31 января, 22:15

Nearly 1,000 diplomats express dissent over Trump immigration order

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The figure is remarkably high, and it comes after the White House warned the State Department employees to 'get with the program' or 'go.'

31 января, 21:45

President Trump: Like President Reagan, Make Us Safer

Dear President Trump: There is a challenge more important than jobs, health care, border security, and economic growth, and yes, even your passion to “make America great, again!” The security of the world remains at risk from nuclear weapons and the unity of the American people requires trusting its leadership to address this threat reasonably. To make America great, unity and courage will be needed. I believe you do not want to make the American people afraid. If all issues but the elimination of nuclear weapons are addressed effectively, and this issue falters, unimaginable catastrophe ensues. Proliferation must be stopped and progress toward elimination pursued. Numerous articles have appeared that state that you would not object if Japan and South Korea developed nuclear arsenals. Now that you have become president I hope you realize that this attitude makes sensible people very afraid. These nations are prohibited from acquiring nuclear weapons under the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) in which the United States is party along with over 189 other nations. Suggesting violating the treaty is serious. It indicates a lack of respect for the U.S. Constitution, which provides that treaties are the Supreme Law of the Land. I hope you will quickly make it clear that you will prevent any further spread of nuclear weapons. Many people believe you have a cavalier attitude toward the spread of nuclear weapons, which could be the third most dangerous thing that could happen to the world. The second would be the explosion of a nuclear weapon in a city. The first would be the explosion of less than 1 percent of the world’s arsenals, around 100 warheads, causing tons of soot to blacken the stratosphere and ending agriculture as we know it, consequently ending civilization. The horrific effects of a nuclear strike, either intended or accidental, should scare anyone.  Also, Sir, you have created fear by implying that you will support the expenditures of hundreds of billions of dollars to upgrade and modernize the nuclear enterprise and even engage in a nuclear arms race with Russia. I urge you to take a look at the policies, statements, and practices of a previous Republican president, Ronald Reagan. He was successful in establishing better relations with Russia. The world could use progress in that realm again now. I believe you want to bring assurance to people and actually make the world safer. It is now in your hands to accomplish. President Ronald Reagan’s actions in helping to end the Cold War are instructive. In addition to assuring adversaries that we did not intend them harm, his substantive policies were instrumental in bringing down nuclear arsenals from its excesses of over 60,000 to the present excess of over 15,000. Let’s not look at political spin but hard facts. Reagan engaged in serious negotiations with President Gorbachev aspiring to achieve the universal, legal, and verifiable elimination of all nuclear weapons. He did not do this as a political stunt, but rather he believed it was best for America and the world. If you do not believe me, give former Secretary of State George Shultz a call. He is at Stanford and I am sure he would make it clear that President Reagan was serious when he said that nuclear weapons are “totally irrational, totally inhumane, good for nothing but killing, possibly destructive of life on earth and civilization.” Be like Reagan, engage directly with President Putin and change, and possibly save, history by ending the nuclear threat. Even President Nixon made enormous advances in this realm: achieving the SALT I Treaty, bringing into force the NPT, negotiating the Anti Ballistic Missile Treaty, and actually leading in banning an entire class of weapons of mass destruction by leading in the creation of the Biological Weapons Convention. To make sure that no one in Washington succeeds in spinning, distorting, or minimizing President Reagan’s commitment to eliminating the most dangerous weapon of mass destruction, I have compiled   several very clear quotes for your use: “A nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought. The only value in our two nations possessing nuclear weapons is to make sure they will never be used. But then would it not be better to do away with them entirely?” - Ronald Reagan, 1984 State of the Union “We seek the total elimination one day of nuclear weapons from the face of the Earth.”- Ronald Reagan, Inaugural Address, 1985 “My central arms control objective has been to reduce substantially, and ultimately to eliminate, nuclear weapons and rid the world of the nuclear threat. The prevention of the spread of nuclear explosives to additional countries is an indispensable part of our efforts to meet this objective.  I intend to continue my pursuit of this goal with untiring determination and a profound sense of personal commitment.” - Ronald Reagan, “Message to the Congress Transmitting the Annual Report on Nuclear Nonproliferation,” March 25,1988. “Our moral imperative is to work with all our powers for that day when the children of the world grow up without the fear of nuclear war.” - Ronald Reagan from “Reagan’s Secret War” by Martin and Annelise Anderson “I can’t believe that this world can go on beyond our generation and on down to succeeding generations with this kind of weapon on both sides poised at each other without someday some fool or some maniac or some accident triggering the kind of war that is the end of the line for all of us. And I just think of what a sigh of relief would go up from everyone on this earth if someday–and this is what I have–my hope, way in the back of my head–is that if we start down the road to reduction, maybe one day in doing that, somebody will say, ‘Why not all the way? Let’s get rid of all these things.” - Ronald Reagan, “Remarks at a White House Briefing for Chief Executive Officers of Trade Associations and Corporations on Deployment of the MX Missile,” May 16, 1983 There will be those who work to diminish a common sense of obtaining security, which rests on finding common interests and building on them. We have no common interest in continuing to threaten annihilation.  There could be no greater way to make America great than to have it lead in making the world safe from nuclear annihilation. -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

