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23 марта, 08:25

Could this be Britain's cheapest supermarket?

The average price of an item at Nifties in Dover is 60p.

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21 марта, 17:13

Twins found at white cliffs of Dover were carrying parents' ashes

Kent coroner records open verdict on Muriel and Bernard Burgess; third body found was of Gulf war veteran Scott EnionAdult twins whose bodies were found at the white cliffs of Dover on New Year’s Day had rucksacks containing the ashes of their dead parents, an inquest has heard.A coroner said Muriel and Bernard Burgess, 59, had been struggling to come to terms with their parents’ deaths, particularly that of their mother in 2014. Continue reading...

20 марта, 19:01

Happy 100th birthday, Vera Lynn

A projection wishing singer and war time sweetheart Vera Lynn a happy birthday is projected on to the cliffs at Dover, Britain, yesterday. Vera Lynn, who entertained British troops during World War II with songs that captured a longing for home and peace, was honored on her 100th birthday yesterday with her image projected onto the iconic White Cliffs of Dover. Known as the Forces’ Sweetheart, Lynn struck a chord with soldiers fighting overseas and with the public back in Britain with “We’ll Meet Again” and other songs that gave voice to many Britons’ hopes and fears about the conflict with Nazi Germany.

09 марта, 02:07

The Atlantic Politics & Policy Daily: The World’s Greatest Politics Newsletter of 2017

Republican Representative Pete Sessions has proposed the "World's Greatest Healthcare Plan of 2017.”

07 марта, 01:32

The disappearing Sean Spicer

The White House press secretary has pulled back from his often-contentious televised briefings.

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05 марта, 00:00

Trump's Obama Obsession

Edward-Isaac Dovere, PoliticoThe president finds his predecessor to be a convenient foil as he wades through persistent controversy.

03 марта, 03:19

Trump's advisers push him to purge Obama appointees

Frustrated by the gush of leaks, the president's allies say it's time to take action.

02 марта, 04:13

Style Versus Substance

President Donald Trump's first speech to Congress and to the American public was not a disaster of epic proportions. Normally, I wouldn't begin a speech review with such a statement, but with Trump, the possibility always exists (see: Trump's first press conference). Trump managed to clear the bar of "speaks like the public wants to hear a president speak, and not like an enraged adolescent on the playground." Again, for any other president this bar wouldn't even be mentioned, because it has never been an issue before now. Because it was Donald Trump, however, much of the audience watching the speech breathed a sigh of relief that Trump finally managed to "look presidential." Grading Trump's first big speech has to be split into two different categories. Now, much of the mainstream media chose to focus solely on the first aspect of Trump's speech: style. Precious little attention was paid to the substance of the speech, which is why I'm saving it for last in my own review. Suffice it to say for now that I think Trump did much better on style than on substance. Stylistically, it was the best speech Trump has ever given. Even his harshest critics have been admitting as much. Donald Trump has finally learned how to read a speech off a TelePrompTer without it sounding ridiculously awful. Way back in the campaign season, at some point his advisors forced Trump into only giving pre-written speeches off a TelePrompTer. This achieved its goal: Trump appeared a lot less frighteningly unhinged as he had been during his ad-libbed stream-of-consciousness speeches. But he sounded not just scripted, but downright uncomfortable with the whole concept of reading a speech someone else had obviously written for him. Trump would pause in all the wrong places, carefully enunciate unfamiliar words with a look of surprise in his eyes, and transform what were supposed to be forceful statements into questions with his delivery. He sounded like nothing more than a terrified student badly attempting to read a poem at a school talent show, in fact. 'Twas the night?Before Christmas.And all through?!?The house -- and, believe me, it was a fantastic house, a tremendous house, because I built it.... Every speech he read with what can only be described as a downright confused cadence, in other words. But that all ended last night. Trump has finally gotten the hang of reading a speech. He's finally taken someone else's advice and changed his delivery to sound much more natural and polished. I almost expected to see a speech coach beaming with pride on the sidelines, in fact. Trump's transformation was notable not only for his newfound skill at reading prepared text. He did far less arm-waving and hand-gesturing than he normally does. These had done nothing to help Trump before with TelePrompTers -- in fact, they made his hesitant delivery even more noticeable, since he had a few go-to gestures which he always used when he had to read an unfamiliar word (the ones he would inevitably turn into questions). But the speech coach must have been doubly proud last night, since Trump kept the arm-waving to a minimum. Donald Trump's speech was stylistically notable for reasons other than just his delivery, though. He denied himself all the favorite oratory tools in his regular toolbox last night. In rallies, Trump loves to fire up a crowd by shouting, and he loves to get them on their feet by chanting favored slogans ("Build the wall!", etc.). He did neither of these last night. He also loves to ad lib and toss his own little bon mots into the mix, but he restrained himself (for the most part) from doing so last night as well. Gone also were the self-reverent begging for adulation that Trump normally engages in ("Are you with me? He's with me! Come up here and tell the people how much you're with me!"). Not a word was uttered about the dastardly liberal media, even. His first couple of paragraphs could even have been read by a Democratic president, when Trump condemned anti-Semitism and violence. Once again, for any other president we wouldn't even be mentioning any of this. But Trump was so different last night from all his previous public speaking that it was indeed notable. He sounded more natural than he ever has. He sounded calm -- no ranting and raving. He did his best to sound reasonable and presidential -- two things he's never really even attempted, previously. Stylistically, it was the best political speech he's ever given. The big stylistic moment of the night was watching the widow weep. This brought Trump lots of praise from the media commentators, but it horrified many for the sheerly exploitative way Trump used the woman. As with many things in a politically-divided America, it mostly depends on your politics as to how you saw this moment. Now, Trump certainly isn't the first president to use an average American in the gallery to score political points of one sort or another. Ronald Reagan began this tradition, when he praised Lenny Skutnik for his heroism after an airplane hit the 14th Street Bridge and crashed into the Potomac River (which had happened only two weeks before Reagan's speech was given). All presidents since have used this tactic as well, so Trump certainly can't be held accountable for the tradition itself. But Trump really went out on a limb by having the widow in the gallery. There are plenty of unanswered questions about the raid which took her husband's life, and the Trump administration's boastful answers may not, in fact, reflect the reality. Some in the media are pointing this out today, such as Paul Waldman of the Washington Post: Let's review the facts. The Yemen raid on Jan. 29 was the first military action of Trump's presidency. The idea for raiding this compound, partly in pursuit of the leader of AQAP leader [sic] (who wasn't there) was presented to Trump over dinner one night, and according to NBC News, military representatives "told Trump that they doubted that the Obama administration would have been bold enough to try it," which was apparently good enough to get him to sign off. Then almost everything that could go wrong did go wrong. The militants knew they were coming, possibly tipped off by the increased sound of drones in the area. The team encountered stronger resistance than it expected. A couple of dozen civilians were killed (we don't know exactly how many, but it could be as many as 30), including children, among them an 8-year-old American girl. Owens was killed. A $75 million Osprey aircraft was damaged in a "hard landing" and had to be destroyed lest it fall into AQAP's hands. We all know that if it had been Hillary Clinton who ordered the Yemen raid, there would already be multiple congressional investigations underway and subpoenas would be falling like rain. That's one thing the White House doesn't have to worry about. But they decided that the way to handle questions about the botched raid was to use Ryan Owens as a shield. The raid was a terrific success, said spokesman Sean Spicer, and "anyone that would suggest it's not a success does a disservice to the life of Chief Ryan Owens." But the questions, and the criticisms, kept coming, most pointedly from Owens' father, himself a veteran. "Don't hide behind my son's death," Bill Owens told the Miami Herald, after refusing to meet with President Trump at Dover Air Force Base. The article goes on to point out the fact that earlier in the day, Trump placed all the blame on the generals, saying "they lost Ryan." But the worst part of the display was (naturally) an ad-lib remark by Trump: As the applause went on and Carryn Owens stood weeping, Trump offered what in the tiny, narcissistic world he exists in is the highest form of praise: "And Ryan is looking down, right now, you know that. And he's very happy, because I think he just broke a record," referring to the length of the ovation. What exactly is that supposed to mean? Owens set the "Longest Applause for Dead Servicemember In Joint Speech to Congress" record? What kind of person could possibly think that would matter to anyone? Oh, right -- Donald Trump would. What is being hailed as the crowning moment during Trump's speech could eventually boomerang on him, if the claims of the mission's sweeping success turn out to be vastly overstated. But even this moment was nothing more than style, not substance. On the substance of his speech, Trump hasn't really changed one iota. It was a softer, gentler presentation, but the core messages remained exactly the same. Immigrants are bad, and are probably going to kill you in your sleep sometime real soon. Loudly proclaiming "radical Islamic terrorism" will immediately defeat all terrorists everywhere, because it is a magical phrase for presidents to use. Tax cuts are good. Obamacare is bad. Democrats are mean for not jumping on board the Trump train. You know, the usual thing. Trump made very little news in his speech. Republicans were reportedly desperately seeking details from Trump on the direction to head forward in upcoming legislation. But Trump barely even mentioned tax cuts, and didn't address any of the details of the grand tax reform plan Republicans are reportedly working on. He gave no guidance, and offered no hint of what he'd accept or reject. Will Trump hold firm on not touching entitlement spending and preserve Social Security, as he repeatedly promised on the campaign trail? Hard to tell. Will Trump just go along with whatever Paul Ryan wants? Again, impossible to tell from Trump's speech. Trump also made very little news on immigration. Earlier in the day, the White House was teasing the possibility that Trump would boldly lay out an agenda for comprehensive immigration reform, but the only indication of that in the speech was Trump talking about letting immigrants in by merit (which, though he didn't mention it, probably means ending relatives being able to sponsor each other, the way they can now). Trump talked of enforcing the rules which state that immigrants should be able to support themselves, which isn't exactly what I'd call comprehensive immigration reform. He spoke vaguely about a "pathway" for immigrants already here, but on close examination it will not be a pathway to citizenship. DREAMers weren't even mentioned at all. Trump didn't talk much about his budget priorities, other than his plan to shovel more money into the Pentagon and some vague support for infrastructure spending (although possibly with private dollars). The only subject he gave any real details on at all was replacing Obamacare, and even there most of what he said was standard Republican boilerplate. The only real news he made during his list of what has to be in the Obamacare replacement was when Trump seemingly sided with the Paul Ryan faction, which is currently pushing tax credits to help poor and middle-class people buy health insurance (instead of either tax deductions or just flat-out nothing, which is what the other GOP factions are pushing for). But one wonders how strongly Trump is really endorsing one side or another in this fight, as so far he seems content to let Congress haggle over all the details on their own. On the score of making news by outlining his legislative agenda or priorities, Trump fell short. What did he propose that was truly new last night? Tax credits in the Obamacare replacement plan (maybe). A program called "VOICE" to highlight violence committed by immigrants, for political purposes. A bone he tossed to Democrats on family leave, but likely won't follow through on (unless Ivanka bugs him about it enough, perhaps). That's really about it. Donald Trump earned high praise for the style and delivery of his speech last night. I'm not sure all of it was truly earned, but -- for him -- it was the best political speech he's ever given. Rated against other presidents, it was fair-to-middlin' at best. Even though Trump was noticeably restrained, there wasn't a whole lot of soaring oratory. But, grading on the Trump curve, he certainly did better than he's ever managed previously. On substance, however, it was the same-old, same-old. Trump (and his speechwriters) may have managed to soften the language and remove most (not all, mind you) of the scapegoating, but the ideas were still pure Steve Bannon. Trump may soon see a slight boost in his job approval ratings (which are currently lower than any president ever measured, at this point in), but when Congress actually starts having to hash some of this stuff out, it remains to be seen how interested Trump will be in getting into the details. If last night was any indication, Trump doesn't seem overly concerned with the nitty-gritty of how any of his agenda will get through Congress. Meaning that on substance, Trump's speech was really just as vague as any other speech he's ever given.   Chris Weigant blogs at: Follow Chris on Twitter: @ChrisWeigant   -- 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.

