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23 мая, 19:21

Trump’s Budget is Simply Ludicrous

Larry Summers: Trump’s budget is simply ludicrous: Details of President Trump’s first budget have now been released. Much can and will be said about the dire social consequences about what is in it and the ludicrously optimistic economic assumptions it...

20 мая, 03:07

45 After Dark: Up in the Air edition

President Donald Trump took off on Friday afternoon, embarking on his first foreign trip as president — and almost as soon as he was wheels up to Saudi Arabia the bombshells started going off. The New York Times reported that Trump boasted to Russian officials that in firing FBI Director James Comey he had dispatched a “nut job” and that his ouster took “great pressure” off of him. The Washington Post, meanwhile, reported that the federal investigation into possible collusion between Trump’s presidential campaign and Russia includes a current White House official as a “significant person of interest.”“The two stories come after a week of damning revelations about the Trump White House, which is now engulfed in scandal and facing a special prosecutor,” POLITICO’s Matthew Nussbaum reports. “Trump admitted last week that he fired Comey in part because of the Russia investigation, blowing up the White House message that the firing was based on a Department of Justice recommendation.”Meanwhile, President Trump has expressed regret about firing former national security adviser Michael Flynn, POLITICO’s Josh Dawsey reports. “Trump has grown obsessed with defending the tough-talking 58-year old general, repeatedly telling aides and associates in private that Flynn was a “good man.” One adviser close to Trump said he’s heard Trump defend the general using the exact words described in reports of memos written by former FBI director James Comey recording his conversations with the president — and that Trump has told people inside the White House he wished the investigation would go away.”Elsewhere in Trump’s orbit: COMEY ONE, COME ALL: Former FBI Director James Comey has agreed to testify — in public — to the Senate Intelligence Committee after Memorial Day. SUBSIDY SUBMARINED?: President Trump has told associates that he would like to end payments of key Affordable Care Act subsidies — a move that could destabilize the law’s marketplaces. NEC SHIFT: Kenneth Juster, a deputy director of the National Economic Council and an adviser to Trump on international economic affairs, is expected to be removed from the council “imminently.”MAYBE DOCUSIGN?: President Trump’s lawyer didn’t want him to sign his 2016 Financial Disclosure, just submit it. (The Associated Press)BYE, JIM: Jim Donovan, President Trump’s pick to be the no. 2 at the Treasury Department, has withdrawn his nomination. He was expected to play a critical role in helping shape the administration’s tax reform policy through Capitol Hill. POTUS POTPURI: Foreign leaders are being given various instructions for how to deal with President Trump on his trip, including advice to keep it short and know that he has a short attention span and likes to focus on wins (The New York Times) CALL HER AMBASSADOR: Callista Gingrich has been formally nominated as President Trump’s ambassador to the Vatican. TRAVELING TO (MC)FAR LAND: President Trump also formally nominated deputy national security adviser K.T. McFarland to be the ambassador to Singapore. And there you have it. You’re caught up on the Trump administration. Happy Friday.

19 мая, 21:56

White House expected to reassign economic adviser amid internal tension

The White House is expected to soon reassign a top official on the National Economic Council amid internal tension among President Donald Trump’s aides, two administration officials told POLITICO. Kenneth Juster, the NEC’s deputy director and an adviser to Trump on international economic affairs, is expected to be removed from the council “imminently,” one administration official said, though it’s unclear where he will land.“He is not long for the White House. I know he is going to be reassigned,” the administration official said. “He is not going to be here long. The question is where will he go. That’s the only reason he’s not gone already is they’re trying to find him an alternate position.”Juster did not respond to a request for comment. The White House declined comment.Two officials said Juster had been involved in disagreements within the administration between the so-called “globalists” and “nationalists” at the White House. That tension has prominently played out between NEC director Gary Cohn, a former Goldman Sachs executive and registered Democrat, and White House chief strategist Steve Bannon, who helped shape Trump's nationalistic rhetoric during the campaign.The official who said Juster’s reassignment was imminent said Juster is under consideration for an ambassadorship, possibly the U.S. ambassador to India.Juster is a former partner at the investment firm Warburg Pincus. He worked at the Commerce Department during the George W. Bush administration and at the State Department during the George H.W. Bush administration. The expected change comes several weeks after Andrew Quinn, a White House trade adviser, was reassigned. Quinn had come under fire from conservatives and Breitbart News, of which Bannon used to be the executive chairman.

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11 мая, 11:11

Labour braced for internal battle over manifesto after leak

Jeremy Corbyn pulls out of poster launch ahead of top-level Labour meeting where arguments over leak are likely to dominate• General election 2017 - live updatesLabour is braced for a battle over the final version of the party’s manifesto at a summit for its most senior figures on Thursday after a draft was leaked overnight.Recriminations over the leak of the draft and the motivations for the move are likely to dominate the meeting of Labour’s national executive committee (NEC) and shadow cabinet at the so-called clause V meeting at noon on Thursday. Continue reading...

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03 мая, 00:30

NEC tests landslide prediction system in Thailand

NEC Corp, in collaboration with Thailand's National Disaster Warning Center (NDWC), has completed testing a system that identifies areas where there is danger of a landslide occurring. The…

