16 марта, 21:54

It Won’t Be Easy for Trump to Replace Sessions With Pruitt

Having fired Secretary of State Rex Tillerson in cold blood this week, President Donald Trump is reportedly now turning a gimlet eye to Attorney General Jeff Sessions, with a view to replacing him with Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt. That alarms even Sessions’ critics, who fear Pruitt—with his proven willingness to do the president’s bidding—might interfere with, or even fire, special counsel Robert Mueller.Tempting as the prospect of Attorney General Pruitt might seem to the president, he should resist it for three reasons. This move could be challenged in the courts, setting off a barrage of litigation. Pruitt might find himself too conflicted to touch the Mueller investigation, just as Sessions was. And the firing could well worsen the president’s exposure to obstruction of justice proceedings.First, installing Pruitt as Sessions’ replacement would have to meet a bevy of legal requirements—no less than two statutes, one White House order, one Department of Justice order and the Constitution. Under normal circumstances, these authorities dictate that a fired (or resigned) attorney general would be succeeded on a temporary basis by the deputy attorney general, who would serve while a permanent replacement is named by the president and then confirmed by the Senate. That means Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein would normally step up.The president’s distaste for Rosenstein, however, is well known. If Trump wants to quickly sack Sessions and sideline Rosenstein by installing Pruitt, he might look to a statute known as the Vacancies Reform Act. The VRA allows the president to ignore standard operating procedure and insert a handpicked acting head of the Department of Justice for a minimum of 210 days—more than long enough to shut down the special counsel that so annoys the president. But even if Trump tries this route—installing Pruitt as temporary attorney general—he could still run into problems. The VRA allows the president to name an acting attorney general were Sessions to “die[], resign[], or … otherwise [be] unable to perform the functions and duties of the office.” Trump could pick anyone who has already been confirmed by the Senate to any job in the executive branch—from Pruitt to Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos to the undersecretary for farm and foreign agricultural services—and make him or her the acting attorney general. But nowhere among the triggering events allowing such an appointment does the act expressly list firings. Several legal commentators have argued that it cannot be used by the president, as law professor Steve Vladeck put it, “to hand-pick a short-term (and, potentially, un-re-confirmable) successor.” That would make a mockery of the Senate’s constitutional “advise and consent” role.Not everyone agrees. In 1999, the DOJ’s own Office of Legal Counsel said in an opinion that it thought the law can be used to replace fired appointees. The OLC can be notoriously protective of the president; it is the same office that last year reversed decades of guidance to say that antinepotism law did not bar the hiring of Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump. The courts sometimes reject OLC’s views; this particular one has not been tested before a judge. No one knows how that would come out.That’s where the VRA gets even riskier for Trump. It has a kicker: Any action taken by someone improperly installed in office “shall have no force or effect.” And anyone affected by a decision made by an illegitimate attorney general has standing to sue. Given the success plaintiffs have had in blocking so many Trump policies from the first Muslim ban forward, it does not take much imagination to envision a tidal wave of lawsuits hitting almost every move taken by Pruitt if he is appointed under the VRA after a Sessions firing. Even Mueller could go to court if he were terminated or interfered with—and if there is one thing he has demonstrated, it is that he is not afraid to bring cases.Second, Trump’s unleashing this tsunami of litigation might be for naught. There is a reasonable case that even if Pruitt were validly appointed, he, like Sessions, would have to recuse himself from the Russia investigation. All DOJ lawyers are bound by regulation to step aside from criminal investigations if they have a “political relationship” with someone who has a substantial interest in that investigation.Pruitt’s political relationship with the president is deep and close. He has acted as the president’s political accomplice for more than a year now. It would lead any decent lawyer to recuse himself from the Mueller probe. Just this January, Pruitt made his political allegiance to the president plain: “After meeting him, and now having the honor of working for him, it is abundantly clear that President Trump is the most consequential leader of our time,” Pruitt said. “No one has done more to advance the rule of law than President Trump. The president has liberated our country from the political class and given America back to the people.” Of course, Pruitt has demonstrated that he has little concern about conflicts of interest or their appearance. He is already under fire for a series of ethical blunders at the EPA. Nevertheless, as they did with Sessions, the ethicists at the DOJ might insist.Some might contend this argument goes too far. Wouldn’t any interim attorney general the president appointed be conflicted out of overseeing Mueller? Of course not. We would not object if the president had reached out to someone independent and of stature who had not sworn the kind of loyalty oath Trump prefers. But that is not Pruitt.Finally, there is the obstruction question. Mueller is already reportedly looking at the president’s previous efforts to remove Sessions as part of a possible obstruction of justice case. A Sessions firing with corrupt intent to frustrate the Russia investigation would be another tile in the mosaic of misconduct that began with demanding loyalty from former FBI Director James Comey (the same loyalty Pruitt has so abundantly evinced) and culminated in Comey’s firing. Richard Nixon’s Saturday night firing frenzy did not ultimately save him, and Trump could well be hastening that same fate for himself.

