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27 февраля, 18:19

Why War Between Japan and China Could Be the Ultimate Naval Clash (And Maybe World War III)

Kyle Mizokami Security, Asia Would Beijing win?  Until recently a naval war between Japan and China was not a serious proposition. As recently as the 1980s, China was a “green water” navy barely capable of protecting its own coastline, let alone projecting naval power several hundred miles away. Japan, on the other hand, had a large force of fully modern destroyers tasked with protecting sea lines of communication out to a thousand miles. As long as it stayed clear of the occasional large antiship cruise missile and volleys of unguided torpedoes, the Japanese navy could easily defeat whatever China threw at it. That has changed. More than a quarter century of Chinese defense increases have amounted to an overall tenfold increase in military spending. Beijing’s defense spending, both official and unofficial, likely amounts to more than $200 billion—nearly five times as much as Japan’s roughly $43 billion. This has had serious implications for the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force, as its potential Chinese adversaries are now better armed and trained than ever. In considering any Japan-China naval war, we should be mindful of their respective naval doctrines. The Maritime Self-Defense Force is an almost purely defensive force, trained to escort convoys to and from Japan, conduct antisubmarine warfare, protect the country from ballistic-missile attack, and conduct humanitarian operations. It is defensively armed, with relatively few antiship missiles and no cruise missiles. Offensive operations, with the exception of amphibious landings to take back national territory, are unheard of. While this is a noble approach to warfare, it also makes it very difficult to terminate a conflict on Japan’s terms. Read full article

27 февраля, 13:05

What the Best Mentors Do

Mentorship comes in many flavors. It doesn’t always work unless leaders bear in mind a few common principles. Over the past three years, as part of my forthcoming book, I’ve been researching how leaders can better judge and develop their talent in light of a changing, more purpose-driven, more tech-enabled work environment. Having interviewed close to 100 of the most admired leaders across business, culture, arts, and government, one important characteristic stands out: They do everything they can to imprint their “goodness” onto others in ways that make others feel like fuller versions of themselves. Put another way, the best leaders practice a form of leadership that is less about creating followers and more about creating other leaders. How do they do that? I’ve noticed four things the best mentors do: Put the relationship before the mentorship. All too often, mentorship can evolve into a “check the box” procedure instead of something authentic and relationship-based. For real mentorship to succeed, there needs to be a baseline chemistry between a mentor and a mentee. Studies show that even the best-designed mentoring programs are no substitute for a genuine, intercollegial relationship between mentor and mentee. One piece of research, conducted by Belle Rose Ragins, a mentoring expert and professor at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, demonstrated that unless mentees have a basic relationship with their mentors, there is no discernable difference between mentees and those not mentored. All this is to say that mentoring requires rapport. At best, it propels people to break from their formal roles and titles (boss versus employee) and find common ground as people. Focus on character rather than competency. Too many mentors see mentoring as a training program focused around the acquisition of job skills. Obviously, one element of mentorship involves mastering the necessary competencies for a given position. But the best leaders go beyond competency, focusing on helping to shape other people’s character, values, self-awareness, empathy, and capacity for respect. They know in the long run that there is a hard truth about soft matters and that these values-based qualities matter a lot more than skill enhancement. There are many ways to mentor people around these values and to build greater self-awareness. Shout loudly with your optimism, and keep quiet with your cynicism. Your mentee might come to you with some off-the-wall ideas or seemingly unrealistic ambitious. You might be tempted to help them think more realistically, but mentors need to be givers of energy, not takers of it. Consider why an idea might work, before you consider why it might not. The best method I know for thinking this way is the 24×3 rule for optimism. I’ve written about this approach and tried to practice it for years, but it’s very difficult to master. Each time you hear a new idea, see if it is possible for you to spend 24 seconds, 24 minutes, or a day thinking about all the reasons that the idea is good before you criticize any aspect of it. It’s been said that the world prefers conventional failure over unconventional success; good mentors should encourage exploration of the latter.  Be more loyal to your mentee than you are to your company. Of course, we all want to retain our best and brightest. We also want our people to be effective in our organizations. That said, the best mentors recognize that in its most noble and powerful form, leadership is a duty and service toward others, and that the best way to inspire commitment is to be fully and selflessly committed to the best interests of colleagues and employees. Don’t seek only to uncover your mentees’ strengths; look for their underlying passions, too. Help them find their calling. Most of us have experienced people, such as friends, religious leaders, and family members, who serve as our anchors and guides outside our workplaces. Why can’t we bring this same high level of trust and support inside the workplace? In a lot of cases, we owe it to mentees to serve as something more than just career mentors. The best mentors avoid overriding the dreams of their mentees. If an employee and a job aren’t a good fit, or if an ambitious employee realistically has limited upward mobility in a company, a good mentor will help that employee move on. They might be better suited to another role within the organization, or even to a new path somewhere else. At its highest level, mentorship is about being “good people” and having the right “good people” around us — individuals committed to helping others become fuller versions of who they are. Which is why the organizations and leaders I’ve come to admire most are the ones devoted to bringing others along.