31 января, 20:26

DHS chief promises to carry out Trump's immigration order 'humanely'

Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly on Tuesday strongly defended President Donald Trump's sweeping executive order restricting immigration, saying such a measure was “long overdue.”Speaking at a press conference Tuesday afternoon, Kelly insisted that the order put in place last Friday by Trump is not the Muslim ban that the president promised on the campaign trail. He labeled it a “travel ban” that temporarily impacts a specific set of countries.“This analysis is long overdue and strongly supported by the department's career intelligence officials,” Kelly said of the procedural review that the government will pursue while Trump’s executive order is in effect. “As my predecessor, Secretary [Jeh] Johnson liked to say, it is easier to play defense on the 50-yard-line than it is on the one-yard-line. By preventing terrorists from entering our country, we can stop terror attacks from striking the homeland.”The immigration restrictions have caused a furor nationwide, with many Democrats and some Republicans strongly condemning the executive order. Late Monday, Trump fired acting attorney general Sally Yates after she refused to defend the sweeping restrictions.At the press conference on Tuesday, Kelly promised to carry out the executive order "humanely" and "in accordance with the law.""We cannot gamble with American lives. I will not gamble with American lives," Kelly said. "These orders are a matter of national security. It is my sworn responsibility as secretary of homeland security to protect and defend the American people. And I have directed departmental leadership to implement the president's executive orders professionally, humanely, and in accordance with the law."

31 января, 19:42

What Will Impact Housing ETFs: Strong Earnings or Soft Sales?

What housing ETFs and stock investors should look at now ??? upbeat earnings, soft December sales data or the upcoming spring selling season?

31 января, 19:27

Don't Fall For Donald Trump's Latest Ploy. He Is No LGBTQ Hero.

The LGBTQ community held its collective breath on Monday after sources close to The White House ― perhaps even in The White House ― claimed that President Donald Trump was scheduled to sign an executive order sometime this week that would severely limit or revoke a collection of rights currently held by LGBTQ Americans. An unverified account that claims to be overseen by members of the president’s staff who have “gone rogue” to leak information about the administration tweeted the following on Monday: Rumors are true. Expect by end of the week. https://t.co/Mx89ZaY4ND— Rogue POTUS Staff (@RoguePOTUSStaff) January 30, 2017 Confirmed, @joshrogin . Nuances are being hammered out. Still small chance it may be abandoned, to avoid more bad press. But unlikely. https://t.co/fpnus5u9Mq— Rogue POTUS Staff (@RoguePOTUSStaff) January 30, 2017 No one knew exactly what the order would entail, but most believed that it would revoke President Barack Obama’s 2014 directive that prohibited discrimination against federal employees based on sexual orientation or gender identity. Others, as LGBTQNation reported, believed it would allow “federally funded adoption agencies to discriminate against LGBTQ parents” and “allow federal employees to refuse to serve people based on the belief that marriage should be between a man and a woman, and that gender is an immutable characteristic set at birth, which would impact a broad range of federal benefits.” Early Tuesday morning, in the midst of our latest national crisis, The White House quietly sent out a press release stating that Obama’s 2014 directive would stand and assuring LGBTQ Americans that President Trump “is determined to protect the rights of all Americans”: President Donald J. Trump is determined to protect the rights of all Americans, including the LGBTQ community. President Trump continues to be respectful and supportive of LGBTQ rights, just as he was throughout the election. The President is proud to have been the first ever GOP nominee to mention the LGBTQ community in his nomination acceptance speech, pledging then to protect the community from violence and oppression. The executive order signed in 2014, which protects employees from anti-LGBTQ workplace discrimination while working for federal contractors, will remain intact at the direction of President Donald J. Trump. Go ahead and breathe the tiniest sigh of relief that you aren’t being stripped of your civil rights just 11 days after Trump came to power (phew!) but don’t be fooled into thinking this is some kind of bold or inclusive move by the president. And don’t celebrate being permitted to keep the rights we’ve spent years fighting to secure. Would you thank your boyfriend for not cheating on you ― even though he easily could have? Of course not. We shouldn’t be awarding Trump points for managing to not act like an asshole. As Human Rights Campaign president Chad Griffin said on Twitter, “claiming ally status for not overturning the progress of your predecessor is a rather low bar.” The ACLU put it even more bluntly: “If Donald Trump is serious about being an ally to the LGBT community, it starts with abandoning an agenda driven by fear and prejudice.” What’s more, Trump’s decision to not do something bigoted is not proof that he won’t ultimately do the dead wrong thing some time next week or next month or the month after that. Let’s not forget that members of his administration, like Vice President Mike Pence, and would-be members, like Attorney General nominee Jeff Sessions, hold vehemently anti-queer records. Let’s not forget that Trump himself is against marriage equality and supported North Carolina’s move to enforce its transphobic House Bill 2. Not exactly encouraging, is it? Even less encouraging are the 400 virulently anti-LGBTQ religious leaders Trump met with last summer and the rumor of a “religious freedom” law on the horizon that would allow legal discrimination against queer people. Do not let Trump or his administration convince you that the crumb they flicked in our direction on Tuesday morning offers any kind of meaningful commitment to the LGBTQ community ― especially as we watch what he is currently doing to our Muslim and immigrant friends and as we consider the threats that women, people of color and many other minority groups in this country face. Do not take their bait. Do not become a pawn in their plot to pit one group of oppressed people against another or forget that our oppressions intersect. We’re smarter than that, we’re better than that and we’re all in this together. Donald Trump is not an LGBTQ hero. Championing freedom and equality involves more than waving a rainbow flag and correctly stringing together the letters L-G-B-T-Q during a campaign speech.  We dodged a bullet this morning, but the gun is still loaded and pointed at our heads. Keep screaming. Keep fighting. Keep showing up to protests. Be loud. Be angry. Be righteous. Keep calling your representatives and keep telling them if they won’t help take back this country and protect every last one of us, they’ll lose their jobs. Stay vigilant. Stay focused. And no matter what President Trump tells you or what kind of symbolic token of affection he tosses your way, do not, for one brief second, believe you are safe. -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

