WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate’s top Democrat is raising questions about the Transportation Security Administration’s use of the China-owned video app TikTok, citing potential national security concerns and a ban by the Department of Homeland Security.
Sen. Chuck Schumer raised the concerns in a letter Saturday to TSA Administrator David Pekoske, months after news reports that the U.S. government launched a national security review of the app, which is popular with millions of U.S. teens and young adults.
In his letter, Schumer said national security experts have raised concerns about TikTok’s collection and handling of user data and personal information, locations and other content. He also noted in the letter that Chinese laws compel companies to cooperate with China’s government and intelligence collection.
The New York Democrat also pointed to a Department of Homeland Security policy that prohibits TikTok on department-issued cellphones.
“Given the widely reported threats, the already-in-place agency bans, and the existing concerns posed by TikTok, the feds cannot continue to allow the TSA’s use of the platform to fly,” Schumer said in a statement to The Associated Press.
Over the last few months, the agency has posted a number of videos on TikTok — some of which have been re-shared on other social media platforms like Twitter and amassed hundreds of thousands of views.
Some of the videos are musical parodies about what can and can’t be brought on an aircraft, while others advertise services like TSA's expedited screening program known as PreCheck. In one of the videos, a TSA spokeswoman with Nutella spread on her face is showing different containers of the chocolate-hazelnut spread to detail which one can be brought in carry-on luggage.
The Senate’s top Democrat is raising questions about the Transportation Security Administration’s use of the China-owned video app TikTok, citing potential national security concerns and a ban by the Department of Homeland Security. Sen. Chuck Schumer raised the concerns in a letter Saturday to TSA Administrator David Pekoske, months after news reports that the U.S. government launched a national security review of the app, which is popular with millions of U.S. teens and young adults. In his letter, Schumer said national security experts have raised concerns about TikTok’s collection and handling of user data and personal information, locations and other content.
Facing existential challenges, we must spend heavily on a Green New Deal, Medicare for All and similar plansIn Wednesday night’s Democratic debate, the former South Bend mayor Pete Buttigieg charged that the Vermont senator Bernie Sanders’ policy proposals would cost $50tn. Holy Indiana.Larry Summers, formerly chief White House economic adviser for Barack Obama, puts the price tag at $60tn. “We are in a kind of new era of radical proposal,” he told CNN.Maya MacGuineas, president of the bipartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, claims Sanders’ agenda would at least double federal spending.Putting aside the accuracy of these cost estimates, they omit the other side of the equation: what, by comparison, is the cost of doing nothing?A Green New Deal might be expensive but doing nothing about climate change will almost certainly cost far more. California is already burning, the midwest and south are flooding, New England is eroding, Florida is sinking. If we don’t launch something as bold as a Green New Deal, we’ll spend trillions coping with the consequences of our failure to be bold.Medicare for All will cost a lot, but the price of doing nothing about America’s increasingly dysfunctional healthcare system will soon be in the stratosphere. The nation already pays more for healthcare per person and has worse health outcomes than any other advanced country. A new study in the Lancet estimates that Medicare for All would save $450bn and prevent 68,000 unnecessary deaths each year.Investing in universal childcare, public higher education and woefully outdated and dilapidated infrastructure will be expensive too, but the cost of not making these investments would be astronomical. American productivity is already suffering and millions of families can’t afford decent childcare, college or housing – whose soaring costs are closely related to inadequate transportation and water systems.Focusing only on the costs of doing something about these problems without mentioning the costs of doing nothing is misleading, but this asymmetry is widespread. Journalists wanting to appear serious about public policy continue to rip into Sanders and the Massachusetts senator Elizabeth Warren (whose policies are almost as ambitious) for the costs of their proposals but never ask self-styled moderates like Buttigieg how they plan to cope with the costs of doing nothing or too little.A related criticism of Sanders and Warren is that they haven’t come up with ways to pay for their proposals. Sanders “only explained $25tn worth of revenue, which means the hole in there is bigger than the size of the entire economy of the United States”, charged Buttigieg.Sanders’ and Warren’s wealth taxes would go a long way toward paying for their plans.But even if it paid a small fraction of the costs of their proposals, so what? As long as every additional dollar of spending reduces by more than a dollar the future costs of climate change, inadequate healthcare and insufficient public investment, it makes sense to spend more.Republican administrations have doled out gigantic tax cuts to big corporations and the wealthy without announcing specific cuts in public spending or other tax increases because – despite decades of evidence to the contrary – they claim the cuts will generate economic growth that will more than make up for any lost revenue.Yet when Warren and Sanders propose ambitious plans for reducing empirically verifiable costs of large and growing public problems, they are skewered by fellow Democrats and the press for not having ways to pay for them.A third line of criticism is that Sanders’ and Warren’s proposals are just too big: they’re risky, they may fail or have unintended consequences, they’ll be difficult to implement.This argument might be convincing if the problems Sanders and Warren address were growing slowly. But if anything, they’re speeding up. Experts on the environment, health, education and infrastructure are nearly unanimous: these problems are worsening exponentially.Climate change is upon us; the environment is altering far more quickly than scientists feared even a few years ago. The cost of health insurance is soaring, as are the costs of preventive care. So too with childcare, college and a crumbling infrastructure. And let’s not forget widening inequality, as most families continue to face stagnant wages while wealth and power accumulate at the top.On all these fronts, the cost of doing nothing is surging. Cautious incrementalism is wise under most circumstances. But where headwinds are turning into a gale, incrementalism drives us backwards. One of the least-acknowledged costs of the Trump years is how far the failure to address these growing problems has set us back.Dubbing Sanders and Warren “extremists” or “radicals” is absurd when they are seeking to remedy problems which themselves are extreme and will radically harm Americans if left unattended. The status quo is not sustainable.Young people understand this, perhaps because they will bear more of the costs of inaction. An Emerson poll of Iowa found that 44% of Democrats under 50 support Sanders and 10% favor Warren. No other candidate reached double digits. In New Hampshire, Sanders won more voters under 30 than the other candidates combined, according to CNN exit polls.The reason to support Sanders’ and Warren’s proposals isn’t because they inspire and mobilize voters. It is because they are necessary.We can no longer pretend that climate change, a wildly dysfunctional healthcare system and a yawning deficit in public investment pose insignificant challenges. Doing nothing or doing too little will make them far worse. Obsessing about the cost of addressing them without acknowledging the cost of failing to address them is dangerously irresponsible. * Robert Reich, a former US secretary of labor, is professor of public policy at the University of California at Berkeley and the author of Saving Capitalism: For the Many, Not the Few and The Common Good. His next book, The System: Who Rigged It, How We Fix It, will be out in March. He is a columnist for Guardian US