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26 февраля, 18:21

Manchester United 3-2 Southampton: EFL Cup final – as it happened

The magnificent Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored twice, the second a late header to shatter an heroic Southampton and settle a thrilling final 6.35pm GMT That’s about it for today’s liveblog. We’ll have a match report shortly. Thanks for your company, bye! 6.30pm GMT Zlatan speaks “That was nice. It was a great cross from Herrera. This is a team effort. I came to win, and I’m winning. The more I win, the more satisfied I get. You appreciate winning more as you get older. This is my 32nd trophy – wow, I’m super happy.”Interviewer “Has it gone better than you hoped when you signed?” Continue reading...

26 февраля, 13:30

Обзор плеера iBasso DX200 — le roi est mort, vive le roi!

То, о чём так долго грезили аудиофилы по всему миру, наконец-то свершилось. iBasso в честь своего 10-летнего юбилея решили тряхнуть стариной и обновить свою топовую модель DX100. Конечно, после неё были и DX50, и DX90, и, что греха таить, DX80, но, естественно, все ждали флагман, и он явился во всей своей красе. Ставший в наше […]

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26 февраля, 02:33

Barnes & Noble Education Shares Down 12%

Textbook sales are not doing well at Barnes & Noble.

25 февраля, 19:45

Watford v West Ham United: Premier League – live!

Premier League updates from the 5.30pm GMT game at Vicarage RoadLive scores: the goals as they go in around the UK and EuropeAnd feel free to email [email protected] 7.27pm GMT 90+1 min There will be three minutes of added time. In the first of those, Edmilson Fernandes replaces the man of the match Lanzini. His second-half performance was delightful. 7.26pm GMT 90 min Lanzini backheels to Cresswell, who produces another killer cross from the left. It’s about to be headed in at the far post by the stooping Feghouli when Holebas dives to head behind for a corner. Superb defending. Continue reading...

25 февраля, 09:39

Прибалтику трясет в ожидании учений «Запад-2017»

А маневры НАТО на своих территориях там предлагают считать символом миролюбия

24 февраля, 23:53

Oh No, Has Donald Trump Made The White House Correspondents Dinner Unseemly?