15 марта, 05:34

«Се предается Сын Человеческий в руки грешников» (иконы и картины)

Bo4kaMeda Guercino (1591 – 1666) 1647 «Ecce homo» oil on canvas 115 х 149 cm Bavarian State Collection at Schloss Schleissheim Суд над Иисусом Христом, Сыном Божиим, свершился в пятницу 14 нисана (по еврейскому календарю) в царствование императора Тиверия в Иерусалиме. Начался он ночью и завершился ранним утром. В мировой истории, полной несчетных уголовных разбирательств и процессов, этот суд уникален – был осужден на казнь вочеловечившийся Бог, Иисус Христос. Иеромонах Иов (Гумеров). «Суд над Иисусом Христом: богословский и юридический взгляд» Ecce Homo (Behold the man) by James Tissot Ecce Homo (1560-1570), Хуан де Хуни Христос перед Каиафой Ecce Homo Guido Reni (1575- 1642) 1639 – 1640 oil, canvas 60 x 45 cm Louvre, Paris, France Christ Before Pilate Dean Cornwell (1892 – 1960) Illustration 24 x 17.5 cm Ecce Homo (1606), Караваджо Quentin Massys Ecce Homo 1515 Oil On Panel 160 x 120 cm Museo del Prado, Madrid Христос перед Пилатом. Москва. Оружейная Палата. Конец XVII века. Дерево, темпера. 60 х 48 см Из Вознесенского монастыря Московского Кремля Antonio Ciseri (1821–1891) «Ecce Homo (Behold the Man!) около 1860 до, примерно, 1880 масло, холст Museo Cantonale Bramantino Cristo resucitado, técnica mixta sobre tabla, 109 x 73 cm, Madrid, Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza. Андреа Мантенья Се человек (Ecce hommo) 1500-е 42 × 54 см Масло, Дерево Музей Жакмар-Андре, Париж Mihály Munkácsy (1844–1900) Christ in front of Pilate 1881 oil on canvas 417 × 636 cm Déri Museum, Debrecen Якопо Тинторетто Христос перед Пилатом 1566-1567 Миниатюра Евангелия из Россано. Сирия. VI в. Музей Диочезано, Россано, Италия Duccio di Buoninsegna (1255–1319) Jesus at Herod's Court c. 1310 Tempera auf Holz Museo dell'Opera del Duomo, Siena Duccio di Buoninsegna (1255–1319) Christ Before Herod 1308-11 Tempera on wood 50 x 57 cm Museo dell'Opera del Duomo, Siena Mathias Stomer Christ before Pilate Koelliker Collection Master L. Cz. Christ before Pilate circa 1500 wood 76 х 60 Gemäldegalerie follower of Hieronymus Bosch (circa 1450–1516) Christ Before Pilate Circa 1520 oil and tempera on oak panel 80 х 104 cm Princeton University Art Ludovico Mazzolino (1480-ca 1528) 'Christ before Pilate' oil on panel Budapest-Museum of Fine Arts Meister Bertram von Minden Gesù davanti a Pilato ( 1390 circa) Алтарь Страстей. Христос перед Пилатом Мастер Бертрам из Миндена Ravenna Mosaics (6th—7th century) Мозаика церкви Сан Аполлинаре Нуово. 530-е годы. Равенна, Италия Hans Holbein the Elder 1465 - 1524 Wings Of The Kaisheim Altarpiece 1502 Alte Pinakothek, Munich Иероним Босх (ок. 1460 -1516) Увенчание терновым венцом 1508-09 дерево, масло 73 x 59 см Наиональная галерея, Лондон, Англия Дуччо ди Буонинсенья (1255-1319) Христос перед Анною (Атарь «Маэста») (1308—1311). Сиена. Музей собора Master of the Lyversberg Passion second half of 15th century oak Wallraf-Richartz-Museu Christ before Pilate c. 1250 Stone Cathedral, Naumburg This relief decorates the West Choir of the Cathedral Christ before Pilate, 1520 by Jacopo Carucci (Pontormo) (1494-1557, Italy) «Что есть истина» (Христос и Пилат) Николай Ге, 1890 год отсюда

