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News Slideshows (01/13/2020 15 hours)


  • 1/81   News Photos Slideshows
    PEOPLE TOPIC NEWS

    News Photos Slideshows - Hot Trends - Click on the image to view in augmented reality or in stereo 3D

    News Photos Slideshows - Hot Trends - Click on the image to view in augmented reality or in stereo 3D


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    Press Review


    Todd Phillips   Hair Love   The Academy   Jennifer Lopez   Kathy Bates   Best Director   Chen   Ford v Ferrari   Lupita   Cynthia Erivo   Jongdae   Antonio Banderas   Jonathan Pryce   Undlin   Mini Mike   No Greta   No Adam Sandler   No Awkwafina   Sorors   Supporting Actress   No Apollo 11   SNUBBED   I Lost My Body   No Eddie Murphy   Bangtan Bomb   No Uncut Gems   
  • 2/81   Viola Davis’s message to white women: ‘Get to know me’
    PEOPLE TOPIC NEWS

    But Davis does see a path forward: empathy and becoming educated on one another’s experiences.

    But Davis does see a path forward: empathy and becoming educated on one another’s experiences.


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  • 3/81   Swizz Beatz, Alicia Keys’s husband, says hip-hop industry lacks compassion
    PEOPLE TOPIC NEWS

    Iconic hip-hop producer and Alicia Keys’s husband, Swizz Beatz, isn’t afraid to tell his guy friends he loves them.

    Iconic hip-hop producer and Alicia Keys’s husband, Swizz Beatz, isn’t afraid to tell his guy friends he loves them.


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  • 4/81   Mike 'The Situation' Sorrentino Is 'Having the Time of His Life' in Prison, Snooki Says
    PEOPLE TOPIC NEWS

    Mike 'The Situation' Sorrentino Is 'Having the Time of His Life' in Prison

    Mike 'The Situation' Sorrentino Is 'Having the Time of His Life' in Prison


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  • 5/81   'Avengers: Endgame' tops 'Star Wars,' breaks previous pre-sale record
    PEOPLE TOPIC NEWS

    'Avengers: Endgame' tops 'Star Wars,' breaks previous pre-sale record originally appeared on goodmorningamerica.com"Avengers: Endgame" tickets went on sale Tuesday and just like Thanos' famous snap, they were gone just like that. But way more than half.Fandango is reporting that "Endgame" has broken its pre-sale records, topping the previous holder, "Star Wars: The Force Awakens."(MORE: New 'Avengers: Endgame' trailer features Captain Marvel, the battle to beat Thanos)Guess the force is strong with Earth's mightiest heroes. ...

    'Avengers: Endgame' tops 'Star Wars,' breaks previous pre-sale record originally appeared on goodmorningamerica.com"Avengers: Endgame" tickets went on sale Tuesday and just like Thanos' famous snap, they were gone just like that. But way more than half.Fandango is reporting that "Endgame" has broken its pre-sale records, topping the previous holder, "Star Wars: The Force Awakens."(MORE: New 'Avengers: Endgame' trailer features Captain Marvel, the battle to beat Thanos)Guess the force is strong with Earth's mightiest heroes. ...


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  • 6/81   Selma Blair reveals she cried with relief at MS diagnosis after being 'not taken seriously' by doctors
    PEOPLE TOPIC NEWS

    The 46-year-old actress is now revealing the agony she went through before receiving a diagnosis of multiple sclerosis (MS) last August.'Ever since my son was born, I was in an MS flare-up and didn't know, and I was giving it everything to seem normal,' Blair told Robin Roberts in an interview that aired Tuesday on 'Good Morning America.' 'And I was self-medicating when he wasn't with me.  Blair recalled that she would get so fatigued prior to her diagnosis that she would need to pull over to take a nap after dropping her son, now 7, off at his school one mile away from their home.  During her interview with 'GMA' at her Los Angeles home, Blair was in an 'exacerbation' of MS, or an attack that causes new symptoms or the worsening of existing symptoms.

    The 46-year-old actress is now revealing the agony she went through before receiving a diagnosis of multiple sclerosis (MS) last August.'Ever since my son was born, I was in an MS flare-up and didn't know, and I was giving it everything to seem normal,' Blair told Robin Roberts in an interview that aired Tuesday on 'Good Morning America.' 'And I was self-medicating when he wasn't with me. Blair recalled that she would get so fatigued prior to her diagnosis that she would need to pull over to take a nap after dropping her son, now 7, off at his school one mile away from their home. During her interview with 'GMA' at her Los Angeles home, Blair was in an 'exacerbation' of MS, or an attack that causes new symptoms or the worsening of existing symptoms.


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  • 7/81   They won't be loved: Maroon 5 play it safe with dullest halftime show of all time
    PEOPLE TOPIC NEWS

    Maroon 5 could have silenced their many haters with a spectacular performance. But they didn’t do that.

    Maroon 5 could have silenced their many haters with a spectacular performance. But they didn’t do that.


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  • 8/81   Do star athletes make too much money?
    SPORTS TOPIC NEWS

    With athletes in America's biggest sports leagues raking in salaries worth $300 million and more, is it time to reign in the big spending or do superstars deserve the big bucks they make?

    With athletes in America's biggest sports leagues raking in salaries worth $300 million and more, is it time to reign in the big spending or do superstars deserve the big bucks they make?


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  • 9/81   Live animal mascots: Cute or exploitative?
    SPORTS TOPIC NEWS

    Animal rights activists have repeatedly called for college sports teams to stop using real animals as their mascots. Are these complaints fair or an overreaction?

    Animal rights activists have repeatedly called for college sports teams to stop using real animals as their mascots. Are these complaints fair or an overreaction?


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  • 10/81   Does U.S. women's soccer deserve equal pay?
    SPORTS TOPIC NEWS

    Has the U.S. women's soccer team done enough to warrant salaries that match their male counterparts? The 360 gives you all the angles on heavily-debated topics in the news.

    Has the U.S. women's soccer team done enough to warrant salaries that match their male counterparts? The 360 gives you all the angles on heavily-debated topics in the news.


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  • 11/81   After fighting for 9/11 victims, Jon Stewart turns to Warrior Games
    SPORTS TOPIC NEWS

    The former “Daily Show” host is serving as the host and emcee of this week’s 2019 Department of Defense Warrior Games in Tampa, where about 300 wounded, ill or injured active-duty and veteran military athletes are competing in 14 adaptive sports.

    The former “Daily Show” host is serving as the host and emcee of this week’s 2019 Department of Defense Warrior Games in Tampa, where about 300 wounded, ill or injured active-duty and veteran military athletes are competing in 14 adaptive sports.


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  • 12/81   Kevin Love talks anxiety, depression and the time he thought he was going to die mid-game
    SPORTS TOPIC NEWS

    “Dear Men” explores how men are navigating the evolution of manhood. NBA All-Star Kevin Love’s mental health journey began in a moment of anxiety on the basketball court during a November 2017 game against the Atlanta Hawks.

    “Dear Men” explores how men are navigating the evolution of manhood. NBA All-Star Kevin Love’s mental health journey began in a moment of anxiety on the basketball court during a November 2017 game against the Atlanta Hawks.


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  • 13/81   Is there a crisis with our boys? Expert says they need love, not discipline
    SPORTS TOPIC NEWS

    “Dear Men” explores how men are navigating the evolution of manhood. You can watch the current week's full episode of “Dear Men” every Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET on Roku. So why are young men struggling? So I don’t never hold back my tears when I'm feeling an emotional overload,” he said.

    “Dear Men” explores how men are navigating the evolution of manhood. You can watch the current week's full episode of “Dear Men” every Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET on Roku. So why are young men struggling? So I don’t never hold back my tears when I'm feeling an emotional overload,” he said.


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  • 14/81   Aly Raisman on Larry Nassar assault: Sometimes people forget I'm still coping with it
    SPORTS TOPIC NEWS

    It has been a year since former USA Gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar was sentenced to 40 to 175 years in prison for abusing more than 150 girls. But Olympic gold medalist Aly Raisman is still coming to terms with the sexual abuse she experienced as a teenager.

    It has been a year since former USA Gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar was sentenced to 40 to 175 years in prison for abusing more than 150 girls. But Olympic gold medalist Aly Raisman is still coming to terms with the sexual abuse she experienced as a teenager.


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  • 15/81   Aly Raisman on Larry Nassar assault: Sometimes people forget I’m still coping with it
    SPORTS TOPIC NEWS

    Olympic gold medalist Aly Raisman tells the Yahoo News show “Through Her Eyes” that she sometimes finds it difficult to hear the graphic details in the sexual assault stories of others, as she is still coping with her own traumatic experience.

    Olympic gold medalist Aly Raisman tells the Yahoo News show “Through Her Eyes” that she sometimes finds it difficult to hear the graphic details in the sexual assault stories of others, as she is still coping with her own traumatic experience.


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  • 16/81   For the love of the brain: One mother's fight for CTE awareness
    SPORTS TOPIC NEWS

    Karen Kinzle Zegel spends her days working on the Patrick Risha CTE Awareness Foundation website, fielding questions and giving out information on a disease she barely knew existed five years ago – until it took the life of her son, for whom the foundation is named.  Karen remembers, “We were a football family, his dad was a coach, I would cheer and yell and you know, do all the things the football mom does.  At the time, she was unaware of CTE – chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a degenerative brain disease caused by repeated blows to the head – and the role it was playing in Patrick’s life.

    Karen Kinzle Zegel spends her days working on the Patrick Risha CTE Awareness Foundation website, fielding questions and giving out information on a disease she barely knew existed five years ago – until it took the life of her son, for whom the foundation is named. Karen remembers, “We were a football family, his dad was a coach, I would cheer and yell and you know, do all the things the football mom does. At the time, she was unaware of CTE – chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a degenerative brain disease caused by repeated blows to the head – and the role it was playing in Patrick’s life.


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  • 17/81   PHOTOS: Fluorescent turtle embryo wins forty-fifth annual Nikon Small World Competition

    The winners of the 45th annual competition showcase a spectacular blend of science and artistry under the microscope.

    The winners of the 45th annual competition showcase a spectacular blend of science and artistry under the microscope.


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  • 18/81   7 tax scams to watch out for this year

    In case wringing your hands over the tax man weren’t enough, criminals are out there trying to swipe your hard-earned cash and personal information from right under your nose.

    In case wringing your hands over the tax man weren’t enough, criminals are out there trying to swipe your hard-earned cash and personal information from right under your nose.


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  • 19/81   Mother Angry After School's Robocall Keeps Mispronouncing Daughter's Name As A Racial Slur

    The daughter's name is Nicarri.

    The daughter's name is Nicarri.


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  • 20/81   What the CIA thinks of your anti-virus program

    PARIS (AP) — Peppering the 8,000 pages of purported Central Intelligence Agency hacking data released Tuesday by WikiLeaks are reviews of some of the world's most popular anti-virus products.

    PARIS (AP) — Peppering the 8,000 pages of purported Central Intelligence Agency hacking data released Tuesday by WikiLeaks are reviews of some of the world's most popular anti-virus products.


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  • 21/81   Avowed Apple Fan Jeb Bush Realizes His Apple Watch Can Take Phone Calls

    Jeb Bush's love of Apple products has been widely documented, and the Republican presidential candidate continues to wear his Apple Watch on the campaign trail. Yesterday, in a meeting with The Des Moines Register editorial board documented by USA Today, Bush stumbled upon a feature he didn’t realize his smartwatch was capable of: taking phone calls. Somehow Bush managed to take a call without picking up his iPhone, and the sound of a person’s voice saying hello breaks through the meeting noise, to which Bush responds, “My watch can’t be talking.”

    Jeb Bush's love of Apple products has been widely documented, and the Republican presidential candidate continues to wear his Apple Watch on the campaign trail. Yesterday, in a meeting with The Des Moines Register editorial board documented by USA Today, Bush stumbled upon a feature he didn’t realize his smartwatch was capable of: taking phone calls. Somehow Bush managed to take a call without picking up his iPhone, and the sound of a person’s voice saying hello breaks through the meeting noise, to which Bush responds, “My watch can’t be talking.”


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  • 22/81   Social media welcomes Pope Francis to the United States

    Pope Francis gets the social media treatment upon arriving in the U.S. Tuesday.  As Pope Francis’s flight touched down in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday, Twitter unveiled a new batch of emojis created for the highly anticipated papal visit.  Until his departure from the United States on Sunday, Twitter users chronicling the Catholic leader’s East Coast journey will be able to include a cartoon image of the Pope’s face in front of the American flag on all Pope-related tweets by using the hashtag #PopeinUS.

    Pope Francis gets the social media treatment upon arriving in the U.S. Tuesday. As Pope Francis’s flight touched down in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday, Twitter unveiled a new batch of emojis created for the highly anticipated papal visit. Until his departure from the United States on Sunday, Twitter users chronicling the Catholic leader’s East Coast journey will be able to include a cartoon image of the Pope’s face in front of the American flag on all Pope-related tweets by using the hashtag #PopeinUS.


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  • 23/81   Veteran-Led Disaster Response and Humanitarian Group Team Rubicon Commemorates "A Decade of Service and Grit"
    TECHNOLOGY TOPIC NEWS

    Team Rubicon, a veteran-led global disaster response organization, today marks ten years since its first relief operation, which was launched in the wake of the devastating 7.0-magnitude earthquake that struck Haiti on Jan. 12, 2010.

    Team Rubicon, a veteran-led global disaster response organization, today marks ten years since its first relief operation, which was launched in the wake of the devastating 7.0-magnitude earthquake that struck Haiti on Jan. 12, 2010.


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  • 24/81   Winners of the 2020 North American Car, Utility and Truck of the Year: Chevrolet Corvette, Kia Telluride, Jeep Gladiator
    TECHNOLOGY TOPIC NEWS

    After hundreds of hours of test drives, research and evaluation by independent jurors, the Chevrolet Corvette Stingray, Kia Telluride and Jeep Gladiator were revealed as the winners of the 2020 North American Car, Utility and Truck of the Year (NACTOY) awards at TCF Center in Detroit.

    After hundreds of hours of test drives, research and evaluation by independent jurors, the Chevrolet Corvette Stingray, Kia Telluride and Jeep Gladiator were revealed as the winners of the 2020 North American Car, Utility and Truck of the Year (NACTOY) awards at TCF Center in Detroit.


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  • 25/81   Oil Holds Biggest Weekly Loss Since July on Easing Gulf Tension
    TECHNOLOGY TOPIC NEWS

    (Bloomberg) -- Oil was steady after the biggest weekly drop since July as an easing of geopolitical tension in the Middle East turned attention back to a flood of new supply set to hit the market this year.The threat of an outright war has receded since Tehran fired missiles at U.S.-Iraqi bases last week in retaliation for Washington’s assassination of its top general. The situation in Iran remains volatile, however, amid protests against the government’s accidental downing of a commercial airliner. In Libya, warring factions have called a cease-fire in their nine-month conflict.West Texas Intermediate crude for February delivery added 6 cents to $59.10 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange as of 8:45 a.m. local time, approaching its 50-day moving average. The contract fell 6.4% last week, the most since mid-July.Oil prices are now back where they were in mid-December, with the market seemingly shrugging off the chance of more disruptions in the Persian Gulf. The lack of a geopolitical risk premium is partly due to plentiful supplies of U.S. shale and a torrent of new crude from non-OPEC countries including Brazil, Guyana and Norway. On the demand side, the U.S. and China are set to sign their limited trade deal this week, which may improve sentiment.See also: How the Market Learned to Live With a Middle East in Flames“We are now rolling into a period with a softer fundamental oil-market balance,” said Helge Andre Martinsen, senior oil market analyst at DNB Bank ASA. “We need actual supply disruptions to push prices close to $70. But watch out for increasing Iranian proxy activity and an acceleration of Iran’s nuclear program in the months ahead.”Brent futures for March settlement was 13 cents higher at $65.11 a barrel on the ICE Futures Europe Exchange after losing 5.3% last week. The global crude benchmark traded at a $5.99 premium to WTI for the same month.While the chances of imminent war have lessened, relations between the U.S. and Iran remain combustible. Tehran has said it will stop abiding by limits on uranium enrichment, while the U.S. imposed new sanctions on the Islamic Republic. Oil markets are underestimating the risks in the Middle East and may be wrong in assuming Iran’s retaliation is over, said Jason Bordoff, head of the Center on Global Energy Policy at Columbia University in New York.The U.S. reported record weekly net oil exports earlier this month. Meanwhile, Brazil and Guyana are set to add more than 400,000 barrels of combined daily supplies to the market this year, a volume that would offset most of the auxiliary cuts agreed to by OPEC and its allies in late 2019, according to Stratas Advisors.\--With assistance from James Thornhill.To contact the reporter on this story: Grant Smith in London at gsmith52@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: James Herron at jherron9@bloomberg.net, Helen Robertson, Christopher SellFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

    (Bloomberg) -- Oil was steady after the biggest weekly drop since July as an easing of geopolitical tension in the Middle East turned attention back to a flood of new supply set to hit the market this year.The threat of an outright war has receded since Tehran fired missiles at U.S.-Iraqi bases last week in retaliation for Washington’s assassination of its top general. The situation in Iran remains volatile, however, amid protests against the government’s accidental downing of a commercial airliner. In Libya, warring factions have called a cease-fire in their nine-month conflict.West Texas Intermediate crude for February delivery added 6 cents to $59.10 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange as of 8:45 a.m. local time, approaching its 50-day moving average. The contract fell 6.4% last week, the most since mid-July.Oil prices are now back where they were in mid-December, with the market seemingly shrugging off the chance of more disruptions in the Persian Gulf. The lack of a geopolitical risk premium is partly due to plentiful supplies of U.S. shale and a torrent of new crude from non-OPEC countries including Brazil, Guyana and Norway. On the demand side, the U.S. and China are set to sign their limited trade deal this week, which may improve sentiment.See also: How the Market Learned to Live With a Middle East in Flames“We are now rolling into a period with a softer fundamental oil-market balance,” said Helge Andre Martinsen, senior oil market analyst at DNB Bank ASA. “We need actual supply disruptions to push prices close to $70. But watch out for increasing Iranian proxy activity and an acceleration of Iran’s nuclear program in the months ahead.”Brent futures for March settlement was 13 cents higher at $65.11 a barrel on the ICE Futures Europe Exchange after losing 5.3% last week. The global crude benchmark traded at a $5.99 premium to WTI for the same month.While the chances of imminent war have lessened, relations between the U.S. and Iran remain combustible. Tehran has said it will stop abiding by limits on uranium enrichment, while the U.S. imposed new sanctions on the Islamic Republic. Oil markets are underestimating the risks in the Middle East and may be wrong in assuming Iran’s retaliation is over, said Jason Bordoff, head of the Center on Global Energy Policy at Columbia University in New York.The U.S. reported record weekly net oil exports earlier this month. Meanwhile, Brazil and Guyana are set to add more than 400,000 barrels of combined daily supplies to the market this year, a volume that would offset most of the auxiliary cuts agreed to by OPEC and its allies in late 2019, according to Stratas Advisors.\--With assistance from James Thornhill.To contact the reporter on this story: Grant Smith in London at gsmith52@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: James Herron at jherron9@bloomberg.net, Helen Robertson, Christopher SellFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2020 Bloomberg L.P.