01 марта, 20:53

Trump invited Yemen raid widow to speech during condolence call

President Donald Trump invited the widow of the Navy SEAL killed during a January raid in Yemen to be a guest at his address to Congress during a condolence call on Jan. 31, according to White House press secretary Sean Spicer. Carryn Owens’s appearance in the gallery, sitting next to Trump’s daughter Ivanka, wasn’t announced before the speech but became a high point for the president after Trump thanked her for the sacrifice of her husband, Ryan, prompting a standing ovation from members of Congress gathered in the House chamber. “Referencing her in the speech, that was her decision,” Spicer said Wednesday. “The president said he would like to raise this, and she said, ‘I would like that.’”Trump approved the raid in which Owens was killed during his first week as president. The operation went badly wrong, with a nighttime firefight that left three other American servicemembers wounded and a $75 million aircraft deliberately destroyed. Along with Owens, more than a dozen civilians were also killed, including the 8-year-old American-born daughter of Anwar al-Awlaki, an al Qaeda leader killed in a 2011 drone strike. The president distanced himself from the raid on an interview with Fox News that aired Tuesday only hours before his congressional address, saying the planning had started under President Barack Obama and suggesting that it was the fault of military planners. Ryan Owens’ father told the Miami Herald that he refused to meet with the president, who traveled with Ivanka Trump to witness the return of Owens’ body to Dover Air Force Base in Delaware in early February. Spicer said Carryn Owens visited the White House on Tuesday with her three children before Trump’s congressional address. “Our goal was to make sure we respected her privacy,” he told reporters.

01 марта, 17:53

Pence disputes reports that Yemen raid yielded no significant intel

A raid conducted by Navy SEALs last month in Yemen against an offshoot of the terrorist group Al Qaeda yielded “significant intelligence,” Vice President Mike Pence said Wednesday morning, disputing reports that the operation had proven fruitless.The raid, which left one SEAL and dozens of civilians dead, has proven increasingly controversial for Trump, who in a Fox News interview broadcast Tuesday morning seemingly blamed the military for the U.S. service member’s death. Asked about the operation, Trump told “Fox & Friends” that the mission “was started before I got here” and said of his generals that “they lost Ryan,” referring to slain SEAL Ryan Owens.In perhaps the most powerful moment of the president’s hour-long address to a joint session of Congress Tuesday night, Trump spoke warmly of Owens and introduced his widow, seated in the gallery. She received an extended standing ovation, after which Trump said “Ryan is looking down right now, you know that, and he’s very happy because I think he just broke a record,” a line that prompted laughter in the House chamber and a smile from the SEAL’s wife.The White House has repeatedly labeled the mission as a success because of the intelligence it yielded, although officials have generally been cautious to couch that characterization with praise for Owens’ sacrifice. But citing anonymous sources, NBC News reported Tuesday that the operation had not generated any significant information.Owens’ father, who refused to meet President Donald Trump when he traveled to greet the remains of the fallen SEAL at Dover Air Force Base, said in an interview with the Miami Herald that the operation should be investigated and warned the White House not to hide behind his son’s death. White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer has said the operation will be automatically reviewed by the Pentagon, in part because a service member was killed.“We were briefed again yesterday by [Defense Secretary James] Mattis, giving us a summary of the intelligence that was gathered,” Pence said in an interview Wednesday with “CBS This Morning.” “This was a strike that was directed at obtaining information about the Al Qaeda operating out of Yemen. We do believe it will lay a foundation for victories in the future.”“NBC has reported that there was no significant intelligence gathered from that raid is. That wrong?” anchor Norah O’Donnell followed-up.“That is wrong. I can tell you that Secretary Mattis, as recently as yesterday confirmed again to the administration that there was significant intelligence that was gathered that will lead to American success and to the safety and security of the American people,” Pence replied, echoing comments Trump made during his address to Congress.

01 марта, 03:00

Trump deflects responsibility on Yemen raid: 'They lost Ryan'

President Donald Trump avoided accepting responsibility Tuesday for the first American military death under his administration, unceremoniously suggesting “they lost” William “Ryan” Owens.Owens, a 36-year-old Navy SEAL, died last month during an intelligence-gathering raid in Yemen. Multiple American service members were wounded in the raid, and more than 20 civilians, including women and children, were also killed. The White House had framed the mission as a “very, very well thought-out and executed effort” that began in November under then-President Barack Obama’s administration. And press secretary Sean Spicer had said Trump didn’t sign off until Defense Secretary James Mattis conveyed his support for the Obama era memo.“This was a mission that was started before I got here,” Trump told Fox News in an interview from the White House broadcast Tuesday. “This was something that was, you know, just — they wanted to do. And they came to see me. They explained what they wanted to do, the generals, who are very respected.” Trump veered into effusive praise for his generals, calling them “the most respected that we’ve had in many decades” before pinning Owens’ death on the them.“They lost Ryan,” the president said.Trump was inside the White House when he learned of Owens’ death and had spoken to Owens’ wife, Karen, with whom he had three children. The president traveled to Dover Air Force Base to greet Owens’ remains earlier this month.“And it was a very sad — with the family,” Trump said. “And it’s a great family. Incredible wife and children. I met most of the family.”But he hadn’t met Owens’ father, Bill Owens, who wanted it that way and told the Miami Herald in an interview published over the weekend that the Trump administration is hiding behind his son’s death to elude an investigation. The government, he said, owes his slain son an investigation.Trump sympathized with the father’s not wanting to speak with him. “I can understand people saying that,” he said. “I’d feel — you know, I’d feel what’s worse? There’s nothing worse. There’s nothing worse.”Again, though, the commander in chief seemed to pass on the responsibility of Owens’ death to military officials and the Obama administration — although he added that the mission was successful.“This was something that they were looking at for a long time doing,” he said. “And according to General Mattis, it was a very successful mission. They got tremendous amounts of information.”

