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POLITICAL NEWS UPDATED

Treasury rolls out extra relief on tax penalties

From: CNN POLITICS - 10 min 55 sec ago - [CET/Central European Time]
American taxpayers who fell short on paying their IOUs to Uncle Sam over the course of 2018 will be getting some more relief from the Internal Revenue Service.
Placed in category: POLITICAL NEWS UPDATED

Trump says he will nominate former campaign adviser Moore for Fed

From: REUTERS POLITICS - 11 min 32 sec ago - [CET/Central European Time]
U.S. President Donald Trump said on Friday he planned to nominate former campaign aide and conservative economic commentator Stephen Moore for a seat on the Federal Reserve's Board of Governors.
Placed in category: POLITICAL NEWS UPDATED

Brazil chases the tourist dollar

From: FINANCIAL TIMES POLITICS - 17 min 56 sec ago - [CET/Central European Time]
President Bolsonaro serves up visa-free travel for US citizens
Placed in category: POLITICAL NEWS UPDATED

US announces new round of sanctions on Iran

From: CNN POLITICS - 28 min 15 sec ago - [CET/Central European Time]
The US State and Treasury departments on Friday sanctioned 14 individuals and 17 entities linked to SPND, Iran's organization for defense, innovation and research.
Placed in category: POLITICAL NEWS UPDATED

Mike Enzi, Senate Budget Committee chair, unveils 2020 budget blueprint

From: WASHINGTON TIMES POLITICS - 36 min 20 sec ago - [CET/Central European Time]

Senate Budget Committee Chairman Mike Enzi on Friday unveiled a federal budget for 2020 that includes some of President Trump's entitlement spending trims but ditches his defense spending gimmicks and rosy economic assumptions.

The Wyoming Republican's plan leaves open the possibility of hitting Mr. Trump's $750 billion goal for defense ...

Placed in category: POLITICAL NEWS UPDATED

Ocasio-Cortez, in sick burn, compares Trump to ‘nematode’

From: FOXNEWS POLITICS - 39 min 57 sec ago - [CET/Central European Time]
Freshman Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., compared President Trump to a worm during an interview on “Late Night with Seth Meyers” on Thursday -- but you'd need your dictionary to know that.
Placed in category: POLITICAL NEWS UPDATED

Giuliani spreads misleading video alleging Ilhan Omar took classes in terrorism

From: WASHINGTON POST POLITICS - 45 min 2 sec ago - [CET/Central European Time]
Omar talks about her time at college in the 2013 video before she was elected to Congress.
Placed in category: POLITICAL NEWS UPDATED

Deputy US attorney who oversaw Cohen case to leave office

From: CNN POLITICS - 58 min 43 sec ago - [CET/Central European Time]
Robert Khuzami, the deputy US attorney for the Southern District of New York who was overseeing the criminal case against President Donald Trump's former personal attorney Michael Cohen, is set to leave his post next month, according to a person familiar with the matter.
Placed in category: POLITICAL NEWS UPDATED

Trump administration slaps new sanctions on Iran

From: FOXNEWS POLITICS - 59 min 31 sec ago - [CET/Central European Time]
The Trump administration announced Friday that it is slapping new sanctions on more than two dozen Iranian individuals involved in the country’s nuclear and missile research programs, as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo denounced Iran’s growing influence.
Placed in category: POLITICAL NEWS UPDATED

FBI clashed with DOJ over potential 'bias' of source for surveillance warrant: McCabe-Page texts

From: FOXNEWS POLITICS - 1 hour 4 min ago - [CET/Central European Time]
Just nine days before the FBI applied for a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant to surveil a top Trump campaign aide, bureau officials were battling with a senior Justice Department official who had "continued concerns" about the "possible bias" of a source pivotal to the application, according to internal text messages obtained by Fox News. 
Placed in category: POLITICAL NEWS UPDATED

Top SDNY prosecutor on Michael Cohen case departing

From: POLITICO TOP PICKS - 1 hour 7 min ago - [CET/Central European Time]

The lead federal prosecutor in New York supervising Michael Cohen’s case is leaving his job in April, the Justice Department said Friday.

Robert Khuzami, the deputy U.S. attorney in the Southern District of New York, will be replaced by Audrey Strauss, another law enforcement veteran who has also helped oversee the government’s case against President Donald Trump’s former personal lawyer and fixer.

Strauss, who rejoined SDNY in February 2018 after a long stint in private practice, will manage a team of DOJ attorneys who have had the Cohen portfolio. The U.S. Attorney in the New York office, Geoffrey Berman, has been recused from the Cohen probe for unknown reasons.

“She is super bright, always well-prepared, and am confident she will leave no stone unturned in pursuing the matters arising out of Michael Cohen’s cooperation,” said Nick Akerman, a former Watergate prosecutor who has worked with Strauss both in government and private practice.