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  • 26/81   BOE Rate Cut Looks Possible on Weaker Economy and Dovish Remarks
    TECHNOLOGY TOPIC NEWS

    (Bloomberg) -- Want the lowdown on European markets? In your inbox before the open, every day. Sign up here.Mark Carney’s last monetary policy decision as Bank of England governor could prove to be a dramatic one, with an interest-rate cut suddenly looking possible.Comments from rate-setters in the past week have surprised investors and economists by signaling that the Monetary Policy Committee’s views are more finely balanced than previously expected. Gloominess over the outlook was compounded further on Monday when data showed the economy shrank in November, ahead of the general election, casting doubt over whether there was any growth at all in the fourth quarter.The pound fell as much as 0.8% after the GDP data were published and was trading below $1.30 as of 1:37 p.m. in London. Money markets are now pricing a 50% chance of a rate cut this month, up from 25% on Friday.The BOE’s decision will be announced on Jan. 30, when officials will publish fresh forecasts on growth and inflation. The central bank will also unveil its annual review of the supply side of the economy, which will include crucial analysis on the extent of the supply shock from the U.K.’s departure from the European Union.It is Carney’s final meeting before he steps down in March to be replaced by Andrew Bailey. Here’s where the debate stands:Vote SplitThe BOE’s nine policy makers set the benchmark rate by majority vote. Michael Saunders and Jonathan Haskel have called for a reduction since November, so they only need three more to join them to sway the decision.They might get it. In the past week, Silvana Tenreyro said she may support a rate cut in the next few months if uncertainty around future trade arrangements or sluggish global growth continue to weigh on the economy. Gertjan Vlieghe made an even more urgent case in a Financial Times interview published at the weekend, saying he’d need to see a significant improvement in the data to justify waiting any longer before voting to cut.The key voter is probably Carney, and he indicated last week that he sympathizes with the rationale for more stimulus.The remaining four MPC members -- Ben Broadbent, Jon Cunliffe, Dave Ramsden, and Andy Haldane -- all voted in December to keep policy unchanged and haven’t given any recent public remarks.Mixed DataMonday’s GDP data provides somber reading, with the U.K.’s dominant services sector contracting. Inflation is also below the BOE’s 2% target, and economists see it staying under the threshold when new figures are published this week.Officials will most likely be looking at how the economy performed in the wake of Boris Johnson’s election win last month. While surveys taken after the vote suggest his victory delivered a boost to confidence, that momentum may not last. Cracks are starting to appear among consumers, a mainstay of U.K. economic growth, with retail sales posting their worst year on record.There’s plenty more data to come that could still convince officials to keep rates on hold for now. Figures on retail sales are due this week and PMI surveys published closer to the end of the month will also be crucial in informing the debate.What Our Economists Say...“Our central forecast is for uncertainty to ease, prompting a turnaround in the outlook for the economy that prevents the MPC from cutting in the near term. But we recognize this call hangs in the balance.”\-- Dan Hanson, Bloomberg Economics. Read his U.K. REACT‘Insurance Cut’In a December speech explaining his vote for a cut, Haskel said that with little room for looser policy, it was better to act sooner rather than later to “reduce the probability of the economy of getting stuck at the effective lower bound.” That worry is one possible explanation for why the MPC has turned impatient so quickly, according to JPMorgan Chase & Co economist Allan Monks.Brexit UncertaintyBrexit is set to happen at the end of the month, but many doubt Johnson can deliver on his pledge to strike a trade deal with the bloc by the end of the year. If he fails, Britain will once again be facing a disruptive cliff-edge departure.U.K. companies have had a difficult time since the 2016 referendum, wasting resources on stockpiling and contingency planning in anticipation of deadlines that have come and gone, and withholding investment as a result. The way firms react to the next phases of the divorce process -- and what opportunities they’ll have to maintain business with the country’s biggest trading partner -- will be crucial in deciding the U.K.’s economic fate.Global OutlookThe performance of the rest of the world is especially important for an open economy like the U.K., and tensions beyond the Brexit debate look set to persist into 2020. While the U.S. and China plan to sign the first phase of a trade deal this week, that’s unlikely to lead to any upswing in global growth. The flare-up between the U.S. and Iran could also weigh on sentiment.To contact the reporter on this story: Jill Ward in London at jward98@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Fergal O'Brien at fobrien@bloomberg.net, Paul Gordon, Brian SwintFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

    (Bloomberg) -- Want the lowdown on European markets? In your inbox before the open, every day. Sign up here.Mark Carney’s last monetary policy decision as Bank of England governor could prove to be a dramatic one, with an interest-rate cut suddenly looking possible.Comments from rate-setters in the past week have surprised investors and economists by signaling that the Monetary Policy Committee’s views are more finely balanced than previously expected. Gloominess over the outlook was compounded further on Monday when data showed the economy shrank in November, ahead of the general election, casting doubt over whether there was any growth at all in the fourth quarter.The pound fell as much as 0.8% after the GDP data were published and was trading below $1.30 as of 1:37 p.m. in London. Money markets are now pricing a 50% chance of a rate cut this month, up from 25% on Friday.The BOE’s decision will be announced on Jan. 30, when officials will publish fresh forecasts on growth and inflation. The central bank will also unveil its annual review of the supply side of the economy, which will include crucial analysis on the extent of the supply shock from the U.K.’s departure from the European Union.It is Carney’s final meeting before he steps down in March to be replaced by Andrew Bailey. Here’s where the debate stands:Vote SplitThe BOE’s nine policy makers set the benchmark rate by majority vote. Michael Saunders and Jonathan Haskel have called for a reduction since November, so they only need three more to join them to sway the decision.They might get it. In the past week, Silvana Tenreyro said she may support a rate cut in the next few months if uncertainty around future trade arrangements or sluggish global growth continue to weigh on the economy. Gertjan Vlieghe made an even more urgent case in a Financial Times interview published at the weekend, saying he’d need to see a significant improvement in the data to justify waiting any longer before voting to cut.The key voter is probably Carney, and he indicated last week that he sympathizes with the rationale for more stimulus.The remaining four MPC members -- Ben Broadbent, Jon Cunliffe, Dave Ramsden, and Andy Haldane -- all voted in December to keep policy unchanged and haven’t given any recent public remarks.Mixed DataMonday’s GDP data provides somber reading, with the U.K.’s dominant services sector contracting. Inflation is also below the BOE’s 2% target, and economists see it staying under the threshold when new figures are published this week.Officials will most likely be looking at how the economy performed in the wake of Boris Johnson’s election win last month. While surveys taken after the vote suggest his victory delivered a boost to confidence, that momentum may not last. Cracks are starting to appear among consumers, a mainstay of U.K. economic growth, with retail sales posting their worst year on record.There’s plenty more data to come that could still convince officials to keep rates on hold for now. Figures on retail sales are due this week and PMI surveys published closer to the end of the month will also be crucial in informing the debate.What Our Economists Say...“Our central forecast is for uncertainty to ease, prompting a turnaround in the outlook for the economy that prevents the MPC from cutting in the near term. But we recognize this call hangs in the balance.”\-- Dan Hanson, Bloomberg Economics. Read his U.K. REACT‘Insurance Cut’In a December speech explaining his vote for a cut, Haskel said that with little room for looser policy, it was better to act sooner rather than later to “reduce the probability of the economy of getting stuck at the effective lower bound.” That worry is one possible explanation for why the MPC has turned impatient so quickly, according to JPMorgan Chase & Co economist Allan Monks.Brexit UncertaintyBrexit is set to happen at the end of the month, but many doubt Johnson can deliver on his pledge to strike a trade deal with the bloc by the end of the year. If he fails, Britain will once again be facing a disruptive cliff-edge departure.U.K. companies have had a difficult time since the 2016 referendum, wasting resources on stockpiling and contingency planning in anticipation of deadlines that have come and gone, and withholding investment as a result. The way firms react to the next phases of the divorce process -- and what opportunities they’ll have to maintain business with the country’s biggest trading partner -- will be crucial in deciding the U.K.’s economic fate.Global OutlookThe performance of the rest of the world is especially important for an open economy like the U.K., and tensions beyond the Brexit debate look set to persist into 2020. While the U.S. and China plan to sign the first phase of a trade deal this week, that’s unlikely to lead to any upswing in global growth. The flare-up between the U.S. and Iran could also weigh on sentiment.To contact the reporter on this story: Jill Ward in London at jward98@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Fergal O'Brien at fobrien@bloomberg.net, Paul Gordon, Brian SwintFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2020 Bloomberg L.P.


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  • 27/81   Global Aerospace Fasteners Market size was Valued at USD 5628 Million in 2018 and is Expected to Grow at a CAGR of 5.82% by 2025 | Valuates Reports
    TECHNOLOGY TOPIC NEWS

    GLOBAL AEROSPACE FASTENERS MARKET ANALYSIS

    GLOBAL AEROSPACE FASTENERS MARKET ANALYSIS


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  • 28/81   Plasma Fractionation Market to Reach $30.53 Bn, Globally, by 2028 at 6.1% CAGR: Allied Market Research
    TECHNOLOGY TOPIC NEWS

    Allied Market Research published a report, titled, "Plasma Fractionation Market by Product (Albumin, Immunoglobulins, and Coagulation Factor VIII), Application (Neurology, Hematology, Immunology, Critical Care and Others), End User (Hospitals, and Research Laboratories): Global Opportunity Analysis and Industry Forecast, 2018–2028." According to the report, the global plasma fractionation market garnered $16.82 billion in 2018, and is estimated to reach $30.53 billion by 2028, growing at a CAGR of 6.1% from 2019 to 2028.

    Allied Market Research published a report, titled, "Plasma Fractionation Market by Product (Albumin, Immunoglobulins, and Coagulation Factor VIII), Application (Neurology, Hematology, Immunology, Critical Care and Others), End User (Hospitals, and Research Laboratories): Global Opportunity Analysis and Industry Forecast, 2018–2028." According to the report, the global plasma fractionation market garnered $16.82 billion in 2018, and is estimated to reach $30.53 billion by 2028, growing at a CAGR of 6.1% from 2019 to 2028.


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  • 29/81   Auto sales in China are expected to drop 2% in 2020
    TECHNOLOGY TOPIC NEWS

    BEIJING/SHANGHAI — Automakers in China need to get used to a new normal of 'low speed growth' in the world's largest car market, the country's top auto body said on Monday, as it reiterated predictions that sales will likely shrink for the third consecutive year in 2020.  The China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM) expects a 2% fall in vehicle sales.  CAAM, affirming its forecast announced last month, also said auto sales declined for the 18th consecutive month in December.

    BEIJING/SHANGHAI — Automakers in China need to get used to a new normal of 'low speed growth' in the world's largest car market, the country's top auto body said on Monday, as it reiterated predictions that sales will likely shrink for the third consecutive year in 2020. The China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM) expects a 2% fall in vehicle sales. CAAM, affirming its forecast announced last month, also said auto sales declined for the 18th consecutive month in December.


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  • 30/81   Tech ETF Sweet Spots
    TECHNOLOGY TOPIC NEWS

    With a stabilizing and steady economy shaping up, semiconductor ETFs will keep clicking.  

    With a stabilizing and steady economy shaping up, semiconductor ETFs will keep clicking.  


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  • 31/81   CB4 is Honored in Built In NYC's Prestigious Best Places to Work List in 2020
    TECHNOLOGY TOPIC NEWS

    CB4 today announced it was included on Built In NYC's list of Best Places to Work in 2020. Companies are selected based on data submitted by companies and their employees.

    CB4 today announced it was included on Built In NYC's list of Best Places to Work in 2020. Companies are selected based on data submitted by companies and their employees.


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  • 32/81   More to Love: #1 USDA Organic Our Daily Wines Launches 1.5-Liter Box
    TECHNOLOGY TOPIC NEWS

    For 30 years, Our Daily Wines has succeeded at delivering organic, vegan, gluten-free wines with no added preservatives and no detectible sulfites to wine lovers. Now, there is even more to love from 1-selling USDA Organic Certified wine. Today, Our Daily Wines announces the launch of its Red Blend in a new 1.5-liter bag-in-box format. Available nationally, the suggested retail price is $17.99.www.ourdailywines.com

    For 30 years, Our Daily Wines has succeeded at delivering organic, vegan, gluten-free wines with no added preservatives and no detectible sulfites to wine lovers. Now, there is even more to love from 1-selling USDA Organic Certified wine. Today, Our Daily Wines announces the launch of its Red Blend in a new 1.5-liter bag-in-box format. Available nationally, the suggested retail price is $17.99.www.ourdailywines.com


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  • 33/81   pCloud Joins the Australian Bushfire Relief Efforts
    TECHNOLOGY TOPIC NEWS

    pCloud, leading cloud storage service is pledging 100% of its profits from 13-14 January to support Australian bushfire relief efforts.

    pCloud, leading cloud storage service is pledging 100% of its profits from 13-14 January to support Australian bushfire relief efforts.


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  • 34/81   HighJump Unveils Future of Ecommerce for Supply Chain at NRF 2020
    TECHNOLOGY TOPIC NEWS

    HighJump, a global provider of supply chain solutions, today showcases the latest for ecommerce at NRF 2020. HighJump provides retailers with the connected, automated supply chain of the future to conquer complexity and deliver upon ever heightening consumer expectations.

    HighJump, a global provider of supply chain solutions, today showcases the latest for ecommerce at NRF 2020. HighJump provides retailers with the connected, automated supply chain of the future to conquer complexity and deliver upon ever heightening consumer expectations.


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  • 35/81   CoNextions Medical Announces Initial Commercial Use of CoNextions TR Tendon Repair Device
    TECHNOLOGY TOPIC NEWS

    A 17-year-old male patient with a severed extensor tendon of his thumb due to traumatic injury became the first outside of a clinical trial to undergo tendon repair with CoNextions Medical's TR Tendon Repair device since the product's recent approval in Chile, the first country to approve the device.

    A 17-year-old male patient with a severed extensor tendon of his thumb due to traumatic injury became the first outside of a clinical trial to undergo tendon repair with CoNextions Medical's TR Tendon Repair device since the product's recent approval in Chile, the first country to approve the device.


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  • 36/81   Video Shows Iranian Police Shooting Protestors
    TECHNOLOGY TOPIC NEWS

    A video of weekend protests in Iran shows a woman being carried away after being shot in the leg, while other protestors flee from tear gas, despite claims from Iranian police that they did not use live ammunition on protestors.The video, reviewed by the Associated Press, shows a woman leaving a trail of blood as she is carried by fellow protestors. “Oh my God, she’s bleeding nonstop!” one person shouts. Another shouts: “Bandage it!”But General Hossein Rahimi, Tehran’s police chief, later denied that police used live ammunition on the protests, which began after Iran admitted to accidentally shooting down a passenger jet last week.“Police treated people who had gathered with patience and tolerance,” Iranian media quoted Rahimi as saying. “Police did not shoot in the gatherings since broad-mindedness and restraint has been agenda of the police forces of the capital.”President Trump tweeted several times over the weekend in support of protestors, including urging the regime to “NOT KILL YOUR PROTESTORS.”> To the leaders of Iran - DO NOT KILL YOUR PROTESTERS. Thousands have already been killed or imprisoned by you, and the World is watching. More importantly, the USA is watching. Turn your internet back on and let reporters roam free! Stop the killing of your great Iranian people!> > -- Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 12, 2020During nationwide protests over rising fuel prices in November, State Department official and Iran envoy Brian Hook said that the regime “could have murdered over a thousand Iranian citizens” and that two Iranian prisons had already met the criteria for “gross human rights violations” for jailing Iranians.The regime’s crackdown included the Iranian Revolutionary Guards massacring up to one hundred people in a single incident.The Monday clip also shows crowds running from Azadi Square after tear gas was fired into their midst. As people cough, one woman yells “they fired tear gas at people! Azadi Square. Death to the dictator!” in Farsi.Rahimi did tell the Fars news agency that police “shot tear gas in some areas.”

