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Iran's top leader strikes defiant tone amid month of turmoil

Iran's top leader strikes defiant tone amid month of turmoilIran's supreme leader lashed out at Western countries as he led Friday prayers in Tehran for the first time in eight years, dismissing “American clowns” who he said pretend to support the Iranian nation but want to stick their "poisoned dagger” into its back. Ayatollah Ali Khamenei used his rare appearance at the weekly prayers to deliver a fiery address in which he insisted Iran would not bow to U.S. pressure after months of crushing sanctions and a series of recent crises — from the American killing of a top Iranian general to Iran's accidental shootdown of a Ukrainian passenger plane. Khamenei said the mass funerals for Gen. Qassem Soleimani, who was killed in a U.S. airstrike earlier this month, show that the Iranian people support the Islamic Republic despite its recent trials.




POSTED JANUARY 17, 2020 6:04 PM

Why Russia Doesn't Like (Or Have) Many Aircraft Carriers

Why Russia Doesn't Like (Or Have) Many Aircraft CarriersNot enough money?




POSTED JANUARY 18, 2020 7:00 AM

Off-duty Hong Kong police officer arrested for supporting protests

Off-duty Hong Kong police officer arrested for supporting protestsAn off-duty Hong Kong police officer was arrested along with seven other people on Friday as they tried to put pro-democracy posters on a footbridge, police said. It's the first known case of a police officer being apprehended for supporting the massive demonstrations that have led to more than 6,500 arrests in the past seven months. The officer, 31, and the seven other people aged 14 to 61, were arrested at 3:00 am on Friday in Tuen Mun, a district in northwest Hong Kong.




POSTED JANUARY 17, 2020 1:41 PM

The TSA apologized after an agent pulled a Native American passenger's braid and said "giddyup!" during a pat down

The TSA apologized after an agent pulled a Native American passenger's braid and said "giddyup!" during a pat downTara Houska was going through security at the Minneapolis airport on Monday when she said an agent humiliated her by whipping her braids.




POSTED JANUARY 17, 2020 12:43 PM

U.S., Japan May Invest in Indonesia Islands Near South China Sea

U.S., Japan May Invest in Indonesia Islands Near South China Sea(Bloomberg) -- The U.S., Japan and South Korea are keen to invest in Indonesia’s Natuna Islands as President Joko Widodo steps up efforts to rebuff Chinese claims over the resource-rich waters in the South China Sea.The countries are interested in building fisheries processing and manufacturing industries in Natuna, Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment Luhut Pandjaitan, told reporters in Jakarta on Friday. Indonesia can manage the sea dispute with China without going into a war, Pandjaitan, a former general, said.“The U.S. investors have expressed their interest, along with investors from Japan, Korea and China,” Padjaitan said. “For us, it doesn’t matter where they come from.”Widodo’s efforts to lure foreign investment into the Natuna islands may ratchet up tension with Beijing following the intrusion of Chinese fishing vessels into an area claimed by Indonesia as an exclusive economic zone. Indonesia is not a claimant in the broader dispute over the South China Sea, but it does insist on its sovereign rights to waters around the Natunas.Beijing says while it has no territorial disputes with Jakarta, claims over maritime interests in certain waters in the South China Sea “overlap.”“War is the last resort in our negotiation process,” Pandjaitan said referring to the standoff with China on Natuna. “But under no circumstances will we negotiate our sovereignty and territorial rights.”Jokowi, as Widodo is commonly known, visited the Natuna islands last week and asserted Indonesia’s sovereignty over the waters after authorities deployed fighter jets and warships to push back the Chinese fishing vessels, which were accompanied by coast guard ships. The president also inaugurated a fisheries processing center in the region and days later invited Japan to invest in Natuna to develop the fishing industry.Indonesia is also seeking investment by Vietnamese marine processing companies. Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi met officials of Hai Nam Co., a seafood importer this week in Ho Chi Minh City, and asked it to explore a joint venture with Indonesian companies for a fisheries processing unit in areas including Natuna, according to a foreign ministry statement Thursday.It has identified a location in north Natuna for a fishing port, while southern Natuna will serve as a base for the navy, Pandjaitan said. The country will also soon acquire its first ocean-going vessel, probably from Denmark, to beef up its sea powers, he said.To contact the reporters on this story: Arys Aditya in Jakarta at aaditya5@bloomberg.net;Harry Suhartono in Jakarta at hsuhartono@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Stephanie Phang at sphang@bloomberg.net, Thomas Kutty AbrahamFor 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.