(Bloomberg) -- The number of coronavirus cases in South Korea continued to climb over the weekend, and a passenger on the ill-fated Diamond Princess tested positive after arriving home in Japan despite a negative reading during the ship’s quarantine.The latest developments underscored that the focus on averting a global pandemic is now outside China. In the original locus of the disease, Hubei, Saturday saw another 96 deaths, in line with the toll reported in recent days.The U.S. raised its travel alerts for Japan and South Korea; both countries are now at Level 2, while China remains at Level 4 -- “do not travel.” Britain advised against going to two affected Korean cities. Italy, the country with the most infections in Europe, is banning passage to and from an affected area southeast of Milan.China’s top leadership pledged further fiscal and monetary steps to help growth rebound, while finance chiefs from the world’s biggest economies, gathering in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, fretted over the risks. The IMF said its baseline scenario is now for China to expand 5.6% this year -- 0.4 percentage point lower than a January estimate, shaving 0.1 percentage point off global growth.Key DevelopmentsChina cases rise to at least 76,936 as of Feb. 22, with 2,442 fatalitiesSouth Korea reported 123 more cases, bringing that country’s total to 556, and two more deathsA Japanese passenger who tested negative for the virus during the Diamond Princess’s quarantine fell ill and tested positive on Feb. 22 after returning homeClick VRUS on the terminal for news and data on the novel coronavirus and here for maps and charts. For analysis of the impact from Bloomberg Economics, click here.Trump reported to plan asking for emergency funds (1:01 p.m. Hong Kong)President Donald Trump will soon ask the U.S. Congress for emergency funds to fight the coronavirus outbreak, Politico reported, citing four people with knowledge of matter who weren’t identified.The funding may be as little as $1 billion, significantly lower than what some health officials say is sufficient, two of the people told Politico. The money could be spent quickly on developing potential vaccines and lab tests, they said.China central banker sees limited economic impact (11:56 a.m. Hong Kong)China has sufficient policy scope to address the impact of the coronavirus on the economy, which will prove limited, according to People’s Bank of China Deputy Governor Chen Yulu, the central bank said in a posting Sunday. Chen in a Financial Times column Feb. 20 wrote that China will probably see a “V-shaped” recovery.China’s top leaders pledged a more proactive fiscal policy after a Feb. 21 meeting, and the PBOC signaled further monetary steps to come.South Korea reports further jump in cases (9:21 a.m. Hong Kong)South Korea confirmed there have been four deaths among coronavirus patients, and a further 123 cases, taking the total to 556. Almost a fifth of the infections have been at a hospital in Cheongdo, with almost all the patients in the psychiatric ward of that facility being affected. Local reports have said that a religious sect with followers who were infected had attended a funeral in the same complex.Prime Minister Chung Se-Kyun on Saturday asked citizens to stop religious-group activities after a sect was linked to a swathe of cases there.Japanese cruise passenger tests positive (8:58 a.m. Hong Kong)A woman in her 60s who had tested negative for the virus during the quarantine Feb. 14 on board the Diamond Princess ended up falling ill after returning home. Tochigi prefecture, north of Tokyo, said in a statement that she developed a fever on Feb. 21 and tested positive on Feb. 22.The development underscored a Feb. 18 warning by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that there was an “ongoing risk” from the passengers. More than 1,000 passengers left the virus-hit ship last week after the quarantine period.Hubei reports 96 deaths, bringing total to 2,346 (6:10 a.m. Hong Kong)China’s Hubei province on Sunday reported an additional 630 cases on Feb. 22, and 96 further deaths. It said 1,742 patients were discharged. The death toll in the epicenter of the disease now stands at 2,346 people.Those tallies account for the majority of the national totals in China, which now stand at 2,442 dead and 76,936 cases.Italy takes wide-ranging steps to contain virus (5:50 p.m. New York)Italy put in place perhaps Europe’s strongest measures to contain the coronavirus, as it reported its second death and a total of 76 cases spread across five regions.Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said travel to and from an area of about 50,000 people southeast of Milan is banned. The country is also canceling top-flight soccer games, and the government said that local authorities can call in the military to enforce the quarantine if needed. While Conte said Italy won’t seek a suspension of the Schengen agreement, which eliminated immigration controls between 26 European countries, the virus surge illustrated the potential threat to borderless travel.U.S. raises alerts on travel to Japan, South KoreaThe State Department raised its alert levels for travel to Japan and South Korea to Level 2. That compares with a Level 4 -- “do not travel” -- for China. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Japan and South Korea are seeing “sustained community transmission” of the virus and called for the elderly and those with chronic medical conditions to consider postponing non-essential travel there.Japan has reported one death, and an additional two cases of people who were passengers on the stricken Diamond Princess cruise ship. It has a relatively large number of infections, with over 130. There have been more than 600 confirmed cases among passengers on the Diamond Princess.U.K. also issues advisoryBritain on Saturday advised against “all but essential travel” to Daegu and Cheongdo due to the outbreak, after South Korea’s government designated the two cities as “special care zones.”Sixth Iranian reported dead amid wide school closures (2:15 p.m. NY)A sixth person died Saturday in Iran, in central Markazi province, the semi-official Tasnim news agency reported. Iran’s health officials also reported 785 suspected cases, raising the possibility of far wider infection. There are 28 confirmed infections.Officials ordered schools in six provinces closed. Soccer teams, concert halls, theaters and cinemas have also been told to cancel events, the state-run