    A video of weekend protests in Iran shows a woman being carried away after being shot in the leg, while other protestors flee from tear gas, despite claims from Iranian police that they did not use live ammunition on protestors.The video, reviewed by the Associated Press, shows a woman leaving a trail of blood as she is carried by fellow protestors. “Oh my God, she’s bleeding nonstop!” one person shouts. Another shouts: “Bandage it!”But General Hossein Rahimi, Tehran’s police chief, later denied that police used live ammunition on the protests, which began after Iran admitted to accidentally shooting down a passenger jet last week.“Police treated people who had gathered with patience and tolerance,” Iranian media quoted Rahimi as saying. “Police did not shoot in the gatherings since broad-mindedness and restraint has been agenda of the police forces of the capital.”President Trump tweeted several times over the weekend in support of protestors, including urging the regime to “NOT KILL YOUR PROTESTORS.”> To the leaders of Iran - DO NOT KILL YOUR PROTESTERS. Thousands have already been killed or imprisoned by you, and the World is watching. More importantly, the USA is watching. Turn your internet back on and let reporters roam free! Stop the killing of your great Iranian people!> > -- Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 12, 2020During nationwide protests over rising fuel prices in November, State Department official and Iran envoy Brian Hook said that the regime “could have murdered over a thousand Iranian citizens” and that two Iranian prisons had already met the criteria for “gross human rights violations” for jailing Iranians.The regime’s crackdown included the Iranian Revolutionary Guards massacring up to one hundred people in a single incident.The Monday clip also shows crowds running from Azadi Square after tear gas was fired into their midst. As people cough, one woman yells “they fired tear gas at people! Azadi Square. Death to the dictator!” in Farsi.Rahimi did tell the Fars news agency that police “shot tear gas in some areas.”


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  • 37/81   Trump Authorized Soleimani Strike in June as Potential Response to Killing of Americans: Report
    TECHNOLOGY TOPIC NEWS

    President Trump in June authorized the option of killing senior Iranian commander Qasem Soleimani if Iranian aggression led to the death of Americans, NBC reported on Monday.The conditions for an operation targeting Soleimani were that it would be a response to Iran killing Americans, and that the President would have to personally sign off on the order."There have been a number of options presented to the president over the course of time," a senior administration official told NBC, saying an operation to kill Soleimani was put on the table "some time ago."On December 27, the Iran-backed militia Kataib Hezbollah launched over 30 rockets at a U.S. military base in Iraq, killing an American contractor and wounding four military personnel. Trump decided to respond at the time with airstrikes on Kataib Hezbollah positions, but the group then led several days of protests at the American embassy in Baghdad.The New York Times reported that Trump decided on killing Soleimani after seeing the images of crowds attacking the embassy. According to the paper, top Pentagon generals were stunned that Trump went through with the operation.The leader of Kataib Hezbollah, Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, was killed in the same drone strike as Soleimani while traveling in the Iranian general's convoy.At the same time as the Soleimani operation was underway, the administration authorized another covert operation in Yemen targeting a senior Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps commander, the Washington Post reported on Friday. Details of that operation have been slow to emerge as U.S. military activities in Yemen are generally highly classified.

    President Trump in June authorized the option of killing senior Iranian commander Qasem Soleimani if Iranian aggression led to the death of Americans, NBC reported on Monday.The conditions for an operation targeting Soleimani were that it would be a response to Iran killing Americans, and that the President would have to personally sign off on the order."There have been a number of options presented to the president over the course of time," a senior administration official told NBC, saying an operation to kill Soleimani was put on the table "some time ago."On December 27, the Iran-backed militia Kataib Hezbollah launched over 30 rockets at a U.S. military base in Iraq, killing an American contractor and wounding four military personnel. Trump decided to respond at the time with airstrikes on Kataib Hezbollah positions, but the group then led several days of protests at the American embassy in Baghdad.The New York Times reported that Trump decided on killing Soleimani after seeing the images of crowds attacking the embassy. According to the paper, top Pentagon generals were stunned that Trump went through with the operation.The leader of Kataib Hezbollah, Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, was killed in the same drone strike as Soleimani while traveling in the Iranian general's convoy.At the same time as the Soleimani operation was underway, the administration authorized another covert operation in Yemen targeting a senior Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps commander, the Washington Post reported on Friday. Details of that operation have been slow to emerge as U.S. military activities in Yemen are generally highly classified.


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  • 38/81   Japan wants to halve leverage cap in crypto margin trading to 2x
    TECHNOLOGY TOPIC NEWS

    The Financial Services Agency of Japan, the country’s financial watchdog, plans to cut the permitted leverage cap in cryptocurrency margin trading. If the plan goes through, the new leverage limit would be 2x from the current self-imposed cap of 4x, Japan Times reported Saturday, citing “informed sources.” The FSA has reportedly proposed the move due […]The post Japan wants to halve leverage cap in crypto margin trading to 2x appeared first on The Block.

    The Financial Services Agency of Japan, the country’s financial watchdog, plans to cut the permitted leverage cap in cryptocurrency margin trading. If the plan goes through, the new leverage limit would be 2x from the current self-imposed cap of 4x, Japan Times reported Saturday, citing “informed sources.” The FSA has reportedly proposed the move due […]The post Japan wants to halve leverage cap in crypto margin trading to 2x appeared first on The Block.


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  • 39/81   Neogen acquires Italian food safety company
    TECHNOLOGY TOPIC NEWS

    Neogen Corporation (NASDAQ: NEOG) announced today that it has acquired Italy-based Diessechem S.R.L. — a distributor of food and feed safety diagnostics for the past 27 years.

    Neogen Corporation (NASDAQ: NEOG) announced today that it has acquired Italy-based Diessechem S.R.L. — a distributor of food and feed safety diagnostics for the past 27 years.


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  • 40/81   Tech, Media & Telecom Trends, 2020: AI, IoT, Brexit, US-China Trade War, Data Privacy
    TECHNOLOGY TOPIC NEWS

    The "Tech, Media, & Telecom Trends 2020 - Thematic Research" report has been added to ResearchAndMarkets.com's offering.

    The "Tech, Media, & Telecom Trends 2020 - Thematic Research" report has been added to ResearchAndMarkets.com's offering.


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  • 41/81   Do Kadant's (NYSE:KAI) Earnings Warrant Your Attention?
    TECHNOLOGY TOPIC NEWS

    Some have more dollars than sense, they say, so even companies that have no revenue, no profit, and a record of...

    Some have more dollars than sense, they say, so even companies that have no revenue, no profit, and a record of...


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  • 42/81   'I wished I was on that plane': Iranian general apologizes; missiles pound Iraq base. What we know now
    POLITICS TOPIC NEWS

    Fallout from Iran-U.S. tensions intensified Sunday as missiles pounded an Iraqi air base hosting U.S. troops.

    Fallout from Iran-U.S. tensions intensified Sunday as missiles pounded an Iraqi air base hosting U.S. troops.


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  • 43/81   Two WWII bombs made safe in Germany
    POLITICS TOPIC NEWS

    Two World War II-era bombs were made safe in the western German city of Dortmund after around 14,000 people were evacuated, the city said Sunday.  Officials there warning on Saturday that unexploded bombs dropped by Allied forces during the war might be buried in four sites in a heavily populated part of the city centre.  Two unexploded bombs weighing 250 kilogrammes (550 pounds) each, one British and the other American, were found and made safe.

    Two World War II-era bombs were made safe in the western German city of Dortmund after around 14,000 people were evacuated, the city said Sunday. Officials there warning on Saturday that unexploded bombs dropped by Allied forces during the war might be buried in four sites in a heavily populated part of the city centre. Two unexploded bombs weighing 250 kilogrammes (550 pounds) each, one British and the other American, were found and made safe.


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  • 44/81   German Chancellor urges all parties to back Iran nuclear deal
    POLITICS TOPIC NEWS

    German chancellor Angela Merkel on Saturday repeated a call for all parties to respect the Iranian nuclear accord, despite Iran's decision to intensify its enrichment of uranium and moves by the United States to impose economic sanctions.  Under a deal brokered in 2015, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), Iran agreed with China, France, Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States, to restrict its nuclear program.

    German chancellor Angela Merkel on Saturday repeated a call for all parties to respect the Iranian nuclear accord, despite Iran's decision to intensify its enrichment of uranium and moves by the United States to impose economic sanctions. Under a deal brokered in 2015, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), Iran agreed with China, France, Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States, to restrict its nuclear program.


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  • 45/81   Severe weather in Afghanistan, Pakistan leaves 48 dead
    POLITICS TOPIC NEWS

    Severe winter weather has struck parts of Afghanistan and Pakistan, with heavy snowfall, rains and flash floods that left at least 48 people dead, officials said Monday as authorities struggled to clear and reopen highways and evacuate people to safer places.  In Pakistan, where 30 people were reported killed, much of the damage struck southwestern Baluchistan province.  Imran Zarkon, chief of provincial disaster management, said 14 died there in the past 24 hours, mainly when roofs collapsed amid heavy snowfall.

    Severe winter weather has struck parts of Afghanistan and Pakistan, with heavy snowfall, rains and flash floods that left at least 48 people dead, officials said Monday as authorities struggled to clear and reopen highways and evacuate people to safer places. In Pakistan, where 30 people were reported killed, much of the damage struck southwestern Baluchistan province. Imran Zarkon, chief of provincial disaster management, said 14 died there in the past 24 hours, mainly when roofs collapsed amid heavy snowfall.


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  • 46/81   Hezbollah says payback for U.S. strike has just begun
    POLITICS TOPIC NEWS

    The leader of the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah said on Sunday that Iran's missile attacks on two bases in Iraq housing U.S. forces was only the start of the retaliation for the U.S.'s killing of a top Iranian commander in a drone strike.

    The leader of the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah said on Sunday that Iran's missile attacks on two bases in Iraq housing U.S. forces was only the start of the retaliation for the U.S.'s killing of a top Iranian commander in a drone strike.


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  • 47/81   This Picture Might Just Depict the Ultimate Military Weapon
    POLITICS TOPIC NEWS

    Meet the MLRS.

    Meet the MLRS.


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  • 48/81   FBI Apologizes to Court for Botching Surveillance of Trump Adviser, and Pledges Fixes
    POLITICS TOPIC NEWS

    WASHINGTON -- A chastened FBI told a secretive court Friday that it was increasing training and oversight for officials who work on national security wiretap applications in response to problems uncovered by a scathing inspector general report last month about botched surveillance targeting a former Trump campaign adviser.In a rare unclassified and public filing before the court that oversees wiretapping under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, or FISA, the FBI also said it would extend its overhaul to requests for orders permitting it to collect logs of its targets' communications and other business records -- not just wiretaps of the contents of phone calls and emails."The FBI has the utmost respect for this court and deeply regrets the errors and omission identified by" the inspector general, wrote FBI Director Christopher A. Wray in a statement included with the filing. He called the conduct described by the report "unacceptable and unrepresentative of the FBI as an institution."Under FISA -- a law for surveillance aimed at monitoring suspected spies and terrorists, as opposed to ordinary criminals -- the government must convince a judge that an American is probably an agent of a foreign power. Because the FISA court hears only from the government, and what it says is never shown to defense lawyers, the Justice Department says it has a duty to be candid and tell judges every relevant fact in its possession.But the Justice Department's inspector general, Michael E. Horowitz, uncovered that the FBI had cherry-picked and misstated evidence about the Trump adviser, Carter Page, when seeking permission to wiretap him in October 2016 and in 2017 renewal applications. At the same time, Horowitz determined that the opening of the Russia investigation was legal and found no politicized conspiracy against President Donald Trump by high-level FBI officials.The problems included omitting details that made Page look less suspicious. For example, the court was not told that Page had said to a confidential informant in August 2016 that he had no interactions with Paul Manafort, Trump's former campaign manager, even though the FBI suspected Page might be a conduit between Russia and Manafort.The court was also not told that Page had told the CIA about his contacts with Russians over the years, a fact that made that pattern of contacts look less suspicious. The Justice Department, passing on the factual portrait it received from the FBI, had pointed the judges to that pattern as a reason to think that he might be a Russian agent.Horowitz said he did not find documentary or testimonial evidence that FBI officials responsible for compiling the relevant evidence about Page for the court were politically biased against Trump. But he rejected as unsatisfactory their explanations that they were busy on other aspects of the Russia investigation.In a response appended to the inspector general report last month, Wray had already announced that he would make changes aimed at ensuring that the bureau put forward a more comprehensive portrait of the facts about targets when preparing wiretap applications.The new filing, which detailed 12 steps, like enhancing checklists for preparing filings, added granular detail. It came in response to an unusual public order last month. Rosemary M. Collyer, then the presiding judge on FISA court, ordered the FBI to propose fixes to its process by Jan. 10 to ensure the problems would not recur."The frequency with which representations made by FBI personnel turned out to be unsupported or contradicted by information in their possession, and with which they withheld information detrimental to their case, calls into question whether information contained in other FBI applications is reliable," Collyer wrote.On Jan. 1, Judge James E. Boasberg took over Collyer's role on the FISA court. He will now have to evaluate whether the proposed changes are sufficient to restore the judges' confidence in the factual affidavits FBI officials submit or if more is necessary.It is not clear whether Boasberg will take such potential steps as appointing a "friend of the court" to critique the FBI's proposal before he issues any order.The chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., has said he wants to impose new checks and balances on the FBI's national security surveillance powers, at least when investigations touch on political campaigns, in legislation his panel may take up after Trump's impeachment trial.In his statement with the court filing Friday, Wray called FISA an "indispensable tool for national security investigations" and pledged to work to ensure the accuracy and completeness of FISA applications "in recognition of our duty of candor to the court and our responsibilities to the American people."This article originally appeared in The New York Times.(C) 2020 The New York Times Company

    WASHINGTON -- A chastened FBI told a secretive court Friday that it was increasing training and oversight for officials who work on national security wiretap applications in response to problems uncovered by a scathing inspector general report last month about botched surveillance targeting a former Trump campaign adviser.In a rare unclassified and public filing before the court that oversees wiretapping under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, or FISA, the FBI also said it would extend its overhaul to requests for orders permitting it to collect logs of its targets' communications and other business records -- not just wiretaps of the contents of phone calls and emails."The FBI has the utmost respect for this court and deeply regrets the errors and omission identified by" the inspector general, wrote FBI Director Christopher A. Wray in a statement included with the filing. He called the conduct described by the report "unacceptable and unrepresentative of the FBI as an institution."Under FISA -- a law for surveillance aimed at monitoring suspected spies and terrorists, as opposed to ordinary criminals -- the government must convince a judge that an American is probably an agent of a foreign power. Because the FISA court hears only from the government, and what it says is never shown to defense lawyers, the Justice Department says it has a duty to be candid and tell judges every relevant fact in its possession.But the Justice Department's inspector general, Michael E. Horowitz, uncovered that the FBI had cherry-picked and misstated evidence about the Trump adviser, Carter Page, when seeking permission to wiretap him in October 2016 and in 2017 renewal applications. At the same time, Horowitz determined that the opening of the Russia investigation was legal and found no politicized conspiracy against President Donald Trump by high-level FBI officials.The problems included omitting details that made Page look less suspicious. For example, the court was not told that Page had said to a confidential informant in August 2016 that he had no interactions with Paul Manafort, Trump's former campaign manager, even though the FBI suspected Page might be a conduit between Russia and Manafort.The court was also not told that Page had told the CIA about his contacts with Russians over the years, a fact that made that pattern of contacts look less suspicious. The Justice Department, passing on the factual portrait it received from the FBI, had pointed the judges to that pattern as a reason to think that he might be a Russian agent.Horowitz said he did not find documentary or testimonial evidence that FBI officials responsible for compiling the relevant evidence about Page for the court were politically biased against Trump. But he rejected as unsatisfactory their explanations that they were busy on other aspects of the Russia investigation.In a response appended to the inspector general report last month, Wray had already announced that he would make changes aimed at ensuring that the bureau put forward a more comprehensive portrait of the facts about targets when preparing wiretap applications.The new filing, which detailed 12 steps, like enhancing checklists for preparing filings, added granular detail. It came in response to an unusual public order last month. Rosemary M. Collyer, then the presiding judge on FISA court, ordered the FBI to propose fixes to its process by Jan. 10 to ensure the problems would not recur."The frequency with which representations made by FBI personnel turned out to be unsupported or contradicted by information in their possession, and with which they withheld information detrimental to their case, calls into question whether information contained in other FBI applications is reliable," Collyer wrote.On Jan. 1, Judge James E. Boasberg took over Collyer's role on the FISA court. He will now have to evaluate whether the proposed changes are sufficient to restore the judges' confidence in the factual affidavits FBI officials submit or if more is necessary.It is not clear whether Boasberg will take such potential steps as appointing a "friend of the court" to critique the FBI's proposal before he issues any order.The chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., has said he wants to impose new checks and balances on the FBI's national security surveillance powers, at least when investigations touch on political campaigns, in legislation his panel may take up after Trump's impeachment trial.In his statement with the court filing Friday, Wray called FISA an "indispensable tool for national security investigations" and pledged to work to ensure the accuracy and completeness of FISA applications "in recognition of our duty of candor to the court and our responsibilities to the American people."This article originally appeared in The New York Times.(C) 2020 The New York Times Company


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  • 49/81   In the words of a general: how Iran downed airliner
    POLITICS TOPIC NEWS

    The aerospace commander of Iran's Revolutionary Guards on Saturday accepted full responsibility for the shooting down of a Ukrainian passenger jet.  In remarks aired on state television, Brigadier General Amirali Hajizadeh said the missile operator who fired on the plane did so independently because of communications 'jamming'.  It came as Iran acknowledged the Boeing 737 had been shot down, after denying for days Western claims that it was likely to have been brought down by a missile.