Cohen is scheduled to begin serving a three-year prison sentence in May after pleading guilty to a series of tax fraud and lying charges. The SDNY office is also examining several other aspects of the president’s political operation and business, including donations to his inaugural committee.


In a statement, Manhattan U.S Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said of Khuzami: "While his desire to continue to serve remains strong, he understandably has decided to return home to his family. Audrey Strauss, who has been invaluable as Senior Counsel, will undoubtedly continue the important work of the Deputy U.S. Attorney."


Article originally published on POLITICO Magazine

Placed in category: POLITICAL NEWS UPDATED

Trump offers Fed board post to ex-campaign adviser Moore: Wall Street Journal

From: REUTERS POLITICS - 1 hour 9 min ago - [CET/Central European Time]
President Donald Trump has asked former campaign adviser Stephen Moore, an economic commentator, to accept a nomination to serve on the Federal Reserve's Board of Governors, the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday, citing an unnamed senior administration official.
Placed in category: POLITICAL NEWS UPDATED

Braden Holtby will not visit White House with Capitals

From: WASHINGTON TIMES POLITICS - 1 hour 9 min ago - [CET/Central European Time]

Washington Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby announced Friday that he will not join the team in visiting President Donald Trump at the White House.

Holtby said he had to stay true to his values and "respectfully decline the offer."

"It's a tough situation for everyone to be in, to be forced ...

Placed in category: POLITICAL NEWS UPDATED

Trump says he did not know about Kushner's WhatsApp messaging

From: REUTERS POLITICS - 1 hour 14 min ago - [CET/Central European Time]
U.S. President Donald Trump on Friday said he knew nothing about son-in-law and White House adviser Jared Kushner's use of the WhatsApp encrypted messaging tool, a day after a top U.S. Democratic congressman questioned the unofficial communications.
Placed in category: POLITICAL NEWS UPDATED

Prosecutor who probed President Trump's ex-lawyer quits

From: WASHINGTON TIMES POLITICS - 1 hour 15 min ago - [CET/Central European Time]

NEW YORK (AP) - The prosecutor who led a probe of President Donald Trump's former personal attorney is stepping down.

Robert Khuzami, who presided over the case that led to guilty pleas by attorney Michael Cohen, will leave his post April 12.

A release from U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman ...

Placed in category: POLITICAL NEWS UPDATED

Steve Scalise: Democrats using gun restrictions to 'control' Americans

From: WASHINGTON TIMES POLITICS - 1 hour 16 min ago - [CET/Central European Time]

House Minority Whip Steve Scalise said Thursday that Democrats are pushing for gun restrictions to "control every aspect of people's lives."

"When you hear liberals in Washington talking about gun control, it's much less about guns and much more about control," the Louisiana Republican said during an interview with Fox ...

Placed in category: POLITICAL NEWS UPDATED

Jerrold Nadler: Health official misled Congress over tracking illegal immigrant girls' pregnancies

From: WASHINGTON TIMES POLITICS - 1 hour 21 min ago - [CET/Central European Time]

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler said Friday that a top health official appears to have misled his panel over his role in dealing with illegal immigrant girls, suggesting that the official was, in fact, tracking pregnancies and menstrual cycles.

Mr. Nadler demanded that Scott Lloyd, who as former chief ...

Placed in category: POLITICAL NEWS UPDATED

Trump repeats claims that Democrats are ‘anti-Israel’ and ‘anti-Jewish’ ahead of Netanyahu visit

From: WASHINGTON POST POLITICS - 1 hour 22 min ago - [CET/Central European Time]
The president’s remarks drew a swift rebuke from a Democratic Jewish group, which said he was treating Jews like “political pawns.”
Placed in category: POLITICAL NEWS UPDATED

Brexit's fate 'is in British hands', says Donald Tusk

From: BBC POLITICS - 1 hour 22 min ago - [CET/Central European Time]
European Council president says "anything is possible" before 12 April - including a much longer delay.
Placed in category: POLITICAL NEWS UPDATED

Democratic Socialists of America endorses Bernie Sanders for president

From: WASHINGTON TIMES POLITICS - 1 hour 27 min ago - [CET/Central European Time]

The Democratic Socialists of America announced Friday its decision to endorse Sen. Bernard Sanders for president, calling him "the only socialist in American history with a serious chance of winning the presidency."

The DSA said its national political committee voted Thursday night to back the Vermont senator in the race ...

Placed in category: POLITICAL NEWS UPDATED

Julian Assange refuses House request as WikiLeaks colleague slams 'pathetic' hunt for collusion

From: WASHINGTON TIMES POLITICS - 1 hour 30 min ago - [CET/Central European Time]

WikiLeaks editor-in-chief Kristinn Hrafnsson denied ties Friday to President Trump's election campaign on the heels of his predecessor, Julian Assange, defying requests for related material from the House Judiciary Committee.

"It's rather pathetic how people are trying to connect the dots about some kind of collaboration," said Mr. Hrafnsson, an ...

