2019-01-31

Headlines:

From Al Jazeera, Associated Press, BBC News, Reuters, The Globe and Mail, New York Times, and Wired

China’s military-run space station in Argentina is a ‘black box’ – (Reuters)
LAS LAJAS, Argentina – When China built a military-run space station in Argentina’s Patagonian region it promised to include a visitors’ center to explain the purpose of its powerful 16-story antenna.

Trump upbeat on China trade talks but wants more access for U.S. firms – (Reuters)
President Donald Trump expressed optimism about forging a comprehensive trade accord with China as high-level talks continued on Thursday, but said any arrangement that fails to open Chinese markets broadly to U.S. industry and agriculture would be unacceptab…

Venezuela frees two French journalists: Quotidien – (Reuters)
Two French journalists arrested in Venezuela while reporting on the political turmoil engulfing President Nicolas Maduro were freed on Thursday, the Quotidien TV show for whom the pair worked said.

Black girls ‘strip searched’ at US school – (BBC News)
New York Governor Cuomo calls allegations four girls, 12, were searched for drugs “disturbing”.

To avoid stillbirths, women in Kenya bribe overworked doctors – (Al Jazeera English)
Doctors working long hours for low salaries accept bribes from as low as $20 to prioritise patients.

Report: Afghan forces still shrinking, security gaps growing – (Associated Press)
WASHINGTON (AP) — As the Trump administration pushes for peace in Afghanistan, a new U.S. watchdog report says Afghan security forces are shrinking, gaps in security are growing, and the Taliban are largely holding their own despite a surge in American bombin…

Dilemma of having a R. Kelly-penned hit: Sing it or sink it? – (Associated Press)
NEW YORK (AP) — For Grammy-nominated singer Joe, singing the hit song R. Kelly wrote and produced for him is out of the question.”I’ve stopped performing the song,” he said in a statement to The Associated Press, referring to “More & More,” a Top 20 R&amp…

At least 12 dead as Arctic freeze spreads into U.S. Northeast – (Reuters)
The blast of Arctic air that brought record-breaking cold, causing at least a dozen deaths and canceling or delaying thousands of flights in the U.S. Midwest, spread eastward on Thursday, bringing frigid misery to the Northeast.

Deep freeze expected to ease, but disruptions persist – (Associated Press)
CHICAGO (AP) — The painfully cold weather system that put much of the Midwest into a historic deep freeze was expected to ease Thursday, though temperatures still tumbled to record lows in some places.Disruptions caused by the cold will persist, too, includin…

S&P, Nasdaq boosted by Facebook results; eyes on trade talks – (Reuters)
The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq got a boost from Facebook Inc’s stellar earnings on Thursday, while the Dow was weighed down by a bunch of disappointing quarterly results as investors awaited the outcome of the U.S.-China trade talks.

EU parliament recognizes Guaido as Venezuelan interim president – (Reuters)
The European Parliament recognized Venezuela’s self-declared interim president Juan Guaido as de facto head of state on Thursday, heightening international pressure on the OPEC member’s socialist President Nicolas Maduro.

General Electric CEO sees 2019 industrial revenue rising, cash weak – (Reuters)
General Electric Co expects industrial revenue to rise by low to mid-single-digit percent this year, as gains at renewable energy, aviation and healthcare offset a decline in the power unit, Chief Executive Officer Larry Culp said on Thursday.

Seals colonise beach closed in shutdown – (BBC News)
Some 100 elephant seals make the California beach their home after it was sealed off to humans.

Chinese trade deal ‘unacceptable’ unless Beijing opens markets: Trump – (Reuters)
U.S. President Donald Trump warned on Thursday that a trade deal with China would be unacceptable unless Beijing opened its markets to U.S. financial services, manufacturing, agriculture and other industries.

Female directors of color finding a spotlight at Sundance – (Associated Press)
PARK CITY, Utah (AP) — In the ecosystem of who directs Hollywood’s top-grossing films, women of color are the rarest kind.But the 2019 Sundance Film Festival is proving to be a referendum on the dismal industry statistics . And the positive reception to and p…

Eight dead as polar vortex clenches US – (BBC News)
At least eight people have died in the deep freeze, which has paralysed cities and US transportation.

Anger persists after Vale vows to make amends for Brazil dam disaster – (Reuters)
Residents of the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais reacted with indifference and in many cases anger at a series of measures miner Vale SA has pledged to adopt following last week’s dam burst that almost certainly killed over 300 people.