28 февраля, 10:54

Deadly U.S. Yemen Raid Netted No Major Intelligence: Report

function onPlayerReadyVidible(e){'undefined'!=typeof HPTrack&&HPTrack.Vid.Vidible_track(e)}!function(e,i){if(e.vdb_Player){if('object'==typeof commercial_video){var a='',o='m.fwsitesection='+commercial_video.site_and_category;if(a+=o,commercial_video['package']){var c='&m.fwkeyvalues=sponsorship%3D'+commercial_video['package'];a+=c}e.setAttribute('vdb_params',a)}i(e.vdb_Player)}else{var t=arguments.callee;setTimeout(function(){t(e,i)},0)}}(document.getElementById('vidible_1'),onPlayerReadyVidible); The botched U.S. commando raid on an al Qaeda outpost in Yemen that resulted in the deaths of a Navy SEAL and several women and children reportedly gained very little intelligence information.  So far, no “significant intelligence” has been gleaned from the items seized in the raid, “multiple” senior sources have told NBC, the network reported Tuesday.  The raid — an unusual use of American ground forces in the country — was supposed to surprise the enemy, but the Navy SEAL team dispatched to the site Jan. 28 confronted a reinforced al Qaeda base defended by landmines, snipers, and a larger-than-expected contingent of heavily armed extremists. President Donald Trump was apparently not in the Situation Room supervising the action as would be typical for a commander in chief in such an operation. While the raid was unfolding, Trump’s personal Twitter account was active and a tweet was sent notifying readers about an upcoming presidential TV, The Huffington Post reported Wednesday. That tweet has since been deleted. The Trump administration is characterizing the operation primarily as a mission to gather intelligence on al Qaeda, and considers it “highly successful,” according to White House press Secretary Sean Spicer.  “We gathered an unbelievable amount of intelligence that will prevent the potential deaths or attacks on American soil,” Spicer said Feb. 8. The Pentagon has also said the raid produced “actionable intelligence.” Spicer said Monday that the Navy Seal who lost his life in the raid, Chief Petty Officer William “Ryan” Owens,” died a hero and the information that he was able to help obtain through that raid ... is going to save American lives.” But NBC’s sources said they have seen no evidence that supports Spicer’s claim. Earlier reports, backed by Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), had said that the main goal of the operation was to capture or kill extremist leaders. One of the targets was reportedly Qasim al-Raymi, a leader of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, but he was apparently unharmed. Bill Owens, the father of the fallen Navy Seal, has called the raid a “stupid mission” and demanded an investigation into the operation. He refused to meet with Trump when the two men were on the scene when Ryan Owens’ body was taken off the plane at Dover Air Force Base. “Why at this time did there have to be this stupid mission when it wasn’t even barely a week into [Trump’s] administration?” Owens said in an interview with the Miami Herald. “For two years prior, there were no boots on the ground in Yemen — everything was missiles and drones because there was not a target worth one American life. Now, all of a sudden we had to make this grand display?’’ Army Gen. Joseph Votel, Commander of U.S. Central Command, defended the raid, telling CBS News that it was part of the “broader offensive that we’re pursuing in Yemen.” He said that the object was to go in and collect intelligence. “We accomplished that,” he added. Votel did not describe the nature or amount of the intelligence gathered. The raid was planned during the previous administration, but former President Barack Obama had not yet signed off on it. At least 25 civilians were killed in the raid, including nine children under the age of 13, according to the Bureau of Investigative Journalism. The Pentagon is conducting an investigation into the raid, which is standard procedure when any lives are lost, according to Spicer.  type=type=RelatedArticlesblockTitle=Related Coverage + articlesList=58ae0acbe4b057efdce8c07c,58b320eee4b060480e08c86e -- 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.

27 февраля, 15:42

Father of SEAL killed in Yemen raid blasts White House: Don't hide behind my son's death

The White House is using the death of a Navy SEAL last month during a raid in Yemen to avoid an investigation into that raid, the slain service member’s father said in an interview with the Miami Herald that was published Sunday.Thirty-six-year-old Ryan Owens was killed late last month during an intelligence-gathering raid targeting a terrorist group, Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, in Yemen. In addition to Owens, the operation left several civilians, possibly including children, dead.Owens’ death was the first known military casualty of President Donald Trump’s administration, and the president personally traveled to Dover Air Force Base to greet the slain SEAL’s remains as they arrived back in the U.S. The White House has billed the Yemen raid as “a huge success,” a characterization that prompted Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) to criticize the Trump administration for celebrating an operation that resulted in the death of a U.S. service member.The president responded by suggesting that “Sen. McCain should not be talking about the success or failure of a mission to the media. Only emboldens the enemy! He's been losing so long he doesn't know how to win anymore.” White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer followed by telling reporters that “I think anybody who undermines the success of that [raid] owes an apology and [does] a disservice to the life of Chief Owens.”“Don’t hide behind my son’s death to prevent an investigation,” the SEAL’s father, Bill Owens, told the Herald. “I want an investigation. … The government owes my son an investigation.”On Sunday, Deputy White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders suggested that Trump could be open to an investigation. “I haven't had the chance to speak with him directly about that, but I would imagine that he would be supportive of that,” she said on ABC News’ “This Week.”Upset by Trump’s very public feuding with and treatment of a Gold Star family during his campaign last year, Bill Owens told the Herald that he refused to meet with Trump when the president came to Dover Air Force Base. Instead, the president met with other members of the family while the Bill Owens and his wife sat in another room.The White House has said publicly that the Yemen raid was originally planned under the administration of former President Barack Obama and carried out by the Trump administration only because of a desire to conduct it on a moonless night that would not occur until after the president was sworn in. But Bill Owens questioned why the Trump administration opted to carry out such a mission that represented a clear departure from past U.S. policies in Yemen.“Why at this time did there have to be this stupid mission when it wasn’t even barely a week into his administration? Why? For two years prior, there were no boots on the ground in Yemen — everything was missiles and drones — because there was not a target worth one American life. Now, all of a sudden we had to make this grand display?”

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26 февраля, 09:00

Britain’s new wave of militant grocers | Sarah Butler

So much food goes into landfill while many families go hungry. Sarah Butler meets the shopkeepers fighting wasteA steady stream of shoppers are filling their baskets with biscuits, fizzy pop, risotto rice and tins of tomatoes at Niftie’s grocery store in Dover on a cold January morning. Everything they’re buying would have been thrown out by a mainstream supermarket. Shelves are piled with food well past its best before date, slightly squashed cakes and some pretty unusual discontinued products including mojito mouthwash (90p), not usually available for sale in the UK.If you’re not bothered about instructions in another language, misprinted labels or biscuits that may be several months past their peak quality – but not stale – you can stock up for a fraction of the price you might pay in a regular shop. Prices start at 5p and go up to £1 with a jar of Ragu sauce selling for 50p and fruit juice for 40p. Continue reading...