Placed in category: POLITICAL NEWS UPDATED

Prosecutor who oversaw case against Trump lawyer Cohen to step down

From: REUTERS POLITICS - 1 hour 33 min ago - [CET/Central European Time]
Robert Khuzami, the federal prosecutor who oversaw the case against President Donald Trump's former personal lawyer Michael Cohen, will step down from his role as Deputy U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, the U.S. Attorney's office announced Friday.
Placed in category: POLITICAL NEWS UPDATED

Trump's Golan Fiasco

From: POLITICO TOP PICKS - 1 hour 34 min ago - [CET/Central European Time]

President Donald Trump announced his decision to recognize Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights on Twitter Thursday, sending a sudden thrill through the Israeli electorate just two weeks ahead of the election on April 9. Israel’s embattled prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, immediately welcomed the announcement – and so, helplessly, did Netanyahu’s election opponents.

Whatever the symbolic power of Trump’s recognition for Israelis – and it is symbolic, as the strategic 500 square-mile plateau has been under Israeli control since 1967, when Israeli troops seized it from Syria – his Golan move will have a fierce afterburn. It damages Israeli security and undermines American interests in the Middle East and beyond, while stirring a hornet’s nest that didn’t need stirring.

Netanyahu, facing voters for the fourth consecutive time in just two weeks, is in the fight of his political life. His re-election quest has run into two major roadblocks. The first is a looming indictment for multiple corruption charges -- Israel’s attorney general has already announced his intent to indict the prime minister. The second is the Blue-White Coalition, an unexpectedly strong challenge from a new electoral alliance headed by three former army chiefs of staff and a former finance minister. Only a decisive electoral victory and the chance to pass a law granting him immunity while in office might rescue Netanyahu from an ignominious fate.

Facing these challenges, Netanyahu has pulled out all the stops. He has used his bully pulpit to label the corruption investigation (by his handpicked attorney general) a witch hunt. He has brought even the most extreme parties under his wing – even Otzma Yehudit, widely condemned as racist within Israel and among American Jewish groups – with promises of ministerial portfolios. And he has relentlessly pressed the case that no one can match the respect he wins from world leaders – especially the one in Washington.

Rather than waiting for a dramatic Oval Office moment when Netanyahu visits Washington next week, Trump tweeted out the news Thursday afternoon. The sudden announcement caught fire in Israel and overshadowed a new corruption story about how a distant cousin of Netanyahu’s had bought the prime minister’s shares in a struggling steel company, giving him a suspiciously large profit for what by all indicators seemed like a failed investment.

Netanyahu raised the prospect of U.S. recognition in January, after years in which the issue had lain dormant. After all, Israel has held uncontested control of the Golan for five decades and its continued control there was a matter of exactly zero controversy in most of the world. The Syrian civil war seemed only to strengthen the case for Israeli control. But Trump’s decision to make U.S. approval -- not just of control but of sovereignty -- official has major negative consequences: for Israel, for Arab-Israeli diplomacy and the U.S. leadership role in that endeavor, and for broader U.S. foreign policy interests as well.

Let’s first look at Israel’s interests. In Syria, where another capricious policy-by-tweet undermined the already small U.S. leverage over a political settlement of the war, Trump’s move has now eliminated it completely. Syria’s President Bashar al Assad gets to claim victim status and argue that a country that has approved the permanent acquisition of its sovereign territory by a neighbor should not have any say in Syria’s future governance. Iran and Hezbollah, too, get a windfall: With Israel’s occupation of the Golan now sanctified by the “Great Satan,” they will claim more justification for terrorism and other military operations against Israel -- and it will be harder for the Arab states to back Washington in opposing them.

Israel has been managing a very delicate situation in Syria, winning limited Russian acquiescence for Israeli strikes designed to prevent Iranian entrenchment and weapons transfers to Hezbollah. Trump’s Golan gift to Netanyahu does not come with any additional military backup for Israel in handling its problems to the north, and may even prompt the Russians, under pressure from Assad, Iran, and Hezbollah, to seize this opportunity to further constrain Israel’s freedom of action in Syrian skies. Israel may thus have won a symbolic victory -- but when it comes to the real battle its generals are waging in Syria, they are on their own.

Another serious blow struck by Trump’s apparent policy shift is to the long-awaited peace plan being put together by White House advisers Jared Kushner and Jason Greenblatt. That’s because this move undermines the prospect of Arab regional cooperation on which their efforts seem to depend. After the 1967 war, the United Nations passed Security Resolution 242, which calls for Israel to withdraw from territories captured in that conflict as part of a just, comprehensive and lasting peace. This has governed Arab-Israeli diplomacy for nearly half a century. Indeed, UNSCR 242 is written into the preambles to both the Egyptian-Israeli and Jordanian-Israeli peace treaties.