    The aerospace commander of Iran's Revolutionary Guards on Saturday accepted full responsibility for the shooting down of a Ukrainian passenger jet. In remarks aired on state television, Brigadier General Amirali Hajizadeh said the missile operator who fired on the plane did so independently because of communications 'jamming'. It came as Iran acknowledged the Boeing 737 had been shot down, after denying for days Western claims that it was likely to have been brought down by a missile.


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  • 50/81   Philippine volcano halts flights, forces evacuations
    POLITICS TOPIC NEWS

    Philippine authorities warned Sunday an 'explosive eruption' of a volcano south of Manila could be imminent, hours after it sent a massive column of ash skyward that forced officials to halt flights at the capital's main airport until further notice.  Thousands of people living near Taal volcano, a popular tourist attraction set in the centre of a picturesque lake, were evacuated from their homes as it spewed ash, rumbled with earthquakes and lightning exploded above its crest.  A 'hazardous explosive eruption is possible within hours to days', the nation's seismological agency warned, as locals weighed whether or not to flee the area.

    Philippine authorities warned Sunday an 'explosive eruption' of a volcano south of Manila could be imminent, hours after it sent a massive column of ash skyward that forced officials to halt flights at the capital's main airport until further notice. Thousands of people living near Taal volcano, a popular tourist attraction set in the centre of a picturesque lake, were evacuated from their homes as it spewed ash, rumbled with earthquakes and lightning exploded above its crest. A 'hazardous explosive eruption is possible within hours to days', the nation's seismological agency warned, as locals weighed whether or not to flee the area.


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  • 51/81   UK police say it was mistake to call climate group extremist
    POLITICS TOPIC NEWS

    British police say it was an “error of judgment” to include environmental protest group Extinction Rebellion in an official document that listed extremist organizations.  The counterterrorism police unit for southeast England included the climate change protesters alongside Islamic extremists and banned neo-Nazi group National Action in a guide to 'safeguarding young people and adults from ideological extremism,' The Guardian newspaper reported.

    British police say it was an “error of judgment” to include environmental protest group Extinction Rebellion in an official document that listed extremist organizations. The counterterrorism police unit for southeast England included the climate change protesters alongside Islamic extremists and banned neo-Nazi group National Action in a guide to 'safeguarding young people and adults from ideological extremism,' The Guardian newspaper reported.


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  • 52/81   How's Your Internship Going? This Teen Found a Planet
    SCIENCE TOPIC NEWS

    The summer before senior year of high school can be a stressful time for a teenager. Childhood is winding down. College applications loom large. Many students are looking for an edge that will help them get into the right school. Last year, Wolf Cukier, 17, spent his summer vacation as few other rising seniors have: He helped discover a planet.Meet TOI 1338 b, the newly identified world orbiting two stars more than 1,300 light years away.Last July, just after he finished his junior year at Scarsdale High School in Scarsdale, New York, Wolf started an internship at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. His job was to scrutinize data that had been beamed back from outer space by TESS, or the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite.A unique aspect of the TESS project is that it invites regular people to volunteer to watch the online transmission for patterns in star brightness that might suggest the existence of a new planet, a sort of crowdsourcing of the universe.During the first week of the internship, as he sifted through data that had been flagged by citizen-scientists, he zeroed in on a system that included two orbiting stars. He identified a body in that system that was later verified as a planet about 6.9 times as large as Earth. His colleagues gave the system a name, TOI 1338, an acronym for TESS Object of Interest, and then called the planet TOI 1338 b."It was awesome," Wolf said in an interview on Friday. "I never expected to find anything. The fact that I found something is cool, and seeing the scientific process and how many people have to work to verify the planet, and techniques for things like that, it is awesome."Wolf had come a long way from peering through the telescope in his room at home in Scarsdale, where light pollution has made it difficult to detect stars.On Monday, scientists involved with the TESS project announced the verification at the American Astronomical Society in Honolulu. It is the first time that the TESS project has discovered a circumbinary planet, which is a planet orbiting two stars, since the two-year program was started in April 2018, a NASA statement said.So far, TOI 1338 b is the only known planet in the system. While NASA's Kepler and K2 missions have previously discovered 12 circumbinary planets, many more of them are expected to be discovered by TESS, the NASA statement said.There is inarguably plenty of space out there to do so."Throughout all of its images, TESS is monitoring millions of stars," said Adina Feinstein, a graduate student at the University of Chicago who was a co-author of the research paper, in the statement.TESS's four cameras, which each capture an image of a patch of sky every 30 minutes, enable scientists to make graphs of changes in the brightness of stars.Any dip in the brightness of a single star is a good indication that a planet has crossed in front of it. But TOI 1338 b was particularly elusive because it involved two stars -- a large star where the planet's transit was easy to detect, and a smaller one where the planet's transit was so small it was not observable.That was where Wolf came in. He initially thought the transit that was later identified as belonging to TOI 1338 b was the smaller star passing in front of the larger one. But the timing seemed off for an eclipse, and Wolf suspected there might be the existence of a planet.The human eye is extremely good at finding such patterns in data, said Veselin Kostov, Wolf's mentor and a research scientist at the SETI Institute and Goddard."These are the types of signals that algorithms really struggle with," he said in the statement.Wolf consulted on his find with his mentor, and a verification process began using archival data from earlier surveys of the system that later became known as TOI 1338. The scientists also enlisted a software package called eleanor -- named after Eleanor Arroway, the central character in Carl Sagan's novel "Contact" -- to confirm the transits were real and not a result of instrumental artifacts, the statement said.Wolf plans to study astrophysics when he starts college in September, he said (he hasn't decided where just yet). He said he was humbled by his contribution to the discovery of the new world, emphasizing the team work in the verification process."We identified a promising candidate," he said. "You can't be arrogant. It is a planet, insofar as we can claim any other exoplanet, pretty much."Has he bragged much about the discovery? Not really.It "just doesn't come up in small talk," he said.This article originally appeared in The New York Times.(C) 2020 The New York Times Company

    The summer before senior year of high school can be a stressful time for a teenager. Childhood is winding down. College applications loom large. Many students are looking for an edge that will help them get into the right school. Last year, Wolf Cukier, 17, spent his summer vacation as few other rising seniors have: He helped discover a planet.Meet TOI 1338 b, the newly identified world orbiting two stars more than 1,300 light years away.Last July, just after he finished his junior year at Scarsdale High School in Scarsdale, New York, Wolf started an internship at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. His job was to scrutinize data that had been beamed back from outer space by TESS, or the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite.A unique aspect of the TESS project is that it invites regular people to volunteer to watch the online transmission for patterns in star brightness that might suggest the existence of a new planet, a sort of crowdsourcing of the universe.During the first week of the internship, as he sifted through data that had been flagged by citizen-scientists, he zeroed in on a system that included two orbiting stars. He identified a body in that system that was later verified as a planet about 6.9 times as large as Earth. His colleagues gave the system a name, TOI 1338, an acronym for TESS Object of Interest, and then called the planet TOI 1338 b."It was awesome," Wolf said in an interview on Friday. "I never expected to find anything. The fact that I found something is cool, and seeing the scientific process and how many people have to work to verify the planet, and techniques for things like that, it is awesome."Wolf had come a long way from peering through the telescope in his room at home in Scarsdale, where light pollution has made it difficult to detect stars.On Monday, scientists involved with the TESS project announced the verification at the American Astronomical Society in Honolulu. It is the first time that the TESS project has discovered a circumbinary planet, which is a planet orbiting two stars, since the two-year program was started in April 2018, a NASA statement said.So far, TOI 1338 b is the only known planet in the system. While NASA's Kepler and K2 missions have previously discovered 12 circumbinary planets, many more of them are expected to be discovered by TESS, the NASA statement said.There is inarguably plenty of space out there to do so."Throughout all of its images, TESS is monitoring millions of stars," said Adina Feinstein, a graduate student at the University of Chicago who was a co-author of the research paper, in the statement.TESS's four cameras, which each capture an image of a patch of sky every 30 minutes, enable scientists to make graphs of changes in the brightness of stars.Any dip in the brightness of a single star is a good indication that a planet has crossed in front of it. But TOI 1338 b was particularly elusive because it involved two stars -- a large star where the planet's transit was easy to detect, and a smaller one where the planet's transit was so small it was not observable.That was where Wolf came in. He initially thought the transit that was later identified as belonging to TOI 1338 b was the smaller star passing in front of the larger one. But the timing seemed off for an eclipse, and Wolf suspected there might be the existence of a planet.The human eye is extremely good at finding such patterns in data, said Veselin Kostov, Wolf's mentor and a research scientist at the SETI Institute and Goddard."These are the types of signals that algorithms really struggle with," he said in the statement.Wolf consulted on his find with his mentor, and a verification process began using archival data from earlier surveys of the system that later became known as TOI 1338. The scientists also enlisted a software package called eleanor -- named after Eleanor Arroway, the central character in Carl Sagan's novel "Contact" -- to confirm the transits were real and not a result of instrumental artifacts, the statement said.Wolf plans to study astrophysics when he starts college in September, he said (he hasn't decided where just yet). He said he was humbled by his contribution to the discovery of the new world, emphasizing the team work in the verification process."We identified a promising candidate," he said. "You can't be arrogant. It is a planet, insofar as we can claim any other exoplanet, pretty much."Has he bragged much about the discovery? Not really.It "just doesn't come up in small talk," he said.This article originally appeared in The New York Times.(C) 2020 The New York Times Company


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  • 53/81   Young stars at the edge of the Milky Way appear to have come from 2 nearby galaxies. That means a galactic collision could happen sooner than predicted.
    SCIENCE TOPIC NEWS

    The arrival of new stars from other galaxies heralds a collision. But it could help the Milky Way "thrive," according to a physicist.

    The arrival of new stars from other galaxies heralds a collision. But it could help the Milky Way "thrive," according to a physicist.


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  • 54/81   Residents of San Francisco's Treasure Island believe nuclear contamination has made them sick for years. The site is getting 8,000 new homes.
    SCIENCE TOPIC NEWS

    A developer is planning to build 8,000 residential units on Treasure Island, a formal Naval site that once hosted nuclear-training exercises.

    A developer is planning to build 8,000 residential units on Treasure Island, a formal Naval site that once hosted nuclear-training exercises.


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  • 55/81   NASA kicks off a new space tradition with glitzy astronaut graduation ceremony
    SCIENCE TOPIC NEWS

    Over the course of six decades, NASA has celebrated the selection of its astronauts in groups ranging from the Mercury 7 of 1959 to the Turtles of 2017 — but there's never been much of a public celebration for their graduation from astronaut training. Until today. The 11 astronaut candidates selected in 2017, plus two Canadian astronauts who joined them in training, received a grand send-off at Johnson Space Center in Texas from NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine and other VIPs to mark their eligibility for assignment to future space missions. NASA raised the graduation ceremony's public profile in part to… Read More

    Over the course of six decades, NASA has celebrated the selection of its astronauts in groups ranging from the Mercury 7 of 1959 to the Turtles of 2017 — but there's never been much of a public celebration for their graduation from astronaut training. Until today. The 11 astronaut candidates selected in 2017, plus two Canadian astronauts who joined them in training, received a grand send-off at Johnson Space Center in Texas from NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine and other VIPs to mark their eligibility for assignment to future space missions. NASA raised the graduation ceremony's public profile in part to… Read More


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  • 56/81   One of the biggest meteorite crashes in Earth's history flung debris across 3 continents 800,000 years ago. Scientists finally found the crater.
    SCIENCE TOPIC NEWS

    Scientists may have solved the geological mystery of what happened to an 800-year-old meteorite that blanketed 10% of the Earth in debris.

    Scientists may have solved the geological mystery of what happened to an 800-year-old meteorite that blanketed 10% of the Earth in debris.


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  • 57/81   A full-scale nuclear winter would trigger a global famine. A disaster expert put together a doomsday diet to save humanity.
    SCIENCE TOPIC NEWS

    Disaster planner David Denkenberger suggests eating foods that can grow without much light, like mushrooms and seaweed.

    Disaster planner David Denkenberger suggests eating foods that can grow without much light, like mushrooms and seaweed.


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  • 58/81   Dispensed: What we're looking out for at the biggest healthcare investor conference, One Medical's going public, and biotech surprises
    SCIENCE TOPIC NEWS

    In this week's newsletter, a look at what we'll be watching out for at the biggest healthcare industry conference of the year.

    In this week's newsletter, a look at what we'll be watching out for at the biggest healthcare industry conference of the year.


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  • 59/81   10 ways your parents' behaviors shaped who you are today
    SCIENCE TOPIC NEWS

    If your mother juggled multiple jobs, you're likely to get stressed. If your parents set high expectations for you, you probably did better in school.

    If your mother juggled multiple jobs, you're likely to get stressed. If your parents set high expectations for you, you probably did better in school.


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  • 60/81   Medical officials in Ohio are deciding whether fans of the dismal Cincinnati Bengals or Cleveland Browns can qualify for medical marijuana
    SCIENCE TOPIC NEWS

    Neither team has won a playoff game since 1995, and both have averaged five or fewer wins per season for the last three years.

    Neither team has won a playoff game since 1995, and both have averaged five or fewer wins per season for the last three years.


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  • 61/81   NASA and Boeing lay out time frame for reviewing Starliner’s flawed flight and planning next steps
    SCIENCE TOPIC NEWS

    NASA says it's working with Boeing to set up an independent investigation team to review last month's less-than-perfect maiden flight of Boeing's CST-100 Starliner space taxi, and is considering whether another uncrewed test flight to the International Space Station will be required. The uncrewed Starliner capsule had a successful launch and landing, but missed out on its space station rendezvous due to a software glitch. The glitch threw a mission elapsed timer 11 hours out of sync, resulting in the failure to execute an automated engine firing that was required to put the craft on the right orbital course. Docking… Read More

    NASA says it's working with Boeing to set up an independent investigation team to review last month's less-than-perfect maiden flight of Boeing's CST-100 Starliner space taxi, and is considering whether another uncrewed test flight to the International Space Station will be required. The uncrewed Starliner capsule had a successful launch and landing, but missed out on its space station rendezvous due to a software glitch. The glitch threw a mission elapsed timer 11 hours out of sync, resulting in the failure to execute an automated engine firing that was required to put the craft on the right orbital course. Docking… Read More


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  • 62/81   Iran plane crash: What really happened to the Ukrainian flight brought down in Tehran
    WORLD TOPIC NEWS

    Three minutes after its departure from Imam Khomeini International Airport, on the outskirts of Tehran, Flight PS752  lost all radio contact. The 176 passengers and crew onboard would never make it to their destination in Kyiv, Ukraine. After days of denials, the Iranian regime admitted it “unintentionally” destroyed the airliner and said air defence operators mistook the civilian aircraft for an incoming American cruise missile. Here we look at the timeline of events as they unfolded. What happened Villagers in Shahedshahr on the outskirts of Tehran were just waking up and switching on their televisions to the morning news. In the night, the Iranian military had fired 22 missiles at US bases in neighbouring Iraq in retaliation for the drone strike that killed their general Qassim Soleimani. The pictures of rockets lighting up the night sky blazed across TV news channels: Then just after 6.15am local time, with Tehran still plunged in darkness, all hell broke loose. Din Mohammad Qassemi, a local villager watching the TV, heard an almighty explosion.  “All the houses started to shake. There was fire everywhere,” said Mr Qassemi. “At first I thought (the Americans) have hit here with missiles and went in the basement as a shelter.” It wasn’t, however, a US strike; but a passenger aircraft, fully loaded with fuel, that had crashed into fields and a canal nearby. According to FlightRadar24, the plane that had been delayed in taking off by an hour, was heading north west after take-off but never reached higher than 8,000 feet: Where Flight PS752 disappeared from the radar | no title Mobile phone footage shows the aircraft against the night sky seemingly on fire. A distant orange glow can be seen moving across the sky, arcing downwards for 30 seconds before the aircraft erupts in a massive ball of flame that lights up the whole neighbourhood: Flight PS752 missile strike in Iran How did it happen A military statement said the plane was mistaken for a "hostile target" after it turned toward a "sensitive military centre" of the Revolutionary Guard. The military was at its "highest level of readiness," it said, amid the attacks on the US. Ukrainian investigators have disputed the claim that it turned out of its flight path, however, and air safety officials have said it turned north in an apparent attempt to return to the airport only after it was 1hit.  The culprit appears to be a Russian-made SA-15 ‘Tor M-1’ SAM system based near the Mehrabad Airbase on the outskirts of Tehran.  Photographs from the morning of January 9, which claimed to be from the crash site, showed the distinctive tail section and nose cone of the 9K331 missile fired by the SA-15.  What forced Flight PS752 to crash | no title A short-range mobile defence SAM, the SA-15 is designed to be effective without being linked up to a wider national air defence radar picture. The most likely scenario is that a badly-trained or inexperienced crew of an SA-15, scared of being hit as part of a retaliatory US strike following the ballistic missile attacks on bases in Iraq, made a series of tragic and incorrect assumptions when PS752 appeared on their radar screen. Perhaps operating with many communications systems switched off to avoid being detected and targeted by the US, they might have had a reduced situational awareness picture.  The crash site Where did the aircraft come down Journalists who reached the crash site saw a wide field of field of debris scattered across farmland, the dead lying among shattered pieces of the aircraft. Their possessions, that included a child’s cartoon-covered electric toothbrush and a stuffed animal, as well as luggage and electronics, were strewn everywhere. An official inspects a piece of the downed plane where 167 passengers were killed The crash site and wreckage | no title What happened next Initially Iranian officials denied shooting down the aircraft, insisting that all their missiles were accounted for. Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran's supreme leader, finally released a statement on Saturday - four days after the incident - admitting Iran's military was to blame for shooting down the plane, but insisting he was not involved in misleading the world.    “As soon as the supreme leader was informed of the catastrophic mistake” he ordered the truth to “be made known to the people explicitly and honestly,” the semi-official Fars news agency reported.  In an official statement on his website, he ordered the military to address “shortcomings” and expressed "sincere condolences” to families of the victim.  But it did not quell the public's anger and hundreds took to the streets in protest against the regime. Crowds of students gathered outside a central Tehran university to denounce the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, the elite military force answerable directly to the supreme leader. “Shame on you,” they shouted. “End your rule over the country.” Hundreds of protesters gathered outside Tehran's Amirkabir University on Saturday to vent their anger at the regime Britain's Ambassador to Iran Rob Macaire, was arrested and held for several hours for attending the vigil for the victims. Authorities claimed Mr Macaire had been inciting the protesters against the Iranian government. But video from the event shows the ambassador looking anxious and British officials said he left the campus shortly after it was filmed. Two female protesters were reportedly shot and wounded as protests continued on Sunday. Video circulating on social media appeared to show they had been shot in the legs.  Security forces fire on this woman in Tehran’s Azadi Ave. Her crime? Being furious with the regime for downing a civilian aircraft and mourning in the street for 176 Iranian-Canadians who got killed in UkrainianPlaneIranProtests2020pic.twitter.com/nGcFpb1hEC— Masih Alinejad ??? (@AlinejadMasih) January 12, 2020 "Oh my God, she's bleeding nonstop!" one person shouts. Another shouts: "Bandage it!" Photos and video after the incident show pools of blood on the sidewalk. The fresh protests come weeks after Iranian forces killed hundreds, and possibly more than a thousand, civilian demonstrators who took to the streets across the country in November in protest against the Islamic Republic.