25 февраля, 18:19

About that lockout … TRUMP’s new NSC adviser says ‘radical Islam’ is an unhelpful phrase -- OBAMA in NYC -- DNC chair vote in ATL today: Debenedetti, Dovere on scene -- B’DAY: Bob Schieffer is 8-0

Good Saturday morning. It’s still unseasonably warm in Washington this morning. Go outside because it could rain this afternoon. Read Playbook, then leave Twitter and all of this behind for a bit. Tomorrow the temps will drop back to the 40s and 50s, per the Capital Weather Gang gurus. http://wapo.st/2lQmlmiA FEW THOUGHTS ON THE LOCKOUT -- Let’s stipulate the obvious before delving into the details. Banning news organizations is a dangerous practice. Sure, many White House press secretaries have their favorite outlets, and dish to them. Barack Obama’s White House unloaded news to the New York Times all the time, and had off-the-record sessions with wonky, liberal opinion writers frequently. But what the Trump White House did yesterday was different. They created an invite-only session in place of the White House press briefing.NOW LET’S TALK ABOUT THE STRATEGY. The basic mystifying element of this is Donald Trump has an aggressive agenda that includes repealing a health care law whose popularity is growing; he wants to rewrite the tax code, jumpstart infrastructure spending across the country and build a wall on the border with Mexico. He needs support from 218 members of the House, and between 50 and 60 members of the Senate. Several top-level Republican aides in D.C. wondered why they would voluntarily choose to ban outlets, and therefore talk to fewer Americans when they’re trying to sell an agenda! Paul Ryan, John Boehner and Nancy Pelosi -- the three most recent speakers of the House -- have had their fair share of rough times. But they dutifully come out and talk to the press corps every week -- at least once. At times they don’t like it -- Boehner called it “feeding the alligators” -- but they do it.WHY DID THEY DO IT? One source close to the White House told us that Trump loves pitting himself against the press and believes that, ultimately, it will bring the American public on his side and boost his approval rating. And, if nothing else, it shifted the press’s focus from Reince Priebus asking the FBI to downplay the Russia hacks to media navel gazing about its own access.-- @GlennThrush: “Why Spicer wants hand-picked gaggle: 1) avoid on-camera goof 2) Trump can’t watch a gaggle 3) get press to ‘whine’ 4) sow internal strife” … @peterbakernyt: “Can’t remember any press secretary from Clinton, Bush or Obama canceling briefing and handpicking small group for gaggle. @PressSec”BUT, BUT, BUT … Sean Spicer told us he wouldn’t ban reporters like the Trump campaign did! During a Playbook Interview event in December, Spicer said: “There’s a big difference between a campaign where it is a private venue using private funds and a government entity and I think we have a respect for the press when it comes to the government that that is something that you can’t ban an entity from. Conservative, liberal or otherwise. I think that’s what makes a democracy a democracy versus a dictatorship.” 49-second clip http://cs.pn/2mvUSDhWE ASKED THE WHITE HOUSE for their takeaways about yesterday, and the briefing kerfuffle, and they pointed to the president’s speech at CPAC and the executive order he signed.THE BANNED -- POLITICO, The Washington Post, The New York Times, BuzzFeed, CNN, BBC and the L.A. Times. AP and Time boycotted the briefing in solidarity. Statements from major news organizations about yesterday http://politi.co/2mw2rKtWHAT NEW ENGLAND IS READING -- “Donald Trump claims to remake GOP as party of ‘the American worker’,” by the Boston Globe’s Tyler Pager on A1: “Attempting to put a defining framework on his tumultuous first month in office, President Trump on Friday articulated a new vision for the Republican Party as a populist defender of the working class that will challenge elites at home and abroad. Trump, speaking to hard-line GOP activists at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference, made it clear how much the world has changed for rank-and-file Republicans since his insurgent campaign upended the party. At times, he promoted positions that could have been ripped from the playbook of liberals Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders. ‘The GOP will be from now on the party also of the American worker,’ Trump declared. ‘First, we need to define what this great, great unprecedented movement is and what it actually represents,’ he added. ‘The core conviction of our movement is that we are a nation that will put its own citizens first.’” http://bit.ly/2lUFUu6 … A1 PDF http://bit.ly/2kWsQokREAL NEWS AND A BIG DEAL -- INSIDE THE NSC -- “H.R. McMaster Breaks With Administration on Views of Islam,” by NYT’s Mark Landler and Eric Schmitt: “President Trump’s newly appointed national security adviser has told his staff that Muslims who commit terrorist acts are perverting their religion, rejecting a key ideological view of other senior Trump advisers and signaling a potentially more moderate approach to the Islamic world. The adviser, Lt. Gen. H. R. McMaster, told the staff of the National Security Council on Thursday, in his first ‘all hands’ staff meeting, that the label ‘radical Islamic terrorism’ was not helpful because terrorists are ‘un-Islamic,’ according to people who were in the meeting. That is a repudiation of the language regularly used by both the president and General McMaster’s predecessor, Michael T. Flynn.” http://nyti.ms/2lUyx63-- “Trump administration sought to enlist intelligence officials, key lawmakers to counter Russia stories,” by WaPo’s Greg Miller and Adam Entous: “The Trump administration has enlisted senior members of the intelligence community and Congress in efforts to counter news stories about Trump associates’ ties to Russia, a politically charged issue that has been under investigation by the FBI as well as lawmakers now defending the White House. Acting at the behest of the White House, the officials made calls to news organizations last week in attempts to challenge stories about alleged contacts between members of President Trump’s campaign team and Russian intelligence operatives, U.S. officials said. The calls were orchestrated by the White House after unsuccessful attempts by the administration to get senior FBI officials to speak with news organizations and dispute the accuracy of stories on the alleged contacts with Russia.” http://wapo.st/2mospQL-- “Donald Trump Rejects Intelligence Report on Travel Ban,” by WSJ’s Shane Harris: “An intelligence report by the Department of Homeland Security contradicts the White House’s assertion that immigrants from seven Muslim-majority countries pose a particular risk of being terrorists and should be blocked from entering the U.S. The report is the latest volley in a struggle between intelligence officials and the Trump administration that has rippled across several agencies.“Some officials have critiqued administration policies, while the president and senior members of his staff have accused officials of leaking information to undermine his administration and the legitimacy of his election. The report, reviewed by The Wall Street Journal, came from Homeland Security’s Office of Intelligence and Analysis. It said that its staff ‘assesses that country of citizenship is unlikely to be a reliable indicator of potential terrorist activity.’ The White House on Friday dismissed it as politically motivated and poorly researched. The compilation and disclosure of an intelligence report so directly at odds with top White House priorities marks an unusually sharp rupture between the administration and career public servants. It also underscores the difficulty President Donald Trump has had in converting his confrontational and bombastic campaign rhetoric into public policy.” http://on.wsj.com/2mw0xtnWHAT TRUMP IS TWEETING -- @realDonaldTrump at 7:53 a.m.: “Maybe the millions of people who voted to MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN should have their own rally. It would be the biggest of them all!” … at 8:19 a.m.: “The media has not reported that the National Debt in my first month went down by $12 billion vs a $200 billion increase in Obama first mo.” Herman Cain said this on Fox News this morning http://bit.ly/2lkHwtL … at 8:27 a.m.: “Great optimism for future of U.S. business, AND JOBS, with the DOW having an 11th straight record close. Big tax & regulation cuts coming!”-- FACT CHECK: President Trump has not signed a spending bill into law yet. The downtick in the deficit really doesn’t have anything to do with him.MEANWHILE, OBAMA IN NYC -- Former President Obama having lunch yesterday at NYC’s Gramercy Tavern – he had kale salad, black bass and chocolate chip cookies, per a tipster. Pic, via @deray: “He’s rested & has a glow about him. The man is back.” http://bit.ly/2lUHa0h … Menu http://bit.ly/2lkG0HQ … @KateBennett_DC: “.