Islamic Republic News Agency reported. The health ministry later said it closed universities in 10 provinces.Kuwait Airways said it would send planes to Iran’s second-biggest city of Mashhad to evacuate more than 700 Kuwaiti citizens. Private flights have been halted.Israelis and Palestinians Contain Possible Spread from South Koreans (2:10 p.m. NY)Israel blocked the entry of South Korean tourists on Saturday, a day after the Middle Eastern country reported its first case of the virus. South Korea said the move was “regretful,” the Yonhap News Agency reported.Israel’s health ministry also imposed a two-week quarantine on people who had contact with nine South Korean tourists who recently tested positive. The Palestinian ministry of interior said sites visited by the travelers will be closed. In addition, Israel expanded quarantine regulations, requiring Israelis returning from South Korea and Japan to remain in isolation for two weeks, Haaretz newspaper reported.Britons arrive back from Diamond Princess (11:40 a.m. NY)The U.K. Foreign Office said 32 British and European citizens arrived from the Diamond Princess cruise ship that was quarantined in Japan. They are being transported to a hospital in northwestern England, where earlier evacuees from Wuhan were quarantined.UBS chairman says effects underestimated (6:09 a.m. NY)UBS Group AG Chairman Axel Weber said markets are underpricing the risk that the coronavirus poses to the global economy. The impact will go beyond the first quarter, Weber said in a Bloomberg TV interview in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. By his estimates, global growth will experience a massive drop from 3.5% to 0.5% and China will post a negative growth rate in the first quarter. That’s not happened since at least 1990, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.To contact Bloomberg News staff for this story: Ian Fisher in New York at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Shamim Adam at email@example.com, Linus Chua, Christopher AnsteyFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
Officials Taskforce Europe, which is run by the prime minister's European Union negotiator David Frost, is seeking to evade Irish Sea checks on the goods, according to the newspaper. Johnson's cabinet will meet on Tuesday to sign off on the proposals, which will then be presented in parliament and published online on Thursday, the report added.
After months of threats from his landlord, visits to the police and a court hearing, Djibril Diagne came home on New Year's Day to find the water had been cut off. Today, Diagne, his second wife and five children use outdoor taps to wash and cook. The tenants above and below him have both left, says the 64-year-old electrician, from a faux-leather armchair in his threadbare living room.
Sea freight transport, the lifeblood of trade and a bellwether of the global economy, has been blown off course by the new coronavirus, sparking general alarm. The Baltic Dry Index (BDI) reflects the daily price of moving goods such as coal, rice and wheat along routes deemed representative of the global market. The BDI has now reached lows last seen in early 2016, when the shipping sector was suffering a supply and demand imbalance in the wake of the 2008-09 global economic crisis.
Voters in the German city-state of Hamburg head to the polls Sunday, with the centre left expected to hold its own against the environmentalist Greens, who have been enjoying rising popularity across the country. Federal politics in Germany has appeared particularly chaotic in recent weeks, with a regional vote in the former communist east indirectly bringing down Chancellor Angela Merkel's chosen successor. Over the longer term, the progressive, ecologist Greens look set to replace the centre-left Social Democratic Party as the main national rival to Merkel's CDU conservatives, with support for them surging last year and now almost twice as high as for the SPD.
SHANGHAI/SEOUL (Reuters) - China reported another fall in new coronavirus infections outside of its epicenter on Sunday, but world health officials warned it was too early to make predictions about the outbreak as new cases and fears of contagion increased elsewhere. China's health commission confirmed 648 new infections - higher than a day earlier - but only 18 were outside of Hubei province, the lowest number outside of the epicenter since authorities started publishing data a month ago. Japan confirmed 27 new cases on Saturday, while 10 new cases in Iran took the total to 29 there, and six deaths - all since Tuesday - deepening unease at home and in its neighboring countries.
MILAN (AP) — In a last-minute change, Giorgio Armani is holding his Milan Fashion Week runway show behind closed doors Sunday due to concerns raised by the coronavirus, and instead stream the event from inside the empty showroom.
The fashion house said in a statement early Sunday that ‘’the decision was taken to safeguard the well-being of all his invited guests by not having them attend crowded spaces.''
A dozen towns in northern Italy have gone on effective lockdown after the deaths of two people infected with the new virus from China. Milan is the capital of Italy's Lombardy region, which reported 54 confirmed cases.
Milan's mayor on Saturday shuttered public offices. But runway shows continued apace for their fourth day, with most of the fashion crowd taking an analytical attitude to the rapidly spiking infections.
"For the moment the situation is under control,’’ said the president of the Italian National Fashion Chamber, Carlo Capasa. He added it was up to government officials or fashion houses themselves to decide if additional measures were needed.
Sunday is the fifth day of womenswear previews for next fall and winter, with eight other shows scheduled, including Dolce&Gabbana. It was not clear if the other shows would go on as scheduled. Several shows were also scheduled Monday morning, before the fashion world moves on to Paris, where shows start Monday afternoon.
Armani was forced to show behind closed doors one other time, in Paris in 1998, when officials said there were insufficient safety exits inside a huge tent being used as the venue to allow the public to attend. Only his team and one video camera was present, and a video of the show was later distributed to fashion editors. Armani later showed the entire collection in New York in protest, claiming that fashion world politics and not...
TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — U.S. regulators on Friday approved a new type of cholesterol-lowering drug aimed at millions of people who can't tolerate — or don't get enough help from — widely used statin pills like Lipitor and Crestor.
The Food and Drug Administration approved Esperion Therapeutics Inc.’s Nexletol for people genetically predisposed to have sky-high cholesterol and people who have heart disease and need to further lower their bad cholesterol. The daily pill is to be taken in conjunction with a healthy diet and the highest statin dose patients can handle, the FDA said.
High LDL, or bad cholesterol, is one of the top risks for heart attacks and other problems. Studies showed that Nexletol could lower LDL by about 25% when taken alone and by an additional 18% when combined with a statin.
“This is a nice alternative” to statins, but those medicines will still be the first choice, said Dr. Christie Ballantyne, Baylor College of Medicine's cardiology chief. He consults for Esperion and helped test the drug.