    Three minutes after its departure from Imam Khomeini International Airport, on the outskirts of Tehran, Flight PS752  lost all radio contact. The 176 passengers and crew onboard would never make it to their destination in Kyiv, Ukraine. After days of denials, the Iranian regime admitted it “unintentionally” destroyed the airliner and said air defence operators mistook the civilian aircraft for an incoming American cruise missile. Here we look at the timeline of events as they unfolded. What happened Villagers in Shahedshahr on the outskirts of Tehran were just waking up and switching on their televisions to the morning news. In the night, the Iranian military had fired 22 missiles at US bases in neighbouring Iraq in retaliation for the drone strike that killed their general Qassim Soleimani. The pictures of rockets lighting up the night sky blazed across TV news channels: Then just after 6.15am local time, with Tehran still plunged in darkness, all hell broke loose. Din Mohammad Qassemi, a local villager watching the TV, heard an almighty explosion.  “All the houses started to shake. There was fire everywhere,” said Mr Qassemi. “At first I thought (the Americans) have hit here with missiles and went in the basement as a shelter.” It wasn’t, however, a US strike; but a passenger aircraft, fully loaded with fuel, that had crashed into fields and a canal nearby. According to FlightRadar24, the plane that had been delayed in taking off by an hour, was heading north west after take-off but never reached higher than 8,000 feet: Where Flight PS752 disappeared from the radar | no title Mobile phone footage shows the aircraft against the night sky seemingly on fire. A distant orange glow can be seen moving across the sky, arcing downwards for 30 seconds before the aircraft erupts in a massive ball of flame that lights up the whole neighbourhood: Flight PS752 missile strike in Iran How did it happen A military statement said the plane was mistaken for a "hostile target" after it turned toward a "sensitive military centre" of the Revolutionary Guard. The military was at its "highest level of readiness," it said, amid the attacks on the US. Ukrainian investigators have disputed the claim that it turned out of its flight path, however, and air safety officials have said it turned north in an apparent attempt to return to the airport only after it was 1hit.  The culprit appears to be a Russian-made SA-15 ‘Tor M-1’ SAM system based near the Mehrabad Airbase on the outskirts of Tehran.  Photographs from the morning of January 9, which claimed to be from the crash site, showed the distinctive tail section and nose cone of the 9K331 missile fired by the SA-15.  What forced Flight PS752 to crash | no title A short-range mobile defence SAM, the SA-15 is designed to be effective without being linked up to a wider national air defence radar picture. The most likely scenario is that a badly-trained or inexperienced crew of an SA-15, scared of being hit as part of a retaliatory US strike following the ballistic missile attacks on bases in Iraq, made a series of tragic and incorrect assumptions when PS752 appeared on their radar screen. Perhaps operating with many communications systems switched off to avoid being detected and targeted by the US, they might have had a reduced situational awareness picture.  The crash site Where did the aircraft come down Journalists who reached the crash site saw a wide field of field of debris scattered across farmland, the dead lying among shattered pieces of the aircraft. Their possessions, that included a child’s cartoon-covered electric toothbrush and a stuffed animal, as well as luggage and electronics, were strewn everywhere. An official inspects a piece of the downed plane where 167 passengers were killed The crash site and wreckage | no title What happened next Initially Iranian officials denied shooting down the aircraft, insisting that all their missiles were accounted for. Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran's supreme leader, finally released a statement on Saturday - four days after the incident - admitting Iran's military was to blame for shooting down the plane, but insisting he was not involved in misleading the world.    “As soon as the supreme leader was informed of the catastrophic mistake” he ordered the truth to “be made known to the people explicitly and honestly,” the semi-official Fars news agency reported.  In an official statement on his website, he ordered the military to address “shortcomings” and expressed "sincere condolences” to families of the victim.  But it did not quell the public's anger and hundreds took to the streets in protest against the regime. Crowds of students gathered outside a central Tehran university to denounce the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, the elite military force answerable directly to the supreme leader. “Shame on you,” they shouted. “End your rule over the country.” Hundreds of protesters gathered outside Tehran's Amirkabir University on Saturday to vent their anger at the regime Britain's Ambassador to Iran Rob Macaire, was arrested and held for several hours for attending the vigil for the victims. Authorities claimed Mr Macaire had been inciting the protesters against the Iranian government. But video from the event shows the ambassador looking anxious and British officials said he left the campus shortly after it was filmed. Two female protesters were reportedly shot and wounded as protests continued on Sunday. Video circulating on social media appeared to show they had been shot in the legs.  Security forces fire on this woman in Tehran’s Azadi Ave. Her crime? Being furious with the regime for downing a civilian aircraft and mourning in the street for 176 Iranian-Canadians who got killed in UkrainianPlaneIranProtests2020pic.twitter.com/nGcFpb1hEC— Masih Alinejad ??? (@AlinejadMasih) January 12, 2020 "Oh my God, she's bleeding nonstop!" one person shouts. Another shouts: "Bandage it!" Photos and video after the incident show pools of blood on the sidewalk. The fresh protests come weeks after Iranian forces killed hundreds, and possibly more than a thousand, civilian demonstrators who took to the streets across the country in November in protest against the Islamic Republic.


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  • 63/81   Iran denies 'cover-up' as anger mounts over downed airliner
    WORLD TOPIC NEWS

    Iran denied a 'cover-up' Monday after taking days to reveal an airliner was accidentally shot down last week, a disaster that sparked demonstrations and calls for a fully transparent investigation.  The Ukraine International Airlines Boeing 737 was shot down by a missile shortly after taking off from Tehran before dawn on Wednesday, killing all 176 passengers and crew on board.  The Kiev-bound airliner was knocked out of the sky hours after Tehran had launched a wave of missiles at Iraqi bases where US troops are stationed in retaliation for the killing of a top Iranian general.

    Iran denied a 'cover-up' Monday after taking days to reveal an airliner was accidentally shot down last week, a disaster that sparked demonstrations and calls for a fully transparent investigation. The Ukraine International Airlines Boeing 737 was shot down by a missile shortly after taking off from Tehran before dawn on Wednesday, killing all 176 passengers and crew on board. The Kiev-bound airliner was knocked out of the sky hours after Tehran had launched a wave of missiles at Iraqi bases where US troops are stationed in retaliation for the killing of a top Iranian general.


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  • 64/81   The Trump Administration's Fluctuating Explanations for the Soleimani Strike
    WORLD TOPIC NEWS

    Since the Jan. 3 drone strike that killed Qassem Soleimani, Iran's most important general, the Trump administration has offered shifting rationales for the attack. Here are some of the administration's evolving justifications.Jan. 3The "decision to eliminate Soleimani" was "in response to imminent threats to American lives."-- Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, on TwitterSoleimani, the head of Iran's elite security and intelligence forces, was deemed responsible for the deaths of hundreds of American troops in Iraq. Neither President George W. Bush nor President Barack Obama ordered him killed, judging that such a move could lead to war in Iran.Later in the morning, appearing on CNN, Pompeo elaborated on the administration's justification for the strike, saying that Soleimani "was actively plotting in the region to take actions, a big action as he described it, that would have put dozens if not hundreds of American lives at risk."This action would have taken place "not just in Iraq," he added. "It was throughout the region."The question facing the Trump administration was, what was different now about Soleimani's plans that necessitated risking war with Iran? Since the strike against the Iranian general, administration officials have struggled to answer that question."Soleimani was plotting imminent and sinister attacks on American diplomats and military personnel, but we caught him in the act."-- President Donald Trump, in remarks to reportersThe president joined in the description of the attack as "imminent," and against the backdrop of a public worried about an imminent shooting war with Iran, he insisted: "We took action last night to stop a war. We did not take action to start a war."But launching a drone strike against a military commander of a sovereign state is a lot different than launching a strike against a stateless terrorist leader. The administration took the action without consulting Congress. Now Democrats in the House and the Senate, along with some Republicans, demanded a justification for the strike, and a description of the "imminent" attack.Jan. 5"It's never one thing. … It's a collective. It's a full situational awareness of risk and analysis."-- Pompeo, on "Meet the Press"Pompeo played down the importance of an "imminent attack" in the decision to kill Soleimani, despite the fact that the Trump administration had been highlighting a specific threat for days since the strike on Soleimani."Days, weeks."-- Gen. Mark A. Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, in remarks to reportersMilley was more specific than other administration officials when pressed on what "imminent" attacks meant. But other military and intelligence officials disputed his timeline and said Soleimani had not yet received permission from Iran's supreme leader to carry out an attack.Jan. 7"If you're looking for imminence, you need look no further than the days that led up to the strike that was taken against Soleimani."-- Pompeo, in a news conferencePompeo, referring to a rocket attack by an Iranian-backed militia that led to the death of an American contractor in Iraq, further emphasized previous actions connected to Soleimani in justifying the strike, conflating them with the "imminent threats" he presented.The administration continued to make emphatic but vague assertions of intelligence indicating an imminent threat by Soleimani. Milley would later tell reporters that not taking forceful action to stop the imminent attack would be a dereliction of duty. But officials still did not describe the threat in detail.Jan. 9"We caught a total monster and we took him out. … We did it because they were looking to blow up our embassy."-- Trump, in a news conferenceTrump made his first remarks identifying a specific threat against a specific target in the region: the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad.But later in the news conference, Trump appeared to conflate the suggested threat of bombing the embassy with protesters who had broken into the embassy compound at the time."If you look at those protesters, they were rough warriors. They were Iranian-backed," Trump said. "Had they gotten through, I believe we would have either had a hostage situation or we would've had a, worse, we would've had a lot of people killed."Trump's assertions came on the same day that his own officials were still refusing to go into detail with members of Congress during briefings on Capitol Hill. Defense officials say that their hands were tied because the intelligence was classified. Disclosing it, they said, could compromise intelligence sources."There were a series of imminent attacks that were being plotted by Qassem Soleimani. We don't know precisely when and we don't know precisely where."-- Pompeo, on Fox NewsPompeo raised further questions about the "imminent attack" Soleimani was planning when he said the U.S. did not have specific intelligence on where or when an attack would take place.Jan. 10"Those are completely consistent thoughts. … This was going to happen. And American lives were at risk."-- Pompeo, in a news conferencePompeo was insisting that the attacks were still "imminent" even though the U.S. did not know specifically where or when they would take place.There appeared to be a disconnect at this point between Trump administration officials and skeptics. The officials insisted that the threats were imminent but gave no specifics. Skeptics pointed to the Iraq War, when the Bush administration's claim that Saddam Hussein was harboring weapons of mass destruction turned out to be untrue."I think it would have been four embassies. Could have been military bases, could have been a lot of other things too. But it was imminent."-- Trump, on Fox NewsTrump asserted without evidence that four U.S. embassies, not just the one in Baghdad, had been targeted by Soleimani.Jan. 12 "I didn't see one with regard to four embassies. I share the president's view that probably -- my expectation was they were going to go after our embassies."-- Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper on CBS's "Face the Nation"Esper appeared to contradict Trump, saying that he never saw any specific piece of evidence that Iran was planning an attack on four U.S. embassies.In another interview on CNN's "State of the Union," Esper declined to answer the same question, saying that he was "not going to discuss intelligence matters here on the show."This was the second time in a week that the Pentagon contradicted Trump on Iran. The first time was when Trump threatened to target Iranian cultural sites if Tehran attacked the U.S. Esper later said that the U.S. military would follow international laws governing armed conflict, which make targeting cultural sites a war crime.This article originally appeared in The New York Times.(C) 2020 The New York Times Company

    Since the Jan. 3 drone strike that killed Qassem Soleimani, Iran's most important general, the Trump administration has offered shifting rationales for the attack. Here are some of the administration's evolving justifications.Jan. 3The "decision to eliminate Soleimani" was "in response to imminent threats to American lives."-- Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, on TwitterSoleimani, the head of Iran's elite security and intelligence forces, was deemed responsible for the deaths of hundreds of American troops in Iraq. Neither President George W. Bush nor President Barack Obama ordered him killed, judging that such a move could lead to war in Iran.Later in the morning, appearing on CNN, Pompeo elaborated on the administration's justification for the strike, saying that Soleimani "was actively plotting in the region to take actions, a big action as he described it, that would have put dozens if not hundreds of American lives at risk."This action would have taken place "not just in Iraq," he added. "It was throughout the region."The question facing the Trump administration was, what was different now about Soleimani's plans that necessitated risking war with Iran? Since the strike against the Iranian general, administration officials have struggled to answer that question."Soleimani was plotting imminent and sinister attacks on American diplomats and military personnel, but we caught him in the act."-- President Donald Trump, in remarks to reportersThe president joined in the description of the attack as "imminent," and against the backdrop of a public worried about an imminent shooting war with Iran, he insisted: "We took action last night to stop a war. We did not take action to start a war."But launching a drone strike against a military commander of a sovereign state is a lot different than launching a strike against a stateless terrorist leader. The administration took the action without consulting Congress. Now Democrats in the House and the Senate, along with some Republicans, demanded a justification for the strike, and a description of the "imminent" attack.Jan. 5"It's never one thing. … It's a collective. It's a full situational awareness of risk and analysis."-- Pompeo, on "Meet the Press"Pompeo played down the importance of an "imminent attack" in the decision to kill Soleimani, despite the fact that the Trump administration had been highlighting a specific threat for days since the strike on Soleimani."Days, weeks."-- Gen. Mark A. Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, in remarks to reportersMilley was more specific than other administration officials when pressed on what "imminent" attacks meant. But other military and intelligence officials disputed his timeline and said Soleimani had not yet received permission from Iran's supreme leader to carry out an attack.Jan. 7"If you're looking for imminence, you need look no further than the days that led up to the strike that was taken against Soleimani."-- Pompeo, in a news conferencePompeo, referring to a rocket attack by an Iranian-backed militia that led to the death of an American contractor in Iraq, further emphasized previous actions connected to Soleimani in justifying the strike, conflating them with the "imminent threats" he presented.The administration continued to make emphatic but vague assertions of intelligence indicating an imminent threat by Soleimani. Milley would later tell reporters that not taking forceful action to stop the imminent attack would be a dereliction of duty. But officials still did not describe the threat in detail.Jan. 9"We caught a total monster and we took him out. … We did it because they were looking to blow up our embassy."-- Trump, in a news conferenceTrump made his first remarks identifying a specific threat against a specific target in the region: the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad.But later in the news conference, Trump appeared to conflate the suggested threat of bombing the embassy with protesters who had broken into the embassy compound at the time."If you look at those protesters, they were rough warriors. They were Iranian-backed," Trump said. "Had they gotten through, I believe we would have either had a hostage situation or we would've had a, worse, we would've had a lot of people killed."Trump's assertions came on the same day that his own officials were still refusing to go into detail with members of Congress during briefings on Capitol Hill. Defense officials say that their hands were tied because the intelligence was classified. Disclosing it, they said, could compromise intelligence sources."There were a series of imminent attacks that were being plotted by Qassem Soleimani. We don't know precisely when and we don't know precisely where."-- Pompeo, on Fox NewsPompeo raised further questions about the "imminent attack" Soleimani was planning when he said the U.S. did not have specific intelligence on where or when an attack would take place.Jan. 10"Those are completely consistent thoughts. … This was going to happen. And American lives were at risk."-- Pompeo, in a news conferencePompeo was insisting that the attacks were still "imminent" even though the U.S. did not know specifically where or when they would take place.There appeared to be a disconnect at this point between Trump administration officials and skeptics. The officials insisted that the threats were imminent but gave no specifics. Skeptics pointed to the Iraq War, when the Bush administration's claim that Saddam Hussein was harboring weapons of mass destruction turned out to be untrue."I think it would have been four embassies. Could have been military bases, could have been a lot of other things too. But it was imminent."-- Trump, on Fox NewsTrump asserted without evidence that four U.S. embassies, not just the one in Baghdad, had been targeted by Soleimani.Jan. 12 "I didn't see one with regard to four embassies. I share the president's view that probably -- my expectation was they were going to go after our embassies."-- Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper on CBS's "Face the Nation"Esper appeared to contradict Trump, saying that he never saw any specific piece of evidence that Iran was planning an attack on four U.S. embassies.In another interview on CNN's "State of the Union," Esper declined to answer the same question, saying that he was "not going to discuss intelligence matters here on the show."This was the second time in a week that the Pentagon contradicted Trump on Iran. The first time was when Trump threatened to target Iranian cultural sites if Tehran attacked the U.S. Esper later said that the U.S. military would follow international laws governing armed conflict, which make targeting cultural sites a war crime.This article originally appeared in The New York Times.(C) 2020 The New York Times Company