28 апреля, 21:18

Press Gaggle by Press Secretary Sean Spicer en route Atlanta, GA, 4/28/2017

Aboard Air Force One En Route Atlanta, Georgia 1:09 P.M. EDT MR. SPICER:  Good morning.  The President is going to be speaking later, so I'll try to keep this short and let his words carry the day. Before we left, the President signed an executive order on offshore energy development.  I know the President made a statement on this order.  And during the signing ceremony, Secretary Zinke gave you a little detail during that briefing that occurred last night.  The main takeaway is that the order maintains our responsibility as stewards of the environment while moving us forward towards energy security.  Combined with the President’s previous actions reducing regulations and promoting clean and safe energy development, we are on the right track toward American energy independence.  As you guys know, we’re on our way to Atlanta, where the President will speak to the National Rifle Association’s Leadership Forum.  It’s a great way to end an incredible week leading up to the President’s official 100th day in office, which is tomorrow.  One of his most historic achievements was getting Judge Gorsuch confirmed to the Supreme Court in his first 100 days, the first President to have a Supreme Court confirmation since 1881.  I know the NRA is glad to have a justice in that seat who will be such a staunch defender of our Constitution.   The President is going to speak again tomorrow about Judge Gorsuch:  his unprecedented regulatory reforms under the Congressional Review Act, renegotiating trade deals that are unfair for American workers, and the rest of his incredible accomplishments.  I’ll let him and the record for his action-packed first 100 days speak for itself on that.  As I’ve mentioned before, we’ve got the website up at WhiteHouse.gov/100Days that really details all that.  And he looks forward to a really exciting event tomorrow.   With that, I'm glad to --  Q    can you confirm that Senator Ted Cruz is on the plane?  MR. SPICER:  Yes.  Wow, that was a good one.  Steve.  Q    What’s he doing? MR. SPICER:  I believe Senator Cruz is also addressing the NRA. Q    Sean, what’s the status of the healthcare effort?   MR. SPICER:  There was a great discussion this morning.  I think Whip Scalise was at the White House for the signing and had a chance to catch up with the President.  I think there’s continued progress that is being made.  Speaker Ryan noted that yesterday.  I don’t want to get too far ahead of where this thing is headed, but we feel very good and we continue to have -- hold on tight. Q    There's no vote -- MR. SPICER:  No, no, no, there is not.   Q    Sean, obviously, the President tomorrow night is holding this rally during the Correspondents’ Dinner.  Is there any message he’s trying to send with those two things happening concurrently? MR. SPICER:  Well, respectfully, it’s also his 100th day in office.  So I respectfully suggest that it’s not just about the Correspondents’ Dinner, it’s rather an opportunity for him to talk to voters that elected him and what he’s been able to accomplish in the first 100 days. So I think it’s a sharp contrast, obviously, between what’s going to be happening on his first 100 days, and talking to voters about what he’s been able to do and how much more there is to do, and how committed he is to seeing the next 100 days and the 100 days after that produce real results for Americans. Q    Can you give us an update on where things are with the spending plan?  I know there was a bill for one week.  But what about the long-term progress?  MR. SPICER:  I think, obviously, as you noted, my understanding is the Senate has passed the House spending plan that’s a one-week extension, and I feel really good that next week we’re really close to -- we feel very good about making sure that the next thing will be the five-month extension to get us through the end of the fiscal year Q    When we talked to him last night about South Korea, he mentioned the THAAD missile system.  Is he going to ask the South Koreans to pay for that? MR. SPICER:  I think we’ll have more on that for you at some point.  Obviously, the President has talked a lot during the campaign about our national security and what we’re doing as a country in making sure that our taxpayers and our funding is -- that we’ve got a lot of work to do at home, that we’re spending a lot of money on other places, and we want to discuss, whether it’s NATO or other places, where we’re spending a lot of money and make sure that other countries are contributing equally as well. Q    Can you give us an update on -- there was a meeting yesterday about the Paris agreement, where things stand.  What's the state-of-play in the White House on that? MR. SPICER:  It was a good discussion.  So part of the PC, Principals Committee, is for the different stakeholders to be able to provide input for the decision-making process for the President.  It was chaired by NEC Director Cohn.  And the participants gave him feedback in the different areas -- diplomatic.  Secretary Perry had some energy issues.  Administrator Pruitt was there.   So again, a lot of this is an opportunity for the key stakeholders in this arena to share their ideas, opinions, and do further work on areas that need some follow-up before presenting to the President with various options. Q    When will they do that? MR. SPICER:  We should have an answer before we leave for Europe. Q    Can you talk more about the NRA and the speech? About the NRA, about the forum, about his relationship with the NRA or about firearms policy, about guns?  Anything? MR. SPICER:  He’ll talk about that in the speech.  He’ll talk about his commitment to the Second Amendment.  This is the first time -- I think he’ll mention it in the speech -- I think it's 1983 since a sitting President. But, look, they came out and supported him based on his strong commitment to the Second Amendment.  He’s going to reiterate his commitment to the Second Amendment today and to the Constitution today.   Q    Is he going to thank -- that kind of speech, where he's thanking --   MR. SPICER:  I mean, he talks about his commitment to the Second Amendment.  He’ll talk about where he’s going, where he wants to take this country, some of the accomplishments that he’s had.  But he’ll also talk about -- I think he mentions -- I’ve got a -- sorry, I read it like an hour ago. Q    Conceal and carry? MR. SPICER:  I don’t know that he gets into that detail. I’ll have to look at it again.  But you’ll get it soon enough.  We’ll try to get you a copy of it. Q    -- his own views about guns?  His sons are hunters. MR. SPICER:  He’ll mention, yeah. Q    Sean, what about the trip to Israel?  Is that something that you guys can firm up? MR. SPICER:  No, not yet.  Obviously, as you know, I can’t confirm that we had -- we have an advance team that's look at that as one option while we go abroad.  But we’re looking at a couple options, including Rome, as we’ve mentioned.  Hope to have some additional updates on travel.  Q    And what are the other options?  Rome, Israel, Saudi? MR. SPICER:  We'll see.   Q    (Inaudible) some things about FEMA director.  Is that coming soon? MR. SPICER:  I can follow up.  We've got the PPO guys, one of them onboard.  And I'll ask.  All right, we’ll catch up with you guys.                         END                 1:15 P.M. EDT

25 апреля, 02:02

On-the-Record Press Briefing on the President's Executive Order Promoting Agriculture and Rural Prosperity