POSTED JANUARY 17, 2020 1:39 AM

Trump threatened 25% tariffs on European cars if Britain, Germany and France didn't put Iran on notice

Trump threatened 25% tariffs on European cars if Britain, Germany and France didn't put Iran on noticeThe Trump administration warned European officials in three countries that if they didn't put Iran on notice about nuclear deal violations, the US government would slap a 25% tariff on all European cars.




POSTED JANUARY 17, 2020 2:31 PM

'You have not seen anything yet,' climate activist Greta says ahead of Davos

'You have not seen anything yet,' climate activist Greta says ahead of DavosSwedish activist Greta Thunberg marched with 10,000 protesters in the Swiss city of Lausanne on Friday and said "you have not seen anything yet" before some head to Davos next week to challenge the global financial elite to fight climate change. "So, we are now in a new year and we have entered a new decade and so far, during this decade, we have seen no sign whatsoever that real climate action is coming and that has to change,” Thunberg said in a speech in Lausanne. Hundreds will take trains over the weekend and then march to Klosters near Davos, the annual gathering of world political and business leaders that Thunberg is attending for the second year in a row and will take part in two panel events.




POSTED JANUARY 17, 2020 11:10 AM

A plane slid off the runway and more than 800 flights were canceled as winter weather hit the Midwest

A plane slid off the runway and more than 800 flights were canceled as winter weather hit the MidwestAuthorities issued alerts for areas across the Northeast as blizzard conditions were forecasted to New York and New England over the weekend.




POSTED JANUARY 18, 2020 1:49 PM

SUV on grounds of Beijing's Forbidden City sparks outrage

SUV on grounds of Beijing's Forbidden City sparks outrageA Chinese woman sparked social media outrage in her country by posting photos of herself and a friend with a Mercedes-Benz on the grounds of Beijing's Forbidden City. The reaction prompted an apology from the management of China's 600-year-old former imperial palace. Vehicles have been banned since 2013 to protect the cultural dignity of the vast site and its hundreds of historic buildings, according to the official Xinhua News Agency.