31 января, 19:27

Don't Fall For Donald Trump's Latest Ploy. He Is No LGBTQ Hero.

The LGBTQ community held its collective breath on Monday after sources close to The White House ― perhaps even in The White House ― claimed that President Donald Trump was scheduled to sign an executive order sometime this week that would severely limit or revoke a collection of rights currently held by LGBTQ Americans. An unverified account that claims to be overseen by members of the president’s staff who have “gone rogue” to leak information about the administration tweeted the following on Monday: Rumors are true. Expect by end of the week. https://t.co/Mx89ZaY4ND— Rogue POTUS Staff (@RoguePOTUSStaff) January 30, 2017 Confirmed, @joshrogin . Nuances are being hammered out. Still small chance it may be abandoned, to avoid more bad press. But unlikely. https://t.co/fpnus5u9Mq— Rogue POTUS Staff (@RoguePOTUSStaff) January 30, 2017 No one knew exactly what the order would entail, but most believed that it would revoke President Barack Obama’s 2014 directive that prohibited discrimination against federal employees based on sexual orientation or gender identity. Others, as LGBTQNation reported, believed it would allow “federally funded adoption agencies to discriminate against LGBTQ parents” and “allow federal employees to refuse to serve people based on the belief that marriage should be between a man and a woman, and that gender is an immutable characteristic set at birth, which would impact a broad range of federal benefits.” Early Tuesday morning, in the midst of our latest national crisis, The White House quietly sent out a press release stating that Obama’s 2014 directive would stand and assuring LGBTQ Americans that President Trump “is determined to protect the rights of all Americans”: President Donald J. Trump is determined to protect the rights of all Americans, including the LGBTQ community. President Trump continues to be respectful and supportive of LGBTQ rights, just as he was throughout the election. The President is proud to have been the first ever GOP nominee to mention the LGBTQ community in his nomination acceptance speech, pledging then to protect the community from violence and oppression. The executive order signed in 2014, which protects employees from anti-LGBTQ workplace discrimination while working for federal contractors, will remain intact at the direction of President Donald J. Trump. Go ahead and breathe the tiniest sigh of relief that you aren’t being stripped of your civil rights just 11 days after Trump came to power (phew!) but don’t be fooled into thinking this is some kind of bold or inclusive move by the president. And don’t celebrate being permitted to keep the rights we’ve spent years fighting to secure. Would you thank your boyfriend for not cheating on you ― even though he easily could have? Of course not. We shouldn’t be awarding Trump points for managing to not act like an asshole. As Human Rights Campaign president Chad Griffin said on Twitter, “claiming ally status for not overturning the progress of your predecessor is a rather low bar.” The ACLU put it even more bluntly: “If Donald Trump is serious about being an ally to the LGBT community, it starts with abandoning an agenda driven by fear and prejudice.” What’s more, Trump’s decision to not do something bigoted is not proof that he won’t ultimately do the dead wrong thing some time next week or next month or the month after that. Let’s not forget that members of his administration, like Vice President Mike Pence, and would-be members, like Attorney General nominee Jeff Sessions, hold vehemently anti-queer records. Let’s not forget that Trump himself is against marriage equality and supported North Carolina’s move to enforce its transphobic House Bill 2. Not exactly encouraging, is it? Even less encouraging are the 400 virulently anti-LGBTQ religious leaders Trump met with last summer and the rumor of a “religious freedom” law on the horizon that would allow legal discrimination against queer people. Do not let Trump or his administration convince you that the crumb they flicked in our direction on Tuesday morning offers any kind of meaningful commitment to the LGBTQ community ― especially as we watch what he is currently doing to our Muslim and immigrant friends and as we consider the threats that women, people of color and many other minority groups in this country face. Do not take their bait. Do not become a pawn in their plot to pit one group of oppressed people against another or forget that our oppressions intersect. We’re smarter than that, we’re better than that and we’re all in this together. Donald Trump is not an LGBTQ hero. Championing freedom and equality involves more than waving a rainbow flag and correctly stringing together the letters L-G-B-T-Q during a campaign speech.  We dodged a bullet this morning, but the gun is still loaded and pointed at our heads. Keep screaming. Keep fighting. Keep showing up to protests. Be loud. Be angry. Be righteous. Keep calling your representatives and keep telling them if they won’t help take back this country and protect every last one of us, they’ll lose their jobs. Stay vigilant. Stay focused. And no matter what President Trump tells you or what kind of symbolic token of affection he tosses your way, do not, for one brief second, believe you are safe. -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