Nearly half of US adults have heart or blood vessel disease – (Associated Press)
A new report estimates that nearly half of all U.S. adults have some form of heart or blood vessel disease, a medical milestone that’s mostly due to recent guidelines that expanded how many people have high blood pressure.The American Heart Association said T…

General Electric sales top Wall Street estimates, shares rally – (Reuters)
General Electric Co beat estimates for sales and cash flow in the fourth quarter and said it had reached a tentative deal to settle a subprime mortgage case with U.S. regulators, sending its shares sharply higher.

Democrats gain in statehouses as some GOP lawmakers defect – (Associated Press)
TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — Democrats’ gains in state legislatures didn’t end with last November’s elections.Over the past two months, as lawmakers were sworn in and this year’s statehouse sessions got underway, Republicans in California, Kansas and New Jersey switc…

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From various sources

The battle for Venezuela’s future – (The Economist)
The world’s democracies are right to seek change in Latin America’s worst-governed country

How Brussels should respond to Britain’s confused demands – (The Economist)
Brexit is a problem that only Britain can fix—but the EU must give it the time to do so

Italy’s slump reflects trouble both at home and abroad – (The Economist)
The weak economy complicates a fraught fiscal position

Minister Shaked: The Right should consider uniting, if Left does – (The Jerusalem Post)
When asked if the Right should unite Shaked said that the right “should consider it if the Left forms a massive joint party.”

Moldova, new to Holocaust remembrance, institutes a plan – (The Jerusalem Post)
Moldova’s Jewish residents largely fled or were deported to their deaths during the Shoah, and its government has only marked Holocaust Remembrance Day since 2016.

IDF delegation in Brazil: Situation unlike anything we’ve seen before – (The Jerusalem Post)
Maj. Tamir Hazan tells ‘Post’ that IDF equipment and rescue dogs have helped uncover 35 bodies at disaster site

IDF completes large-scale drill in northern enemy – (The Jerusalem Post)
Drill takes place as war-of-words head up between Israel and Iran.

U.S. Syria policy: Get others to pick up the slack as it leaves – (The Jerusalem Post)
The new reports come amid a storm that is brewing in the US. The State Department is hosting foreign ministers from the Global Coalition that is fighting ISIS on February 6.

Arab allies gather in Jordan, potential signal to Israel and Iran – (The Jerusalem Post)
The meeting sought to build consensus among Arab states on regional security issues.

Showtime Challenges – Poster Locations – Fortnite Wiki Guide – IGN – (IGN)
Fortnite at IGN: walkthroughs, items, maps, video tips, and strategies

A Dutch Church Held A 96-Day Service To Stop A Refugee Family’s Deportation – (Buzzfeed)
The church took advantage of an obscure Dutch law that forbids police to interrupt church services.

Codebook – (Axios)
The collision of cybersecurity and policy, and why it matters, by Joe Uchill. Tuesday and Thursday mornings

Vice President Pence visits and delivers remarks to DEA employees – (Fox News)

2 girls left in Manitoba home after sex assault allegations made against foster dad | CBC News – (CBC News)
Despite allegations of sex abuse, a police investigation and an arrest, child welfare officials allowed children to remain in the home of a foster father who is now convicted of sex crimes against foster children.

New England Patriots’ Bill Belichick explains why team’s Super Bowl practices are being held indoors – (Fox News)
The New England Patriots are holding their practices at Georgia Tech’s indoor facility ahead of Super Bowl LIII for good reason: to protect against any potential spies.

Nando’s on lockdown after ‘armed man holds woman hostage’ – (Mirror)
Customers were said to have been locked in the eatery because of the incident

Saudi Arabia claims David Beckham will play in an exhibition match – (Daily Mail)
Saudi’s sports minister Turki Al-Sheikh claimed the former Manchester United winger would captain a team and play a side led by Zinedine Zidane. But sources say an offer was never made.

Britain braces itself for 10-hour snow blizzard after coldest night – (Daily Mail)
Up to 2.8in (7cm) in just of snow could fall in just two hours over Wales and South West England tonight – with snowfalls of up to 4in (10cm) in nine hours, and 1in (3cm) over the rest of England.

Parental alienation not established in custody battle case, judge finds – (The Irish Times)
High Court heard father upset that daughter stopped calling him “Daddy”

Canada halves diplomatic staff in Cuba after another mysterious brain injury – (Ars Technica)
Cuba fumes that Canada’s actions “do not help find answers.”