@BarackObama backstage last night after seeing ‘The Price’ on Broadway, via @GettyImages . cc @MarkRuffalo @DannyDeVito” http://bit.ly/2kWsxKlWHAT TRUMP IS SEEING THIS MORNING -- NYT: Two columns, lead story “TRUMP INTENSIFIES CRITICISM OF F.B.I. AND JOURNALISTS -- Condemns ‘Leakers’ as White House Bars Some Reporters From Briefing” http://bit.ly/2lQe4yw … WaPo: “Key officials were asked to rebut Russia reports” … “White House slams door on several reporters” http://bit.ly/2mhPwQ1 … N.Y. POST: “FUR FLIES! … Inflatable cat scares off union rat” http://nyp.st/2algwpl-- FOR THE PRESIDENT’S RADAR -- THIS IS BREAKING THROUGH: THE TRIBUNE-DEMOCRAT (Johnstown, Pa.): “Trump feud with media heats up -- President rips anonymous sources -- after his staff uses them” http://bit.ly/2mwbb32 … MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL: “News outlets barred from White House press briefing” http://bit.ly/2lGpTFp … THE MACOMB DEMOCRAT (Michigan): “Trump administration bars major news outlets from briefing” http://bit.ly/2mon6AEADELSON’S WORLD -- “Pence, addressing Jewish Republicans, condemns rash of anti-Semitic vandalism,” by Alex Isenstadt in Las Vegas: “Vice President Mike Pence on Friday forcefully condemned a string of anti-Semitic acts of vandalism across the country, telling a group of powerful Jewish Republicans that such acts had ‘no place’ in the country. ‘Let me be very clear: We condemn these acts of vandalism and the people that perpetrated these acts in the strongest possible terms,’ Pence told a Republican Jewish Coalition gathering here. ‘Hatred and anti-Semitism have no place in American society.’ Pence’s remarks come at a time of growing unease among many Jewish Americans, who have witnessed numerous acts of anti-Semitism in recent months.” http://politi.co/2moi6vS-- SPOTTED on Thursday night at Adelson’s Vegas house at a party for VIP attendees of the RJC gathering: Sam Fox, Steve Wynn, Sen. Dean Heller (R-Nev.), Rep. Ed Royce (R-Calif.), Rep. Mia Love (R-Utah), Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY), Rep. Devin Nunes, RNC Chair Ronna Romney McDaniel, Lew Eisenberg, Yitz Applbaum, Phil Rosen, Fred Zeidman, Jay Zeidman, Ed Czuker, David Flaum, Phyllis Greenberg Heideman, Elliott Broidy, and Boris Epshteyn. (h/t Jewish Insider)SOMETHING TO WATCH -- “Issa: Trump-Russia probe requires a special prosecutor,” by Kyle Cheney: “Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) said on HBO's ‘Real Time’ that Attorney General Jeff Sessions — who Trump appointed as the nation’s top law enforcement officer — should not handle the problem. ‘You cannot have somebody, a friend of mine Jeff Sessions, who was on the campaign and who is an appointee,’ the California Republican said in response to a question from host Bill Maher. ‘You’re going to need to use the special prosecutor's statute and office to take — not just to recuse. You can't just give it to your deputy. That's another political appointee.’ Issa emphasized that ‘there may or may not be fault’ with Trump's associates but said Russian President Vladimir Putin’s brutality toward political enemies highlighted the need for such a probe.” http://politi.co/2lkY055 … Video of Issa/Maher http://bit.ly/2lUFx2F-- REMEMBER: Issa served as the top oversight lieutenant in the House, often relishing his role antagonizing the Obama administration.THE LOYAL OPPOSITION -- DNC CHAIR VOTE IS TODAY -- “Democrats hope for quick end to DNC chair fight,” by Isaac Dovere, Gabe Debenedetti, and Daniel Strauss in Atlanta: “Democratic leaders are pushing hard to get the chair race settled on the first ballot, bringing an end to the four-month long proxy war for what the party’s supposed to stand for. ‘After months of future forums, the future is now,’ said Donna Brazile, the outgoing interim chair said Friday, kicking off proceedings. She’s not running for re-election, and has remained neutral in the race, but Brazile has been quietly urging members not to let the chair vote descend into multiple, divisive rounds that members fear will only feed tensions in the room and a media narrative that the party remains in disarray in the wake of President Donald Trump’s win.” http://politi.co/2lUCNm4-- “Grass-roots fury masks intense Democratic anxiety: On the eve of electing a new chairman, the party is gripped by Trump-era angst,” by Isaac Dovere and Gabe Debenedetti in Atlanta: “They’re energized by the marches and excited about the crowds showing up at town halls held by Republican lawmakers. But not far below the surface, Democrats are just as anxious, depressed and strung out as they’ve been since the night Donald Trump won the presidential election. Gathered here for the [DNC] winter meeting at which they’ll elect a new chair and other officers on Saturday, state leaders and top operatives can’t go long in the hallways or at the hotel bar without sighing, grimacing, shaking their heads at how bad the situation still is.” http://politi.co/2lkEvcR-- “House Democrats plan to troll Trump at big speech,”by Heather Caygle: “House Democrats are seizing on President Donald Trump’s first major speech to Congress Tuesday as an opportunity to troll the new president in prime time. Many of the same Democrats who boycotted Trump’s inauguration are choosing not to skip his first address to Congress as president, instead opting to bring guests directly affected by the administration’s controversial policies on immigration and refugees and Republican attempts to repeal Obamacare. ‘It’s my hope that gallery is going to look like America,’ said Rep. Jim Langevin (D-R.I.), who is leading an effort to have his colleagues bring diverse guests Tuesday and will be joined by Rhode Island Dr. Ehsun Mirza, a Muslim-American born in Pakistan. ‘It’s another reminder to the president that he’s not the arbiter of patriotism.’ The effort is designed to put a human face on Trump’s immigration and refugee — and perhaps steal a bit of the spotlight from the president’s big speech. Though it’s unlikely to resonate much beyond Tuesday night, members said doing something is better than nothing.” http://politi.co/2lGuRDSTHE A1 TAKE -- GLENN THRUSH in the NYT, “Trump’s Blistering Speech at CPAC Follows Bannon’s Blueprint”: “Speaking to the Conservative Political Action Conference on Friday, Mr. Trump launched what was easily the most blistering attack on the media and corporate elites of his already bellicose and eventful presidency. His speech also included a promise to throw undocumented immigrants ‘the hell out of the country’ and a recitation of his law-and-order campaign promises. It represented a not-entirely friendly takeover of CPAC, an establishment Republican group whose leadership once viewed the party’s surprise standard-bearer as a noisy interloper.” http://nyti.ms/2kWiOnhDONNA BRAZILE SPEAKS -- “‘It transformed me’: Donna Brazile reflects on ‘constant harassment,’ bomb threats that came after DNC hacks,” by Business Insider’s Maxwell Tani: “‘It was a campaign that I’ve never experienced before, and I have seven presidential campaigns under my belt. When I assumed the chair role, I assumed, ‘Well, this will only take a couple months out of my life, and I’ll go back to being Donna.’ But it transformed me,’ Brazile said.” http://read.bi/2lGyytrNATASHA KORECKI IN CHICAGO -- “Trump wages war on Chicago”: “Forget the media. Chicago is emerging as one of President Donald Trump’s favorite punching bags, the big city he loves to hate. The president barely gets through a few days without sounding off on Chicago violence, often casting the nation’s third largest city as a war-torn wasteland.” http://politi.co/2mw0U6ZTHE THORN IN TRUMP’S SIDE -- NYT Sunday Business cover, “The Anti-Trump Activist Taking On Retailers,” by Rachel Abrams in San Francisco: “Sitting in a basement office that she rents by the hour, Shannon Coulter ticks off the activities she gave up in defiance of President Donald J. Trump: renting movies with her husband on Amazon, and shopping at Nordstrom, Macy’s and other retailers that sell Ivanka Trump’s products. A Nordstrom bag sat on a nearby table. It represents a victory lap of sorts for Ms. Coulter, who has almost single-handedly spearheaded a retail revolt against the president and his family. She was wearing a new silver Elizabeth and James lariat necklace purchased at the department store soon after it scrubbed Ms. Trump’s name from its website. ‘The goal,’ Ms. Coulter said, ‘came originally from a place of really wanting to shop the stores we loved again with a clear conscience.’ It’s been a wild ride these past few months for Ms. Coulter, who runs her shoestring movement from her home, or from cheerfully decorated work spaces like this one — surrounded by bright-blue furniture, clam chairs and decorative pillows that feel more Silicon Valley than anti-administration war room.” http://nyti.ms/2kWrKsVDARREN SAMUELSOHN -- “Who’s watching Trump's ethics watchdogs?” http://politi.co/2mopc3tWEST COAST WATCH -- OP-ED: “Kevin McCarthy displays his clout, for good and ill,” by the Sacramento Bee’s Dan Morain: “As he regularly does, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy was mining for Silicon Valley campaign money at a fundraiser at the Ritz-Carlton in San Francisco this month. And as donors in blue California paid tribute to the Republican congressman from the Kern County oil patch with more than $100,000, one of the gala’s hosts, Jim Wunderman, executive director of the business group, the Bay Area Council, broached a touchy subject. McCarthy had sent a letter to our nation’s newly confirmed transportation secretary, Elaine Chao, urging that she block $650 million in federal funding to electrify the San Jose-to-San Francisco rail line, a project the Bay Area Council believes is vital to the Silicon Valley’s economic viability.“‘It was hard not to bring it up,’ Wunderman said. ‘Everybody was talking about it.’ Little good it did Wunderman or the people who spend hours stuck in traffic on the Bay Shore Freeway and Highway 280. McCarthy’s letter, signed by all 14 California Republican members of Congress, had its intended effect. In one of her first acts as transportation secretary, Chao halted funding to electrify the rail line and replace old diesel engines, even though the project would vastly increase rail travel and take thousands of cars off the choked freeways. McCarthy was displaying his clout in the era of Donald J. Trump, though he also was exposing Chao as a tool. So long as Republicans control the White House and Congress, few federal dollars will flow to California without McCarthy’s blessing. That could make him the most important California politician not named Jerry Brown. The question is whether he will use that power for good or ill.” http://bit.ly/2mvVHvSTHE OSCARS ARE TOMORROW -- “Syrian who worked on nominated film can’t attend Oscars,” by AP’s Brad Klapper: “U.S. immigration authorities are barring entry to a 21-year-old Syrian cinematographer who worked on a harrowing film about his nation’s civil war, ‘The White Helmets,’ that has been nominated for an Academy Award. According to internal Trump administration correspondence seen by The Associated Press, the Department of Homeland Security has decided at the last minute to block Khaled Khateeb from traveling to Los Angeles for the Oscars. Khateeb was scheduled to arrive Saturday in Los Angeles on a Turkish Airlines flight departing from Istanbul. But his plans have been upended after U.S. officials reported finding ‘derogatory information’ regarding Khateeb.” http://apne.ws/2lGslMl ... Trailer for “The White Helmets” http://bit.ly/2lGvrjeMEDIAWATCH -- “Breitbart CEO Lobbies For Congressional Press Passes,” by BuzzFeed’s Steven Perlberg: “When asked about the financial ownership of the company, [CEO Larry] Solov asked if he could disclose that to the committee members privately (there were three reporters present documenting the on-the-record event). Solov said he wanted to reveal as little as possible about Breitbart’s financial structure, but when pressed by the committee he said that the company’s owners are himself, Susie Breitbart (the widow of founder Andrew Breitbart) and the Mercer family. The Wall Street Journal reported in January that the Mercers, a powerful political family with deep ties to President Donald Trump, bought nearly 50% of Breitbart News for $10 million in 2011. Solov said that Susie Breitbart has the largest percentage ownership stake in Breitbart.” http://bzfd.it/2laEFTd-- “Media companies rethink their WHCA dinner party plans,” by Hadas Gold: “As the annual White House Correspondents’ Association dinner approaches, the status of the weekend of events surrounding the end of April festivities remains turbulent. Already, Vanity Fair has canceled its after-party ... Bloomberg, Vanity Fair’s co-host of that party, confirmed on Friday it was pulling out of the event as well, as Axios first reported. (Bloomberg will still attend the dinner itself). ... Time and People magazines, which have traditionally hosted an event the night before the dinner, replete with celebrities and a swag bag to match, declined to comment on the status of their party. But a recent call to the St. Regis Hotel, where the event is normally held, revealed that it is still completely booked for events that evening. MSNBC, which also hosts an elaborate after-dinner party said on Friday that it had no update on the status of its event.” http://politi.co/2lGuAkvCLICKER – “The nation’s cartoonists on the week in politics,” edited by Matt Wuerker -- 12 keepers http://politi.co/2mvUdBSGREAT WEEKEND READS, curated by Daniel Lippman:--“Killer, kleptocrat, genius, spy: the many myths of Vladimir Putin,” by Keith Gessen in The Guardian: “Russia’s role in Trump’s election has led to a boom in Putinology. But do all these theories say more about us than Putin?” http://bit.ly/2lkNSZR (h/t Longform.org)--“I Was a Muslim in Trump’s White House,” by Rumana Ahmed in The Atlantic: “When President Obama left, I stayed on at the National Security Council in order to serve my country. I lasted eight days.” http://theatln.tc/2lPKRDY--“Jerusalem Syndrome at the Met,” by Edward Rothstein in Mosaic Magazine: “An exhibition on the diverse multiculturalism of medieval Jerusalem has been ecstatically received. There’s just one problem: the vision of history it promotes is a myth.” http://bit.ly/2lGkZKm (h/t ALDaily.com)--“Is Donald Trump An Untreated Al-Anon?” by Eric Pfeiffer in Good magazine: “Warning: You may feel empathy for the president after reading this.” http://bit.ly/2lksFPM--“Sick, Dying and Raped in America’s Nursing Homes,” by CNN’s Blake Ellis and Melanie Hicken: “‘You prepare for a phone call your mother has passed. You don’t prepare for a phone call that your mother has been raped.’” http://cnn.it/2kWaCDr--“The High Cost of Cheap Labor,” by Brian Barth in Modern Farmer: “At least half of all farmworkers in the United States are undocumented Mexican immigrants. And ‘documentation’ often dictates inclusion in a guest-worker program that’s been compared to slavery. Americans avoid these jobs, yet elected a president who promised mass deportation. There’s a crisis brewing in our fields, and it’s about to get much, much worse.” http://bit.ly/2laxY3h (h/t Longreads.com)--“What is to Become of the White House Easter Egg Roll?” by Tim Burger in his Town and Country debut: “Bunny jokes aside, can the Trump administration pull off the White House’s biggest annual event?” With a great pic of Spicer in a Easter Bunny outfit http://bit.ly/2lGgJbX--“The Rise of Roxane Gay,” by Molly McArdle in Brooklyn Magazine: “A career decades in the making, Gay’s literary stardom looks more sudden than it is.” http://bit.ly/2kW52kz--“The Faces of Obamacare,” by Michael Hall in the March Texas Monthly: “For many Americans, the controversial health law is a government run amok. But for these people in San Antonio, it’s been a lifesaver.” http://bit.ly/2mnZDQp--“The Librarian of Congress and the Greatness of Humility,” by Sarah Larson in The New Yorker: “The values of Dr. Carla Hayden, the first woman and the first person of color in the position, can be seen in every aspect of the institution she runs.” http://bit.ly/2mvSY5W--“The Meaning of Allahu Akbar,” by Mehreen Kasana in Hazlitt Magazine: “When I hear the significance of the two words twisted by those too paralyzed with fear to understand their meaning, I think about all they encompass for my family and my friends.” http://bit.ly/2lPRgPM--“PPE: the Oxford degree that runs Britain,” by Andy Beckett in The Guardian: “Oxford PPE is more than a factory for politicians and the people who judge them. It also gives them a shared outlook: confident, internationalist, intellectually flexible, and above all sure that small groups of supposedly well-educated, rational people, such as themselves, can and should improve Britain and the wider world.” http://bit.ly/2kW92S0 (h/t TheBrowser.com)--“Sovereignty Under the Stars,” by Trevor Quirk in VQR: “On the island of Hawaii, a proposed telescope has ignited a fight between the champions of modern astronomy and Hawaiians seeking to protect a sacred site.” http://bit.ly/2lUlAJi--“I say, damn it, where are the beds?” by David Trotter in the London Review of Books, reviewing “Orwell’s Nose: A Pathological Biography,” by John Sutherland and “Or Orwell: Writing and Democratic Socialism,” by Alex Woloch: “Like it or not, ‘Orwell’ is a brand: ordinariness, common decency, speaking plain truths to power, a haggard, prophetic gaze. It is surely some or all of those qualities, rather than any particular political prescience, which have been invoked by the remarkable spike in the sales of Nineteen Eighty-Four following Kellyanne Conway’s notoriously unblushing embrace of ‘alternative facts’.” http://bit.ly/2lUqaqR … Sutherland -- $21.52 on Amazon http://amzn.to/2lGG6e2 … Woloch -- $45 on Amazon http://amzn.to/2lGDj4t--“What Does the Zapruder Film Really Tell Us?” by Ron Rosenbaum in the Oct. 2013 Smithsonian: “Documentary filmmaker Errol Morris deconstructs the most famous 26 seconds in film history.” http://bit.ly/2lkJlH1--“On the Milo Bus With the Lost Boys of America’s New Right,” by Laurie Penny in Pacific Standard Magazine: “What happens when a movement of gamers recognizes they’re not players, but pawns?” http://bit.ly/2mvAdQ2SPOTTED: Stephen Miller wandering around City Center Friday night … Rep. Dave Brat (R-Va.) on Thursday getting out of the hot tub at the Camelback Resort & Spa in Scottsdale, Arizona, where he was a guest at a FreedomWorks gathering -- pic http://bit.ly/2mhJYoZ ... Chris Christie on yesterday’s 8 a.m. Acela from NYC to D.C. He got on in Newark.OUT AND ABOUT -- SPOTTED Friday night on Breitbart’s CPAC Luau boat called the “Spirit of Mount Vernon” which stayed dockside in National Harbor: Matt Boyle (who was shadowed by a photographer and Luke Mullins, who is profiling him for Washingtonian), Julia Hahn, Alex Marlow, Larry Solov, Sergio Gor, Jeremy Peters, Michael Grynbaum, Betsy Woodruff, Dog the Bounty Hunter (pic http://bit.ly/2mhSUL2), Jon Kahn, Josh Green, Ryan Williams, Colin Reed, Olivia Nuzzi, Melissa Brown, Sarah Westwood and Jon Conradi, Curt Schilling, Asawin Suebsaeng, Robert Sinners, Nigel Farage, Nikki Schwab, David Martosko, Jonathan Swan, Tara Palmeri, Taylor Lorenz, Benny Johnson, Lachlan Markay, Francesca Chambers, Chris Bedford, Garrett Murch, Eliana Plott,Trevor Loudoun, Travis Korson, Neil Munroe, Alyssa Farah, Tom Qualtere, Tommy Sears, Julie Grace Burfke. 