31 января, 19:05

Even The Super Bowl Is Trumpified

Cross-posted with TomDispatch.com What a strange moment. Everything, even the Super Bowl, is being Trumpified and is now divisive. Of course, the Super Bowl is always officially divisive with two rival teams and the fervent fans of each. Still, in a normal year, no matter which two teams are playing, the Super Bowl is also the great unifying event of the televised American year (other than, perhaps, the Academy Awards). More or less everyone watches, while consuming oceans of beer and enough chips and guacamole to fill a mid-sized city. It's pure ritual all the way to the last minute of the fourth quarter. (As for me, when it comes to sports, I'm a New York hometown chauvinist. I lose interest once my city's teams fall out of contention and yet -- like a zombie -- I still engage in a Super Bowl-watching ritual with friends.) This year, however, as with everything else in this country, it's going to be a Trumpian spectacle all the way. Like past presidents, The Donald will evidently not attend, but the New England Patriots are his team. (They play the Atlanta Falcons, if you happen to have been locked away in Guantánamo these last weeks.) Quarterback Tom Brady, coach Bill Belichick, and owner Robert Kraft have all backed Trump. Brady even had a red "Make America Great Again" hat in his locker. Trump hailed them at his campaign rallies, and he's wished them well in Sunday's game. ("'In the audience, we have somebody that's under no pressure whatsoever, because he's got a great quarterback named Tom Brady, and a great coach named Belichick,' Trump said [at a donor dinner in Washington], pointing to Kraft. 'Your friend Tom just called, he feels good. He called to congratulate us... Good luck, you're going to do great.'") And of course he bestowed perhaps the greatest honor of all on Brady, implicitly dissing him recently. No one, after all, can be allowed to stand taller than Donald J. Trump, which means that sooner or later even his allies have to be cut down to size and put in their place by him. Consider that a rule of Donaldland. In this case, during a rambling speech at CIA headquarters the day after his inauguration, he interrupted a riff about media "dishonesty," itself an interruption of assurances that, despite media attempts to misreport his relations with the Intelligence Community, he was with the CIA "one thousand percent," to take Brady down a notch in his own inimitable fashion: "So a reporter for Time magazine... and I have been on their cover 14 or 15 times. I think we have the all-time record in the history of Time magazine. Like if Tom Brady's on the cover, it's like one time because he's won the Super Bowl or something, right? I've been on for 15 times this year. I don't think that's a record, Mike [assumedly National Security Adviser Michael Flynn], that can ever be broken. Do you agree with that? What do you think?" What do you think? Fortunately, in such unnerving times, sportswriter Robert Lipsyte, in "Football is Trumpball Lite," offers us his memories of The Donald (whom he interviewed numerous times back when) and an assessment of how football has, at this curious moment, worked its way deep into the most unsettling parts of the American psyche. So get out those chips and that bowl of guacamole. It's time to think Super Bowl, but in the context of an American world now being Trumpified. -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