Trump’s move raises the question of whether the U.S. stands by those terms of reference, the foundations of Arab-Israeli rapprochement and of U.S. sponsorship and leadership of Arab-Israeli peacemaking. There’s some contention over whether UNSCR 242 applies to the Golan Heights, where neither Syria nor Israel ever had internationally recognized borders. But there’s no question that key Arab governments will read Trump’s move as undermining the U.S. commitment to 242. Given the president’s action, how likely are other Arab states to take on faith any U.S. commitments made on behalf of Jared’s peace plan? How likely are Arab governments to invest in a U.S.-sponsored peace plan now, when Trump has just undermined four decades of U.S.-sponsored Arab-Israeli diplomacy?

This announcement also hurts the Palestinians. In the past two years, Trump “took Jerusalem off the table,” as he put it, closed the Palestinians’ mission in Washington and America’s mission to the Palestinians in Jerusalem, and cut off aid to Palestinian civil society and humanitarian needs. The Golan action now sends a stark new message to Palestinians: Give up on peace. Members of Netanyahu’s party, which Trump is brazenly boosting to re-election, are increasingly speaking about passing a law to annex Area C of the West Bank, which makes up 60 percent of the territory and is currently controlled by the Israel Defense Forces. Such a move would mean an effective end of the two-state solution, but Trump’s actions on the Golan signal he might be preparing to support it.

Finally, the Trump administration’s view on the Golan Heights contravenes not only U.N. resolutions on the Arab-Israeli conflict, but the United Nations Charter itself -- specifically, Article 2’s principles regarding the peaceful resolution of diplomatic disputes and the rejection of threats to the territorial integrity of member states. In conflict zones around the world, U.S. diplomacy has relied on these core principles to press other states to negotiate instead of fight, and to end wars that have cost lives and destabilized regions.

So the fallout from Trump’s abandonment of these principles will extend well beyond the Golan Heights. Take American opposition to Moscow’s annexation of Crimea—Trump now has no leg to stand on. Moscow can likewise call out American hypocrisy in its refusal to recognize the Russian-sponsored “independence” of Abkhazia and South Ossetia from the Republic of Georgia. Morocco and Algeria can now dismiss the U.N. mediator for the Western Sahara, whose work Trump’s administration has sought to bolster. Or what if Saudi Arabia waltzes into Qatar? If Washington stops upholding the core international principle opposing the acquisition of territory by force, we should expect more states to seize territory they covet from their neighbors.

This dark prospect also suggests that any future American president will face an enormous challenge in seeking to restore U.S. strength and project U.S. power in a post-Trump era. Republican or Democrat, his successor will need to cooperate with multilateral institutions and like-minded governments. By overturning decades of U.S. investment in multilateral tools as instruments for peace, Trump has just made that work much harder.


Article originally published on POLITICO Magazine

Placed in category: POLITICAL NEWS UPDATED

U.S. issues new sanctions on Iran over weapons program

From: POLITICO TOP PICKS - 1 hour 37 min ago - [CET/Central European Time]

The Treasury and State Departments issued sanctions against 14 individuals and 17 entities linked to the Iran Ministry of Defense’s unit responsible for nuclear weapons development, senior administration officials said Friday.

Iran’s Organization of Defensive Innovation and Research, also referred to by the acronym SPND, maintains technical experts and critical ties from Iran’s previous nuclear efforts — notably to Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, head of Iran’s pre-2004 nuclear weapons program, officials said.

They added that Tehran-based SPND may not currently be working to develop nuclear weapons, but the connections to Iran’s previous nuclear programs increase the threat of the country developing weapons of mass destruction.

The sanctions come amid U.S. efforts to pressure the Iranian regime and prevent the country from developing weapons of mass destruction, almost a year after President Donald Trump withdrew from the Iran Nuclear Deal claiming the international agreement was not doing enough to stop nuclear proliferation.

“Anyone considering dealing with the Iranian defense industry in general, and SPND in particular, risks professional, personal, and financial isolation,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement Friday.


Article originally published on POLITICO Magazine

Placed in category: POLITICAL NEWS UPDATED

Iowa Republican Steve King slams Hurricane Katrina disaster victims

From: CNN POLITICS - 1 hour 38 min ago - [CET/Central European Time]
Republican Rep. Steve King, who has a lengthy history of incendiary comments related to race, favorably compared the response of his Iowan constituents, who are majority white, to recent severe flooding to the residents of New Orleans when Hurricane Katrina struck in 2005, who were majority black.
Placed in category: POLITICAL NEWS UPDATED

Government watchdog finds 85 percent backlog in DNA analysis

From: WASHINGTON TIMES POLITICS - 1 hour 41 min ago - [CET/Central European Time]

WASHINGTON (AP) - A government watchdog says there was an 85 percent increase in the backlog of crime scene DNA analysis at labs around the U.S. between 2011 and 2017.

The Government Accountability Office released a report Thursday finding demands for DNA analysis outpaced crime labs' ability to complete the ...