PRESS BRIEFING BY RAY STARLING, SPECIAL ASSISTANT TO THE PRESIDENT FOR AGRICULTURE, TRADE AND FOOD ASSISTANCE, ON EXECUTIVE ORDER PROMOTING AGRICULTURE AND RURAL PROSPERITY James S. Brady Press Briefing Room  5:05 P.M. EDT MS. WALTERS:  Ray Starling, who is at the National Economic Council, he’s going to be briefing you.  This is embargoed until this evening at 9:00 p.m.  It is on the record, and Ray can spell out his name for those of you who need it.  Again, embargoed until 9 o’clock tonight.  You have a factsheet, and Ray will take questions at the end after he runs you through anything.  And any additional follow-ups, direct them to Kelly.  She will be here after.  MR. STARLING:  Thank you.  Good evening and -- or afternoon, rather, and thank you for not leaving and for being interested in the event that we’re doing tomorrow.  My name is Ray Starling.  I am the Special assistant to the President for Agriculture, Trade and Food Assistance.  And as you can guess, I was not raised north of Washington, D.C., so if we have any translation issues, we’ll let Kelly step in for those.  (Laughter.)  You have a briefing sheet in front of you.  I want to provide a little more commentary about the folks that will be joining us tomorrow afternoon.  We have assembled quite the group, and I want you to have a little background on each of them.  So I will move through that list much like a fat man moves through a barbed wire fence -- hitting on the main points but getting through as quickly as possible.  (Laughter.)  Of course, you know Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue.  We are very much looking forward to him being confirmed tonight.  He will have a busy day tomorrow beginning with his swearing-in first thing tomorrow morning, then going to the U.S. Department of Agriculture for a speech to the employees there in the patio -- that inner sanctum, if you will, of the USDA property over there.  I believe at the end of that event they will have Georgia peach pies for folks who partake in that, so that’s a nice touch.   Secretary Perdue -- or, by tomorrow, Secretary Perdue we will call him -- he is a farmer and has been engaged in agriculture and agribusiness for a number of years, so we’re certainly proud to have him at the table. I would also point out Zippy Duvall.  Mr. Duvall is the president of American Farm Bureau.  He is a broiler, cattle, and hay farmer in Greensboro, Georgia.  A broiler is a meat chicken, as opposed to an egg chicken.  I’m sure you knew all that, but, in case you didn’t, I’m just showing off. Ms. Valerie Early will be at the table tomorrow.  Valerie is a national FFA officer.  She is also a former 4-H member.  So Valerie will bring a younger perspective to the table.  She is an agricultural education major.  She is currently taking a year off from her studies to serve the FFA as an officer.  So we look forward to having Valerie in town tomorrow afternoon as well. A.G. Kawamura.  Mr. Kawamura is from California; he has an interesting background.  His family has been involved in agriculture for a number of years.  They farm both conventionally and organic in Orange County, California.  So he has had to deal with some of the urban sprawl and rural interfacing issues that are really hitting a number of farmers around the country.  He’s also served as the Secretary of the California Department of Food and Agriculture, and has been active in the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture.  A ton of stuff on the web about A.G. if you want to read more about his background. Luke Brubaker.  Luke comes to us from Mount Joy, Pennsylvania.  He is a dairy farmer in Lancaster County.  Started the farm in 1970 with only 18 cows, and now has over 800, and farms over 1,000 acres of land.  Has a number of different production techniques that he engages there in Pennsylvania. Iowa’s Secretary of Agriculture, Bill Northey.  Mr. Northey is also still farming, in addition to serving his state as Secretary of Agriculture.  He is a fourth-generation Iowa farmer, and still grows corn and soybeans on his farm near Spirit Lake.  He has been the Secretary of Ag since 2006, and so he certainly understands this sector and will bring an important perspective to the table tomorrow. Tom Demaline from Avon, Ohio.  Tom is -- we certainly consider him, in the agricultural space, as a farmer, but he does nursery and landscape projects -- or nursery and landscape production, I should say.  His entity, Willoway Nurseries, supplies nursery products to, I believe, 26 states throughout the Midwest and out on the East Coast.  So he’s certainly been active in the Ohio Nursery and Landscape Association and in other industry associations.  So Tom will be with us tomorrow afternoon. Ms. Lynetta Usher Griner.  Ms. Griner farms two different main crops in Florida.  One is -- she’s actually a timber producer.  She’s a forester.  She was the first female president of the Florida Forestry Association.  She also farms cattle.  Some of that production occurs in Florida, and some of that production occurs out in Kansas.  She piqued our interest because there happens to be someone in the Senate from Kansas who is very interested in agriculture.  And so she can represent both Florida and Kansas during the conversation tomorrow.  She was Florida’s 2013 Woman of the Year in agriculture. Terry Swanson is from Walsh, Colorado.  He has lived in Colorado all of his life and raises a number of cattle on 10,000 acres of ranch land, and then he also farms 7,500 acres of land.  He’s been very active in the National Sorghum Producers Association and also on some research panels with the Colorado State University Extension Service there in Colorado. Commissioner Steve Troxler is the North Carolina Commissioner of Agriculture.  Commissioner Troxler no longer farms tobacco, but at one time did -- that, wheat, vegetables, and soybeans.  At one time Commissioner Troxler -- if you were eating a tomato in the Piedmont of North Carolina at a restaurant, you, more than likely, were eating his tomato.  He’s a past president of the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture, and he has been very active with the FDA as they are implementing their Food Safety Modernization Act regulations. An eleventh person on our panel tomorrow is James Lamb.  Just as an aside, Mr. Lamb told me a fun story.  I asked him, I said, what is the name of your farm, and do you call it Lamb Farms or Lamb Family Farms?  And he said he had to change his name and put his entire name on the sign by the road because when people drove by and saw “Lamb Farms,” they kept stopping and wanting to buy a lamb.  So he does not raise lambs.  He is, however, a pig farmer for Prestage Farms, down in North Carolina, and he also does environment quality for Prestage Farms.  So he has his own farm, and in addition he works for the company, leading part of their environmental protection efforts.   He has been named an "outstanding pork producer" by the North Carolina Pork Council.  He also grows corn, soybeans, millet, Bermuda grass, and cattle.  That is not unusual for that part of the country -- pig farmers who spray their effluent out on Bermuda grass, wait for the appropriate period of time to pass, grow out the grass, and then harvest the grass and feed it to cattle.  So if we were looking at a production map of that part of the country, we would see both hay, cattle, and pork all be sort of synonymous in that area.  So Mr. Lamb will be with us tomorrow.  Hank Choate.  And I need to apologize -- completely my mistake -- on your briefing document he is referred to as “Hang Choate.”  He is not “Hang,” he is “Hank.”  So my apologies for that.  Please help us correct that.  Hank runs Choate’s Belly Acres, in Cement City, Michigan.  A very interesting story:  A seventh-generation farmer, and they take very seriously continuing to involve the different generations in the farm.  He has been very active in a number of associations and organizations in the ag world there.  He’s also a dairy farmer.  He has Holstein cows, and also grows corn, alfalfa, soybeans, and wheat.  So a great story with Mr. Choate coming in tomorrow. Ms. Maureen Torrey.  She is from Mr. Trump’s home state of New York.  She’s an eleventh-generation farmer near Rochester, New York.  