31 января, 17:56

President Trump: Like President Reagan, Make Us Safer

President Trump: Like President Reagan, Make Us Safer Dear President Elect Trump: There is a challenge more important than jobs, health care, border security, and economic growth, and yes, even your passion to "make America great, again!" The security of the world remains at risk from nuclear weapons and the unity of the American people requires trusting its leadership to address this threat reasonably. To make America great, unity and courage will be needed. I believe you do not want to make the American people afraid. If all issues but the elimination of nuclear weapons are addressed effectively, and this issue falters, unimaginable catastrophe ensues. Proliferation must be stopped and progress toward elimination pursued. Numerous articles have appeared that state that you would not object if Japan and South Korea developed nuclear arsenals. Now that you will become President I hope you realize that this attitude makes sensible people very afraid. These nations are prohibited from acquiring nuclear weapons under the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) in which the United States is party along with over 189 other nations. Suggesting violating the treaty is serious. It indicates a lack of respect for the US Constitution, which provides that treaties are the Supreme Law of the Land. I hope you will quickly make it clear that you will prevent any further spread of nuclear weapons. Many people believe you have a cavalier attitude toward the spread of nuclear weapons, which could be the third most dangerous thing that could happen to the world. The second would be the explosion of a nuclear weapon in a city. The first would be the explosion of less than 1% of the world's arsenals, around 100 warheads, causing tons of soot to blacken the stratosphere and ending agriculture as we know it, consequently ending civilization. The horrific effects of a nuclear strike, either intended or accidental, should scare anyone. Also, Sir, you have created fear by implying that you will support the expenditures of hundreds of billions of dollars to upgrade and modernize the nuclear enterprise and even engage in a nuclear arms race with Russia. I urge you to take a look at the policies, statements, and practices of a previous Republican President, Ronald Reagan. He was successful in establishing better relations with Russia. The world could use progress in that realm again now. I believe you want to bring assurance to people and actually make the world safer. It is now in your hands to accomplish. President Ronald Reagan's actions in helping to end the Cold War are instructive. In addition to assuring adversaries that we did not intend them harm, his substantive policies were instrumental in bringing down nuclear arsenals from its excesses of over 60,000 to the present excess of over 15,000. Let's not look at political spin but hard facts. Reagan engaged in serious negotiations with President Gorbachev aspiring to achieve the universal, legal, and verifiable elimination of all nuclear weapons. He did not do this as a political stunt, but rather he believed it was best for America and the world. If you do not believe me, give former Secretary of State George Shultz a call. He is at Stanford and I am sure he would make it clear that President Reagan was serious when he said that nuclear weapons are "totally irrational, totally inhumane, good for nothing but killing, possibly destructive of life on earth and civilization." Be like Reagan, engage directly with President Putin and change, and possibly save, history by ending the nuclear threat. Even President Nixon made enormous advances in this realm: achieving the SALT I Treaty, bringing into force the NPT, negotiating the Anti Ballistic Missile Treaty, and actually leading in banning an entire class of weapons of mass destruction by leading in the creation of the Biological Weapons Convention. To make sure that no one in Washington succeeds in spinning, distorting, or minimizing President Reagan's commitment to eliminating the most dangerous weapon of mass destruction, I have compiled several very clear quotes for your use: 1. "A nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought. The only value in our two nations possessing nuclear weapons is to make sure they will never be used. But then would it not be better to do away with them entirely?" - Ronald Reagan, 1984 State of the Union 2. "We seek the total elimination one day of nuclear weapons from the face of the Earth."- Ronald Reagan, Inaugural Address, 1985 3. "My central arms control objective has been to reduce substantially, and ultimately to eliminate, nuclear weapons and rid the world of the nuclear threat. The prevention of the spread of nuclear explosives to additional countries is an indispensable part of our efforts to meet this objective. I intend to continue my pursuit of this goal with untiring determination and a profound sense of personal commitment." - Ronald Reagan, "Message to the Congress Transmitting the Annual Report on Nuclear Nonproliferation," March 25,1988. 4. "Our moral imperative is to work with all our powers for that day when the children of the world grow up without the fear of nuclear war." - Ronald Reagan from "Reagan's Secret War" by Martin and Annelise Anderson 5. "I can't believe that this world can go on beyond our generation and on down to succeeding generations with this kind of weapon on both sides poised at each other without someday some fool or some maniac or some accident triggering the kind of war that is the end of the line for all of us. And I just think of what a sigh of relief would go up from everyone on this earth if someday-and this is what I have-my hope, way in the back of my head-is that if we start down the road to reduction, maybe one day in doing that, somebody will say, 'Why not all the way? Let's get rid of all these things." - Ronald Reagan, "Remarks at a White House Briefing for Chief Executive Officers of Trade Associations and Corporations on Deployment of the MX Missile," May 16, 1983 There will be those who work to diminish a common sense of obtaining security, which rests on finding common interests and building on them. We have no common interest in continuing to threaten annihilation. There could be no greater way to make America great than to have it lead in making the world safe from nuclear annihilation. -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