Placed in category: POLITICAL NEWS UPDATED

From Israel to Brexit to France: Trump dips into allies' politics

From: CNN POLITICS - 1 hour 49 min ago - [CET/Central European Time]
He's trashed the British Prime Minister. He's cheered protesters in France. And now he's handed Israel's embattled leader a win days before a re-election. When it comes to other countries' domestic politics, President Donald Trump hasn't hesitated to put his thumb on the scale.
Placed in category: POLITICAL NEWS UPDATED

Elizabeth Warren struggles to answer whether Democratic Party should be more liberal or moderate

From: FOXNEWS POLITICS - 1 hour 55 min ago - [CET/Central European Time]
2020 candidate and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren had a tough time Thursday describing what direction the Democratic Party should be heading in for the next presidential election. 
Placed in category: POLITICAL NEWS UPDATED

Trump accuses Democrats of 'wasting everyone's time' with 'nonsense' investigations

From: FOXNEWS POLITICS - 2 hours 11 sec ago - [CET/Central European Time]
President Trump accused House Democrats on Friday of “wasting everyone’s time” with their numerous investigations into his administration, businesses and campaign, calling them a “continuation of the same nonsense.” 
Placed in category: POLITICAL NEWS UPDATED

Cable news has covered a dead senator more than living flood victims

From: WASHINGTON POST POLITICS - 2 hours 12 min ago - [CET/Central European Time]
A look at a week in the news.
Placed in category: POLITICAL NEWS UPDATED

N Carolina picks elections board members in tainted county

From: WASHINGTON TIMES POLITICS - 2 hours 16 min ago - [CET/Central European Time]

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - The North Carolina county at the heart of a ballot-collection scandal that forced a new congressional election is getting a clean slate of elections overseers.

The State Board of Elections picked three new members to Bladen County's elections board. They opted against picking a fourth member ...

Placed in category: POLITICAL NEWS UPDATED

Giuliani: Waiting for Mueller report is ‘like waiting for a baby’

From: WASHINGTON POST POLITICS - 2 hours 24 min ago - [CET/Central European Time]
The president’s attorney said that, like many other Americans, he’s in the dark about when it will come.
Placed in category: POLITICAL NEWS UPDATED

Donald Trump: Still has 'no idea' when Mueller report will drop

From: WASHINGTON TIMES POLITICS - 2 hours 29 min ago - [CET/Central European Time]

President Trump on Friday said he has "no idea" when special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian meddling and the potential obstruction of justice will drop, as tension around Washington ratchets up.

The conventional wisdom is that Mr. Mueller is wrapping up his work and will deliver his the fruits ...

Placed in category: POLITICAL NEWS UPDATED

Donald Trump says he 'could dream about' Beto O'Rourke as his 2020 opponent

From: WASHINGTON TIMES POLITICS - 2 hours 30 min ago - [CET/Central European Time]

President Trump said he "could dream about" running against Beto O'Rourke in the 2020 presidential race, even though the former congressman from Texas enjoys significant approval within the ranks of the news media.

"My attitude is, I wouldn't mind...I mean, I'd love to have Biden. I'd love to have Bernie, ...

Placed in category: POLITICAL NEWS UPDATED

The Daily 202: Americans are pessimistic about what life will be like in 2050. Here’s what they fear most.

From: WASHINGTON POST POLITICS - 2 hours 30 min ago - [CET/Central European Time]
A Pew study asked people to think about the future.
Placed in category: POLITICAL NEWS UPDATED

Rory Stewart MP on 'indicative votes'

From: BBC POLITICS - 2 hours 32 min ago - [CET/Central European Time]
The Prisons Minister says Parliament should be allowed to express its view.
Placed in category: POLITICAL NEWS UPDATED

Pompeo agrees it's possible God sent Trump to protect Israel from Iranian aggression

From: CNN POLITICS - 2 hours 32 min ago - [CET/Central European Time]
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo agreed with a suggestion posed in an interview Thursday that it's possible God raised Donald Trump to be President in order to protect Israel from Iran.
Placed in category: POLITICAL NEWS UPDATED

Top Trump Trade official Willems to leave White House in weeks: source

From: REUTERS POLITICS - 2 hours 38 min ago - [CET/Central European Time]
Clete Willems, the deputy director of the National Economic Council, is planning to leave the White House in the coming weeks, a source familiar with the situation told Reuters on Friday.
Placed in category: POLITICAL NEWS UPDATED

When Mueller finishes his report, what will the people be told?