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14 марта, 14:23

Удобрение будущего. Графен накормит растения по часам

Австралийские ученые создают высокотехнологичное удобрение в капсулах из графена. Оно позволит высвобождать питательные элементы в заданное время спустя дни после закладки капсул в грунт. Разработка увеличит количество полезных веществ при том же размере гранулы-носителя, а уход за растениями будет занимать гораздо меньше времени.В последние годы графен предлагают применять практически везде — от оружейных разработок до производства презервативов. Ученые из Аделаиды попробовали переводить его на навоз — и, как показали результаты испытаний, не зря. Проект выглядит настолько перспективным, что The Mosaic Company уже начала процесс лицензирования. Технология решает основные проблемы производителей современных удобрений. Капсулы из диоксида графена крайне прочны и обладают очень большой площадью поверхности. Сложная структура из нанотрубок, позволяет «посадить» больше молекул действующего вещества в тот же объем. Поэтому капсулы могут захватить гораздо больше необходимых микроэлементов, чем гранулы того же размера из других материалов, и донести их до корней в целости и сохранности.

14 марта, 01:12

Top Stock Picks for the Week of Mar 13, 2018

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Tracey Ryniec and Sheraz Mian look at two mid-cap stocks that are hidden gems.

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13 марта, 12:32

Joan Jonas review – post-internet confusion before the internet

Tate Modern, LondonPapier-mache animal heads and Vietnamese kites, Tilda Swinton and tap-dancing – it’s hard to cut through the clutter of the New York veteran’s hyperactive artThere is a lot going on in Joan Jonas’s art, and a lot to Jonas herself, a veteran of the late 1960s downtown New York scene. Performance artist and maker of large-scale installations, interpreter of filmed folktales and myths, choreographer, collector, reader, actor, traveller, a maker of drawings – everything she does is a kind of performance.Joan Jonas in a mask, not being Joan Jonas. Jonas wearing the papier-mache head of an animal. The artist howling like a wolf, and drawing birds and fish, stags and faces. Feminism and animism, storytelling and dancing, dressing and undressing, examining her body with a hand mirror, clowning on a Venetian mosaic floor. Continue reading...

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07 марта, 20:35

Leading the pack: how dogs took over the world (or, at least, the internet)

From caveman’s best friend to #dogsofinstagram, via royals, artists’ muses and high-rolling heirs, track the rise and rise of the star canineOur four-legged friends have been stealing the spotlight for thousands of years. From the second-century BC Cave Canem mosaic found at Pompeii, to Boo the pomeranian pup with nearly 17 million Facebook followers, history is littered with tales of dogs having their day.Cave paintings from 12,000BC show humans alongside domesticated dogs – think of it as the Neolithic version of Dogs of Instagram. And although ancient Egyptians were known for having a serious cat thing, records show that one pharaoh’s hunting dog, Abuwtiyuw, received a grand state burial involving fine linens and incense. But that’s nothing compared with the pampered pooches of historic Chinese emperors; they were said to have had human wet nurses and their own servants. Continue reading...

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03 марта, 03:07

Rome subway construction uncovers 2nd-century military home

Archaeologists say work to expand Rome’s subway has unearthed a sprawling 2nd-century domus, or residence, of a military commander, complete with well-preserved geometric design mosaic, marble floors and frescoed walls.

28 февраля, 21:39

Top Analyst Reports for Gilead, BNY Mellon & State Street

Top Analyst Reports for Gilead, BNY Mellon & State Street

28 февраля, 15:48

Kraton (KRA) Plans to Amend Existing Term Loan Facility

Kraton (KRA) intends to re-price its existing term loan facility along with extending maturity. It also plans to increase borrowings under the Euro denominated tranche of the term loan facility.

27 февраля, 15:40

Huntsman (HUN) Announces 30% Hike in Quarterly Dividend

Huntsman (HUN) increases quarterly dividend to 16.25 cents per share and also plans to repurchase shares worth up to $450 million.

27 февраля, 15:11

LyondellBasell (LYB) Up 22% in 6 Months: What's Driving It?

Solid Q4 earnings, upbeat outlook and strong prospects stemming from the planned acquisition of A. Schulman have contributed to the rally in LyondellBasell's (LYB) shares.

26 февраля, 18:56

What's Really Happening With Venezuela's "El Petro"?