Millions of people take cheap, generic statins, but the medicines don’t lower LDL cholesterol enough for many patients and others experience side effects such as muscle pain. Other options include Zetia pills, also sold in generic form as ezetimibe for about $13 to $50 a month.
Far fewer patients use Repatha and Praluent, newer drugs that cost $6,000 or more a year. Insurers often restrict coverage of those medicines, which are shots patients give themselves once or twice a month.
Esperion, based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, did not immediately disclose the drug's list price but previously said it planned a price of about $300 per month. Nexletol, also known as bempedoic acid, should be available in late March, the company said.
It works in the liver by...
LONDON (AP) — Hundreds of supporters of Julian Assange marched through London on Saturday to pressure the U.K. government into refusing to extradite the WikiLeaks founder to the United States to face spying charges.
Famous backers, including Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters, Pretenders singer Chrissie Hynde and fashion designer Vivienne Westwood joined the crowd protesting the U.S. espionage charges against the founder of the secret-spilling website. An extradition hearing for Assange is due to begin in a London court on Monday.
WikiLeaks spokesman Kristinn Hrafnsson told a rally outside Parliament that the prosecution of Assange represented “a dark force against (those) who want justice, transparency and truth."
U.S. prosecutors have charged the 48-year-old Australian computer expert with espionage over WikiLeaks' publication of hundreds of thousands of confidential government documents. If found guilty, he could be sentenced to up to 175 years in prison.
American authorities say Assange conspired with U.S. Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning to hack into a Pentagon computer and release secret diplomatic cables and military files on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Assange argues he acted as a journalist and is therefore entitled to First Amendment protection. He also maintains the documents exposed wrongdoing and protected many people.
Civil liberties groups and journalism organizations, including Amnesty International and Reporters Without Borders, have urged the U.S. to drop the charges, saying they set a chilling precedent for freedom of the press.
More than 40 jurists from the U.K., the U.S., France and other countries published a letter Saturday asking the British government to reject the extradition request. They accused the U.S. of “extra-territorial overreach” in seeking to prosecute an...
PARIS (AP) — French President Emmanuel Macron reaffirmed his support for maintaining the European Union's farm subsidies at their current level Saturday while attending an agriculture fair that a fixture in French politics.
Macron defended the EU's system of agricultural subsidies - a major source of funding for French farmers - during his visit to the annual Paris Farm Fair, saying cuts to the program would hamper efforts to control climate change.
Leaders of EU member nations failed to reached an agreement on the bloc's 2021-2027 budget Friday. An area of disagreement is whether farming subsidies should be reduced to help fill a budget gap due to Britain's departure from the EU.
"We stand for an ambitious budget," Macron said. “Brexit can't happen at the expense of the Common Agricultural Policy.”
Along with shaking hands and tasting regional specialties, the French president spent the day promoting his government's policies. Macron met with people who work in agriculture, including cattle farmers, cereal producers and vintners.
In conversation after conversation. he pressed the point that farm subsidies could be a tool for helping farmers transition to greener production methods.
“It’s a policy of the future, because if we want this climate, environmental and sanitary transition to be a success, we need to change how we produce,” Macron told a group of trade union representatives.
Security at the fair was tight during the president's visit. Some farmers and others at the fair were eager to use the occasion to express discontent with his policies.
An individual visible during last years' anti-government protests movement, Eric Drouet, was arrested by police as he tried to get close to Macron.
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Taking advice from Wall Street on deals is a bit like asking “the barber whether you need a haircut,” according to billionaire Warren Buffett.
Buffett said in his annual letter to Berkshire Hathaway shareholders Saturday that the current system of reviewing deals doesn't always work well for investors because it almost always favors the deal that corporate CEOs propose. Companies should consider hiring two sets of advisers to argue for and against a deal before moving forward instead of just hiring a Wall Street firm that favors the deal, he wrote.
“Don’t hold your breath awaiting this reform: The current system, whatever its shortcomings for shareholders, works magnificently for CEOs and the many advisors and other professionals who feast on deals,” he wrote.
Buffett compared corporate deals to marriages that can be either blissful or troubled. He said Berkshire's record is filled with more happy deals than unpleasant ones, but he has recently struggled to find acquisition targets to court. Berkshire held roughly $128 billion in cash and short-term investments at the year's end because Buffett hasn't found any reasonably priced major acquisitions in recent years. Berkshire is also facing more competition for acquisitions from private equity firms and other companies such as privately held Koch Industries.
Buffett's letter is always well-read in the business world because of his remarkable track record, his habit of dissecting the economy or other topics, and his talent for explaining complicated subjects in plain language. But in this year’s letter, he mostly focused on Berkshire’s businesses and reiterated messages he has delivered before.
Investor Bill Smead said he thinks Buffett “pulled his punches” in the letter and is resisting leveling broad criticisms at this late...
CHICAGO (AP) — Debris has been found in the fuel tanks of 70% of grounded Boeing 737 Max jets that have been inspected by the company, Boeing confirmed on Saturday.
Inspectors found the debris in 35 out of about 50 jets that were inspected. They are among 400 built in the past year that Boeing hasn't been able to deliver to airline customers.
Boeing temporarily halted production last month because the planes were grounded after crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia that killed 346 people.
Although debris hasn't been linked to those crashes, metal shavings, tools and other objects left in planes during assembly can raise the risk of electrical short-circuiting and fires. On Tuesday the company had said debris was found in “several” planes but it did not give a precise number.
The debris was discovered during maintenance on parked planes, and Boeing said it immediately made corrections in its production system to prevent a recurrence. Those steps include more inspections before fuel tanks are sealed.
“This is unacceptable and won’t be tolerated on any Boeing aircraft when it’s delivered to the customer," the company said in a statement Saturday.
Boeing previously said the issue does not change the company’s belief that the Federal Aviation Administration will certify the plane to fly again this summer.
A Boeing spokesman cautioned against applying the 70% to all 400 jets, saying there's no way to know how many have the same problem until they're all inspected.
An FAA spokesman said the agency knows that Boeing is inspecting undelivered Max planes and said the agency has increased surveillance.
The number of planes with debris was reported Friday night by The Wall Street Journal.
Max jets were grounded around the world last March. Boeing is testing updated...