From: WASHINGTON POST POLITICS - 2 hours 42 min ago - [CET/Central European Time]
Special counsel Robert S. Mueller III, who is believed to be in the final stages of his investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 campaign, follows a history of special investigators who have sought to determine if presidents or top officials have broken the law.
Placed in category: POLITICAL NEWS UPDATED

Jeremy Corbyn tribute to MP Paul Flynn at Newport funeral

From: BBC POLITICS - 2 hours 48 min ago - [CET/Central European Time]
The Labour leader joins mourners remembering the life of the late Newport West MP.
Placed in category: POLITICAL NEWS UPDATED

Top Trump Trade official Willems to leave White House in weeks: CNBC

From: REUTERS POLITICS - 2 hours 54 min ago - [CET/Central European Time]
Clete Willems, the deputy director of the National Economic Council, is planning to leave the White House in the coming weeks, CNBC reported on Friday, citing sources familiar with the top trade official's plans.
Placed in category: POLITICAL NEWS UPDATED

Are bots gaming the 'Cancel Brexit' petition?

From: BBC POLITICS - 2 hours 56 min ago - [CET/Central European Time]
Questions have been asked about whether all the 3m signatures on the petition are genuine.
Placed in category: POLITICAL NEWS UPDATED

Trump: Trade gap, not autos, poses national security threat

From: POLITICO TOP PICKS - 2 hours 56 min ago - [CET/Central European Time]

President Donald Trump says imports of autos and auto parts do not pose a threat to national security, but the U.S. balance sheet with the rest of the world does.

"Well, no," Trump told Fox Business News' Maria Bartiromo in an interview aired Friday when asked if the automotive imports pose a national security threat. "What poses a national security risk is our balance sheet. We have to have — we need a strong balance sheet. Otherwise you don’t have national security."

Last year, the Commerce Department launched an investigation into whether imports of autos and auto parts pose a national security threat to the United States. A positive finding would allow Trump to impose restrictions on the imports, similar to the tariffs and quotas he imposed last year on steel and aluminum imports.

Still, Trump's answer seemed to suggest the still-confidential Commerce Department report, delivered to the White House last month, did not find a specific threat from automotive imports, but a more general threat from the trade imbalance that the United States runs with the rest of the world.

Whatever the actual finding, Trump indicated he still remained interested in imposing tariffs on cars from Europe and possibly other destinations — unless those companies invest more in the U.S.


"I’ll tell you what the end game is. They’ll build their plants in the United States, and they have no tariffs," Trump said.

The tariffs that Trump has imposed on steel and aluminum have boosted prices of those key materials and made the U.S. a less attractive place to build cars.

The United States and the European Union are currently in the process of preparing for negotiations on a trade agreement, although the effort remains stalled over the EU's refusal to include agriculture.

Still, in those proposed talks, the EU is offering to reduce its 10 percent tariff on autos to zero in exchange for the U.S. cutting its tariffs to 2.5 percent tariff on autos and 25 percent tariff on trucks to zero as well.

Trump, though, says he wasn't interested in that deal.

"The problem is that the Chevrolet will never be accepted in Europe like the Mercedes is accepted here, so it’s not a good deal," Trump said. "I wouldn’t do that deal. They’ve offered me that deal,"


"So you wouldn’t do zero tariffs?," Bartiromo asked.

"I would do it for certain products, but I wouldn’t do it for cars — because they have BMW, they have Mercedes, they have a lot of very good cars that come in, and they make them here," Trump said. "I want them to make them here. Instead of making them over there, make them here. If you’re going to sell them to the Americans, make them here."


Article originally published on POLITICO Magazine

Placed in category: POLITICAL NEWS UPDATED

Bloomberg mocks apologizing Dems while explaining why he passed on 2020

From: FOXNEWS POLITICS - 3 hours 1 min ago - [CET/Central European Time]
In some of his most revealing comments on why he decided against running for president, moderate former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg cited his age -- but also took aim at the progressive wing of the Democratic Party.
Placed in category: POLITICAL NEWS UPDATED

Poor People's Campaign to launch bus tour in South Carolina

From: WASHINGTON TIMES POLITICS - 3 hours 15 min ago - [CET/Central European Time]

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - The Poor People's Campaign is launching a national bus tour of poverty-stricken areas to bring attention to what they call the "real crises" or "interlocking injustices" afflicting the country including systematic racism, poverty, voter suppression and ecological devastation.

"The war on poverty is not over. It ...

Placed in category: POLITICAL NEWS UPDATED

John McCain’s youngest daughter slams Trump in rare public statement

From: FOXNEWS POLITICS - 3 hours 17 min ago - [CET/Central European Time]
John McCain’s youngest daughter made a rare public statement hitting back at President Trump in the wake of his attacks on the late Arizona senator.
Placed in category: POLITICAL NEWS UPDATED

The Point: Is Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez good or bad for Democrats?

From: CNN POLITICS - 3 hours 20 min ago - [CET/Central European Time]
Freshman New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is the subject of the cover story of this week's Time magazine. In the piece about AOC, Joel Benenson, a Democratic pollster who polled for President Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, is quoted in the story as casting a somewhat skeptical eye about those Democrats who view AOC's success as a blueprint for the broader party's future. "America isn't her district," Benenson told Time.
Placed in category: POLITICAL NEWS UPDATED

Donald Trump says 'people will not stand for' an unfavorable Mueller report

From: WASHINGTON TIMES POLITICS - 3 hours 32 min ago - [CET/Central European Time]

President Trump said Friday the "people will not stand for" an unfavorable report from special counsel Robert Mueller, Fox Business reported.