POSTED JANUARY 18, 2020 2:43 AM

The Hole in the Impeachment Case

The Hole in the Impeachment CaseThought experiment No. 1: Suppose Bob Mueller’s probe actually proves that Donald Trump is under Vladimir Putin’s thumb. Fill in the rest of the blanks with your favorite corruption fantasy: The Kremlin has video of the mogul-turned-president debauching himself in a Moscow hotel; the Kremlin has a bulging file of real-estate transfers through which Trump laundered racketeering proceeds for Putin’s favored mobsters and oligarchs; or Trump is recorded cutting a deal to drop Obama-era sanctions against Putin’s regime if Russian spies hack Democratic accounts.Thought experiment No. 2: Adam Schiff is not a demagogue. (Remember, this is fantasy.) At the very first televised hearing, when he alleged that President Trump told Ukrainian president Zelensky, “I want you to make up dirt on my political opponent . . . lots of it,” Schiff was not defrauding the public. Instead, impeachment’s Inspector Clouseau can actually prove that Trump was asking a foreign government to manufacture out of whole cloth evidence that Vice President Biden and his son were cashing in on the former’s political influence (as opposed to asking that Ukraine look into an arrangement so objectively sleazy that the Obama administration itself agitated over what to do about it).What do these two scenarios have in common, besides being fictional? Answer: If either of them were real, we’d already be talking about President Pence’s upcoming State of the Union address.This is the point that gets lost in all the endless chatter over impeachment strategy and procedure. Everything that is happening owes to the fact that we do not have an offense sufficiently grave for invocation of the Constitution’s nuclear option. If we had one, the machinations and the posturing would be unnecessary — even ridiculous.Why are we talking about how Chairman Schiff, Speaker Pelosi, and House Democrats rushed through the impeachment inquiry without making a real effort to interview key witnesses?Why was the Democrats’ impeachment gambit driven by the election calendar rather than the nature of the president’s offense? Why were the timing of hearings and the unreasonable limits imposed on Republicans’ ability to call witnesses dictated by the frantic rush to get done before Christmas recess -- to the point that Democrats cynically vacated a subpoena they’d served on a relevant administration witness, fearing a few weeks of court battles that they might lose?Why did Democrats grope from week to week in a struggle over what to call the misconduct they accused the president of committing – campaign finance, extortion, quid pro quo, bribery? How did they end up with an amorphous “abuse of power” case? How did they conclude that an administration that goes to court rather than instantly surrendering potentially privileged information commits obstruction?Why such tedious recriminations over adoption of Senate procedures that were approved by a 100–0 vote the last time there was an impeachment trial? Why all the kvetching over whether witnesses will be called when those procedures provide for the calling of witnesses in the likely event that 51 senators — after hearing nearly two weeks of presentation and argument from both sides -- want to hear from one or two of them?Why, with Election Day only ten months away, would Speaker Pelosi stoke an impeachment vote that could be perilous for many of her members, on the insistence that Trump was such a clear and present danger she could brook no delay, but then . . . sit on the impeachment articles for a month, accomplishing nothing in the interim except to undermine the presidential bids of several Senate Democrats, who will be trapped in Washington when they should be out campaigning with Iowa’s caucuses just two weeks away?None of this would have happened if there had been a truly impeachable offense.Adam Schiff is a smart guy. He did not idly dream up a “make up dirt” parody. He framed it because he knows that’s the kind of misconduct you would need to prove to warrant impeachment and removal of a president. In fact, Schiff could never prove that, but he figured parody is good enough for 2020 campaign purposes — and that’s what this exercise is all about.If collusion with Russia had been fact rather than farce, Trump would never have made it to an impeachment trial. He’d have had to resign, Prior to November 8, 2016, Republicans were not the ones in need of convincing that Russia was a dangerous geopolitical threat. If it had been real collusion that brought Democrats around to that conclusion, the votes to impeach and remove would have been overwhelming.And the timing would have been irrelevant. If Americans had been seized by a truly impeachable offense, it would not matter whether Election Day was two years, two months, or two weeks away. The public and the political class would not tolerate an agent of the Kremlin in the Oval Office.If there were such egregious misconduct that the public was convinced of the need to remove Trump, such that two-thirds of the Senate would ignore partisan ties and do just that, there would be no partisan stunts. Democratic leaders would have worked cooperatively with their GOP counterparts, as was done in prior impeachments. They would have told the president: “Sure, you can have your lawyers here, and call whatever witnesses you want.” There would be a bipartisan sense that the president had done profound wrong. There would be a sense of history, not contest. Congressional leaders would want to be remembered as statesmen, not apparatchiks.If there were a real impeachable offense, there would be no fretting about witnesses at the trial. Senate leaders would be contemplating that, after hearing the case extensively presented by both sides, there might well be enough votes to convict without witnesses. But if there were an appetite for witnesses, witnesses would be called . . . as they were in Watergate. And just as in Watergate, if the president withheld vital evidence of appalling lawlessness, the public would not be broadly indifferent to administration stonewalling.If there were an obviously impeachable offense, the garrisons of Fort Knox could not have stopped Nancy Pelosi from personally marching impeachment articles into the Senate the second the House had adopted them -- in what would have been an overwhelming bipartisan vote (of the kind that Pelosi, not long ago, said would be imperative for a legitimate impeachment effort).The Framers expected presidents to abuse their powers from time to time. And not just presidents. Our Constitution’s theory of the human condition, and thus of governance, is that power is apt to corrupt anyone. It needs to be divided, and the peer components need to be incentivized to check each other. The operating assumption is that, otherwise, one component would accumulate too much power and inevitably fall prey to the tyrannical temptation. But as Madison observed, men are not angels. Separation of powers arms us against inevitable abuse, it does not prevent abuse from happening. Abuse is a given: Congress uses lawmaking power to encroach on the other branches’ prerogatives; judges legislate from the bench, presidents leverage their awesome powers for political advantage. The expectation is not that government officials will never overreach; it is that when one branch does overreach, the others will bring it into line.That is the norm: corrective action or inaction, political pressure, naming and shaming, power of the purse, and so on. We expect to criticize, inveigh, even censure. We don’t leap from abuse to expulsion. We don’t expect routinely to expel members of Congress or impeach presidents and judges. That is reserved for historically extraordinary wrongs.On Ukraine, nothing of consequence came of President Trump’s bull-in-a-china-shop excesses. Sure, they ought to be a 2020 campaign issue. Democrats, instead, would have us exaggerate them into historically extraordinary wrongs. For that, you need gamesmanship. If there were real impeachable misconduct, there would be no time or place for games.