31 января, 17:30

Zacks.com featured highlights: D.R. Horton, FleetCor Technologies, MarketAxess Holdings, Maxim Integrated Products and BioDelivery Sciences International

Zacks.com featured highlights: D.R. Horton, FleetCor Technologies, MarketAxess Holdings, Maxim Integrated Products and BioDelivery Sciences International

31 января, 17:25

Facebook (FB) Working on "Delegated Account Recovery" Tool

In a blog post yesterday, Facebook Inc. (FB) security engineer Brad Hill said that the social media giant is working on tightening account security and is testing new account recovery feature.

31 января, 15:53

Shell (RDS.A) to Divest Stake in Thai Gas Field for $900M

Integrated energy major Royal Dutch Shell plc (RDS.A) recently signed a contract to offload its stake in an offshore Thai gas field.

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31 января, 10:00

What really happens when Royal Mail fails to deliver?

All they left me was a card with no contact numberWhen Royal Mail fails to deliver an item, perhaps because they are too big or the person is out and a signature is required, what happens to these items next? I presume they’re destroyed.I ask, because last July I was awaiting delivery of a rare vintage lamp, which never turned up. The sender assured me it was not returned. Continue reading...

31 января, 07:28

Premier: Trump ban doesn’t affect Australia passport holders

The White House had assured Australia that its passport holders won’t be affected by President Donald Trump’s executive order suspending immigration from seven Muslim-majority countries, the Australian prime minister said Tuesday as he resisted pressure to join other Western leaders in publicly denouncing the travel ban.

31 января, 04:50

Confusion over Trump's travel ban deepens

Uncertainty about President Donald Trump’s “extreme vetting” policies continued to roil travelers, airlines and foreign governments Monday, as U.S. immigration officials made decisions on the fly about how to apply the directives — despite White House attempts to downplay the fallout.Three days after Trump laid out an executive order temporarily banning individuals from seven Muslim-majority nations from traveling to the United States, lawyers were still struggling to reach clients being questioned at U.S. ports of entry. Meanwhile, customs agents were handling entries for green-card holders on a case-by-case basis, and European governments were giving conflicting instructions to people with dual nationalities — both topics on which the Trump administration had sent decidedly mixed signals.The roll out of Trump's order “was as chaotic on the inside as it looked on the outside," one career official at the Department of Homeland Security told POLITICO, adding that “nobody knew anything” before the White House announced the policy Friday night.The official blamed much of the confusion on the order's vague and imprecise language. “They just don’t seem to even know how to write a government policy,” said the official, adding that “even 12 hours worth of legal review” would have cleared up many of the problems. Even members of Congress are running into brick walls trying to get answers, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) said Monday night."We’re hearing from cruise lines and airports in our state, the tourism sector, concerned with the visa waiver interview process," Rubio said. "And there aren’t a lot of answers as of today. In fact, my staff was told the State Department as of today was ordered not to talk to Congress about this issue.”The State Department disagreed, saying it "remains in contact with members of Congress who have reached out regarding the executive orders, and will continue to provide information and assistance as we are able."The White House likewise shrugged off the criticism for the days of chaos, legal action and protests at U.S. airports. "It's a shame that people were inconvenienced, but it's a couple of hours,” White House press secretary Sean Spicer told reporters Monday afternoon. “I'm sorry that people had to wait a little while."In fact, at least 872 refugees remained "in transit" to the U.S. on Sunday, according to a U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services call center script obtained by POLITICO. Those refugees will be granted waivers to enter the country, a DHS spokesperson confirmed on background.Longer-term implications were even more startling: The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees estimated that Trump’s moratorium on refugee admissions will keep 20,000 people in “precarious circumstances” from finding safe haven in the U.S. over the three-month period. And regardless of assurances from the administration, reports from airports in the U.S. and Europe depicted a scene of continued confusion and suggested the policy continued to evolve in real time. “There’s a complete vacuum of details and instructions on how to operationalize this order,” said Benjamin Johnson, executive director of the American Immigration Lawyers Association, which has been compiling anecdotes from lawyers who have tried to advise clients detained at U.S. airports in recent days. “I actually feel sorry for [Customs and Border Protection] because they’ve been handed this ridiculous barrel of monkeys."Much of the uncertainty arose from conflicting statements from U.S. officials over the weekend on whether the ban would apply to green card holders — who are permanent legal residents — if they come from one of the seven countries targeted by Trump's order. On Sunday, Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly said in a statement that green card holders would be evaluated one case at a time, but that the entry of "lawful permanent residents" is “in the national interest.” He said they would not be barred "absent the receipt of significant derogatory information indicating a serious threat to public safety and welfare."That was a turnaround from a statement Saturday by a DHS spokeswoman, who said Trump's order "will bar green card holders." But even on Monday, the guidance from Citizenship and Immigration Services said green card holders from those seven countries would need a waiver from the agency to enter the United States.A federal lawsuit filed Monday in Virginia contended that officials had forced two valid green card holders to relinquish their immigration status, with the threat that otherwise they would be returned to Yemen and barred from the U.S. for five years. The complaint argues that dozens, “if not hundreds,” may have experienced the same treatment around the country. Customs and Border Protection did not respond to multiple requests for comment throughout the day, and DHS did not respond in detail. U.S. embassies in European capitals such as London and Berlin began posting advisories Monday directing all nationals and people with dual nationalities from the seven affected countries not to apply for visas to the United States. To make the matter even more confusing, that guidance came just a day after U.K. officials said they had secured an “exception” from the ban for its own dual citizens.That exception, even if valid, wouldn't necessarily apply to dual citizens from other European Union countries. European governments said that means tens of thousands of people could be barred from the U.S., including 80,000 German-Iranians.In a statement to POLITICO, a union for Customs and Border Protection stressed that the employees need uniform and detailed guidance to perform their work.“Clearly, it would have been better if there had been more advanced planning,” said Tony Reardon of the National Treasury Employees Union. “The changes took everyone by surprise.” The Trump administration acknowledged the hurried timeline but said it was a strategic decision. “If the ban were announced with a one week notice, the ‘bad’ would rush into our country during that week,” Trump tweeted Monday. “A lot of bad ‘dudes’ out there!”Some in the travel industry professed little shock at the uncertainty. Chris Kennedy, a spokesman for the U.S. Travel Association, said the trade group is not surprised by reports that the executive order has been interpreted differently at different ports of entry.“Implementation is always tough, even if you give yourself ample time to do it. And now we’re talking about doing this over a weekend,” Kennedy said. Still, the DHS official said the United States' image is taking a hit.“This made us look at best like clowns," the official said.Lauren Gardner, Seung Min Kim and Alex Guillén contributed to this report, which includes material from POLITICO Europe.