WASHINGTON (AP) — American dairy farmers, distillers and drugmakers have been eager to break into India, the world’s seventh-biggest economy but a tough-to-penetrate colossus of 1.3 billion people.
Looks like they’ll have to wait.
Talks between the Trump administration and New Delhi, intended to forge at least a modest deal in time for President Donald Trump’s visit that begins Monday, appear to have fizzled. Barring some last-minute dramatics — always possible with the Trump White House — a U.S.-India trade pact is months away, if not longer.
“I’m really saving the big deal for later on,” Trump said this week. “I don’t know if it will be done before the election, but we’ll have a very big deal with India.’’ The U.S. presidential election is Nov. 3.
For now, the failure to reach a deal, despite the pressure of an approaching summit, may reflect not so much the differences between Trump and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi as the similarities. Both men are fierce nationalists who favor protecting their own producers over opening their markets to foreign competition.
“You’ve got two leaders who are looking at trade very much as a zero-sum game,’’ said Richard Rossow, a specialist in U.S.-India relations at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.
Long notorious for high trade barriers and a cumbersome bureaucracy, India had for the past two decades or three decades been slowly reforming and opening its economy. Under Modi, that trend has reversed.
Regarded as a business reformer when he took office in 2014, Modi has increasingly turned protectionist, matching Trump’s “America First” example with “India First” policies of his own.
“U.S. behavior on the trade front has pushed India in the opposite direction of...
State attorneys general are finding a national settlement over the toll of opioids to be elusive, as some lawyers for state and local governments are renewing public criticism of the proposed deal with a group of companies led by the nation's largest drug distributors.
A group of top state lawyers in October announced the framework for a deal that they said would be worth about $48 billion in cash, treatment drugs and services over time.
Some state attorneys general and lawyers for local governments criticized it at the time. They're speaking up anew as the push continues to reach a deal, with a trial over opioids scheduled to start next month in New York .
In a statement Friday, Patrick Morrisey, the attorney general in West Virginia, one of the states hit hardest by the opioid crisis, said the $22 billion in cash being offered by distributors AmerisourceBergen, Cardinal Health and McKesson plus drugmaker Johnson & Johnson “is way too low.”
Under terms previously announced, Teva Pharmaceuticals would also provide a free addiction treatment drug, and the other companies would distribute it.
Morrisey also said that the money would not be allocated fairly under the plan as it stood because states' shares would be based too much on population and not enough on the impact of the crisis.
“When addressing a national public health crisis, a global settlement shouldn’t be about a pure money grab for the states,” he said. “Monies should be targeted to those who need it most and spent on abatement.”
His statement showed that at least some attorneys general remain resolute not to accept the offer a week after 21 of them signed a letter saying they opposed the deal as offered.
Lead lawyers for more than 2,500 local governments suing the drug industry said...
The small business entrepreneur is typically cash-strapped and has to make do with a shoe-string budget. For those who have established their small or large businesses though, the use of trade show displays is a marketing strategy that can reap excellent returns.
ExpoMarketing has been around long enough to know all the tricks of the trade to support the entrepreneurial spirit. Leveraging its own creative skills in combination with entrepreneurs, we are able to generate trade show displays that enhance existing marketing efforts.
Several benefits can be derived from using this method to augment existing marketing strategies, which include the following.…
The post Achieving Greater Business Visibility Online And Offline appeared first on SMALL BUSINESS CEO.
30.2 million small businesses exist in the American marketplace. While each of those companies possess unique qualities, what unites them all is the fact they needed money to get started. Therein lies the value of taking out a loan.
Getting a business loan is a rite of passage for most entrepreneurs. Can you guess what one of the first questions money-seekers ask when they’re hunting down funding?
“What is an SBA loan?”
SBA loans are loans facilitated through the federal Small Business Administration. These loans carry pros and cons, many of which we discuss below.
We’ll start our what is an SBA loan exploration on a positive note by outlining this loan class’s pros.…
The post What is an Sba Loan and are There Any Pitfalls? Weighing the Pros and Cons appeared first on SMALL BUSINESS CEO.
LONDON (AP) — Ryanair chief executive Michael O’Leary is facing criticism for suggesting Muslim men should be singled out for extra scrutiny at airports.
The boss of the Irish budget carrier told Saturday’s Times of London that families with young children should not be subjected to airport security checks because there was “zero” chance of them being bombers. He said terrorists "will generally be males of a Muslim persuasion."
“Thirty years ago it was the Irish,” he said. “If that is where the threat is coming from, deal with the threat."
The Muslim Council of Britain called the comments “racist and discriminatory.” Tell Mama, a charity that monitors hate incidents against Muslims, said O’Leary’s “flippant” comments could harm Ryanair’s business.
Labour Party lawmaker Khalid Mahmood said O’Leary was “being very blinkered and is actually encouraging racism."
O’Leary has a history of provocative remarks that keep Ryanair’s name in the headlines.
In a wide-ranging interview with the Times, O’Leary branded most airport security “utterly useless,” complained that airlines unfairly got the blame for climate change, and said requirements that Ryanair’s Dublin offices have disabled access to all floors were “nonsense.”
Typography plays a critical role in getting the pulse of the message right. The right font at the right place can often prove to be the differentiator between hitting the bull’s eye and missing the mark altogether. The difference between ‘We’re here for you’ and ‘We’re here for you’ says it all.
For graphic designers, capturing the viewers’ attention is a core focus of the job profile, and any designer worth their salt knows the importance of a perfectly suited font in getting the job done. That said the process of finding that perfect font can be a time-intensive, and often expensive, process.…
AHMEDABAD, India (AP) — A festive mood has enveloped Ahmedabad in India’s northwestern state of Gujarat ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's meeting there on Monday with President Donald Trump, whom he's promised millions of adoring fans.
The rally in Modi's home state may help displace his association with deadly anti-Muslim riots in 2002 that landed him a U.S. travel ban. It may also distract Indians, at least temporarily, from a slumping economy and ongoing protests over a new citizenship law that excludes Muslims. But beyond the pageantry and symbolism of the visit, experts expect little of substance to be achieved for either side.