She raises fresh market vegetables and runs a dairy farm with about 2,000 cows.  Also operates a grain farm and a trucking company.  So Ms. Torrey, we’re pleased to have her at the table, and we look forward to seeing how she and the President interact over their rural New York roots. Mr. Jose Rojas is the vice president of farm operations at Hormel in Colorado Springs, Colorado.  He is the only person in our group who can honestly make a claim to the fact that he raises over 450,000 pigs a year.  He oversees the production operations for Hormel, and as I understand it, later this summer will be transferring over, where he will be helping to raise turkeys.  So he checked both of those boxes.  An interesting gentleman because he was born in Mexico, came to Iowa State to receive part of his education -- a master’s degree in animal husbandry -- and then started working in the vertically integrated pork sector. And the last person on our list, Ms. Lisa Johnson-Billy.  And I also apologize, I might have mis-alphabetized her name.  I probably put it with the J as opposed to the B.  But Ms. Johnson-Billy is a former member of the Oklahoma House of Representatives.  She was termed out there.  She started the first Native American caucus that the legislature in Oklahoma had.  She is still a farmer, and her family lives on about a 200-acre farm.  She has three sons, all of whom were involved in FFA, and one of whom, when he went off to Oklahoma State University, he got active or became active in ROTC and is currently in training to be an active-duty helicopter pilot with the United States Army. Our intention tomorrow is for the President to meet each of these folks to hear a little bit about their operation and to hear what’s on their minds.  As we point out, in terms of pure numbers, the ag sector does not make up a large part of the population, but certainly those engaged in the allied industry sector do and their economic impact in rural communities across America certainly allows them to punch above their weight, if you will.  We also brag on them.  Certainly we have the most efficient farmers in the world, the most effective at producing our food, and that's why we pay a lower percentage of our income on food than any country in the world. I would add one other thing, and I would just say, to my knowledge -- we have asked the librarian to help us double-check this, actually raised this point this morning with the North American ag journalists and I got checked a little bit, but not entirely wrong -- we cannot find any reference to a presidential meeting with a group this size this early in a President’s administration, back to Reagan’s time, when in either January or February of 1981, when the Russian wheat embargo was going forward, something that Reagan had agreed to end were he to become President and something that Carter had implemented.  Our understanding is that there were a group of farmers that came to the White House very early in Reagan’s administration to have a conversation about that.  That's the only other record we can find at the moment.  But I'm sure if I'm wrong about that you will let me know.  But to say that it's been a while would be an understatement. The last thing I would cover on the roundtable is that we certainly expect a wide range of topics to come up, as is evidenced by the wide range of folks who will be attending the meeting.  They are listed there for you.  I will not insult you by reading them, but certainly the list could grow longer.  All of these things are issues that those of us in agriculture see as potential limiting factors economically and things that we need to address. I think that then sets up exactly -- that need is what sets up the task force that the President will establish tomorrow.  He will be asking Governor Perdue -- hopefully by tomorrow Secretary Perdue -- to establish a task force that does a 180-day review of regulations, policies, legislation that unnecessarily hinders economic growth in the agricultural sector.  We also, in the course of that executive order, sunset the current makeup of the Rural Council.  We certainly think they did some important work and we're glad that they focused on rural America and brought some of the members of the last administration together.  However, there are very few records formally of their meetings.  I think a blog was maintained, but very little in the way of their accomplishments.  And so one of the things that we will ask the task force to do is to take a look at, were we to create another body along those lines, what would that need to look like and how could it be most effective at establishing cross-agency communication and cross-agency collaboration that's good for agriculture. With that, I think I'm happy to take questions.  Are we good? Q    In terms of this effort, the Rural Council included a lot of people from -- various officials in the Obama administration.  Is this task force going to be people from the Ag Department, is it going to be outside people?  How is that going to continue to work? MR. STARLING:  So two answers to that question.  Number one, certainly if you were to look at the executive order tomorrow, the list will look very similar to the list of players that were involved in the Rural Council.  We have certainly all the same Cabinet Secretaries listed, to my knowledge.  It is a long list -- Treasury, Defense, Attorney General, Interior, Commerce, Labor, EPA -- we go down the list.  And the idea there is, to your question and to the point, I believe, certainly farmers have to interface with the United States Department of Agriculture, and there are things there that we can do, regulatorily, to make their life easier.  But I think many farmers, were you to interview them, they would say that most of their challenges come from other agencies -- not intentionally, but because there are fewer people in those agencies that understand agriculture, or that might have been raised or grown up or familiar with our production, techniques and technology. So, number one, I would say, yes, cross-agency, a number of Cabinet Secretaries at the table.  The second thing I would say is the EO obviously has specific language directing the task force to do outreach and to accept ideas and thoughts from the field, not just of federal officials but also state and local officials as well. Q    You spent a lot of time talking about farming issues, but USDA also deals with rural development, housing, broadband.  Could you talk about the scope of this executive order? MR. STARLING:  Sure.  Those things are absolutely included. I would say on the messaging point there that we do believe that in these rural communities, the best thing we can do to make them grow quickly and economically is to focus on agriculture because it is the number-one driver in most of these rural communities.  But we certainly understand that's not the only silver bullet. And so one of the things the task force is charged with doing is looking at those rural communities and also making recommendations with regard to what we can do to promote their economic stability as well. Yes, ma'am. Q    Can you tell me -- trade has been such a big issue for the administration.  Can you tell me about how this group will discuss trade and how that fits into -- MR. STARLING:  Absolutely.  I think there is a lot of conversation in the ag community now about how we are a net contributor to lessening the trade deficit.  Ag believes we are doing a good job.  We obviously grow more food than we can eat in the United States.  So our real potential for economic growth is either talking you all into eating more, or to finding new markets for our products overseas.  And while I'm a big fan of the latter -- or is that the former? -- the former, we know that our real potential is in countries where incomes are growing and in countries where populations are growing. So if you look at agreements like NAFTA, if you look at the negotiations that happened in TPP, certainly on the table there were goods things there for ag.  I think there was renowned recognition across the ag communities that should this become our agreement, this is good for us.  