In an interview with "Mornings with Maria," the president touted his election win in 2016 before he chastised former Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.

...
Placed in category: POLITICAL NEWS UPDATED

May's speech 'not a great success'

From: BBC POLITICS - 3 hours 34 min ago - [CET/Central European Time]
The business secretary tells the BBC "even prime ministers sometimes don't get the tone quite right".
Placed in category: POLITICAL NEWS UPDATED

Question Time: 'I'm 16 and I won't get a say over Brexit'

From: BBC POLITICS - 3 hours 37 min ago - [CET/Central European Time]
A 16 year old Question Time audience member says there should be a general election to solve the current impasse over Brexit.
Placed in category: POLITICAL NEWS UPDATED

Guilty Feminist: 'I can't call Theresa May a feminist'

From: BBC POLITICS - 3 hours 38 min ago - [CET/Central European Time]
Co-creator of the Guilty Feminist podcast gives us her take on feminism.
Placed in category: POLITICAL NEWS UPDATED

Trump says he does not mind if public sees Mueller's Russia probe report

From: REUTERS POLITICS - 3 hours 42 min ago - [CET/Central European Time]
U.S. President Donald Trump said on Wednesday he does not mind if the public is allowed to see the report that Special Counsel Robert Mueller is preparing about his investigation of Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election and any possible links to the Trump campaign.
Placed in category: POLITICAL NEWS UPDATED

The Technology 202: Facebook password glitch adds to list of company's woes

From: WASHINGTON POST POLITICS - 3 hours 44 min ago - [CET/Central European Time]
The company could have violated GDPR.
Placed in category: POLITICAL NEWS UPDATED

Nigel Farage back in frontline politics as Brexit Party leader

From: BBC POLITICS - 3 hours 58 min ago - [CET/Central European Time]
The former UKIP boss says his new party could mobilise quickly if needed to fight European elections.
Placed in category: POLITICAL NEWS UPDATED

Catalan government backs down over pro-independence banners

From: WASHINGTON TIMES POLITICS - 4 hours 7 min ago - [CET/Central European Time]

BARCELONA, Spain (AP) - Catalonia's regional government has removed eye-catching pro-independence banners from its headquarters in Barcelona, hours before police were due to take them down on orders from the country's electoral board.

Workers removed Friday a large banner from a balcony on the front of the centuries-old palace, which ...

Placed in category: POLITICAL NEWS UPDATED

Dollar singer David Van Day wins Thurrock by-election

From: BBC POLITICS - 4 hours 12 min ago - [CET/Central European Time]
The former Dollar and Bucks Fizz star was standing for the Conservatives.
Placed in category: POLITICAL NEWS UPDATED

Brexit: Petition to revoke Article 50 passes 3m signatures

From: BBC POLITICS - 4 hours 12 min ago - [CET/Central European Time]
Online campaign to revoke Article 50 still proving popular - despite Theresa May ruling it out.
Placed in category: POLITICAL NEWS UPDATED

The Energy 202: Senate Democrats look for unity on eve of Green New Deal vote

From: WASHINGTON POST POLITICS - 4 hours 18 min ago - [CET/Central European Time]
Even sponsor Ed Markey plans to vote 'present.'
Placed in category: POLITICAL NEWS UPDATED

The Point: Trump's new, confusing closing argument against the Mueller report

From: CNN POLITICS - 4 hours 22 min ago - [CET/Central European Time]
As Washington waits for word -- that could come as soon as Friday -- about the status of special counsel Robert Mueller's report into Russian interference in the 2016 election, President Donald Trump is closing his PR campaign against the investigation on a new note: Who elected this guy???
Placed in category: POLITICAL NEWS UPDATED

Donald Trump says Federal Reserve prevented 4 percent GDP

From: WASHINGTON TIMES POLITICS - 4 hours 31 min ago - [CET/Central European Time]

President Trump said Friday the Federal Reserve prevented the country's 2018 gross domestic product from hitting 4 percent, Fox Business reported.

"If we didn't have somebody raising interest rates and do quantitative tightening, we would have been over 4 [percent] instead of at 3.1 [percent]" in terms of growth, Mr. ...