“For Modi, Trump's visit to India offers a useful distraction from the domestic political tumult playing out across the country,” said Micheal Kugelman, deputy director of the Asia Program at the U.S.-based Wilson Center. “I don't think the visit will have much impact on domestic politics in either country.”
To welcome Trump, who last year likened Modi to Elvis Presley for his crowd-pulling power at a joint rally the two leaders held in Houston, the Gujarat government has spent almost $14 million on ads blanketing the city that show them holding up their hands, flanked by the Indian and U.S. flags.
It also scrambled to build a wall to hide a slum along a road that Trump and first lady Melania Trump will take, caught stray dogs, planted exotic trees and is rushing to finish a cricket stadium in time for Trump’s arrival. The buzz around the event has resonated in Ahmedabad, a city of 7.2 million people divided between those proud of Modi, a Gujarati tea seller's son who went on to hold India's highest office, and those who angrily remember his term as the state's chief minister, when at least 1,000 people were killed in the anti-Muslim riots.
Trump has said Modi has...
Players on the U.S. women's national team are seeking more than $66 million in damages as part of their gender discrimination lawsuit against the U.S. Soccer Federation.
The damages were included in slew of papers filed Thursday night in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles ahead of a trial scheduled to start May 5.
Among the documents filed were the separate collective bargaining agreements of the U.S. men's and women's teams, which had not previously been made public.
Players on the women's national team sued the federation last March alleging institutionalized gender discrimination that includes inequitable compensation between the men’s and women’s teams.
Each side in the class-action lawsuit asked for a summary judgment in their favor. The estimate of damages, including interest, was provided by Finnie Bevin Cook, an economist from Deiter Consulting Group, which was retained by the suing players.
The collective bargaining agreements showed a disparity in bonuses but also highlighted the different pay structures between the two teams.
“Women’s national team players are paid differently because they specifically asked for and negotiated a completely different contract than the men’s national team, despite being offered, and rejecting, a similar pay-to-play agreement during the past negotiations,” U.S. Soccer said in a statement. “Their preference was a contract that provides significant additional benefits that the men’s national team does not have, including guaranteed annual salaries, medical and dental insurance, paid child-care assistance, paid pregnancy and parental leave, severance benefits, salary continuation during periods of injury, access to a retirement plan, multiple bonuses and more.”
Molly Levinson, spokeswoman for the plaintiffs,...
TORONTO (AP) — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Friday indigenous barricades that are blocking rail service across Canada and hurting the economy have to come down now.
Trudeau said that court injunctions must be obeyed and that the situation is unacceptable and untenable and every attempt at dialogue has been made over the last two weeks.
Protesters later left a barricade site south of Montreal late Friday after riot police arrived. They earlier had begun dismantling their encampment. A spokesman for the protesters vowed that other blockades would appear, and protesters remained at other rail protests sites.
Demonstrators have set up blockades in British Columbia, Ontario, Alberta and Quebec in solidarity with opponents of the Coastal GasLink pipeline project that crosses the traditional territory of the Wet'suwet'en First Nation in northwestern British Columbia. Some hereditary chiefs in the Wet'suwet'en First Nation oppose the natural gas pipeline, though it has received approval from elected band councils.
Trudeau said some people can't get to work and others have lost their jobs. He said there is no point making the same overtures to indigenous leaders if they aren't accepted.
"We can't have dialogue when only one party is coming to the table," Trudeau said. “The onus is on them.”
Via Rail, Canada's passenger train service, said this week it is temporarily laying off 1,000 employees due to the continued halt in service on CN Rail's tracks in eastern Canada caused by the blockades. CN Rail also announced 450 temporary layoffs.
The crisis is daily stranding goods worth an an estimated 425 million Canadian dollars ($340 million), according to the Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters trade group.
Trudeau said the army won't be called in, saying troops aren't...
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has skated through numerous scandals since taking office in late 2012, promising to “Make Japan Great Again."
MEXICO CITY (AP) — More than 1,000 people marched through the center of Mexico City on Friday in opposition to the government's largest infrastructure projects.
The protest brought together unions, environmentalists, students and representatives of Mexico's indigenous peoples, a mix that would seem a natural base for populist President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, but which has become among his most vocal critics.
Erika Cortéz, a member of the Popular Organization Francisco Villa of the Independent Left from the Mexico City borough of Iztapalapa, said she opposed the president's Maya Train project that would move tourists around the Yucatan Peninsula.
The train is one of López Obrador's signature initiatives, which he says will spur economic development in Mexico's southeast, but has faced criticism for its environmental impact.
López Obrador “is not in favor of the people,” Cortéz said. “He's in favor of the businesses, of the people with money.”
Other demonstrators voiced opposition to a rail line that would traverse Mexico's isthmus connecting the Pacific Ocean and Gulf of Mexico and a huge new oil refinery and a gas-fired power plant.
María de Jesús Patricio, better known as “Marichuy,” who was Mexico's first indigenous presidential candidate and ran against López Obrador, participated in the march.
Karina Leyte, from San Francisco Tlatenco, walked with a papier-maché jaguar that read “No ecocidal train.”
“I'm against the mega-projects that affect the people ecologically, economically, culturally and politically," Leyte said.
Leyte admitted she voted for López Obrador as “the least bad” choice, but said she has been disappointed. “It confirms what we thought — that he was going to sell out.”
The march came one day after...
LOS ANGELES (AP) — A private equity firm seeking to buy rights to operate the internet's .org suffix said Friday it will cap price hikes and create an advisory board with veto powers to ease concerns from the nonprofit community.
Ethos Capital has offered $1.1 billion to buy the Public Interest Registry, the nonprofit corporation that runs the databases containing more than 10 million .org names registered worldwide. Organizations ranging from the Girl Scouts of the USA and Consumer Reports to the American Bible Society have opposed the sale, warning of potential price gouging and censorship. California's attorney general and four congressional members have also requested information to evaluate a deal's potential impact to nonprofits.
It wasn't immediately clear whether the concessions are enough to satisfy critics. The cap on price hikes, for instance, will expire in eight years, and most of the advisory board's initial members will be appointed by the Public Interest Registry's board.