Authored by Michael Kern via Crypto Insider, Between a broken website, pushback from its own government and stories of violence and extortion, it's almost as though the Petro isn't doing as well as mainstream media is making it seem. Venezuela has made history as the first country to launch its very own Initial Coin Offering. The long-hyped Petro cryptocurrency has been the center of controversy and curiosity to many in the crypto-world for the last several months, and now it’s finally here. Or is it? According to President Nicolas Maduro, the pre-sale has gone smoothly. Even major media organizations are suggesting that it has been a success, quoting Maduro’s figure of $735-million raised on the first day, which would make it the second largest ICO ever following Telegram’s $850-million pre-sale. A grandes problemas, ¡grandes soluciones! Desde el primer minuto el juego arrancó bien, y arrancamos ganando: 4.777 millones de yuanes o 735 millones de dólares es el resultado inicial de las operaciones de intención de compra del Petro. #AlFuturoConElPetro pic.twitter.com/LoaDgj4rr1 — Nicolás Maduro (@NicolasMaduro) February 21, 2018 But let’s take a look at what’s really happening. Leading up to the pre-sale, it was said that the Petro was to be an ERC20 token on the Ethereum blockchain, coded as a smart contract. The Spanish-version whitepaper still reflects this plan. Additionally, an ERC20 token called the Petro (PTR) was, in fact, created. Then, in a meeting with the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), Maduro unsuccessfully attempted to pitch the Petro to the oil cartel. After failing to recruit allies to the cause, Maduro made a suspicious last-minute announcement that the Petro was to be listed as an asset on the NEM blockchain instead of the Ethereum blockchain, even updating the English-version whitepaper to reflect the change. NEM officials quickly confirmed this switch, though noted that the foundation does not make political endorsements. The NEM technology is freely open to any individual or organization that wants to use it. The NEM Foundation abstains from political endorsements. We can confirm that the Venezuela Government is intending to use the NEM Blockchain. https://t.co/Ntl9qIIBCb — NEM (@NEMofficial) February 21, 2018 Now, there are two separate whitepapers with two separate blockchains listed as the main Petro platform, and even two separate coins, one on the ERC20 token, and one NEM mosaic. Think the token madness stops there? Guess again. Another completely unrelated coin called the PetroDollar (XPD) saw a near 100 percent increase following the launch of Venezuela’s Petro. To make matters worse, a number of scams have popped up declaring that they’re the real Petro, attempting to pray on those legitimately interested in purchasing the token. While the public attempts to sift through fake addresses, un-related tokens, and the rhetoric propagated by Maduro’s regime, those who actually make it to the Petro’s website are either denied entry due to unexplainable errors, or the email confirmation never arrives. If, by chance, the confirmation does arrive, JavaScript hang-ups prevent users from actually making a purchase. Motherboard suggested that the launch was “Amateur hour,” but are these huge missteps really just the result of a poorly planned project with little know-how? In the Petro’s original announcement, Maduro proudly proclaimed that the cryptocurrency would be used to overcome Western sanctions, after which, officials worldwide issued warnings against the cryptocurrency. Even Venezuelan lawmakers shot the idea down, claiming that it would be illegal according to the country’s hydrocarbon laws. “This is not a cryptocurrency, this is a forward sale of Venezuelan oil,” adding “It is tailor-made for corruption,” Jorge Millan, Chief of the First Justice fraction in the National Assembly, noted. The Assembly’s ruling on the subject led Maduro’s team to rethink what would determine the value of the token, resulting in a seemingly random reference price of US60 per coin. Venezuelan computer scientist-living-in-Panama Alejandro Machado noted: “They set it at $60 because they liked the number, easy as that,” adding “a Venezuelan barrel of oil isn't worth $60 on the ground, it isn't worth $60 even when loaded on a tanker” Machado highlighted in his own article published yesterday that nothing has moved from the Petro NEM wallet, making it incredibly unlikely that the $735 million figure commonly quoted is accurate. Vitalik Buterin noted: “I recall the whitepaper says it doesn't offer oil, it offers bolivars based on the oil price. On top of risk of total default, this gives them opportunity to do a partial default by manipulating the official bolivar rate, which they have a history of doing.” Clearly the Petro launch has been little more than smoke and mirrors. But perhaps the most shocking revelation of the entire debacle may be the government’s renewed crackdown on cryptocurrency miners. Early in 2017, it was reported that Maduro was taking an especially harsh stance on bitcoin miners, charging some with cybercrime, electricity theft, exchange fraud, and even funding terrorism. While his position on cryptocurrencies may have changed, it’s apparent the regime has found, not only a new use for, but a new source of crypto-mining rigs. In preparation for the Petro launch, Maduro announced that he will be recruiting cryptocurrency miners to participate in the network, but in speaking with Alejandro Machado, it seems the recruitment campaign may have been more than just a simple job offering. “Maduro operates a secret police and is intolerant of many activities,” Machado explained, “I've spoken with a few miners and the consensus view is that Maduro pretended to want to work with them and asked them nicely to sign up for a central miner registry,” adding “the ones who did are now being harassed, some have had their equipment stolen, some have been kidnapped.” This report corresponds with others of a similar nature. On Feb 20, twitter user @Gonzoucab reported: Comienzan secuestros y robos de bitcoin en Venezuela, muy probablemente de los mismos q siempre secuestran y roban. pic.twitter.com/k54STaQDCS — Gonzo (@gonzoucab) February 20, 2018 Translated: I'm receiving in this moment complaints from the state of Anzoátegui, that people are being kidnapped by security organizations from the state, who know they have bitcoin in order to rob them. Please all the bitcoin owners take care. Beware! This this getting uglier than I could imagine. Comments in the thread also confirm these claims. And in a January 23 report from Hackernoon.com, the interviewee featured in the story recalls other incidents of kidnapping, extortion, theft, arrests and violence involving bitcoin miners. When asked what the government does with the equipment taken from the miners during raids, Mr. X responded with: “Rumor has it they install them on government facilities,” adding “this is the worst case scenario, but I’ve heard multiple stories like this. If for some reason they don’t like you at all during the raid, they would confiscate your equipment and have you install it for them. They even “hire” you as an infiltrator and they make you rat out other miners.” Between empty blockchain addresses, lack of support, a broken website, pushback from its own government, stories of violence and extortion, and high-profile government charades, it’s almost as though the Petro isn’t doing as well as major news organizations are making it seem. Vitalik Buterin in response to the ongoing drama explained: “This is why the crypto community needs to move away from "yay, blockchain" and zoom in specifically on what is the trust model of each project. This one is definitely quite centralized, and dependent in multiple ways on a central party (venez gov) that seems not very trustworthy.” As the world’s first state-sanctioned cryptocurrency, one can’t help but think that a centralized, state-sanctioned crypto might not be the best idea, after all.