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); President Donald Trump says he doesn’t like the media. You’ve probably heard about this, because he won’t stop talking about it. Also: The media won’t stop talking about it. But yes, Trump has referred to the media as “the enemy of the people,” which means he fits somewhere on the continuum between “standard-issue White House antipathy for the press,” and “literally putting the entire mastheads of news organizations in labor camps.” (The joke’s on him: We already work in labor camps!) Still, Trump’s rise has touched off all manner of discussions in media circles, many of which are good. We’re seeing a real re-dedication to the craft of reporting. Editors are talking up the need to be more alive to possibilities, more aware of the lives of others, and more skeptical of monopolies of political and economic power. This is all to the good; These discussions should be permanent features that outlast the Trump presidency. But those in the media industry also apparently are having other, more meaningless discussions. Here, for example, is a story in BuzzFeed, about a super-important internal discussion happening at CNN: CNN is considering sitting out of the White House Correspondents’ Dinner, according to two people familiar with the matter, as the annual star-studded affair takes on renewed scrutiny from media outlets irked by the White House’s demonization of the press. CNN is still actively discussing internally whether it will ultimately send staffers to the event, which is scheduled for April 29, according to one of these people. “We haven’t made a decision on it yet,” a CNN spokesperson said. How is this a news story? Why does anyone in the world need to hear about these deliberations?. The White House Correspondents Association dinner ― an annual gathering of Beltway occupants who pretend to like each other and a motley passel of mostly confused celebrities ― has over the course of many years become a tired journalistic genre. The central criticism of the affair ― that it is, as BuzzFeed’s Steven Perlberg summarizes, a “bizarre spectacle of media and government coziness” ― has been made so many times already that even I have grown weary of hearing about it, even though I agree with these sentiments. Members of the correspondents association vehemently disagree with this take. We could go on arguing with each other for years. But what’s the point? It’s been very clear for a long while that pointing this out won’t kill the damn thing, no matter how often you try. It’s also clear that no one is going to write a better story about the dinner than the one Foster Kamer and Kat Stoeffel wrote back in 2011 for the New York Observer. (Which is worth re-reading, by the way!) When it comes to thoroughly played-out topics of discussion, you really cannot beat the White House correspondents dinner. Unfortunately, Trump has managed to breathe new, navel-gazing life into the subject by giving the media the opportunity to talk about not attending the dinner as a symbolic act of ... something? High-mindedness? Revolt? It’s really hard to say what troubling things are coursing through the heads of CNN higher-ups as they contemplate what to do about the White House correspondents dinner. Somehow or another, though, they are clearly considering whether withholding their participation in an annual orgy of self-regard could achieve some good, after many years of never contemplating this possibility. What change do they think can be wrought by doing so? How on earth did they come to imagine that their involvement is some sort of leverage point in the Trump era? (You know that President Barack Obama surveilled the phone records of Associated Press reporters, right? I don’t recall this forcing anyone to publicly rend their garments over how the party could possibly go on.) Obviously, CNN is not alone in these musings. At the beginning of the month, The New Yorker and Vanity Fair announced that they were “pulling out” of the White House correspondents dinner. That is to say: Those two magazines will not be throwing their pre- and post-dinner parties that have traditionally served to amplify the self-congratulatory nature of the occasion, as well as underscoring its exclusiveness. The loss of these wholly vestigial organs was covered as some sort of shock to the Beltway’s very existence and forced White House Correspondents Association President Jeff Mason to issue a statement: We have been forced into a conflict, for we are called, with our allies, to meet the challenge of a principle which, if it were to prevail, would be fatal to any civilized order in the world. Oh, wait. Sorry, that’s King George VI’s speech to the British people after his nation declared war on Germany in 1939. It’s an easy mistake to make. But an even easier mistake is imagining that Trump has made not participating in the White House correspondents dinner into some radical act of courage, an argument that necessarily implies that some sort of shame should now ― again, because of Trump ― accrue to those who participate. If CNN is any guide, news organizations are treating this as some sort of conundrum that must be wrestled to the ground. This is a very weird problem to pretend to have! Around the same time Vanity Fair and The New Yorker were solemnly self-sacrificing their cocktail hours for The Greater Good, U.S. News And World Report editor Robert Schlesinger stepped forward to be the voice of moral courage, urging fellow journalists to boycott the dinner. “Whether Trump himself will show up is an open question anyway,” wrote Schlesinger, “but regardless, news organizations should buy tickets as usual (it’s for a good cause) but make other plans that night and if he does attend, let the ratings- and crowd-obsessed narcissist freak address an empty ballroom.” But let’s listen to what Schlesinger has to say about Trump specifically: And of course it’s not just the hostility – we’re big kids, we can take it – but there’s also dumb mendacity: the inane dust-up over the inaugural crowd size, capped by Conway’s now-infamous “alternative facts” defense; the bald assertion that Trump hadn’t been feuding with the intelligence community; the unfounded and irresponsible claims of voter fraud; crimes against truth regarding, well, crime; untrue statements about the size of government; unfounded assertions that Trump’s noxious immigration executive order echoed a move by his predecessor; and of course the infamous Bowling Green massacre. I’m sure I’m missing some big ones but you’ll have to forgive me, there’s a lot of which to keep track. All of this of course stems from the president himself. Trump is an accomplished and unstoppable prevaricator. His campaign misstatements as a collection were named the 2015 “Lie of the Year” by PolitiFact, which has found that of 359 statements of his they’ve checked, 69 percent have been “mostly false,” “false” or “pants on fire,” as opposed to a mere 4 percent which were “true.” Politico found that in the 71 days between the election and his swearing in, Trump “told at least 82 untruths.” So let me get this straight: Donald Trump is a mendacious and irresponsible president, so journalists have a duty to ... retreat? I don’t get it. This is an argument to get as many journalists into a room with this man as humanly possible, to confront, to bear witness, to stand as some sort of alternative. Now you’re worried about how unseemly this all might look?  There have always been plenty of ways to suggest that the White House correspondents dinner was a gross affair, but somehow or another we’ve managed to break new ground. All the public handwringing over “[with grave intonation] What is to be done about the White House correspondents dinner” is just a nauseating act of grandstanding ― a poor substitute for some more material act that the media will either make or not make, whether they attend this soiree or not. There are areas where the Trump administration’s actions toward the press have real stakes and demand real action ― the White House decision to blacklist several news outlets and bar them from a closed-door White House briefing is a good example of something with which the media must forcefully contend. But questions over whether Trump has somehow made attending the dinner uniquely untenable isn’t something that should concern serious people. We are talking about a party. And for years, this party’s attendees have repeatedly urged critics to disabuse themselves of the notion that their attendance has any meaning, and have continually asserted that the event has absolutely no effect on their ability to properly scrutinize and critique the president. This idea has always been central to the dinner’s mythology, the talismanic response given to anyone who thought this to be a journalistically fraught affair. Well, guess what? You can’t have it both ways. Stop acting like withdrawing oneself from the White House correspondents dinner constitutes some noble act of resistance, and stop making it look like a real thing over which you need to publicly agonize. Go. Don’t go. Do whatever. But consider, at long last, the possibility that it may be better for journalists to stand in a room with their “enemy” than it is to toast a president who wants to be your pal. ~~~~~ Jason Linkins edits “Eat The Press” for The Huffington Post and co-hosts the HuffPost Politics podcast “So, That Happened.” Subscribe here, and listen to the latest episode below.   -- 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.