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  • 65/81   Joe Biden's Vote for War
    WORLD TOPIC NEWS

    Sen. Joe Biden proposed a compromise.It was the fall of 2002 and the Bush administration was pushing for sweeping authority to act against Saddam Hussein, claiming he had weapons of mass destruction. Some Democrats questioned the stated threat posed by Iraq and bristled at President George W. Bush's broad request.Biden, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman, had been scrambling to draft a bipartisan resolution that would grant Bush the authority to use military force against Iraq, but was more restrictive than the war authorization that the president had sought.As he often had in his long career, Biden sought bipartisan middle ground -- this time, between those opposed to potential war and the White House desire for more open-ended power. Some anti-war members of his committee resisted this effort, worried that it would still pave the way to conflict. "We disagreed very strenuously," said former Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif.Biden's plan ultimately did not succeed, and he chose to focus on Bush's reassurances of a diplomacy-first approach."At each pivotal moment," Biden said of Bush, "he has chosen a course of moderation and deliberation, and I believe he will continue to do so. At least that is my fervent hope."On Oct. 11, he was one of 77 senators to authorize the use of military force in Iraq. Twenty-three colleagues, some of whom harbored grave doubts about the danger Iraq posed at the time, refused to back the president's request.Nearly two decades later, Biden, who by 2005 was calling that vote a mistake, is running for president in part on his foreign policy experience, emphasizing his commander-in-chief credentials at a moment of heightened tensions between the United States and Iran.Yet the Iraq War vote is part of the extensive record he cites, and he has struggled to accurately account for it on the campaign trail, repeatedly suggesting he opposed the war and Bush's conduct from the beginning, claims that detailed fact checks have deemed wrong or misleading.The vote has exposed him to direct and implicit criticism from his chief presidential rivals, including Sen. Elizabeth Warren and former Mayor Pete Buttigieg, a military veteran, and especially Sen. Bernie Sanders, who voted against the war as a Vermont congressman and whose campaign has sharpened its criticism of Biden in recent days.Now, three weeks before the Iowa caucuses -- held in a state with a fierce anti-war streak -- the issue threatens to be a campaign liability for Biden as he seeks to assure voters of his ability to handle a foreign crisis even as he works to distance himself from a war that has had enormous costs for his own family, and for the nation.A review of how Biden operated in the fall of 2002, as he weighed the question of authorizing the use of military force, reveals core truths about how he has worked for decades: as a Senate dealmaker at heart, with a reverence for bipartisan compromise that his supporters admire -- and that critics say has colored his judgment during some of the most consequential moments of his career.The President's PushIn the summer of 2002, as the Bush administration sounded alarms about Iraq, Biden, too, was concerned about the perceived threat of Hussein and his "relentless pursuit of weapons of mass destruction," as he put it in a New York Times Op-Ed he wrote with Sen. Richard G. Lugar, R-Ind.In the Dirksen Senate Office Building, Biden, a respected if long-winded chairman, convened two days of hearings about Iraq, soliciting testimony from a procession of experts."These weapons must be dislodged from Saddam Hussein," Biden said, "or Saddam Hussein must be dislodged from power."But he also worried about the possible long-term consequences of confronting Hussein. "It would be a tragedy if we removed a tyrant in Iraq, only to leave chaos in its wake," he said.After Bush asked Congress in September to authorize the use of military force in Iraq, Biden and his colleagues grappled with how to proceed. Some Democrats balked that fall at the pressure to grant the president sweeping power, unmoved by Bush administration warnings of national security considerations, which turned out to be based in part on faulty intelligence and distortions of available information."Saddam Hussein is a threat, but the threat is not so great that we must be stampeded to provide such authority to this president just weeks before an election," admonished Sen. Robert C. Byrd, D-W.Va.Biden was uneasy with the administration's broad language and worried about the precedent preemptive action could set, but he was also focused on showing unity behind the commander in chief as the nation reeled from the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. He hoped that, as he eventually said on the floor of the Senate, a "strong" congressional vote would ultimately give the United States a more forceful diplomatic position."We didn't want to neuter the president because he's our president, he conducts foreign policy, but at the same time we didn't want to give him a blank check," said former Sen. Chuck Hagel, R-Neb., who worked closely with Biden.Ever focused on bipartisan consensus, Biden joined forces with Lugar to produce alternative language that would give Bush narrower authority. The resolution authorized military action specifically for the purpose of dismantling a weapons of mass destruction program, and it emphasized "the importance of international support," Biden and Lugar said at the time.Some Democrats on Biden's committee, alarmed by divergent intelligence assessments, were skeptical of his compromise effort."He tried hard to get us all together, he really did, he tried," recalled Boxer, who detailed her concerns about the intelligence in her book, "The Art of Tough." "But if there's just a point where you feel the whole thing is based on false information, we couldn't come on in good conscience."Their posture was deeply frustrating to Biden, a Senate institutionalist who was focused on vote counts."Does anybody here think the White House doesn't have 55 votes for their resolution if we don't have an alternative?" he railed at anti-war colleagues, according to his 2007 book, "Promises to Keep." He added in the book, "I begged them to at least vote Biden-Lugar out of committee, but they made it clear they wouldn't do it -- on principle. They wanted purity."Reluctant Senate colleagues represented only one challenge that Biden faced. In a late-night phone call to Biden's home, Lugar had informed him of a brewing counter-effort: The administration was working with Rep. Richard A. Gephardt of Missouri, the House Democratic leader, on alternative language. Gephardt struck a deal with Bush and appeared with him and other lawmakers in the Rose Garden. (He was later critical of the Bush administration's handling of Iraq.)The deal had effectively torpedoed Biden's proposal -- and he seemed to know it."I'm sure the argument will be, well, why are we nitpicking?" he told reporters at the Capitol, clutching a coffee cup and, at one point, apparently exasperated, dismissing a reporter's line of inquiry as "malarkey."A Country 'Off-Balance'The debate in Washington unfolded in a nation gripped by fears about terrorism."This country was really off-balance and petrified and looking to the president to protect them," Hagel said. "Members of Congress couldn't get too far out politically to push back on the president, to say, 'Well, I'm not sure that's that important, I'm not sure he has weapons of mass destruction.' "Politically ambitious Democrats were also leery of appearing weak on national security matters -- and in the November 2002 midterm elections, Republicans would regain control of the Senate.After his own proposal fell apart, Biden continued to meet with Bush administration officials. He found Secretary of State Colin L. Powell to be an influential and steady hand in the administration, and said publicly that the war resolution had been sufficiently improved from what the president had originally sought.Nearly two decades later, the faith that Biden put in Bush is now a target for criticism."Many of his comments provided cover for proponents of the war -- the war that many have come to realize was a fatal mistake," said Jim Manley, who at the time was press secretary for Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass., a leading opponent of the war authorization.On Saturday, the Sanders campaign released a blistering statement excoriating Biden for his Iraq War vote."Bernie Sanders saw the same information and had the judgment to vote against the Iraq War," Jeff Weaver, a senior adviser to Sanders, said in the statement. Biden, he suggested, "undermined Democratic opposition, enthusiastically supported a disastrous war, refuses to admit mistakes, and then tries to rewrite history."Biden's allies argue that his vote was intended to support the strengthening of diplomatic efforts in the hopes of preventing military conflict."For Biden and for a number of others who voted for the resolution, it was a vote for tough diplomacy," said Antony J. Blinken, a longtime Biden adviser who served as Democratic staff director for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. It is more likely that diplomacy will succeed, he argued, if the other side knows military action is possible.As Biden eventually acknowledged, that did not work as he had hoped."It was a mistake to assume the president would use the authority we gave him properly," he said on NBC's "Meet the Press" in 2005.But on the campaign trail this election cycle, Biden has suggested he opposed the war and Bush's conduct from the beginning, claims that do not match the historical record."Immediately, the moment it started, I came out against the war at that moment," he told NPR in an interview in September. His campaign later said he had misspoken, according to a fact check from The Washington Post. At a campaign stop in Des Moines, Iowa, this month, Biden said, "The president then went ahead with 'shock and awe,' and right after that, and from the very moment he did that, right after that, I opposed what he was doing," a misleading assertion at best, according to an assessment from CNN.Biden did ultimately become a vocal opponent of the Bush administration's stewardship of the war, and went on to serve as vice president to Barack Obama, a critic of the conflict. The war took a personal toll when his elder son, Beau Biden, deployed to Iraq in 2008 with the Delaware Army National Guard. The younger Biden died in 2015 from brain cancer, and his father has discussed the possibility of a link between the illness and exposure to pits of burning waste on military bases.Boxer attended a fundraiser for Biden last week, though she said she was not yet formally endorsing him, and spoke warmly about her former Foreign Relations Committee colleague in an interview. She emphasized his record and all he had done in the nearly two decades since they clashed on Iraq."They fought very hard to get us on board and we fought very hard to get them to stop," Boxer said. "Once he saw that it was a mistake, he really stepped up to the plate to try and come up with a way out of this war."Ahead of that 2002 vote, Biden stood on the Senate floor to explain his support for the war authorization. He followed Sen. Hillary Clinton of New York -- who in her later presidential campaigns also faced scrutiny over her Iraq War vote -- and spoke for an hour."I do not believe this is a rush to war," Biden said. "I believe it's a march to peace and security."Hours later, he cast his vote in the affirmative.This article originally appeared in The New York Times.(C) 2020 The New York Times Company

    Sen. Joe Biden proposed a compromise.It was the fall of 2002 and the Bush administration was pushing for sweeping authority to act against Saddam Hussein, claiming he had weapons of mass destruction. Some Democrats questioned the stated threat posed by Iraq and bristled at President George W. Bush's broad request.Biden, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman, had been scrambling to draft a bipartisan resolution that would grant Bush the authority to use military force against Iraq, but was more restrictive than the war authorization that the president had sought.As he often had in his long career, Biden sought bipartisan middle ground -- this time, between those opposed to potential war and the White House desire for more open-ended power. Some anti-war members of his committee resisted this effort, worried that it would still pave the way to conflict. "We disagreed very strenuously," said former Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif.Biden's plan ultimately did not succeed, and he chose to focus on Bush's reassurances of a diplomacy-first approach."At each pivotal moment," Biden said of Bush, "he has chosen a course of moderation and deliberation, and I believe he will continue to do so. At least that is my fervent hope."On Oct. 11, he was one of 77 senators to authorize the use of military force in Iraq. Twenty-three colleagues, some of whom harbored grave doubts about the danger Iraq posed at the time, refused to back the president's request.Nearly two decades later, Biden, who by 2005 was calling that vote a mistake, is running for president in part on his foreign policy experience, emphasizing his commander-in-chief credentials at a moment of heightened tensions between the United States and Iran.Yet the Iraq War vote is part of the extensive record he cites, and he has struggled to accurately account for it on the campaign trail, repeatedly suggesting he opposed the war and Bush's conduct from the beginning, claims that detailed fact checks have deemed wrong or misleading.The vote has exposed him to direct and implicit criticism from his chief presidential rivals, including Sen. Elizabeth Warren and former Mayor Pete Buttigieg, a military veteran, and especially Sen. Bernie Sanders, who voted against the war as a Vermont congressman and whose campaign has sharpened its criticism of Biden in recent days.Now, three weeks before the Iowa caucuses -- held in a state with a fierce anti-war streak -- the issue threatens to be a campaign liability for Biden as he seeks to assure voters of his ability to handle a foreign crisis even as he works to distance himself from a war that has had enormous costs for his own family, and for the nation.A review of how Biden operated in the fall of 2002, as he weighed the question of authorizing the use of military force, reveals core truths about how he has worked for decades: as a Senate dealmaker at heart, with a reverence for bipartisan compromise that his supporters admire -- and that critics say has colored his judgment during some of the most consequential moments of his career.The President's PushIn the summer of 2002, as the Bush administration sounded alarms about Iraq, Biden, too, was concerned about the perceived threat of Hussein and his "relentless pursuit of weapons of mass destruction," as he put it in a New York Times Op-Ed he wrote with Sen. Richard G. Lugar, R-Ind.In the Dirksen Senate Office Building, Biden, a respected if long-winded chairman, convened two days of hearings about Iraq, soliciting testimony from a procession of experts."These weapons must be dislodged from Saddam Hussein," Biden said, "or Saddam Hussein must be dislodged from power."But he also worried about the possible long-term consequences of confronting Hussein. "It would be a tragedy if we removed a tyrant in Iraq, only to leave chaos in its wake," he said.After Bush asked Congress in September to authorize the use of military force in Iraq, Biden and his colleagues grappled with how to proceed. Some Democrats balked that fall at the pressure to grant the president sweeping power, unmoved by Bush administration warnings of national security considerations, which turned out to be based in part on faulty intelligence and distortions of available information."Saddam Hussein is a threat, but the threat is not so great that we must be stampeded to provide such authority to this president just weeks before an election," admonished Sen. Robert C. Byrd, D-W.Va.Biden was uneasy with the administration's broad language and worried about the precedent preemptive action could set, but he was also focused on showing unity behind the commander in chief as the nation reeled from the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. He hoped that, as he eventually said on the floor of the Senate, a "strong" congressional vote would ultimately give the United States a more forceful diplomatic position."We didn't want to neuter the president because he's our president, he conducts foreign policy, but at the same time we didn't want to give him a blank check," said former Sen. Chuck Hagel, R-Neb., who worked closely with Biden.Ever focused on bipartisan consensus, Biden joined forces with Lugar to produce alternative language that would give Bush narrower authority. The resolution authorized military action specifically for the purpose of dismantling a weapons of mass destruction program, and it emphasized "the importance of international support," Biden and Lugar said at the time.Some Democrats on Biden's committee, alarmed by divergent intelligence assessments, were skeptical of his compromise effort."He tried hard to get us all together, he really did, he tried," recalled Boxer, who detailed her concerns about the intelligence in her book, "The Art of Tough." "But if there's just a point where you feel the whole thing is based on false information, we couldn't come on in good conscience."Their posture was deeply frustrating to Biden, a Senate institutionalist who was focused on vote counts."Does anybody here think the White House doesn't have 55 votes for their resolution if we don't have an alternative?" he railed at anti-war colleagues, according to his 2007 book, "Promises to Keep." He added in the book, "I begged them to at least vote Biden-Lugar out of committee, but they made it clear they wouldn't do it -- on principle. They wanted purity."Reluctant Senate colleagues represented only one challenge that Biden faced. In a late-night phone call to Biden's home, Lugar had informed him of a brewing counter-effort: The administration was working with Rep. Richard A. Gephardt of Missouri, the House Democratic leader, on alternative language. Gephardt struck a deal with Bush and appeared with him and other lawmakers in the Rose Garden. (He was later critical of the Bush administration's handling of Iraq.)The deal had effectively torpedoed Biden's proposal -- and he seemed to know it."I'm sure the argument will be, well, why are we nitpicking?" he told reporters at the Capitol, clutching a coffee cup and, at one point, apparently exasperated, dismissing a reporter's line of inquiry as "malarkey."A Country 'Off-Balance'The debate in Washington unfolded in a nation gripped by fears about terrorism."This country was really off-balance and petrified and looking to the president to protect them," Hagel said. "Members of Congress couldn't get too far out politically to push back on the president, to say, 'Well, I'm not sure that's that important, I'm not sure he has weapons of mass destruction.' "Politically ambitious Democrats were also leery of appearing weak on national security matters -- and in the November 2002 midterm elections, Republicans would regain control of the Senate.After his own proposal fell apart, Biden continued to meet with Bush administration officials. He found Secretary of State Colin L. Powell to be an influential and steady hand in the administration, and said publicly that the war resolution had been sufficiently improved from what the president had originally sought.Nearly two decades later, the faith that Biden put in Bush is now a target for criticism."Many of his comments provided cover for proponents of the war -- the war that many have come to realize was a fatal mistake," said Jim Manley, who at the time was press secretary for Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass., a leading opponent of the war authorization.On Saturday, the Sanders campaign released a blistering statement excoriating Biden for his Iraq War vote."Bernie Sanders saw the same information and had the judgment to vote against the Iraq War," Jeff Weaver, a senior adviser to Sanders, said in the statement. Biden, he suggested, "undermined Democratic opposition, enthusiastically supported a disastrous war, refuses to admit mistakes, and then tries to rewrite history."Biden's allies argue that his vote was intended to support the strengthening of diplomatic efforts in the hopes of preventing military conflict."For Biden and for a number of others who voted for the resolution, it was a vote for tough diplomacy," said Antony J. Blinken, a longtime Biden adviser who served as Democratic staff director for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. It is more likely that diplomacy will succeed, he argued, if the other side knows military action is possible.As Biden eventually acknowledged, that did not work as he had hoped."It was a mistake to assume the president would use the authority we gave him properly," he said on NBC's "Meet the Press" in 2005.But on the campaign trail this election cycle, Biden has suggested he opposed the war and Bush's conduct from the beginning, claims that do not match the historical record."Immediately, the moment it started, I came out against the war at that moment," he told NPR in an interview in September. His campaign later said he had misspoken, according to a fact check from The Washington Post. At a campaign stop in Des Moines, Iowa, this month, Biden said, "The president then went ahead with 'shock and awe,' and right after that, and from the very moment he did that, right after that, I opposed what he was doing," a misleading assertion at best, according to an assessment from CNN.Biden did ultimately become a vocal opponent of the Bush administration's stewardship of the war, and went on to serve as vice president to Barack Obama, a critic of the conflict. The war took a personal toll when his elder son, Beau Biden, deployed to Iraq in 2008 with the Delaware Army National Guard. The younger Biden died in 2015 from brain cancer, and his father has discussed the possibility of a link between the illness and exposure to pits of burning waste on military bases.Boxer attended a fundraiser for Biden last week, though she said she was not yet formally endorsing him, and spoke warmly about her former Foreign Relations Committee colleague in an interview. She emphasized his record and all he had done in the nearly two decades since they clashed on Iraq."They fought very hard to get us on board and we fought very hard to get them to stop," Boxer said. "Once he saw that it was a mistake, he really stepped up to the plate to try and come up with a way out of this war."Ahead of that 2002 vote, Biden stood on the Senate floor to explain his support for the war authorization. He followed Sen. Hillary Clinton of New York -- who in her later presidential campaigns also faced scrutiny over her Iraq War vote -- and spoke for an hour."I do not believe this is a rush to war," Biden said. "I believe it's a march to peace and security."Hours later, he cast his vote in the affirmative.This article originally appeared in The New York Times.(C) 2020 The New York Times Company