26 февраля, 17:52

Albemarle (ALB) Announces 5% Hike in Quarterly Dividend

Albemarle's (ALB) latest move marks its quarterly dividend hike for the 24th consecutive year.

26 февраля, 16:10

Huntsman's (HUN) Earnings and Revenues Beat Estimates in Q4

Huntsman (HUN) beats Q4 estimates as the company continues investing in operational reliability and organic growth.

26 февраля, 14:32

Century Aluminum (CENX) Q4 Earnings, Sales Top Estimates

Cost management actions, stable operations and favorable operating metrics drove Century Aluminum's (CENX) earnings in Q4.

26 февраля, 14:30

Innophos (IPHS) Q4 Earnings Lag Estimates, Sales Up Y/Y

Strength in the FHN segment drove Innophos Holdings' (IPHS) revenues in Q4, but the company's earnings missed expectations.

23 февраля, 22:17

CVR Partners (UAN) Q4 Earnings Trail Estimates, Sales Down

Lower ammonia and UAN sales prices hurt CVR Partners' (UAN) revenues in Q4.

22 февраля, 18:59

Newmont (NEM) Posts In-Line Q4 Earnings, Revenues Miss

Newmont's (NEM) fourth-quarter earnings match estimates. For 2018, the company expects to produce gold in the range of 4.9-5.4 million ounces.

22 февраля, 15:40

U.S. Silica (SLCA) Q4 Earnings Trail, Revenues Top Estimates

Strong segment performance drives U.S. Silica's (SLCA) Q4 results. However, it expects flat volumes and pricing in the Oil & Gas segment in the first-quarter 2018.

21 февраля, 16:40

Newmont (NEM) Hikes Quarterly Dividend on Strong Financials

Newmont (NEM) increases fourth-quarter 2017 dividend to 14 cents per share of common stock.

27 февраля 2013, 21:26

The 5th UN Alliance of Civilizations Global Forum opens at Vienna

Hofburg Palace, Vienna (Austria) - Speakers at the opening of the 5th Global Forum of the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations all emphasized conflict resolution using Syria as an example. Under the sparkling chandeliers of the Hofsburg Palace in Vienna, world leaders and other participants are meeting to discuss ways to further the goals of the UNAOC while encouraging more responsible leadership. The foreign minister of Austria Michael Spindelegger opened the session by stressing how his country's tradition of wanting a dialogue matches the goals of the UNAOC. That theme was later elaborated on by the country's Federal President Heinz Fischer. U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon spoke about conflict resolution, job creation and specific troubles going on around the globe. "In too many places, anti-Muslim sentiment has become commonplace," Ban Ki-moon said. "Migrants from all backgrounds are vilified instead of embraced. When such attitudes are left unchallenged, racists feel empowered." He spoke at length about Syria, describing it as a 'mosaic of tribes, religion, culture and traditions. Later, during a press conference, he blamed the language of hatred for creating a divide in the world.