POSTED JANUARY 18, 2020 6:30 AM

Top News and Analysis (pro)

Stocks appear detached from reality, rallying for two things that may not happen
"The market is way ahead of its earnings," one market analyst said.

POSTED JANUARY 18, 2020 12:31 PM
Davos elite back corporate social responsibility, but 'their words are bigger than their actions'
As the world battles climate change, homelessness and income inequality, CEOs are still bound by investors and profits.

POSTED JANUARY 18, 2020 2:01 PM
In the stock market, it's become Apple, Microsoft and Alphabet vs everyone else
There's an unusually wide spread between the valuation of the most expensive stocks and the cheapest ones.

POSTED JANUARY 18, 2020 12:26 PM
NBCUniversal revealed a critical number about Peacock that sums up the streaming conundrum
The ARPU estimate of $6 to $7 showcases how Peacock is a significant new revenue stream but a lackluster replacement for cable revenues -- unless NBCUniversal can save a lot of money on content.

POSTED JANUARY 18, 2020 3:14 PM
How hackers are making millions — legally
When most people think about hackers, they think about criminals. But the past decade has seen a rise in a new type of hacker -- the "ethical hacker." These men and women use their skills for good by helping companies protect themselves.

POSTED JANUARY 18, 2020 2:01 PM
Trump lawyers slam impeachment as attempt to overturn election as House calls him 'threat to nation'
Trump's lawyers, responding to a formal Senate summons, slammed impeachment as a "dangerous attack on the right of the American people to freely choose their president" ahead of the presidential election this November.

POSTED JANUARY 18, 2020 10:56 PM
Amazon reportedly wants to turn your hand into a credit card
While Amazon's plan is in the early stages, the company has reportedly begun working with Visa on testing out the terminals, and has discussed the project with Mastercard, JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo and Synchrony Financial.

POSTED JANUARY 18, 2020 6:02 PM
Major medical records vendor Epic Systems warns it will stop working with Google Cloud
Epic is phoning customers to explain that it's withdrawing support for Google Cloud, instead focusing on AWS and Microsoft Azure.

POSTED JANUARY 17, 2020 8:02 PM
A theory on who's doing all the buying that's pushing stocks higher and higher
Given a series of new highs for the S&P 500, the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the Nasdaq, the obvious question is who is doing all this buying?

POSTED JANUARY 18, 2020 12:36 PM
World leaders in Davos confront a historic moment as critical to the future as the end of WWI
U.S. isolationism, European disunity, and growing nationalism and populism within democracies are among the issues confronting world leaders.

POSTED JANUARY 18, 2020 12:01 PM

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