15 second video of luau dancers http://bit.ly/2moqlYR ... Pics of a roast pig onboard http://bit.ly/2mhOioc … http://bit.ly/2mhTSqz-- SPOTTED at a Bollywood bash Friday night at the Indian embassy with food from Rasika and many governors in attendance because of the National Governors Association meeting: Boeing CEO Marc Allen, Governors Terry McAuliffe, Brian Sandoval, Gary Herbert, Scott Walker, Terry Branstad, Matt Bevin; actress Jennifer Garner chatting with Mark Shriver, Vinay Singh and Priya Dayananda of KPMG, Jay Carney of Amazon, Jonathan Mantz, and Ashok Bajaj of the Rasika empire.TRANSITIONS -- OFA has tapped Jesse Lehrich to be their communications director as they continue ramping up their grassroots organizing program and efforts to protect Obamacare. He previously served as a foreign policy spokesman for the Clinton campaign, and before that, as the national press secretary for American Bridge. ... Sarah Belknap Curran is joining Dallas-based Beast Digital as VP. Curran, a Republican digital and fundraising operative, has advised campaigns and firms in more than 30 states and worked as a war-room digital strategist on the Trump transition team. … ... Alyene Senger is joining the Senate Republican Policy Committee as a health care policy analyst. She was previously at the Center for Health Policy Studies at The Heritage Foundation. ... Amy Travieso has joined the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to serve as director of congressional and public affairs. ... Devon Kearns is moving to the Center for American Progress as the associate director of media relations for health care, education and poverty. She most recently spent two years on the media team at Planned Parenthood.WELCOME TO THE WORLD – Liz Peluso, CoS for Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), and David Peluso, who was longtime CoS for Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.) and Rep. Gus Bilirakis (R-Fla.), and just went downtown to be a principal at Kountoupes Denham, have welcomed Lucia Josephine Peluso. “The battle for which party the kids will align with has already begun. Their room is full of stuffed elephants and donkeys.” Pics http://bit.ly/2mvDDlA … With big sis Mila http://bit.ly/2mvxXYTBIRTHWEEK (was yesterday): Cliff May, RNC and N.Y. Times alumnus (Clifford D. May!), and president of the Foundation for Defense of DemocraciesBIRTHDAYS: Bob Schieffer, the pride of Austin, is 8-0 ... Keith Smythe Meacham ... Andy Rosenthal, NYT columnist, is 61 … GOP digital guru Andrew Burk is 3-0 ... Barbara Levin, VP of comms. at CNN ... Lauren Kapp, president of Prospect Media Group and a HuffPost and NBC alum … Jessica Yellin … WaPo alum Anne Kornblut, director of strategic comms. for Facebook ... Tom Nides, former Deputy Secretary of State under Hillary Clinton (h/t Ben Chang) ... Burlington Vermont Mayor Miro Weinberger ... Dan Riordan, president of global political risk and trade credit at XL Catlin (h/ts Jon Haber) ... Politico’s Hadas Gold and Matt Dixon ... Jeremy Tunis, public and regulatory affairs advisor/consultant at UHS, is 39 ... Ralph Fertig, civil liberties activist ... Mini Timmaraju ... Tyler Houlton, COS to Rep. Glenn Grothman (R-Wisc.) … Hollis Gurley, the pride of Friona, TX, and a Shared Employee for too many Members of Congress to list here ... Greg Crist, the EVP of public affairs at Advamed (h/ts wife Laura and Ken Spain) ...... Eric Wall, leg. aide for Sen. Coons (h/t Sophie White) ... Anna Albert of the Tombras Group ... Tim Berry, former C/S to House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, now EVP at Axios, married to the lovely and talented D.C. super lawyer Lisa Barclay, with 3 great kids, too ... Rep. Darren Soto (D-Fla.) is 39 ... former Rep. Jim Gerlach (R-PA) is 62 ... Steve Gutow, formerly CEO of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs ... Gabi Ashkenazi, former chief of the General Staff of the Israel Defense Forces, is 63 (h/ts Jewish Insider) ... Jack Burns is 2, celebrating at Roer’s Zoofari (h/t dad Mike Burns) ... Brian Davis of the Federal Managers Association, the pride of New Jersey and a long time suffering Jets fan (h/t Phil Dibert) ... Bridgett Frey, comms director for Sen. Van Hollen … Paul Nash … A Texas trio: Texas GOP consultant David White … RSC chairman U.S. Rep. Bill Flores (R-TX) is 63 ... Arnold Garcia … Bayanne Surdashi ... Bob Healy ... Trey Graham … OFA alum Laurin Manning ... Jonathan Nabavi ... Charles Faulkner is 42 ... Stuart Wagner ... Gloria Torres ... Julie Goldman ... Harrison Clark ... George M Urban ... Jim Mulhall ... Christina Sanchez ... Genevieve Craggs (h/ts Teresa Vilmain) ... Tea Leoni is 51 ... singer Julio Iglesias Jr. is 44 ... Chelsea Handler is 42 ... Rashida Jones is 41 (h/ts AP)THE SHOWS, by @MattMackowiak, filing from Austin:--NBC’s “Meet the Press”: Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) … Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper. Panel: Helene Cooper, Eliana Johnson, Ramesh Ponnuru and Gerald Seib--“Fox News Sunday”: Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) … Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) … Corey Lewandowski. Panel: Former Prime Minister David Cameron’s adviser Steve Hilton, Julie Pace, Lisa Boothe and Juan Williams … “Power Player of the Week” with White House Director of Social Media Dan Scavino--CNN’s “State of the Union” (9 a.m. /12 p.m.): New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) … Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.). Panel: Jennifer Granholm, Rick Santorum, Reps. Ruben Gallego (D-Ariz.) and Mark Sanford (R-S.C.)--ABC’s “This Week”: House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) … Sarah Huckabee Sanders … Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan (R). Panel: Stephanie Cutter, Amy Holmes, Robert Reich, David Remnick and Matt Schlapp--CBS’s “Face the Nation”: John Brennan … Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) … results of a focus group in Richmond, Virginia. Panel: Ben Domenech, Ezra Klein, Lanhee Chen and Molly Ball … David Martin--Fox News’ “Sunday Morning Futures” (10 a.m.): Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin … David Clarke … House Homeland Security Chairman Michael McCaul (R-Texas) Panel: Ed Rollins, Al D’Amato and Jessica Tarlov--Fox News’ “MediaBuzz” (SUN 11 a.m.): Corey Lewandowski … Erin McPike … Guy Benson … Margaret Carlson … Tucker Carlson … Susan Ferrechio--CNN’s “Inside Politics” with John King (8 a.m.): Panel: Abby Phillip, Jeff Zeleny, Margaret Talev and Reid Wilson--CNN’s “Reliable Sources”: (11 a.m.): NYT Executive Editor Dean Baquet … Panel: Tara Palmeri, Bret Stephens, Amy Kremer and Philadelphia Daily News columnist Will Bunch … UC-Berkeley’s George Lakoff … Atlanta Journal-Constitution editor Kevin Riley--Univision’s “Al Punto” (10 a.m.): White House Director of Policy and Interagency Coordination Carlos Díaz-Rosillo … La Raza’s Clarissa Martínez-de-Castro and immigration attorney Ezequiel Hernández … National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference president Rev. Samuel Rodriguez … community activist Nora Sandigo … Conan O’Brien … “Notanserio Univision” hosts Arantxa Loizaga and Fernando Arau---C-SPAN: “The Communicators” (6 p.m.): Ro Khanna, questioned by Axios’ David McCabe … “Newsmakers”(SUN 10 a.m. ET): Federalist Society executive vice president Leonard Leo, questioned by WSJ’s Jess Bravin and Politico’s Josh Gerstein … “Q&A” (8 p.m./11 p.m.): Author and the Wall Street Journal’s Alexandra Wolfe (“Valley of the Gods”)--Washington Times’ “Mack on Politics” weekly politics podcast with Matt Mackowiak (download on iTunes or listen at MackOnPolitics.com): Susan Page, Blain Rethmeier, Ashley McGuire.

