-premier Liu He for the signing of the US-China phase one trade agreement. Before they put pen to paper, the president spent the best part of an hour giving shout-outs to his favourite officials and members of Congress. Senator Lindsey Graham, for example, was a “much better golfer than people would understand”.Amid the applause, adulation and levity, it was hard to believe the existential threat of impeachment was unfolding up the road. That was just one more laugh line. “Kevin McCarthy, as you know, left for the hoax,” Trump said of the Republican minority leader, prompting chuckles. Then he added darkly: “Well, we have to do that, otherwise it becomes a more serious hoax.”On Thursday, the paradox continued. Senators passed Trump’s United States-Mexico-Canada free trade agreement, or USMCA, with an 89-10 vote, then were sworn in as jurors for an impeachment trial certain to be far more divisive. Galston added: “To have the Senate vote with nearly 90 in favour of the trade deal and be split down the middle on impeachment on the same day is stunning.”But Galston, a former deputy assistant to Bill Clinton for domestic policy, recalled that the last impeachment had its own dichotomies. “As Clinton careened towards a Senate trial in late 1998, Democrats won a big victory in the midterm elections and Newt Gingrich, the speaker of the House, felt compelled to resign. Talk about a split screen. I’ve seen this movie before.“But President Clinton was more disciplined. When he had ceremonies at the White House he never talked about the other side of the screen. President Trump is obliterating the line.” ‘Not paying attention’In what would normally be a week of crisis, Trump was claiming other perceived victories. A caravan of about 2,000 Hondurans, reminiscent of those the president demonised in 2018, was on the move but looked unlikely to reach the US-Mexico border this time, in part because of new asylum agreements with Central American countries. The number of people crossing the border has fallen for seven months in a row.> A big bowl of cold oatmeal> > Van Jones on the Democratic debateTrump even seems to have got away with his biggest, most impulsive gamble in foreign policy, the assassination of Iran’s top general, Qassem Suleimani, as the threat of all war apparently receded. “Trump Wins His Standoff with Iran”, proclaimed a Washington Post headline above a column by Marc Thiessen, a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and former chief speechwriter for George W Bush.The president’s final boost of the week may have come at the Democratic debate in Iowa where, in the eyes of some critics, no one claimed the mantle of Trump-slayer.“I came away feeling worried for the Democratic party,” political analyst Van Jones said on CNN, comparing it to “a big bowl of cold oatmeal” and warning: “There was nothing I saw tonight that would be able to take Donald Trump out, and I want to see a Democrat in the White House as soon as possible.”Trump has, in fact, failed to keep many promises: making Mexico pay for a border wall; growing the economy at 4% a year; repealing and replacing Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act; passing a $1tn infrastructure bill. Even his China trade deal has been condemned as a surrender. None of that has stopped his campaign ads portraying him as a man of action and touting a list of achievements in contrast to “do nothing” Democrats obsessed with the arcane business of impeachment.Bill Whalen, a research fellow at the Hoover Institution thinktank at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California, said: “The trial does not feature Trump himself and could turn out to be intensely boring. A lot of viewers are not paying attention. It doesn’t affect their lives. That’s what I find when I travel.”And the president, who has already raised millions of donor dollars off impeachment, will try to turn it to his political advantage. Whalen added: “Since he first started running for president, he realised he could get very far by making it an ‘us versus them’ mentality. In a swaggering way, he makes himself a victim. He’s not suffering but he just makes you believe he’s being persecuted.”

    Sat, 18 Jan 2020 07:22:44 -0500
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