I believe those things now become a part of the new conversations, even in these bilateral agreements, to the extent that we're not pursuing multilateral, large trade agreements like the TPP. And so I think the point to be made there is these farmers will make sure they leave the President with an impression of how important that agricultural trade is and, in particular, how important the agricultural trade is just north and just south of our border here with the United States, namely with Canada and Mexico. Q    So I just wanted to clarify, is the task force only going to be made up of officials from federal agencies?  Is that what the task force -- MR. STARLING:  That's correct.  And White House officials.  Yes, ma'am. Q    Okay.  And then so I also wanted to ask -- so this task force is going to be looking at identifying regulatory policy challenges for agriculture.  It seems like the White House has done a lot of these.  I mean, is there anything in particular that the White House now has in mind that they feel like is hindering agriculture?  Any policies in particular?  I mean, it just seems so broad to say, look at all regulations.  Is there anything in particular that --  MR. STARLING:  Yeah, it's a great question.  And I think when you see the executive order tomorrow, you will see that some direction is given in the order for the purpose and functions of the task force, and it is along the lines of seeing, "consider changes, including the following" -- certainly things that are not on the list may be included.  But you'll see some directives there to think in particular about how we adopt technology and agriculture.   There's a large debate, I think, internationally about biotechnology, not just here in the United States, but that's a very good issue that ties into the trade question.  To the extent that we are going to sell our products overseas, we need to make sure that we have the biotech approvals in those foreign markets that we need.  So looking at how we do that across the government, there are a number of players in involved in that.  It's not just USDA; it could be FDA, EPA, and certainly those folks that are responsible for international trade as well. I would also point out, think about FSMA implementation, the Food Safety Modernization Act.  For the first time over the course of this administration, FDA will be responsible for -- farm regulation with regard to things like water and soil additives.  And so there's a lot of talk and concern in the ag community that we make sure those regulations, as they are being created and promulgated, that they recognize the difference in small farms and big farms, the difference in water sources, the difference in terms of application so that one size does not fit all.  I would also throw out that farmers need crop protection tools when they are faced with insects or pests, and how we move those products to market in a safe and effective way will certainly be something I think the task force would take seriously.  So a myriad of things, absolutely. There was a question back here. Q    Yeah, this task force, will it also be looking honestly at the labor issue vis-à-vis the immigration crackdown?  Because my understanding is a significant part of labor in ag is undocumented workers.  I believe in California it's like 70 percent of farmworkers.  It seems like there should be some ramifications there.  Will this be honestly addressed? MR. STARLING:  Absolutely.  In fact, there is certainly language in the EO that talks about how do we ensure access to reliable workforce.  I suspect tomorrow that is certainly something that a number of the folks in the room will bring up to the President.  We have a number of growers in the room that use H-2A workers, so they use the temporary guest workers through the Department of Labor program.  There's also a number of farms in the room that use local laborers.  I don’t want to quibble with your statistics, but I will tell you we have each year a little over a million farmworkers.  And in any given year, most recently we've had between 170,000 and 180,000 H-2A workers.  So figuring out what that delta is, I think you can think through that.  A number of those folks also supply papers that maybe the farmer does not even understand, it may not be accurate.  But that is a problem, a consistent issue for agriculture that is not new.  It is perhaps more pressing now; we hear more farmers talking about it now.  And hopefully in this new environment we'll be able to make some progress on it.  But certainly the task force will take a look that that. Yes, ma'am. Q    Can I just clarify, is this group going to operate separate and apart from what the NEC is doing, what the Trade Council is going, what the USDA is doing in decision-making that would be happening either simultaneously or in the next couple months, let alone the next six months? MR. STARLING:  Sure.  Structure-wise, Secretary Perdue is the chair of the task force, and it is managed out of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.  So it will not be run exclusively out of the White House.  So we do not know exactly how quickly he'll convene that group, but I think it will be on its own track.  We will certainly plug in -- the Domestic Policy Council, the National Economic Council will have a seat on the task force.  So I hope it's really an integrated operation, and not one that is one-off or doesn’t fit in with all the other efforts that are ongoing. Q    But it will be a series of reports, or just a report at the end of -- MR. STARLING:  That's a question better for Secretary Perdue.  I don’t know the answer to that.  I don’t know how he'll end up managing that process. Yes, ma'am. Q    Can I follow up on that last question?  The President himself, and his family, is in the wine business.  He's used, personally, seasonal workers.  But we really haven’t heard him talk a lot about these issues; maybe a little bit during the Iowa caucuses, or right before them.  Can you fill us in a little bit on the President's thinking when it comes both to farm labor as well as kind of point some of the direction he'd like to see things moving in, giving us like a little hint of maybe what he'd like to see? MR. STARLING:  Well, I think in talking with the President I would say a couple of things.  Number one, he said he loves his farmers.  He has also said he recognizes that farming is a difficult business and that there are tight margins in agriculture.  On the trade front, I think he would say, we need to win there and we're not going to sacrifice wins in agriculture for gains in other sectors.  So I definitely think the President gets that.  I look forward to hearing what he says tomorrow when he's pressed and discussed these issue with the group of farmers. Q    Do you know specifically on the labor issue? MR. STARLING:  I don’t know specifically on the labor issue.  I can tell you he has never said anything hostile about temporary ag guest workers. Q    And one other thing that I do remember that he talked a little bit about was changing kind of inheritance taxes so that -- he talked a little bit about how family farms had trouble passing those along.  Have you talked to him about that issue at all? MR. STARLING:  No.  We know that the estate tax issue is a part of the comprehensive tax reform conversation.  Another issue that's very important for agriculture there is not just that estate tax issue, particularly given the new limits, but also the question of stepped-up basis.  It's a real issue for ag as families try to pass along their operations.  But we have not had a specific conversation in that regard. Q    Is that part of the EO at all? MR. STARLING:  Yes, I think we say something in the EO about our tax policy. Q    Is there any way that you might be able -- just because we won't see -- we're going to have to write before we actually see the EO.  Would it be possible for you just to read out what the main categories are that it touches on? MR. STARLING:  Let me make sure I have not told you a fib about taxes.  It does not look like we mention the word "tax" in the EO, but I definitely think that conversation fits into our other qualifiers about anything that impacts economic development, job growth, and quality of life in rural America. In terms of you guys getting a copy of the EO, that is why Kelly makes the big bucks.  So I'll defer that question to her. All right, maybe one more, two more.  Anything else? Thank you all. END  5:29 P.M. EDT

