7 months ago

The Upshot|Want to Rev Up the Economy? Don't Worry About the Trade Deficit - New York Times

Photo Credit Lily Padul The economic policy of President-elect Donald J. Trump is still a work in progress. But if campaign rhetoric is a reliable guide, reorienting trade policy may become one of the main goals of the n

9 months ago

Trump warms up for Clinton debate with Virginia rally - USA TODAY

Donald Trump speaks during a rally in Roanoke, Va.(Photo: Steve Helber, AP)

Warming up for Monday's showdown with Democrat Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump stumped in Virginia on Saturday and suggested on social media that he might extend a debate invitation to Gennifer Flowers, a woman once linked to former President Bill Clinton.

"Our campaign is about breaking up the special interest monopoly in Washington, D.C.," Trumptold backers in Roanoke, Va., the biggest city in the more-conservative western part of the state.

The Republican nominee attacked Hillary Clinton during his speech, but did not mention Monday's debate, set for Hofstra University on Long Island,N.Y.

ATwitter battle revealed the possibility that the debate crowd might includeFlowers, the woman who during the1992 presidential campaign said she had an affair with then-Arkansas governor and White Housecandidate Bill Clinton.

Trump was responding to the tauntingof Dallas Mavericks owner/reality television show hostMark Cuban, who tweeted Fridaythat he "justgot a front row seat to watch @HillaryClinton overwhelm @realDonaldTrump at the "Humbling at Hofstra" on Monday. It Is On!"

Trump replied Saturday: "If dopey Mark Cuban of failed Benefactor fame wants to sit in the front row, perhaps I will put Gennifer Flowers right alongside of him!"

Not to be outdone, Flowers herself tweeted: "Hi Donald. You know I'm in your corner and will definitely be at the debate!"

The Trump campaign has not confirmed if in fact Flowers will be one of their guests.

During the campaign, Trump has threatened to raise sexual allegations against former President Clinton if former Secretary of State Clinton criticizes his comments about women.

Virginia, once considered a safe Republican state in presidential elections, voted for President Obama twice, and Clinton is currently considered the favorite in the state.

The Real Clear Politics average of recent polls gives the Democrat a lead of 6 percentage points in Virginia, thanks in part to running-mate Tim Kaine, a senator and former governor of the state.

Ignoring the polls, Trump claimed to the crowd in Roanoke that "we're just about tied in Virginia and we haven't started advertising."

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12 months ago

Britain doesn't matter to the global economy, China does - Quartz

With all due respect, Britain doesnt really matter that much.

To be sure its upsetting to see the UK political establishmentboth major partiesbeing torn asunder amid a significant turn inward for one of the worlds great democracies.

But when were talking about the future direction of the global economy, Britain has been playing a diminishing role for decades.

According to the IMF, the UK accounted for roughly 2.4% of global GDP in 2015, down from about 4% in the early 1980s. This means that the slowdown in the UK will barely nudge the worlds large economies at all. For example, Goldman Sachs economists now estimate that the spillover effects on the US economy from the Brexit vote will be a scant 0.1%.

No, if youre looking for something to worry about, spin the globe and plant your pudgy finger on the Peoples Republic of China, which continues to grapple with an economic slowdown that has significant implications for almost every country on earth.

Data released July 1 on the countrys all-important manufacturing sector show a deepening contraction there, with the June number falling to 48.6 from 49.2 in May. (Anything below 50 indicates contraction.)

If theres any good news, the slowdown in Chinas manufacturing activity seems to be offset to a certain degree by an uptick in services. This is a positive sign, as China must make an economic transition away from export-driven manufacturing if it wants to produce more sustainable growth. (There simply arent enough customers outside China for all the factories that have been built in the Peoples Republic to keep busy.)

Chinese policymakers are trying to carry out this difficult transition in the incremental, tightly controlled, less-than-transparent way weve come to expect from the authoritarian regime. That approach stands in stark contrast to the abrupt, public, and democratic turn the United Kingdom took in the recent EU referendum.

But while they are much quieter, the changes in China remain vastly more important to the global economy as a whole.


1 year ago

Minnesota Sisters Who Were Missing For 2 Years Lived in Plain Sight the Whole Time

For over two years, the parents of two missing teenage sisters said they had no idea what happened to them after they mysteriously vanished. But it turned out the girls were living less than three hours away the entire time.

Samantha and Gianna Rucki ran away from their Lakeville, Minnesota, home on April 18, 2013.

At the time of their disappearance, the girls and their three other siblings, Nico, Nia and Gino, were at the center of the bitter divorce and custody dispute between their parents Sandra Grazzini-Rucki and David Rucki.

Watch the full story on ABC News' "20/20" Friday, April 8 at 10 p.m. ET.

Grazzini-Rucki claimed Rucki was physically abusive to both he

2 years ago

Oscar Pistorius ordered back to court, but prosecutors deny issuing arrest warrant - Fox News

PistoriusSteenkamp1204.pngOscar Pistorius and Reeva Steenkamp.

Prosecutors on Friday demanded the Olympic sprinter Oscar Pistorius appear in court as soon as possible, one day after he was convicted of murder for killing his magazine-model girlfriend, but they denied issuing a warrant for his arrest.

Pistorius must appear in court "as a matter of extreme urgency," and the court will determine any bail amount at that time, said Luvuyo Mfaku, spokesman for the National Prosecuting Authority. The Pistorius family has said attorneys will provide advice on legal options.

A spokesman for prosecutors had previously said they issued an arrest warrant, but the Prosecuting Authority later denied it.