Domain names such as apnews.com have historically been used by computers to find websites and send email, and their value grew as companies and groups adopted them for branding. The Associated Press, a nonprofit, also uses a .org domain, ap.org.
Though domain names are less prominent these days as more people reach websites using search engines and apps, they are still important for email addresses, billboards and other non-digital advertising.
The Public Interest Registry is currently owned by the Internet Society, a nonprofit founded by many of the internet's early engineers and scientists. In that role, the registry collects annual fees of about $10 per .org registration. The Internet Society uses some of that revenue to fund advocacy and administrative programs, which include creating technical standards for the internet.
SEATTLE (AP) — Greyhound, the nation's largest bus company, said Friday it will stop allowing Border Patrol agents without a warrant to board its buses to conduct routine immigration checks.
The company's announcement came one week after The Associated Press reported on a leaked Border Patrol memo confirming that agents can't board private buses without the consent of the bus company. Greyhound had previously insisted that even though it didn't like the immigration checks, it had no choice under federal law but to allow them.
In an emailed statement, the company said it would notify the Department of Homeland Security that it does not consent to unwarranted searches on its buses or in areas of terminals that are not open to the public — such as company offices or any areas a person needs a ticket to access.
Greyhound said it would provide its drivers and bus station employees updated training regarding the new policy, and that it would place stickers on all its buses clearly stating that it does not consent to the searches.
“Our primary concern is the safety of our customers and team members, and we are confident these changes will lead to an improved experience for all parties involved,” the statement said.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection, which includes the Border Patrol, did not immediately return a call seeking comment.
Greyhound has faced pressure from the American Civil Liberties Union, immigrant rights activists and Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson to stop allowing sweeps on buses within 100 miles (160 kilometers) of an international border or coastline. In many cases, the buses being checked were not crossing or even approaching an international boundary.
Critics say the practice is intimidating and discriminatory and has become more...
WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. (AP) — Tom Vilsack, a former Iowa governor and U.S agriculture secretary, will monitor Purdue Pharma to ensure the OxyContin maker does not revive an aggressive marketing effort that critics say overstated the benefits of its opioid painkillers and downplayed the danger of addiction.
Purdue Pharma announced the appointment Friday as part of its federal bankruptcy proceedings. Vilsack worked on rural opioid issues as agriculture secretary under former President Barack Obama.
Purdue is facing more than 2,000 lawsuits over its role in the nation's opioid crisis, which has been linked to more than 430,000 deaths in the U.S. since 2000. The Stamford, Connecticut-based company entered bankruptcy court in White Plains, N.Y., last year as part of an effort to settle those claims. It's trying to get buy-in for a proposed settlement that could be worth more than $10 billion over time.
The lawsuits against Purdue and the members of the Sackler family that own the company are on hold while the parties try to reach a settlement. Purdue has already agreed to cease the marketing practices at the heart of the lawsuits. Critics sayits marketing and sales practices, including to doctors, helped fuel the crisis beginning in the late 1990s.
The company says it stopped promoting its opioids about two years ago and formalized that commitment under court order. The judge handling its case recommended last year that Purdue hire a monitor to ensure it complies, and the company agreed.
Vilsack, currently president and chief executive of the U.S. Dairy Export Council, is to issue reports to Purdue's board and the court. Purdue has not said publicly how much he will be paid.
The Democrat served two terms as governor of Iowa, then eight years overseeing the U.S. Department of Agriculture under Obama. In the last years of...
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Wells Fargo agreed Friday to pay $3 billion to settle criminal and civil investigations into a long-running practice whereby company employees opened millions of unauthorized bank accounts in order to meet unrealistic sales goals.
Since the fake-accounts scandal came to light in 2016, Wells has paid out billions in fines to state and federal regulators, reshuffled its board of directors and seen two CEOs and other top-level executives leave the company. Wells Fargo's reputation has never fully recovered from the sales scandal, even four years later.
The $3 billion payment includes a $500 million civil payment to the Securities and Exchange Commission, which will distribute those funds to investors who were impacted by Wells' behavior.
"Wells Fargo traded its hard-earned reputation for short-term profits” said U.S. Attorney Nick Hanna for the Central District of California.
Before the scandal broke, Wells Fargo was considered to have a sterling reputation among the big banks. Bank executives referred to its branches as “stores," and once had a policy of trying to get each Wells Fargo customer to have eight financial products with the company.
Behind the scenes, Wells' top management was pushing sales goals that were both aggressive and unrealistic. Bank employees were berated for not making bloated quotas, leading sometimes to mental health breakdowns, and ultimately resulting in many employees gaming Wells Fargo's sales system in order to meet the targets. For example a number of Wells Fargo customers, notably the elderly, were signed up for online banking when they did not have internet access.
The behavior by Wells' employees caused damage to customers' credit scores and cost some of them money in fees.
The documents that lay out the...
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The federal government has decided to once again allow raw beef products to be imported into the United States from Brazil, a move that has angered some cattlemen and food safety groups who are voicing concerns about the quality of the meat.
A spokeswoman for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service said Friday the agency recently conducted on-site audits of Brazil’s raw beef production facilities to verify improvement in practices since 2017, when the USDA suspended importation of Brazilian beef over safety concerns.
“FSIS confirmed that Brazil has implemented necessary corrective actions and has determined that Brazil’s food safety inspection system governing raw intact beef is equivalent to that of the U.S.” the agency spokeswoman said.
She said the suspension ended Friday. Raw beef from Brazil will be “subject to re-inspection” at U.S. ports of entry, she said.
A spokesman for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association said the group has concerns about quality given Brazil’s history of foot-and-mouth disease and its record of repeated food safety violations at ports-of-entry.
“You can rest assured that NCBA will keep an eagle eye focus on all developments with Brazil and we expect nothing less than the highest level of scrutiny from USDA and customs officials,” said Kent Bacus, the group’s senior director of international trade and market access, in a statement.
Environmental and food safety group Food & Water Watch Action said it’s not convinced product quality issues have been resolved.