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  • 66/81   U.K. Economy Unexpectedly Shrinks Amid BOE Rate-Cut Debate
    WORLD TOPIC NEWS

    (Bloomberg) -- Sign up to our Brexit Bulletin, follow us @Brexit and subscribe to our podcast.The U.K. economy unexpectedly shrank ahead of the general election, casting doubt over whether there was any growth at all in the fourth quarter.The figures will add to concerns at the Bank of England, where officials are debating whether further stimulus is needed if economic weakness persists. Three policy makers, including Governor Mark Carney, have flagged the possibility of an interest-rate cut in the past week, sending the pound lower and sparking an increase in market bets on a move as soon as this month.Gross domestic product fell 0.3% in November, missing forecasts for unchanged output on the month. It means growth of around 0.2% was needed in December to prevent the economy contracting in the fourth quarter.The figures reflect caution in the run-up to the December election, with the dominant services industry contracting 0.3% -- the biggest decline since early 2018. Overall economic growth of 0.6% from a year earlier was the weakest since mid-2012.The pound fell for a fifth day against the dollar, dropping as much as 0.8% to $1.2966. Gilts rose, led by shorter tenors, and five-year yields fell to the lowest since early December.Carney said last week that the BOE has plenty of policy room to act if necessary, and officials Silvana Tenreyro and Gertjan Vlieghe warned they could join two other colleagues calling for cheaper borrowing costs. Markets have put about a 50% chance on a rate cut this month.What Bloomberg’s Economists Say...“Our central forecast is for uncertainty to ease, prompting a turnaround in the outlook for the economy that prevents the MPC from cutting in the near term. But we recognize this call hangs in the balance. Any downside surprises relative to our expectations would lead us to reconsider it.”\--Dan Hanson. Read the full REACTBOE officials will have plenty of economic numbers to digest before announcing their next interest-rate decision on Jan. 30. This week sees the release of inflation data and retail sales, with unemployment figures due next week. There’s also Purchasing Managers Index for January, which will provide a snaphot of the economy at the start of 2020.Surveys taken after December’s election suggest Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s emphatic victory delivered a sharp boost to confidence. The question is whether that momentum can be maintained.Britain is due to leave the European Union at the end of the month, and many doubt Johnson can deliver on his pledge to strike a trade deal with the bloc by the end of the year. If he fails, Britain will once again be facing a disruptive cliff-edge Brexit.Upward revisions to September and October meant the economy posted modest growth in the latest three months, though it was still the weakest performance since July. The National Institute of Economic and Social Research estimates that figures due on Feb. 11 will show the economy stagnated in the fourth quarter, with growth for 2019 as a whole little changed at 1.4%.Manufacturing output fell 1.7% in November, partly reflecting car factories shutting down to avoid supply disruptions immediately following the now-postponed Oct. 31 Brexit deadline. Auto output alone fell more than 6%. The drop may also be due to some orders being brought forward to October. Construction output rose 1.9%, rebounding from a weak October.(Updates with Niesr estimate in penultimate paragraph)To contact the reporters on this story: Andrew Atkinson in London at a.atkinson@bloomberg.net;Lucy Meakin in London at lmeakin1@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Fergal O'Brien at fobrien@bloomberg.net, Andrew Atkinson, Brian SwintFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

    (Bloomberg) -- Sign up to our Brexit Bulletin, follow us @Brexit and subscribe to our podcast.The U.K. economy unexpectedly shrank ahead of the general election, casting doubt over whether there was any growth at all in the fourth quarter.The figures will add to concerns at the Bank of England, where officials are debating whether further stimulus is needed if economic weakness persists. Three policy makers, including Governor Mark Carney, have flagged the possibility of an interest-rate cut in the past week, sending the pound lower and sparking an increase in market bets on a move as soon as this month.Gross domestic product fell 0.3% in November, missing forecasts for unchanged output on the month. It means growth of around 0.2% was needed in December to prevent the economy contracting in the fourth quarter.The figures reflect caution in the run-up to the December election, with the dominant services industry contracting 0.3% -- the biggest decline since early 2018. Overall economic growth of 0.6% from a year earlier was the weakest since mid-2012.The pound fell for a fifth day against the dollar, dropping as much as 0.8% to $1.2966. Gilts rose, led by shorter tenors, and five-year yields fell to the lowest since early December.Carney said last week that the BOE has plenty of policy room to act if necessary, and officials Silvana Tenreyro and Gertjan Vlieghe warned they could join two other colleagues calling for cheaper borrowing costs. Markets have put about a 50% chance on a rate cut this month.What Bloomberg’s Economists Say...“Our central forecast is for uncertainty to ease, prompting a turnaround in the outlook for the economy that prevents the MPC from cutting in the near term. But we recognize this call hangs in the balance. Any downside surprises relative to our expectations would lead us to reconsider it.”\--Dan Hanson. Read the full REACTBOE officials will have plenty of economic numbers to digest before announcing their next interest-rate decision on Jan. 30. This week sees the release of inflation data and retail sales, with unemployment figures due next week. There’s also Purchasing Managers Index for January, which will provide a snaphot of the economy at the start of 2020.Surveys taken after December’s election suggest Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s emphatic victory delivered a sharp boost to confidence. The question is whether that momentum can be maintained.Britain is due to leave the European Union at the end of the month, and many doubt Johnson can deliver on his pledge to strike a trade deal with the bloc by the end of the year. If he fails, Britain will once again be facing a disruptive cliff-edge Brexit.Upward revisions to September and October meant the economy posted modest growth in the latest three months, though it was still the weakest performance since July. The National Institute of Economic and Social Research estimates that figures due on Feb. 11 will show the economy stagnated in the fourth quarter, with growth for 2019 as a whole little changed at 1.4%.Manufacturing output fell 1.7% in November, partly reflecting car factories shutting down to avoid supply disruptions immediately following the now-postponed Oct. 31 Brexit deadline. Auto output alone fell more than 6%. The drop may also be due to some orders being brought forward to October. Construction output rose 1.9%, rebounding from a weak October.(Updates with Niesr estimate in penultimate paragraph)To contact the reporters on this story: Andrew Atkinson in London at a.atkinson@bloomberg.net;Lucy Meakin in London at lmeakin1@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Fergal O'Brien at fobrien@bloomberg.net, Andrew Atkinson, Brian SwintFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2020 Bloomberg L.P.


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  • 67/81   Iranian protesters angry over the downing of Ukrainian Flight 752 claim they were met with bullets and tear gas, as police deny shooting demonstrators
    WORLD TOPIC NEWS

    Protesters took aim at Iran's leadership over the weekend after Iran admitted to shooting down a commercial plane, killing 176, after days of denial.

    Protesters took aim at Iran's leadership over the weekend after Iran admitted to shooting down a commercial plane, killing 176, after days of denial.


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  • 68/81   For decades Iranians have risen up, only to be put down
    WORLD TOPIC NEWS

    The demonstrations that erupted after Iran admitted to accidentally shooting down a passenger plane during a tense standoff with the United States last week are the latest of several waves of protest going back to the 1979 Islamic Revolution — all of which have been violently suppressed.  Iranians were shocked and appalled by the shootdown of the Ukrainian jetliner, which killed all 176 people on board, mostly Iranians.  Iranians are also suffering from an economic crisis exacerbated by severe sanctions imposed by President Donald Trump after he withdrew the U.S. from Iran's 2015 nuclear deal with world powers.

    The demonstrations that erupted after Iran admitted to accidentally shooting down a passenger plane during a tense standoff with the United States last week are the latest of several waves of protest going back to the 1979 Islamic Revolution — all of which have been violently suppressed. Iranians were shocked and appalled by the shootdown of the Ukrainian jetliner, which killed all 176 people on board, mostly Iranians. Iranians are also suffering from an economic crisis exacerbated by severe sanctions imposed by President Donald Trump after he withdrew the U.S. from Iran's 2015 nuclear deal with world powers.


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  • 69/81   Europe Looks to Follow China’s Lead Taming Trump on Trade
    WORLD TOPIC NEWS

    (Bloomberg) -- Want to receive this post in your inbox every day? Sign up for the Terms of Trade newsletter, and follow Bloomberg Economics on Twitter for more.President Donald Trump’s relationship with European leaders has often been testy and the same applies to his aides. Then again, transatlantic relations have been rescued from the brink a number of times thanks to the personalities involved.Which is why new European trade commissioner Phil Hogan’s visit to Washington this week is more important than most. Even if the big show while Hogan makes his first tour in his new post will be Wednesday’s signing of a long-awaited “phase one” deal between the U.S. and China.When then-European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker arrived in Washington in July 2018, many of those travelling with him were bracing for a turn to the worse in trade relations. Trump was threatening to impose tariffs on imported European cars and had become frustrated with Europe’s retaliation to steel tariffs he had rolled out.Worried at what was unfolding, White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow reached out to Christine Lagarde, then the International Monetary Fund’s managing director, according to people familiar with the events. She suggested he get in touch with Martin Selmayr, Juncker’s top lieutenant. Within hours the two were huddled in the restaurant of the Hay Adams Hotel across from the White House, hashing out the terms of a tariff truce.The mood between the two sides, however, remained tense. Until, that is, the next morning Juncker, a gregarious former prime minister of Luxembourg, marched into the Oval Office and planted a big kiss on the American president.The atmosphere instantly lifted, according to people who were in the room. Within a few hours the two presidents were announcing what became known as the Rose Garden truce to a hastily called press conference even as some of their aides continued to stew.Then again even a presidential peck has limited currency. The ceasefire has been fragile ever since, and the negotiations it triggered have gone nowhere. The EU is also back in the Trump tariff sights thanks to France’s introduction of a digital services tax. Transatlantic divisions over how to deal with Iran aren’t helping.Enter Hogan. The politically savvy Irishman served as agriculture commissioner in the last European Commission and is no stranger to Washington. But Hogan has had a difficult start. He annoyed some in the White House and across 17th street at the U.S. Trade Representative’s office when in an interview soon after his appointment he told Irish radio that one of his goals would be “to get Mr Trump to see the error of his ways” on trade.The interview was in line with what European officials say is their plan to take a more robust approach to dealing with Trump and his tariffs. But it so angered U.S. officials that Kudlow summoned the EU’s ambassador to Washington, Stavros Lambrinidis, to protest.Hogan needs a reset. And for that he may also want to look up another trade negotiator in town this week: China’s Vice Premier Liu He. Liu has commanded the respect of his U.S. counterparts over three years of tough interactions, part of the reason he’s signing a deal at the White House on Wednesday morning. He may have some tips.Charting the Trade WarCaution gripped the U.K. economy ahead of last month' s general election, fueling speculation the Bank of England is moving closer to cutting interest rates. GDP unexpectedly fell in November, leaving output just 0.6% higher than a year earlier — the worst performance in more than seven years.                     Today’s Must ReadsVictory lap | After three years of tweets and tariffs, President Donald Trump has arrived at his China moment. Now the challenge turns to ensuring Beijing follows through. No bull cause | Washington will likely take time to lift a ban on Brazilian fresh-beef imports amid frustration at the South American country’s decision to keep quotas on tariff-free imports of U.S. ethanol. Chip shot | South Korea’s chip exports showed signs of revival after more than a yearlong slump, supporting optimism that the worst is behind for the trade-dependent economy. Metal fatigue | A drop in American factory jobs shows Trump’s tariffs haven’t yet solved a key issue haunting U.S. steelmakers: China’s subsidizing of its own industry. Over baht | Thailand’s Finance Minister Uttama Savanayana said any measures authorities take to curb gains in the currency won’t disrupt the “market mechanism” of the baht.Economic AnalysisRisks in 2020 | Euro-Area GDP growth has slowed on global uncertainty tied to trade and Brexit. Looking up | Singapore’s economy is poised for 2020 rebound after the trade hub suffered last year.Coming UpJan. 14: China trade balance Jan. 14-16: EU trade chief Phil Hogan plans trip to Washington Jan. 15: U.S., China plan to sign phase-one deal in Washington Jan. 21-24: Business and government leaders meet at the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting. Stay on top of all of the action via Bloomberg’s Davos Diary newsletter. Click here to subscribe.Like Terms of Trade?Don’t keep it to yourself. Colleagues and friends can sign up here. We also publish Balance of Power, a daily briefing on the latest in global politics.For even more: Subscribe to Bloomberg All Access for full global news coverage and two in-depth daily newsletters, The Bloomberg Open and The Bloomberg Close.How are we doing? We want to hear what you think about this newsletter. Let our trade tsar know.\--With assistance from Andrew Atkinson.To contact the author of this story: Shawn Donnan in Washington at sdonnan@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Brendan Murray at brmurray@bloomberg.net, Fergal O'BrienFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

    (Bloomberg) -- Want to receive this post in your inbox every day? Sign up for the Terms of Trade newsletter, and follow Bloomberg Economics on Twitter for more.President Donald Trump’s relationship with European leaders has often been testy and the same applies to his aides. Then again, transatlantic relations have been rescued from the brink a number of times thanks to the personalities involved.Which is why new European trade commissioner Phil Hogan’s visit to Washington this week is more important than most. Even if the big show while Hogan makes his first tour in his new post will be Wednesday’s signing of a long-awaited “phase one” deal between the U.S. and China.When then-European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker arrived in Washington in July 2018, many of those travelling with him were bracing for a turn to the worse in trade relations. Trump was threatening to impose tariffs on imported European cars and had become frustrated with Europe’s retaliation to steel tariffs he had rolled out.Worried at what was unfolding, White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow reached out to Christine Lagarde, then the International Monetary Fund’s managing director, according to people familiar with the events. She suggested he get in touch with Martin Selmayr, Juncker’s top lieutenant. Within hours the two were huddled in the restaurant of the Hay Adams Hotel across from the White House, hashing out the terms of a tariff truce.The mood between the two sides, however, remained tense. Until, that is, the next morning Juncker, a gregarious former prime minister of Luxembourg, marched into the Oval Office and planted a big kiss on the American president.The atmosphere instantly lifted, according to people who were in the room. Within a few hours the two presidents were announcing what became known as the Rose Garden truce to a hastily called press conference even as some of their aides continued to stew.Then again even a presidential peck has limited currency. The ceasefire has been fragile ever since, and the negotiations it triggered have gone nowhere. The EU is also back in the Trump tariff sights thanks to France’s introduction of a digital services tax. Transatlantic divisions over how to deal with Iran aren’t helping.Enter Hogan. The politically savvy Irishman served as agriculture commissioner in the last European Commission and is no stranger to Washington. But Hogan has had a difficult start. He annoyed some in the White House and across 17th street at the U.S. Trade Representative’s office when in an interview soon after his appointment he told Irish radio that one of his goals would be “to get Mr Trump to see the error of his ways” on trade.The interview was in line with what European officials say is their plan to take a more robust approach to dealing with Trump and his tariffs. But it so angered U.S. officials that Kudlow summoned the EU’s ambassador to Washington, Stavros Lambrinidis, to protest.Hogan needs a reset. And for that he may also want to look up another trade negotiator in town this week: China’s Vice Premier Liu He. Liu has commanded the respect of his U.S. counterparts over three years of tough interactions, part of the reason he’s signing a deal at the White House on Wednesday morning. He may have some tips.Charting the Trade WarCaution gripped the U.K. economy ahead of last month' s general election, fueling speculation the Bank of England is moving closer to cutting interest rates. GDP unexpectedly fell in November, leaving output just 0.6% higher than a year earlier — the worst performance in more than seven years.                     Today’s Must ReadsVictory lap | After three years of tweets and tariffs, President Donald Trump has arrived at his China moment. Now the challenge turns to ensuring Beijing follows through. No bull cause | Washington will likely take time to lift a ban on Brazilian fresh-beef imports amid frustration at the South American country’s decision to keep quotas on tariff-free imports of U.S. ethanol. Chip shot | South Korea’s chip exports showed signs of revival after more than a yearlong slump, supporting optimism that the worst is behind for the trade-dependent economy. Metal fatigue | A drop in American factory jobs shows Trump’s tariffs haven’t yet solved a key issue haunting U.S. steelmakers: China’s subsidizing of its own industry. Over baht | Thailand’s Finance Minister Uttama Savanayana said any measures authorities take to curb gains in the currency won’t disrupt the “market mechanism” of the baht.Economic AnalysisRisks in 2020 | Euro-Area GDP growth has slowed on global uncertainty tied to trade and Brexit. Looking up | Singapore’s economy is poised for 2020 rebound after the trade hub suffered last year.Coming UpJan. 14: China trade balance Jan. 14-16: EU trade chief Phil Hogan plans trip to Washington Jan. 15: U.S., China plan to sign phase-one deal in Washington Jan. 21-24: Business and government leaders meet at the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting. Stay on top of all of the action via Bloomberg’s Davos Diary newsletter. Click here to subscribe.Like Terms of Trade?Don’t keep it to yourself. Colleagues and friends can sign up here. We also publish Balance of Power, a daily briefing on the latest in global politics.For even more: Subscribe to Bloomberg All Access for full global news coverage and two in-depth daily newsletters, The Bloomberg Open and The Bloomberg Close.How are we doing? We want to hear what you think about this newsletter. Let our trade tsar know.\--With assistance from Andrew Atkinson.To contact the author of this story: Shawn Donnan in Washington at sdonnan@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Brendan Murray at brmurray@bloomberg.net, Fergal O'BrienFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2020 Bloomberg L.P.