On Thursday, the Supreme Court of Appeal overturned a lower court's manslaughter conviction of the runner. Pistorius spent one year of a five-year sentence in jail for the lesser offense and then was put under house arrest at his uncle's mansion in Pretoria in October.

Pistorius shot Reeva Steenkamp through a bathroom door in his home early on Valentine's Day 2013. Prosecutors said he killed her after an argument; Pistorius said he killed her by mistake, thinking there was an intruder in the house.

Justice Lorimer Eric Leach said that regardless of who Pistorius said he thought was behind the door, he should have known someone could be killed if he fired.

Under South African law, a person can be convicted of murder if he or she foresaw the possibility of someone dying through their actions and went ahead anyway.

Fox News' Paul Tilsley and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

2 years ago

Pope arrives in Central African Republic with message of peace - Reuters

BANGUI Pope Francis began the final leg of his first African trip in Central African Republic where he will deliver a message of reconciliation and peace to a nation racked by several years of violence between Muslims and Christians.

The visit to the former French colony will be the pontiff's first trip to a combat zone and his arrival is being welcomed by both majority Christians and the Muslim minority, who hope his presence can foster renewed dialogue and ease the violence.

The pope's plane touched down at around 10 a.m. at the airport in the capital Bangui, where he was greeted by dignitaries, including the city's Archbishop Dieudonn Nzapalainga.

Dozens of children waved flags with the colors of the Vatican - yellow and white.

Ahead of his arrival, thousands of people lined the route Francis was due take into the city and hundreds of boy scouts were deployed to help control the crowds.

Bangui has seen a surge in clashes that have left at least 100 people dead since late September, according to Human Rights Watch, and security has been ramped up ahead of the papal visit.

France, which has around 900 soldiers deployed in Central African Republic, warned the Vatican earlier this month that the visit could be risky, and the pope's exact itinerary has remained uncertain even in the final days before his arrival.

Gabriel Ouamale, 33, who sells souvenirs, including t-shirts and umbrellas bearing the pope's image, in front of Bangui's cathedral, said sales have only picked up in the past week.

"There were people who doubted, who said he couldn't come due to the situation in the country. But the people now know he's coming," he said.

Hundreds of thousands of the city's residents are expected to turn out to greet Francis, who will be celebrating a mass at the cathedral later on Sunday.

Others will brave rebel and militia checkpoints to travel to Bangui from the rest of the country, and believers from neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo will cross the Ubangi River in pirogues to catch a glimpse of the pope.

Central African Republic's government is deploying around 500 police and gendarmes to secure the visit. More than 3,000 peacekeepers from the MINUSCA U.N. mission will also be deployed and French troops will be on alert as well.

General Bala Keita, MINUSCA'S force commander, said the mission aimed to head off any potential spoilers among the city's armed groups and had carried out operations to improve the security situation as much as possible.

"We have brought banditry and attacks on civilians to the lowest level possible, but Bangui is not secure. That's a fact," he said.

(Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky)

2 years ago

Former Top UN Official Accused in Chinese Bribery Investigation

Six people, including former United Nations General Assembly President John Ashe, were charged today in a wide-ranging corruption and bribery scheme related to business projects in the Chinese gambling hub of Macau.

Ashe is accused of accepting over $1 million in bribes from sources in China in exchange for performing official actions for businessmen who were seeking benefits from the U.N. and the government of Antigua and Barbuda the country for which Ashe was also an ambassador to the U.N., according to a criminal complaint released today. Ashe was President of the General Assembly in 2013.

Among other things, Ashe accepted over $500,000 of bribes facilitated by [defendants Francis] Lorenzo and [Jeff C.] Yin from [defendant Ng Lap Seng], who was seeking to build a multi-billion dollar, U.N.-sponsored conference center in Macau, China, the complaint says. Ambassador Francis Lorenzo is a naturalized U.S. citizen, but has been a U.N. diplomat representing the Dominican Republic for the last 11 years, according to the complaint.

The complaint says Ashe also received over $800,000 in bribes from various Chinese businessmen and in return supported these businessmens interests within the United Nations and with senior Antiguan government officials, including the countrys then-Prime Minister with whom Ashe shared a portion of the bribe payments.

An attorney for Lorenzo, Brian Bieber, told ABC News his client voluntarily surrendered to the FBI early this morning.

"Ambassador Lorenzo acted in good faith at all times and to his detriment, trusted the people he dealt with and relied on their integrity," Bieber said. "We anticipate a response to all the detailed allegations being leveled against the Ambassador to be forthcoming shortly."

ABC News previously reported Ngs arrest late last month by the FBI. He is accused of lying about why he brought $4.5 million in cash to the United States. The complaint against Ng details a series of trips he made to the U.S., often by private jet, allegedly carrying large amounts of cash, but did not say for whom the money was intended.

Almost two decades ago, Ng was identified in a 1998 Senate report as the source of hundreds of thousands of dollars illegally funneled through an Arkansas restaurant owner, Charlie Trie, to the Democratic National Committee during the Clinton administration.

Tries contributions purchased access for himself and Ng to the highest levels of our government, the Senate report said.Ng and Trie made a number of visits to the White House to attend Democratic National Committee-sponsored events and was photographed with President Bill Clinton and then-First Lady Hillary Clinton. ABC News reported in 1997 that Ng had made six trips to the White House.

After Ngs arrest last month, a spokesman for the Hillary Clinton Presidential campaign, Brian Fallon, said there had been no contact between the campaign and Ng, and there is no indication of any current ties to the Clintons or the Democratic Party.