Placed in category: POLITICAL NEWS UPDATED

With Latino power rising, Kamala Harris works to win their votes

From: CNN POLITICS - 4 hours 36 min ago - [CET/Central European Time]
Before Kamala Harris' most recent town hall in Nevada, her senior adviser Emmy Ruiz took the stage to offer headsets and encourage voters to pose questions to Harris in Spanish, promising translation in real time.
Placed in category: POLITICAL NEWS UPDATED

The Health 202: Hospitals lean into virtual health care even as Medicare won't cover it

From: WASHINGTON POST POLITICS - 4 hours 39 min ago - [CET/Central European Time]
Telehealth advocates say it's not only rural areas that lack access to health providers.
Placed in category: POLITICAL NEWS UPDATED

Facebook staff 'flagged Cambridge Analytica fears earlier than thought'

From: BBC POLITICS - 4 hours 41 min ago - [CET/Central European Time]
Facebook says concerns raised about data-scraping were not related to the previously reported scandal.
Placed in category: POLITICAL NEWS UPDATED

Trump: I hope Barr will 'do what's fair' with regards to investigating Hillary Clinton

From: POLITICO TOP PICKS - 4 hours 44 min ago - [CET/Central European Time]

President Donald Trump said Friday he hopes Attorney General William Barr will “do what’s fair” with regards to opening investigations to perceived crimes by his 2016 opponent Hillary Clinton, former FBI Director James Comey, former intelligence chief James Clapper and former CIA Director John Brennan.

Trump, who offered Clinton something of an olive branch after his election victory and pledged to move forward instead of demanding another investigation into her use of a personal email server as secretary of State, asserted in an interview on Fox Business News’ “Mornings with Maria” he’d been treated “very unfairly” by investigators probing his ties to Russia.

“So when I won, I made my opening speech, everyone's shouting, ‘Lock her up! Lock her up! Lock her up!’ I said, ‘No, no, no, let's forget her. Let's get on to the future,’” the president recalled Friday. “But they have treated me so viciously, and they have treated me so badly and we did nothing wrong — you look at the others — and all of these people you hear about, that had nothing to do with Russia, Russia collusion, nothing.”

While Trump maintained that no one on his presidential campaign conspired with Russian agents to influence the 2016 election, one subject of special counsel Robert Muller’s probe, he complained that “nobody does anything” in the face of alleged evidence of “stone cold crimes” by former Obama officials.

He accused Comey, Clapper and Brennan of telling “absolute lies” to Congress, declining to provide proof of his claim or elaborating further on their alleged lies.


Trump also revived the false claim that his former national security adviser Michael Flynn, who has pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI, was never actually accused of lying by the FBI itself.

Trashing his former Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ recusal from the investigation, Trump bemoaned that the Russia investigation “destroy[ed] a man who is a general and a respected man for many years. ... All because Jeff Sessions didn't have a clue.”

Trump called it an “interesting question” whether he thought Barr should look into Trump’s accusations against Clinton and the other Obama officials, despite two Trump-appointed attorney generals so far declining to do so.

“I think — look, I have a lot of respect for him. I've never known him. He's a very, very smart, respected man,” he said of Barr. “Hopefully he'll do what's fair. ... All I can ask is what's fair.”


Article originally published on POLITICO Magazine

Placed in category: POLITICAL NEWS UPDATED

Trump’s rhetoric does inspire more hate crimes

From: WASHINGTON POST POLITICS - 4 hours 51 min ago - [CET/Central European Time]
Counties that hosted a 2016 Trump rally saw a 226 percent increase in such crimes over those in comparable counties.
Placed in category: POLITICAL NEWS UPDATED

‘Witch Hunt Report Attached’: As Washington awaits Mueller’s findings, Trump uses the occasion to raise money

From: WASHINGTON POST POLITICS - 4 hours 52 min ago - [CET/Central European Time]
The president’s reelection campaign defiantly sent an email to supporters seeking donations.
Placed in category: POLITICAL NEWS UPDATED

Trump on FBN: President reveals his 'dream' 2020 rival, says Dems becoming 'radicalized'

From: FOXNEWS POLITICS - 5 hours 2 min ago - [CET/Central European Time]
President Trump, in an extensive interview with Fox Business Network's Maria Bartiromo, accused Democrats embracing ideas like court-packing and the Green New Deal of becoming "radicalized" -- while voicing confidence as he sized up the ever-expanding field of potential 2020 opponents. 
Placed in category: POLITICAL NEWS UPDATED

The Cybersecurity 202: Kushner’s WhatsApp habit raises security concerns

From: WASHINGTON POST POLITICS - 5 hours 2 min ago - [CET/Central European Time]
The presidential adviser's personal accounts were vulnerable to hackers.
Placed in category: POLITICAL NEWS UPDATED

Trump has more women as top advisers than Obama, Bush, or Clinton

From: FOXNEWS POLITICS - 5 hours 6 min ago - [CET/Central European Time]
President Trump, often criticized for his stance toward women, employs more women as senior advisers than former presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush, and Bill Clinton did at the similar points in their presidencies.
Placed in category: POLITICAL NEWS UPDATED

Tory MP Chris Davies guilty of false expenses claim

From: BBC POLITICS - 5 hours 8 min ago - [CET/Central European Time]
Chris Davies MP admits two charges at Westminster Magistrates' Court.
Placed in category: POLITICAL NEWS UPDATED

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