31 января, 04:46

'Give To Bigotry No Sanction, To Persecution No Assistance' -- George Washington

"Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free... I lift my lamp beside the golden door!" - Inscription on the Statue of Liberty My grandfather, escaping the horrors of genocide in Armenia, saw that statue and believed those words as he made a new life on these shores. This is the story of millions of people from across the world whose ancestors accepted Lady Liberty's invitation and believed in the truths that were held to be self-evident in the Constitution of the United States that "all men (human beings) are created equal and endowed by their creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and Happiness." This week, the world awoke to a very different message from the President of the United States. It was a message directed to those same huddled masses yearning to breathe free; to those who today seek a better life; to those fleeing from persecution; to those who are without home or country as the result of violence and war. His message: you are NOT welcome here. The door is closed. Liberty's lamp has been extinguished. And not only this, but as he repeated throughout his campaign, Donald Trump declared that Mexicans and Muslims, in particular, are not welcome in this "Land of the Free" on account of their race, nationality and religion. Religious prejudice, myopic nationalism and racism seem now to be the explicit guiding policies of the President of the United States and his administration. This prejudice-laden behavior which uses stereotypical generalizations about race, nationality and religion to demean and dehumanize others is the same rhetoric that has fueled racism and violence against groups perceived to be "different" throughout American and world history. It is a belief system that justified slavery and the subjugation of women in the United States, apartheid in South Africa, and colonialism in India. It is the basis for anti-Semitism, providing the theoretical and theological basis for the Nazi-led Holocaust, led to the internment of Japanese-Americans, and genocide in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Rwanda among so many other places. The list of human atrocities caused by the dehumanizing of "the other" is long. Besides being in direct violation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and debasing the core moral and ethical values of all of the religious traditions of the world, these actions also stand in direct conflict with the most basic principles of American society. Over 200 years ago, Americans of different religions were seeking acceptance and assurance that this country would live out its founding beliefs of equal treatment under the law. Another American President, George Washington, expressed his founding vision for America in a letter he wrote to the Hebrew congregation at Newport, Rhode Island in 1790. In this letter, Washington assured the Jewish community that "the Government of the United States...gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance," and that those of all religions "who dwell in this land continue to merit and enjoy the good will of the other inhabitants -- while every one shall sit in safety under his own vine and fig tree and there shall be none to make him afraid." This was the first and founding vision of a multicultural, multi-religious America. The actions of the current President and his staff are an assault on Washington's promise, and should ignite outrage among people of all political perspectives who believe in this vision of America and of a world connected by compassion - not divided by hate. For centuries, the people of this country and their leaders have toiled to realize this promise. It has been a struggle. It continues to be a struggle. But slowly, very slowly and (sometimes with significant setbacks), the words of the Constitution, and the invitation emblazoned upon the Statue of Liberty, have become an increasing reality that has created in the United States the mosaic of peoples of all races and religions, of all genders, cultures and nationalities. This is the contemporary reflection of Washington's founding vision. Throughout history and continuing today, in the United States and in countries around the world, the struggle against prejudice and hate and for peaceful and just diverse societies continues. Our Muslim sisters and brothers, and those refugees of all nationalities and beliefs fleeing persecution, are being targeted by the dehumanizing prejudice that has found its way into presidential pronouncement in the United States. They are being victimized by violence incited by these actions of the US government; the burning of mosques and murder of Muslims are a direct result of these policies. We, people of all beliefs and backgrounds across this country and around the world, are called to stand together arm in arm, connected heart to heart with people of all traditions, against violence of all kinds and stand united in support of freedom of religion and spiritual expression and the rights of all people to lives of dignity and peace in America and throughout the world. The George Washington quote is an excerpt from his Letter to the Hebrew Congregation at Newport, August 1790. (https://founders.archives.gov/documents/Washington/05-06-02-0135) -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