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All about Trump

Trump upbeat on China trade talks but wants more access for U.S. firms – (Reuters)
President Donald Trump expressed optimism about forging a comprehensive trade accord with China as high-level talks continued on Thursday, but said any arrangement that fails to open Chinese markets broadly to U.S. industry and agriculture would be unacceptab…

Report: Afghan forces still shrinking, security gaps growing – (Associated Press)
WASHINGTON (AP) — As the Trump administration pushes for peace in Afghanistan, a new U.S. watchdog report says Afghan security forces are shrinking, gaps in security are growing, and the Taliban are largely holding their own despite a surge in American bombin…

Trump says new summit with Xi is vital to securing China trade deal – (Financial Times)
High-level negotiations in Washington fail to achieve major breakthroughs

Frustrated Trump says a wall ‘is a WALL!’ – (RTE)
US President Donald Trump’s frustration over his campaign to fence off the US-Mexican border spilled into linguistic territory when he declared himself fed up with people dancing around what to call his dreamed-of barrier.

Trump: More troops going to border but wall would be ‘much easier’ – (The Hill)
Trump says a wall would be “much easier and less expensive.”

Coal Baron Cuts Ties With Lobbying Firm As Ex-Lobbyist Andrew Wheeler Ascends At EPA – (The Huffington Post)
Murray Energy paid Wheeler for nearly 20 years. Now that he’s Trump’s EPA nominee, the coal producer ended its contract with Wheeler’s old lobbying firm.

Madeleine Albright ‘stunned’ by Trump’s dressing down of intel chiefs – (CNN)
Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright said Thursday she was “stunned” that President Donald Trump publicly chastised top US intelligence officials by saying they were “naive” after they disputed several of his claims of foreign policy success.

Chinese trade deal ‘unacceptable’ unless Beijing opens markets: Trump – (Reuters)
U.S. President Donald Trump warned on Thursday that a trade deal with China would be unacceptable unless Beijing opened its markets to U.S. financial services, manufacturing, agriculture and other industries.

Trump returns to hard-line stance on the wall as Congress works to avoid another shutdown – (CNBC)
“Democrats, despite all of the evidence, proof and Caravans coming, are not going to give money to build the DESPERATELY needed WALL,” Trump tweeted.

Trump to abandon arms pact with Russia as soon as Saturday, US official says – (Google News)
The Trump administration will stop abiding by a landmark arms control pact with Russia as soon as Saturday after last-minute diplomatic efforts to bring Moscow back into compliance failed, a top State Department official told Reuters.

Trump says he’ll talk trade one-on-one with China’s president – (Google News)
President Trump has agreed to meet one-on-one with China’s president, Xi Jinping, to discuss trade policy later this year, he said Thursday.

President Trump Now Says Republicans Are ‘Wasting Their Time’ in Border Wall Negotiations – (Time)
President Trump took to Twitter on Thursday to talk about his border wall, appearing to discourage congressional talks.

White House plans for emergency declaration to fund Trump’s wall – live – (The Guardian (AU))
The president has gone on the offensive on Twitter over his proposed barrier and has interviewed Ted Cruz’s wife for an administration job

Foxconn in political storm over revised plans for Wisconsin plant – (Financial Times)
Anger as Taiwanese group scales back manufacturing investment hailed by Donald Trump

Less is more? Trump out of sight as border talks play out – (Associated Press)
WASHINGTON (AP) — No televised roundtables with Cabinet secretaries. No freewheeling speeches from the Oval Office. No shouted comments on his way to Marine One.Where’s the president? While the federal government is open once again, President Donald Trump has…

Trump accused of ‘stopping working’ as schedule reveals he averaged one event per day in January – (Independent)
President ‘sitting around watching Fox News and hate-tweeting all day’, former ambassador suggests

Donald Trump proposed a 14.5 percent wealth tax in 1999 – (Google News)
That rate is higher than in Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s proposal.

President Trump says Republicans ‘wasting their time’ on border security talks – (Google News)
The president’s words raise the possibilities that the government could shut down again or he could push for an emergency declaration.

Trump hits bipartisan wall talks: GOP ‘wasting their time’ – (The Hill)
President Trump on Thursday expressed doubt about a bipartisan congressional committee’s ability to secure funding for a border wall, just one day after the group met for the first time.

China and US discussing possible Trump-Xi meeting in late February, just before trade deal deadline – (CNBC)
U.S. and Chinese officials are discussing a potential meeting between Presidents Donald Trump and Xi Jinping to take place in late February, two sources tell CNBC.

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