25 апреля, 00:20

New York State Will Cover Breast Milk Donations For Preemies From Low-Income Families

New York recently became the latest state to cover breast milk donations for babies from low-income families. On April 9, the New York State Legislature approved the 2017-18 state budget, which includes a provision granting Medicaid coverage for donor breast milk to premature babies in the NICU. The measure received bipartisan support. “We are putting our babies first and our legislators understand that,” executive director of the New York Milk Bank, Julie Bouchet-Horwitz, told The Huffington Post. Bouchet-Horwitz noted that “all babies, regardless of the economic status of their parents,” deserve access to pasteurized donor human milk (PDHM) when their own mothers’ milk is not available or sufficient. Access to donor milk is particularly important for preemies because they are at a higher risk for developing necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC), an intestinal illness that can be fatal in up to 40 percent of cases. Some studies have suggested that feeding preemies breast milk decreases their risk of developing NEC.  “When a mother’s milk is not available, PDHM is the next best option to give these babies a fighting chance. Increased use of PDHM will prevent NEC, decrease hospital stays, prevent infections that could lead to feeding intolerance and potential lifelong intestinal problems and developmental disabilities, and most importantly, decrease mortality rates amongst these fragile infants,” state Sen. Kemp Hannon (R) explained in a press release. The senator backed the budget provision, along with state Assemblyman Richard Gottfried (D) and other legislators, after New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) vetoed his bill authorizing this Medicaid coverage, saying the issue should be part of the state budget negotiations. In the press release, Sen. Hannon also noted that he believes providing this coverage will save the state Medicaid dollars in the long run by helping to prevent further complications in premature babies.  Although the women who donate their breast milk are not compensated, the New York Milk Bank requires a fee of $4.50 per ounce from recipients.  “The fee covers our cost of operations: salaries, rent and utilities, lab supplies, blood tests for donors, office supplies, bottles, etc.,” Bouchet-Horwitz explained, adding that as a nonprofit, the organization places any extra earnings into a charitable fund to help families who cannot afford to pay the fee. There is also an additional delivery fee, but a corp of volunteers ― including the famous “Milk Riders” ― work to offer same day delivery whenever possible.  The new state budget will help cover these costs and ease a significant burden on some of the most vulnerable families in New York. “Ensuring our most fragile infants have access to PDHM when in the NICU and the mother’s milk is not an option is the next step in promoting the lifelong benefits of breast milk,” Senator Hannon stated in his press release.  While a number of hospitals such as Crouse Hospital and Westchester Medical Center offer donor breast milk to premature babies, which can often be lifesaving, coverage continues to be an obstacle.” By removing the cost barrier to accessibility, Bouchet-Horwitz believes this state coverage will significantly lessen this health disparity. New York joins a handful of other states ― including California, Missouri, Kansas, Texas and Utah ― that already provide Medicaid coverage for donor milk. -- 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.