31 января, 02:12

3 Best Mutual Funds to Buy for Just $100

Believe it or not, investments can actually begin with just $100. Mutual funds are great options for investors looking for a relatively less risky way to earn at least more than what fixed income instruments offer

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31 января, 01:12

Samantha Bee: 'Concerns' about White House Correspondents' Dinner inspired parody fundraiser

TBS’s ‘Full Frontal’ will host an event to benefit the Committee to Protect Journalists at the same time journalists and politicians attend the official White House Correspondents’ Dinner.

30 января, 20:54

Paul Krugman: Building a Wall of Ignorance

"The story seems, like so much that’s happened lately, to have started with President Trump’s insecure ego": Building a Wall of Ignorance, by Paul Krugman, NY Times: We’re just over a week into the Trump-Putin regime, and it’s already getting...

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30 января, 18:09

The U.S. Army's Super Sinister Master Plan to Make Its Armor Even More Deadly

Kris Osborn Security, America's enemies have one more thing to worry about on the battlefield.  The new “open architecture” on board the vehicles uses ethernet technology to connect C4ISR systems including targeting, weapons and electronic attack applications. The Army is integrating sensors, weapons, computers, communications gear and display screens into its tactical and combat vehicles to lighten the load, streamline otherwise disconnected technologies and strengthen an ability to launch electronic attacks, service officials said. The new “open architecture” on board the vehicles uses ethernet technology to connect C4ISR systems including targeting, weapons and electronic attack applications. The VICTORY effort, called Vehicular Integration for C4ISR/EW Interoperability, is intended to lessen the need for multiple disparate GPS, sensor, display screen and communications “boxes” built into a single vehicle.   The C4ISR and electronic warfare integration, called the “VICTORY” initiative, is aimed at correcting problems created by a “bolt-on” approach to putting multiple pieces of equipment on combat vehicles. The Army plans to have this new architecture implemented on a wide range of vehicles by next year. VICTORY will be engineered into Joint Light Tactical Vehicles, Strykers, Abrams tanks and Bradley Fighting Vehicles, among others. Aimed at improving what Army developers call “precision, navigation and timing (PNT),” VICTORY will also make combat vehicles more resistant to jamming and electronic attacks. “Having a common architecture will let us share PNT with all the boxes on a platform so we only need to buy one or two receivers for that platform,” Maj. Gen. David Bassett, Program Executive Officer, Ground Combat Vehicles, said. VICTORY provides a phased set of standard specifications covering the capabilities needed to integrate C4ISR/EW mission equipment and platform applications. It is a set of standards and specifications with common terminology, systems, components and interfaces,” Army officials stated. In particular, the technology includes a new, centralized “data bus-centric” design, sharable hardware components and software upgrades implemented independently of hardware adjustments. VICTORY also integrates hardware and software to improve Information Assurance, Army information explains. Last year, the Army demonstrated the “VICTORY” technology on a Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicle, or MRAP. Read full article

30 января, 15:49

Abiomed (ABMD) Beats Earnings & Revenue Estimates in Q3

Abiomed Inc. (ABMD) reported third-quarter fiscal 2017 earnings of 34 cents per share, which surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 5 cents and surged 47.8% from the year-ago quarter.