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  • 70/81   US troops clear rubble from Iraq base days after Iran strike
    WORLD TOPIC NEWS

    The Iranian attack was in retaliation for the U.S. drone strike near Baghdad airport that killed a top Iranian commander, Gen. Qassem Soleimani, prompting angry calls to avenge his slaying.  The air base in Iraq’s western Anbar province is a sprawling complex about 180 kilometers (110 miles) west of Baghdad shared with the Iraqi military and housing about 1,500 members of the U.S. military and the U.S.-led coalition fighting the Islamic State militant group.  It was struck by Iranian missiles on Wednesday in Iran’s most direct assault on America since the 1979 seizing of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran.

    The Iranian attack was in retaliation for the U.S. drone strike near Baghdad airport that killed a top Iranian commander, Gen. Qassem Soleimani, prompting angry calls to avenge his slaying. The air base in Iraq’s western Anbar province is a sprawling complex about 180 kilometers (110 miles) west of Baghdad shared with the Iraqi military and housing about 1,500 members of the U.S. military and the U.S.-led coalition fighting the Islamic State militant group. It was struck by Iranian missiles on Wednesday in Iran’s most direct assault on America since the 1979 seizing of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran.


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  • 71/81   Cyberspace is the next front in Iran-US conflict – and private companies may bear the brunt
    WORLD TOPIC NEWS

    Iran and other nations have waged a stealth cyberwar against the United States for at least the past decade, largely targeting not the government itself but, rather, critical infrastructure companies. This threat to the private sector will get much worse before it gets better and businesses need to be prepared to deal with it.As in the days of pirates and privateers, much of our nation’s critical infrastucture is controlled by private companies and enemy nations and their proxies are targeting them aggressively.The U.S.-Iran cyberconflict has simmered for years, but the current crisis boiled over with Iranian attacks on U.S. interests in Iraq that led to the Jan. 3 U.S. drone strike that killed a senior Iranian general and terrorist leader. Iran’s supreme leader threatened “harsh revenge,” but said Iran would limit those efforts to military targets.But even before Iranian missiles struck U.S. military bases in Iraq on Jan. 7, pro-Iranian hackers reportedly attacked at least one U.S. government-related website, along with a number of private company sites. Of greater concern, a new report details significant recent efforts by Iran to compromise the U.S. electric, oil and gas utilities.Iran, which has reportedly attacked Saudi Arabian energy production, is also capable, according to U.S. officials, of conducting “attacks against thousands of electric grids, water plants, and health and technology companies” in the U.S. and Western Europe. Disrupting those systems could cause significant damage to homes and businesses and, in the worst case, injuries and death.Much of our targeted critical infrastructure is under the control of private companies. Without government protection – and in the absence of any agreed-upon rules of cyber warfare – businesses are at high risk, and strict American criminal laws prohibit many forms of cyber self-defense by private companies. But there are straightforward measures companies can take both to protect themselves and to enhance our collective national cybersecurity.  What will Iran do?Though it’s impossible to predict with certainty the behavior of the Iranian regime and their many proxies, their cyberattacks likely will continue to go well beyond governmental systems, which are reasonably well defended. Iran and its supporters likely will focus on easier targets operated by private companies.A recent U.S. Department of Homeland Security alert highlights Iran’s capabity and willingness to engage in multiple types of destructive cyberattacks over the last decade. According to indictments filed by the U.S. Department of Justice, as cited in the DHS alert:  * Beginning as far back as 2011, Iran has conducted numerous Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks, sending massive amounts of internet traffic to knock websites offline. Iran’s DDoS attacks have targeted, among others, financial institutions, for whom the resulting downtime reportedly cost millions of dollars.  * In 2013, one or more Iranians working for the country’s Revolutionary Guard illegally accessed the control system of a New York dam, although no direct damage apparently was done.   * In 2014, Iran conducted an attack on the Sands Las Vegas Corporation, stealing customer credit card, Social Security and driver’s license numbers and wiping all data from Sands’ computer systems.  * Between 2013 and 2017, hackers working on behalf of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard conducted a “massive” cyber theft operation targeting academic and intellectual property data, along with email information, from hundreds of universities, more than 45 companies, at least two federal agencies, at least two state governments and the United Nations.It is possible that new efforts along these lines could be planned and timed to affect upcoming American elections. In addition, other countries could launch attacks and try to blame them on Iran, or vice versa. No clear cyber rules of engagementFor conventional and even nuclear warfare, nations have, over the centuries, agreed to rules of armed conflict. They’ve developed ways to signal their intentions to escalate or deescalate a conflict. The U.S. and Iran have, for now, deescalated their public military conflict, thanks to Iran warning of its missile attack and not killing or injuring anyone and the U.S. not taking any further military action.But cyberspace remains the wild west, with few, if any, agreed-on rules of engagement or well-understood signaling mechanisms. This makes any ongoing cyberconflict between Iran and its enemies all the more dangerous, with critical infrastructure companies at risk of being caught in the crossfire.Without government assistance, those companies are largely on their own in defending against Iranian or other foreign government attacks. Strict criminal laws severely restrict companies’ defensive options, prohibiting, for example, technologies to trace and destroy stolen data.  Collective cyberdefenseAll of that said, there are steps companies can take to protect themselves, not only from Iranian or other governmental attacks but against hacking by data thieves, ransomware gangs, corporate rivals, disgruntled employees or anyone else. Vigilance and communication is key. Companies, particularly in critical infrastructure sectors such as energy, financial, telecommunications and health care, should stay in closer-than-usual touch with appropriate governmental bodies, including the Department of Homeland Security, the FBI and the appropriate cyber Information Sharing & Analysis Centers. ISACs can help companies quickly get threat intelligence from the government and report attacks that may have implications beyond a single company.Businesses also should carefully check their systems for malware previously inserted maliciously to enable future attacks. They should, of course, scan their systems on an ongoing basis for viruses and other malicious code that could let hackers have unauthorized access to systems or data. Companies should also securely back up their data, closely monitor data traffic on their networks, require workers to use multi-factor authentication when logging into IT resources, and provide cybersecuritiy training and awareness to employees. Protecting our national and economic security from attack is in the hands of private citizens and companies in a way that hasn’t been true perhaps since British boat owners rescued their nation’s army from annihilation at Dunkirk in 1940. By taking reasonable cybersecurity measures, companies, and all of us individually, can not only help protect ourselves and our nation but, perhaps, even help to prevent a war. [ Like what you’ve read? Want more? Sign up for The Conversation’s daily newsletter. ]This article is republished from The Conversation, a nonprofit news site dedicated to sharing ideas from academic experts.Read more:    * Could Iran-US tensions mean troubled waters ahead in the Strait of Hormuz?  * In Iran showdown, conflict could explode quickly – and disastrouslyBryan Cunningham does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organization that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.

    Iran and other nations have waged a stealth cyberwar against the United States for at least the past decade, largely targeting not the government itself but, rather, critical infrastructure companies. This threat to the private sector will get much worse before it gets better and businesses need to be prepared to deal with it.As in the days of pirates and privateers, much of our nation’s critical infrastucture is controlled by private companies and enemy nations and their proxies are targeting them aggressively.The U.S.-Iran cyberconflict has simmered for years, but the current crisis boiled over with Iranian attacks on U.S. interests in Iraq that led to the Jan. 3 U.S. drone strike that killed a senior Iranian general and terrorist leader. Iran’s supreme leader threatened “harsh revenge,” but said Iran would limit those efforts to military targets.But even before Iranian missiles struck U.S. military bases in Iraq on Jan. 7, pro-Iranian hackers reportedly attacked at least one U.S. government-related website, along with a number of private company sites. Of greater concern, a new report details significant recent efforts by Iran to compromise the U.S. electric, oil and gas utilities.Iran, which has reportedly attacked Saudi Arabian energy production, is also capable, according to U.S. officials, of conducting “attacks against thousands of electric grids, water plants, and health and technology companies” in the U.S. and Western Europe. Disrupting those systems could cause significant damage to homes and businesses and, in the worst case, injuries and death.Much of our targeted critical infrastructure is under the control of private companies. Without government protection – and in the absence of any agreed-upon rules of cyber warfare – businesses are at high risk, and strict American criminal laws prohibit many forms of cyber self-defense by private companies. But there are straightforward measures companies can take both to protect themselves and to enhance our collective national cybersecurity. What will Iran do?Though it’s impossible to predict with certainty the behavior of the Iranian regime and their many proxies, their cyberattacks likely will continue to go well beyond governmental systems, which are reasonably well defended. Iran and its supporters likely will focus on easier targets operated by private companies.A recent U.S. Department of Homeland Security alert highlights Iran’s capabity and willingness to engage in multiple types of destructive cyberattacks over the last decade. According to indictments filed by the U.S. Department of Justice, as cited in the DHS alert: * Beginning as far back as 2011, Iran has conducted numerous Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks, sending massive amounts of internet traffic to knock websites offline. Iran’s DDoS attacks have targeted, among others, financial institutions, for whom the resulting downtime reportedly cost millions of dollars. * In 2013, one or more Iranians working for the country’s Revolutionary Guard illegally accessed the control system of a New York dam, although no direct damage apparently was done. * In 2014, Iran conducted an attack on the Sands Las Vegas Corporation, stealing customer credit card, Social Security and driver’s license numbers and wiping all data from Sands’ computer systems. * Between 2013 and 2017, hackers working on behalf of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard conducted a “massive” cyber theft operation targeting academic and intellectual property data, along with email information, from hundreds of universities, more than 45 companies, at least two federal agencies, at least two state governments and the United Nations.It is possible that new efforts along these lines could be planned and timed to affect upcoming American elections. In addition, other countries could launch attacks and try to blame them on Iran, or vice versa. No clear cyber rules of engagementFor conventional and even nuclear warfare, nations have, over the centuries, agreed to rules of armed conflict. They’ve developed ways to signal their intentions to escalate or deescalate a conflict. The U.S. and Iran have, for now, deescalated their public military conflict, thanks to Iran warning of its missile attack and not killing or injuring anyone and the U.S. not taking any further military action.But cyberspace remains the wild west, with few, if any, agreed-on rules of engagement or well-understood signaling mechanisms. This makes any ongoing cyberconflict between Iran and its enemies all the more dangerous, with critical infrastructure companies at risk of being caught in the crossfire.Without government assistance, those companies are largely on their own in defending against Iranian or other foreign government attacks. Strict criminal laws severely restrict companies’ defensive options, prohibiting, for example, technologies to trace and destroy stolen data. Collective cyberdefenseAll of that said, there are steps companies can take to protect themselves, not only from Iranian or other governmental attacks but against hacking by data thieves, ransomware gangs, corporate rivals, disgruntled employees or anyone else. Vigilance and communication is key. Companies, particularly in critical infrastructure sectors such as energy, financial, telecommunications and health care, should stay in closer-than-usual touch with appropriate governmental bodies, including the Department of Homeland Security, the FBI and the appropriate cyber Information Sharing & Analysis Centers. ISACs can help companies quickly get threat intelligence from the government and report attacks that may have implications beyond a single company.Businesses also should carefully check their systems for malware previously inserted maliciously to enable future attacks. They should, of course, scan their systems on an ongoing basis for viruses and other malicious code that could let hackers have unauthorized access to systems or data. Companies should also securely back up their data, closely monitor data traffic on their networks, require workers to use multi-factor authentication when logging into IT resources, and provide cybersecuritiy training and awareness to employees. Protecting our national and economic security from attack is in the hands of private citizens and companies in a way that hasn’t been true perhaps since British boat owners rescued their nation’s army from annihilation at Dunkirk in 1940. By taking reasonable cybersecurity measures, companies, and all of us individually, can not only help protect ourselves and our nation but, perhaps, even help to prevent a war. [ Like what you’ve read? Want more? Sign up for The Conversation’s daily newsletter. ]This article is republished from The Conversation, a nonprofit news site dedicated to sharing ideas from academic experts.Read more: * Could Iran-US tensions mean troubled waters ahead in the Strait of Hormuz? * In Iran showdown, conflict could explode quickly – and disastrouslyBryan Cunningham does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organization that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.


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  • 72/81   Don't Forget These Vaccines When You Travel
    HEALTH TOPIC NEWS

    If you're planning a winter trip to another country, you may be preoccupied with booking airfare and finding lodging, but certain destinations require an extra step of planning: travel vaccines. ...

    If you're planning a winter trip to another country, you may be preoccupied with booking airfare and finding lodging, but certain destinations require an extra step of planning: travel vaccines. ...


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  • 73/81   Trump turns 'very routine' physical into attack on media
    HEALTH TOPIC NEWS

    President Trump lashed out at the media Tuesday over reporting about his sudden trip to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center last weekend.

    President Trump lashed out at the media Tuesday over reporting about his sudden trip to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center last weekend.


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  • 74/81   5 Turkey Cooking Tips Will Guarantee You Have the Perfect Bird This Holidays
    HEALTH TOPIC NEWS

    There's no need to wing it at Thanksgiving this year.

    There's no need to wing it at Thanksgiving this year.


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  • 75/81   9 Easy Ways to Make Your Jack-o'-Lanterns Last Longer
    HEALTH TOPIC NEWS

    A little bleach goes a long way.

    A little bleach goes a long way.


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  • 76/81   Is It Time for a Medication Reconciliation?
    HEALTH TOPIC NEWS

    More than half of adult Americans regularly take at least one prescription drug, according to a recent Consumer Reports nationally representative survey. And for those who take any medication on ...

    More than half of adult Americans regularly take at least one prescription drug, according to a recent Consumer Reports nationally representative survey. And for those who take any medication on ...


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  • 77/81   Brown-Bag Lunches for Kids With Food Allergies
    HEALTH TOPIC NEWS

    If your school-age child has food allergies, you know that preparing safe lunches that are also enticing can be a challenge. That's why we created this menu of lunchroom suggestions that addresse...

    If your school-age child has food allergies, you know that preparing safe lunches that are also enticing can be a challenge. That's why we created this menu of lunchroom suggestions that addresse...


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  • 78/81   What to Feed Your Family When the Power Goes Out
    HEALTH TOPIC NEWS

    If you won’t be able to leave your house for a few days or if the power is out for longer than a couple of hours, what to feed your family becomes a major concern. The food experts at Consumer Re...

    If you won’t be able to leave your house for a few days or if the power is out for longer than a couple of hours, what to feed your family becomes a major concern. The food experts at Consumer Re...


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  • 79/81   Try These Healthy Snack Ideas for Kids
    HEALTH TOPIC NEWS

    To fuel their growing bodies and provide the energy necessary to study and stay active, kids and teens need to eat every 3 to 4 hours, according to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. That’s ...

    To fuel their growing bodies and provide the energy necessary to study and stay active, kids and teens need to eat every 3 to 4 hours, according to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. That’s ...


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  • 80/81   The 9 Best Jobs for Teachers To Make Some Cash During the Summer Break
    HEALTH TOPIC NEWS

    Make the most of your skills with one of these jobs.

    Make the most of your skills with one of these jobs.


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  • 81/81   How to Spot and Avoid Algal Blooms
    HEALTH TOPIC NEWS

    With many U.S. waterways reaching their highest temperatures at this time of year, colonies of algae in lakes, ponds, and even the ocean can “bloom”—grow far more rapidly than normal. While most ...

    With many U.S. waterways reaching their highest temperatures at this time of year, colonies of algae in lakes, ponds, and even the ocean can “bloom”—grow far more rapidly than normal. While most ...


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