17 апреля, 01:43

Wall Street Banker Cohn Moving Trump Toward Moderate Policies

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); In a White House marked by infighting, top economic aide Gary Cohn, a Democrat and former Goldman Sachs banker, is muscling aside some of President Donald Trump’s hard-right advisers to push more moderate, business-friendly economic policies. Cohn, 56, did not work on Republican Trump’s campaign and only got to know him after the November election, but he has emerged as one of the administration’s most powerful players in an ascent that rankles conservatives. Trump refers to his director of the National Economic Council (NEC), as “one of my geniuses,” according to one source close to Cohn. More than half a dozen sources on Wall Street and in the White House said Cohn has gained the upper hand over Trump’s chief strategist, Steve Bannon, the former head of the right-wing website Breitbart News and a champion of protectionist trade opposed by moderate Republicans and many big companies. Cohn is a key administration link to business executives and White House sources say he will lead the charge for Trump on top domestic priorities such as tax reform, infrastructure and deregulation. “Gary’s singular focus is tax reform and he’s working to try and get that done in 2017,” said Orin Snyder, a partner at law firm Gibson Dunn and a long-time friend of Cohn. “He is working to implement the president’s twin goals of economic growth and job creation. The tax plan will also include a reduction in the corporate rate, but also tax relief for middle- and low-income Americans.” Some conservatives fear Cohn may push through a tax plan that is unnecessarily complicated and argue that including tax relief for middle- and low-income Americans would not spur economic growth as much as cuts focused entirely or mostly on businesses and entrepreneurs. Adam Brandon, president of the conservative group FreedomWorks, is disappointed Trump is not charging ahead with a plan unveiled last year during his campaign that would slash taxes on businesses and wealthy individuals. That plan was shaped heavily by Stephen Moore, an economic policy expert at the conservative Heritage Foundation think tank, who advised Trump’s campaign. But it has since been shelved. “I don’t like the idea of scrapping it and starting over again,” Brandon said. A senior administration official said the White House has started from scratch on the tax plan and, while setting business tax cuts as the highest priority, is consulting with lawmakers, economists and business leaders before taking it to the Republican-led Congress. Two administration officials said reports that the White House was considering a carbon tax and a value-added tax were incorrect, but that other ideas were on the table. “We are considering a multitude of options for tax reform,” a White House official said on Sunday. RAPPORT Associates of both Trump and Cohn say the two have developed a bond. People who have worked with Cohn say he is loyal, direct and assertive, traits that Trump likes. Crucially, Cohn also has the trust of Jared Kushner, Trump’s adviser and son-in-law, and his wife Ivanka, Trump’s daughter. Cohn hired his staff more quickly than other top officials, building a reputation for competence in an administration hurt by early missteps over healthcare reform and a travel ban, the sources said. “Gary is a huge asset to the Trump administration. He’ll be of great help in eliminating unnecessary regulation, stimulating growth and reforming the tax code,” said billionaire hedge fund manager John Paulson, an early backer of Trump who knows Cohn through Wall Street circles. The son of middle-class parents in Cleveland, Ohio, Cohn overcame dyslexia and worked in sales before elbowing his way into a position as a Wall Street trader and rising to become president and chief operating officer at Goldman Sachs Group Inc (GS.N). Kushner was a Goldman Sachs intern when he first crossed paths with Cohn. After Trump’s election victory, Kushner paved the way for Cohn to meet the president-elect, who had spent much of the campaign blasting investment banks as modern-day robber barons. Trump soon named Cohn his NEC director. Apparently paying more heed to Cohn and other moderates on his team, Trump last week said he was open to reappointing Janet Yellen as Federal Reserve chairman when her term is up and he also held back from naming China a currency manipulator. Both stances marked a reversal from his campaign when Trump criticized Yellen and vowed to label China a currency manipulator on “day one” of his administration, a move that could lead to punitive duties on Chinese goods. Sources close to Cohn and inside the White House said there are sharp policy differences between Cohn and both Bannon and Reince Priebus, White House chief of staff. A White House spokesperson denied there was a power struggle inside the West Wing. Cohn has already put his stamp on regulatory policy by working with Kushner to successfully push Wall Street lawyer Jay Clayton for head of the Securities and Exchange Commission after billionaire investor Carl Icahn, an early Trump supporter, had vetted other candidates. Clayton’s nomination has been advanced to the Senate for a vote. The vacant Federal Reserve vice chairman’s seat is a key regulatory role Cohn and his colleagues on the economic team want to fill soon. Cohn has interviewed nearly two dozen candidates and has whittled the list down. Randal Quarles, a veteran of the George W. Bush administration is one of several candidates left, a source familiar with the process said. Cohn will also take a leading role in developing Trump’s infrastructure plan to rebuild airports, roads and bridges. The biggest challenge may be figuring out how to pay for the initiative, which Trump has estimated at $1 trillion. While conservatives are concerned by Cohn, they note that Bannon is still part of Trump’s mercurial administration and that Cohn could fall out of favor as quickly as he has risen. “Whoever is up today,” Brandon said, “could be gone tomorrow.” (Reporting by James Oliphant, Svea Herbst-Bayliss, Olivia Oran, Sarah Lynch, Ayesha Rascoe and Caren Bohan; Editing by Kieran Murray and Bill Rigby) -- 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.

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14 апреля, 03:18

Within Trump’s inner circle, a moderate voice captures the president’s ear

NEC Director Gary Cohn, former president of Goldman Sachs, raises his profile by strengthening his reputation as a dealmaker.

Выбор редакции
14 апреля, 03:16

Within Trump’s inner circle, a moderate voice captures the president’s ear

NEC Director Gary Cohn, former president of Goldman Sachs, raises his profile by strengthening his reputation as a dealmaker.

07 апреля, 01:50

TPP negotiator attacked by Breitbart rejoining U.S. trade office

Andrew Quinn, a White House trade adviser who has come under fire from conservatives for his role in negotiating the Trans-Pacific Partnership, is being reassigned to the United States Trade Representative's office, three administration officials told POLITICO.The decision comes after Breitbart News and conservatives raised concerns about the White House's decision to elevate Quinn, noting that he was the deputy chief negotiator of the TPP when he worked at USTR during the Obama administration. Trump is a strident opponent of the TPP and withdrew from the deal in January. “Generally, the new White House has been wary of staffing itself with people who oppose the ideology that got Donald Trump elected,” Breitbart wrote last month in an article whose headline called Quinn the "enemy within." It added, “There is no public record of Andrew Quinn changing his ardent public support for the multilateral, globalist Trans-Pacific Partnership.”The White House announced in February that Quinn would serve as special assistant to the president for international trade, investment and development on the National Economic Council. Quinn is a career government employee who was on a detail at NEC.Quinn joined USTR in 2012 as deputy assistant U.S. trade representative for Southeast Asia and the Pacific. Before that, he was the director for Asian economic affairs on the National Security Council.Quinn did not respond to a request for comment. The White House said it does not comment on personnel matters. USTR could not immediately confirm that Quinn was returning to the agency. Doug Palmer contributed to this report.

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05 апреля, 09:02

[Перевод] Почему я отказался от нескольких мониторов

Да здравствует единственный монитор Нужен всего один монитор с высоким DPI — и зачастую для специалистов в сфере ИТ это действительно лучше, чем несколько мониторов. Многие разработчики считают, что использование нескольких мониторов повышает производительность — ведь это подтверждается исследованиями, да? Только следует иметь в виду, что многие исследования проводились производителями мониторов — компаниями Dell, NEC и другими. Безусловно, если поставить на рабочем месте несколько мониторов, окружающие будут думать, что вы тот еще хакер… но пару лет назад я все же продал свои мониторы и оставил один. Оказывается, в этом я не одинок. И сейчас я расскажу, почему. Переведено в Alconost Читать дальше →

02 апреля, 14:14

White House throws itself into uncertain tax reform push

The West Wing is desperate for a win on taxes, but thorny details need to be ironed out.