25 февраля, 17:11

Democrats hope for quick end to DNC chair fight

Tom Perez appears to have the edge in a contest that party leaders pray won't descend into multiple, divisive rounds of balloting.

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16 февраля, 21:08

An Emerging-Market Evolution

The way investors think about emerging markets has been evolving—along with the markets themselves. One thing we at Templeton Emerging Markets Group emphasize is that one can’t consider emerging markets as one asset class; the opportunities are very differentiated between regions, countries and markets, with different fundamentals shaping them. Here, I’ve invited Stephen Dover, managing director and chief investment officer of Templeton Emerging Markets Group and Franklin Local Asset Management, to share his view of how emerging markets have changed over time, how he thinks investors should think about them, and where he sees potential opportunities ahead. Stephen H. Dover, CFA Managing Director Chief Investment Officer Templeton Emerging Markets Group and Franklin Local Asset Management I think emerging markets are appropriately named—they are indeed emerging and have changed over time. With these changes, I believe the way people both think about and invest in the asset class also should evolve. One example of the evolution we have seen is in regard to market capitalization (market cap). In 1988, when the MSCI Emerging Markets Index was first launched, just two of the 10 countries in the index—Malaysia and Brazil—represented more than half of the index’s market cap.1 At that time, the entire market cap of the index was about US$35 billion, representing less than 1% of the world’s equity-market capitalization. 2 If we fast-forward to 2016, there were 23 countries in the index, and the market cap had grown to US$4 trillion, representing about 10% of world market capitalization.3 The mix of countries in the index has also evolved over time. In terms of country weights, today, India represents 8% of the MSCI Emerging Markets Index and China—which wasn’t represented at all in 1998—is nearly 27% of the index today. Meanwhile, Brazil’s representation is much less today, at only 8%.4 What constitutes an emerging market has also changed significantly over time, but the waters in emerging markets have not always been very clear. South Korea has been the subject of some debate in this regard. MSCI includes South Korea in the emerging-markets category, while another index provider, the FTSE Russell, considers it a developed market. This issue is quite important, as which countries are in which category and at what percentage in the indexes help determine how many investors position their portfolios. We have seen countries shift in and out of emerging-market status over time. For example, in 2013, MSCI reclassified Greece from developed to emerging-market status, and in 2016, MSCI announced Pakistan will be reclassified this year as an emerging market from frontier status.5 It really boils down to how one defines “emerging market,” and there is some disagreement about exactly what the criteria should be. MSCI and FTSE have their own criteria for inclusion in a particular index, including explicit requirements for market size and liquidity, a country’s openness to foreign ownership, foreign exchange and other aspects. If you were to follow the World Bank’s standards as to which countries are classified as “high-income” to determine developed-market status, you’d wind up with a very different set of constituents than the index providers—for example, Qatar’s per-capita income ranks above that of Australia, Denmark and the United States.6 That said, we at Templeton Emerging Markets Group are active managers and not confined to a particular benchmark classification or index weighting when we make our investment decisions. We employ a bottom-up approach and focus on the fundamentals we see in individual companies. We may even invest in a company that is located in a country considered to be developed—if the bulk of its profits come from emerging markets. Emerging Markets—Taking a Bigger Piece of the World’s Pie While emerging markets currently represent at least 10% of the world’s stock-market capitalization (based on MSCI indexes), in our various discussions with investors, we have found most have a smaller percentage of their portfolios invested in emerging markets. And worth noting, the 10% figure represents the traditional MSCI indexes—other measures of emerging-market capitalization show emerging markets more broadly represent an even higher percentage. We also have found that even though the world has become much more globalized, many investors still exhibit a “home-country bias,” investing solely within their own borders even if markets elsewhere look more promising. We see room for growth in the emerging-markets realm—and a great potential opportunity for diversification that many investors aren’t even considering. We also see many potential opportunities within frontier-market countries, many of which aren’t even included in global indexes. These markets represent a smaller subset of emerging markets that are even less developed, and include most countries on the African continent. Looking at other measures, we can see just how important emerging markets are to the global economy. Today, emerging markets represent nearly 50% of the world’s gross domestic product (GDP) measured in nominal terms (nearly 60% when using purchasing-power parity) and account for nearly 80% of global GDP growth.7 Changing Economies Emerging markets have also undergone structural changes. Over the past three decades, emerging markets largely achieved their phenomenal growth through exports—and many people have associated these markets with commodities. While many emerging-market countries still rely on exports, these economies are radically changing. As recently as 2008, commodities and materials stocks constituted 50% of the components of the MSCI Emerging Markets Index. Today, that category represents about 15% of the stocks in the index. To us, what’s really exciting about this shift is that it opens up many more investment opportunities that are focused on consumption and services. Many investors may not realize that some very sophisticated information technology companies are based in emerging markets. In 2008, information technology (IT) companies represented about 7% of the MSCI Emerging Markets Index, and today, the sector represents 24% of the index—in fact, the top four constituents by weight are IT companies. Consumer/consumption-oriented stocks represented 7% of the index in 2008; today their weighting is 17%. So it is really not accurate to say emerging markets are pure commodity plays anymore, even though many people still consider them to be... Investment Adventures in Emerging Markets - Notes from Mark Mobius Mark Mobius, Ph.D., executive chairman of Templeton Emerging Markets Group, joined Templeton in 1987. Currently, he directs the Templeton research team based in 15 global emerging markets offices and manages emerging markets portfolios. As he spans the globe in search of investment opportunities, his “Investment Adventures in Emerging Markets” blog gives readers a taste for what he does, when, where, why and how. Dr. Mobius has written several books, including “Trading with China,” “The Investor’s Guide to Emerging Markets,” “Mobius on Emerging Markets,” “Passport to Profits,” “Equities—An Introduction to the Core Concepts,” “Mutual Funds—An Introduction to the Core Concepts,” ”The Little Book of Emerging Markets,” and “Mark Mobius: An Illustrated Biography."

12 февраля, 05:56

Big Guns Named ‘Winnie’ and ‘Pooh’ Dueled Nazi Cannons Across the English Channel

Sebastien Roblin Security, Massive coastal artillery slugged it out at Hellfire Corner — and civilians mostly paid the price. When German Panzers rolled into the French coastal region around Calais in late May 1940, their crews could stare across the English Channel at the White Cliffs of Dover, just 20 miles away. The United Kingdom had not faced a hostile enemy across the Channel since the Napoleonic Wars. In that interval, the maximum range of heavy artillery had increased dramatically. Hitler was alert to the opportunity this afforded him for his planned invasion of Britain, dubbed Operation Sea Lion. “Strong forces of coastal artillery must command and protect the forward coastal area,” Hitler wrote in a July 16 invasion plan. He wanted the batteries not only to protect his invasion force from the Royal Navy, but to bombard the British defenders on the opposite shore. The big guns began to arrive a week later, accompanied by work crews to build giant concrete casements to protect them from counter-bombardment. The best were turreted naval guns originally designed for use on battleships that could track and fire rapidly to hit moving ships. At Cape Gris Nez, the Germans mounted four intimidating 380-millimeter SK34 naval guns of Battery Todt in enormous concrete casemates. Nearby were the four 280-millimeter guns of the Grosser Kurfurst battery. On Cape Blanc Nez, the beach immediately west of Calais, three 406-millimeter “Adolf Cannons” were installed in casemates shielded by 13 feet of concrete. These could lob one-ton shells up to a distance of 34 miles. Four more turreted coastal guns were installed around Calais, and three 305-millimeter naval guns with a 32 mile range were deployed near the city of Boulogne to the south. The Wehrmacht also brought eight railway guns and 40 army siege guns into the Calais region. These ranged from 21 to 28 centimeters in caliber. However, they lacked the ability to rapidly adjust fire to strike moving maritime targets. At 11 a.m. on Aug. 12, 1940, a shell exploded in Dover, damaging four houses. It was the first of thousands of enormous siege shells that would land in the coastal town over the next four years. After giving his “We shall fight on the beaches” speech in June, Churchill had to reckon with the fact the British military initially had no heavy coastal guns defending the beach at Dover. Read full article

09 февраля, 17:19

Kellyanne Conway under fire for promoting Ivanka's brand

White House press secretary Sean Spicer said Conway had 'been counseled on that subject, and that's it.'