“It took two U.S. taxpayer-funded audits this past year for Brazil to have allegedly gotten its act together. We are not convinced," said Tony Corbo, a spokesman for the group.
Software outsourcing is generally an arrangement made by a company to hire a data contractor from a third party to do the work related to software that could have been performed in-house. Nevertheless, the in-house creation of a full software application needs both money and time. And frankly, not all have a large IT department.
Enterprises switch to technology outsourcing companies in such cases. There are numerous software development services available that caters to the needs of businesses.
Although business owners are wise to consider any case, teaming with web development services outside of the organization has a range of benefits.…
Are you searching for the best credit card to start building your credit history? You ought to make sure you get one that suits your immediate needs. After that, you must use your credit card wisely to gain financial freedom.
Here’s the ultimate guide to selecting the best credit card for you.
What’s your aim for signing up for a credit card? If you are seeking a credit card for general spending, then you will look for a card with the least interest rates as well as generous rewards. Or do you want a credit card to build your credit score?…
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Investing in property can be quite lucrative. An investment in this area of the market can pay off with an increased rate of return on any capital. While this kind of investment often makes sense, it is imperative that any investor take the time to think about what they are doing before they begin.
These easy tips are an essential part of the process of buying property.
One of the most important things to do is when it comes to buying property is to have the right kind of help. Working with experts like a Buyers Agent Gold Coast can help ensure everything is done well.…
Now is the perfect time to start a new business. You want to make sure that it is a successful business for many years to come.
There’s more competition and customers have more choices than ever before. The average person is exposed to thousands of marketing messages every day. It’s too easy to make your business blend in with every other business.
How can you make your business a unique business that stands out from the crowd?
It’s not easy to do, but it is possible. Keep reading to learn the top tips to make your business unique and stand out from the crowded marketplace.…
The post How to Create a Unique Business That Differentiates From Competitors appeared first on SMALL BUSINESS CEO.
Spokane-based Wenspok Resources LLC, owner and operator of Wendy’s restaurants in the Northwest, closed a Kennewick outlet on Feb. 15 as it prepares to debut its newest location on Road 68 in Pasco. The closure of the Wendy’s at 3115 W. Clearwater Ave. comes shortly after the 2,419–square-foot restaurant with drive-thru was sold. S Square One paid $800,000 for the…
As the focus of the world around us tips in favour of the digital space, illustrations have become an integral part of business dynamics. In this visual-driven milieu, you need to use graphic design in some form or the other for adding that polished professional edge to your work. To be able to do that, you don’t necessarily have to go back to school for a full-time course.
There are a host of dedicated graphic design sites for inspiration and learning that can help you incorporate graphic design elements in your work, learn the ropes of the trade as you go along, all within the comfort of your space and on your own time.…
It may not be possible for every type of consumer to get loans – both short and long term loans, via traditional approaches. It is a glaring truth that not all of us would have the means and access to secure a loan from the prime credit market. Thus alternative financing routes are getting more and more vital in today’s fast business world.
Most developed countries have a strict and vigilant system in providing a thorough background check before sanctioning a loan. While it makes business sense to do these checks, an alarming number of Americans would not satisfy the general criteria in securing these loans owing to the lack of credit history.…
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As we all know very well, it is the greatest show in the World organized by Dubai one year to go. In simple words, the celebration of human brilliance, as well as achievements, is shown by Expo 2020 Dubai.
photo credit: Expo 2020
It is the event with the help of which people can connect with the various corners across the globe to get an amazing experience with wide array of culture, science, technology, innovation, art, geography and invention and get into hundreds of motions inventive thoughts and ideas that will leave a long-lasting impact on the lives of people.…
The Kennewick outlet of Pier 1 Imports is not on the list of hundreds of stores slated for closure. Pier 1 Imports Inc., based in Fort Worth, Texas, filed for protection from creditors under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code in Virginia on Feb. 17. the petition sets the stage for a sale. The…
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A Richland business incubator that provides space and mentoring to startups is adding a critical new tool to its lineup – money. Fuse SPC, a unique social-purpose corporation with offices on The Parkway, has launched the Fuse Fund with a goal of raising $2.5 million to invest in young, local companies. The fund is capped…
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Benton County is tapping its $24 million capital projects fund to build sunlit offices for its administrators and free up space in its crowded Kennewick courthouse. The county planned to hold public ground-breaking ceremonies for the $13.6 million, 40,000-square-foot office building on Feb. 17 at its Kennewick justice center campus, 7122 W. Okanogan Place. The…
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Tri-City building agencies issued a record 1,655 permits for single-family homes in 2019, an 18 percent gain in just a year. Predictably, fast-growing Pasco led the market with 585 permits, followed by Richland at 371, Kennewick at 342 and West Richland at 122, according to year-end figures compiled by the Home Builders Association of Tri-Cities.…
This inaugural Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business feature, Tri-City Connections, will be a series of occasional profiles of Tri-City natives and former Tri-Citians who have excelled in the world of business. If you have one in mind, let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you go What: Carson College of Business Point to Success brunch to…
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Richland occupational therapy practice may need to relocate to bigger office Melissa Porcaro is all too aware of the irony. Tri-City parents turn to the internet to find someone to help kids with behavior issues, academic challenges and other difficulties. Their searches lead to her business, CAN Do Kids, a pediatric therapy clinic staffed with…
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By Patrick Jones For several years, the greater Tri-City economy has been firing on most cylinders. Median household income has climbed 11 percent in the past five years. Local income is, and has been, higher than the U.S. median for several years, unique among Eastern Washington metros. Wages, as measured by the annual average, have…
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Chief Executive OfficerYakima Valley Farm Workers Clinic Number of employees you oversee: Last year we employed 2,015 employees, and 623 volunteers and career placements. This includes 166 medical providers, 35 dentists and 18 pharmacists. What is Yakima Valley Farm Workers Clinic? Yakima Valley Farm Workers Clinic is a Community Health Center and a system of…
Washington is preparing to battle with coronavirus, the emerging health threat that originated in China. The state Health Department is the lead. It announced on Feb. 4 that it stands ready to isolate and quarantine travelers from China, working with partners to implement federal measures announced in January to control the spread. The World Health…