29 марта, 18:30

Трансформируя реальность

Необъятная тема «о дисплеях во всем их разнообразии» на страницах сайта фигурировала многократно (см., в частности, тексты про расширенную реальность, про компьютерную голографию,  про Actuality, еще одну любопытную, но малоизвестную технологию 3D-изображений). Здесь же представлен общий обзор интересных разработок такого рода по состоянию на 2003 год. (Октябрь 2003) Если верить классикам марксизма-ленинизма, то «материя – … Читать далее Трансформируя реальность →

22 марта, 01:17

Carbon tax debate exposed rift among Trump’s aides

Moderates and hardline conservatives are vying for the ideological core of the White House.

21 марта, 23:49

Labour membership expected to fall below half a million

Party unsure if those leaving are Jeremy Corbyn supporters, who joined just to back him, or opponents of his reignWhat is the current mood among Labour supporters? Labour membership is expected to fall below half a million for the first time since its peak under Jeremy Corbyn because about 40,000 people are in arrears.The unusual number of lapsed payments was discussed at a meeting of Labour’s ruling national executive committee (NEC) on Tuesday, as the drop will hit Labour’s budget. Continue reading...

10 марта, 20:40

Toy dog day at Crufts - but it's not fur everyone

Ticket sales are up, stalls are booming, but the Kennel Club’s show is never far from controversy Friday at Crufts is toy dog day, which for the uninitiated means a lot of fur. Pomeranians, chihuahuas, pekingese and Chinese crested may not be everyone’s juicy bone, but in a jam-packed NEC in Birmingham, it was clear they were not short of fans.“I can’t believe how busy it is!” said Caroline Kisko, who as secretary of the Kennel Club has been top dog at the world’s biggest canine show for almost 20 years. Advance ticket sales are well up on last year, she said, and entry numbers for Thursday, the first day of this year’s show, were also higher than anticipated. More than 160,000 visitors are expected at the four-day event. Continue reading...

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07 марта, 19:21

Labour members may be expelled over claims of antisemitism and bullying

Jackie Walker, Marc Wadsworth and Paul Davis face top disciplinary body after being suspended from partyMomentum’s former vice-chair Jackie Walker has been formally referred to Labour’s highest disciplinary body for possible expulsion over comments she made about Holocaust Memorial Day.Labour’s national executive committee (NEC) also referred several other members who had been suspended from the party over the summer. Among those were Paul Davis – the vice-chair of the local party in Wallasey, who was referred over allegations of bullying and intimidation during the leadership challenge by local MP Angela Eagle – and Marc Wadsworth – a party activist who, at the launch of a report into Labour and antisemitism, challenged Jewish Labour MP Ruth Smeeth that she was working “hand in hand” with the media. Continue reading...

08 апреля 2015, 07:02

Обзор японских компаний

За последние 4 года много касался американских, европейских и российских компаний, но почти никогда не затрагивал азиатские. Там, безусловно, своя специфика. Формат функционирования и структура рынка отличаются от европейского формата. Тем не менее, в рамках единого шаблона сравнения будет полезным посмотреть за результатами японских компаний.Помогло ли японским компаниям рекордное ( с 1995-1998) ослабление иены? Да, помогло. Вообще по большинству опросов топ менеджеров японских компаний относительно главного фактора, который приводит к улучшению показателей бизнеса, большинство называют именно курс иены.Японские компании имеют рекордный уровень глобализации.Например,Корпорация Toyota 66% выручки генерирует на внешних рынках;Honda аж 81% (!) за пределами Японии,Nissan не меньше 78%;Sony примерно 70%;Panasonic, по крайней мере, половину;Sharp около 60%Toyota имеет производственные мощности в США, там же и продает авто. Понятно, что выручка в США, полученная в долларах и конвертированная в ослабшей иене, покажет рост. Но и японские экспортные возможности повышаются, т.к. при неизменных внутренних ценах покупательская способность клиентов возрастает в условиях падающей иены.В этом отношении сыграли неплохо.Результаты компаний это подтверждаютНа графике предельная возможная выборка компаний из нефин.сектора. Выборка примерно в 5 раз превосходит индекс Nikkei 225. Т.е. охвачены все крупные публичные компании, которые предоставляли отчеты с начала 2004.Выручка уже выше 2007, прибыль достигает максимумов, рентабельность компаний стабилизируется вблизи докризисных уровней.По секторам:Все сектора показали улучшение относительно 2011-2012 годовПродолжение (кстати, добавил раздел капитальных расходов)Фин.коэффициентыДвукратный рост капитализации японских компаний отчасти демпфируется ростом прибыли и выручки.Возможно, многие спросят, куда включены такие известные компании, как Sony, Panasonic, Sharp, Nikon, Nintendo, Pioneer, Casio, JVC, SEGA, Konami? Отвечаю – в категорию Consumer Goods (производство товаров потребительского назначения). Все автомобильные компании туда же.Хотя, что касается компаний из сегмента домашней и бытовой техники (Sony, Panasonic и компания), то не сказать, что результаты их превосходны. Выручка стагнирует, а прибыль около нуля. Хотя, удалось выйти из рекордных убытков.Если брать технологический сектор, то крупнейшие представители в нем – Fujitsu, Canon, NEC, Fujifilm, Ricoh, NTT, SeikoСтруктура представленных компаний (в среднем за последние 4 года)ПрибыльВыручкаРентабельность капиталаЧистая маржаТакие дела ))Данные по Китаю, России, Бразилии, Индии, Турции и прочим не скоро. У них особенность данные представлять с задержкой по пол года )