24 февраля, 18:42

Procrastinating on February 24, 2017

**Over at [Equitable Growth](http://EquitableGrowth.org): Must- and Should-Reads:** * **Nick Bunker**: _[What’s the problem a U.S. corporate tax cut will solve? | Equitable Growth][]_ * **John Schmitt**: _[The U.S. minimum wage improves access to traditional lines of credit | Equitable Growth][]_ * **Matt Markezich**: _[Why is collective bargaining so difficult in...

24 февраля, 17:01

'Future CNN' Is The Foreboding Twitter Feed Of Your Nightmares

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); It’s the news, but hopefully as we won’t ever know it. A parody Twitter account imagines how CNN might report on President Donald Trump’s administration in the not-so-distant future. And the @FutureCNN feed foresees a dystopian time ― when lawmakers refuse to comment on America’s war with Mexico, Democrats are skewered for “liking” Ivanka Trump’s Instagram posts and contributors debate if launching a nuclear weapon would help soothe Trump’s ego. pic.twitter.com/JtOrqpvolT— FutureCNN (@FutureCNN) February 2, 2017 New York video editor Daniel Solé claims credit for the feed, which he launched last month. “Something about the tenor of the discussions on [CNN] began to gnaw at me, both before and after the election,” the 34-year-old told The Huffington Post via email this week. “They aren’t Fox, and they aren’t MSNBC,” he said. “[CNN] seems to be trying its damnedest to occupy a middle ground that’s mostly been obliterated. I see it as both noble and desperate, but mostly dystopian.” Solé described his parody account as “sort of a rogue time-traveling CNN operative warning us from the future while we still have a chance to change it.” pic.twitter.com/HR33cOPlJM— FutureCNN (@FutureCNN) February 1, 2017 With almost 13,000 followers ― including, Solé claimed, several CNN hosts — he balances the posts between “humor and horror,” but admitted they often lean “hard towards the latter.” “The priority is plausibility,” he said. “But shaded with a little comedy to help it go down easier.” Check out the full account here. pic.twitter.com/ascq8tiPvj— FutureCNN (@FutureCNN) February 8, 2017 type=type=RelatedArticlesblockTitle=Related Coverage + articlesList=58ad39b6e4b0d0a6ef464047,58abf1dbe4b0a855d1d92889,58ad5e87e4b04a0b274e3444,58ac4056e4b0f077b3edd25c -- 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.

24 февраля, 02:02

Nigeria Cuts Oil Producing Cost To $27 Per Barrel

Nigeria has reduced the unit technical cost (UTC) for producing oil to US$27 per barrel as of end-2016 from US$70 per barrel in 2014, Maikanti Baru, Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), said in a speech on Thursday. “With reduced cost of production, govt’s share of economic revenue will improve which means reduced budget deficit,” NNPC said on Twitter in updates of Baru’s speech. Nigeria is also committed to raising the efficiency of its refineries so that by 2019, it will no longer…

23 февраля, 22:54

Giant Leviathan Gas Field Gets $3.75B Development Investment

The partners in the giant Leviathan natural gas field offshore Israel ratified on Thursday the final investment decision for the first phase of development which entails gross capital investment of US$3.75 billion. Houston-based Noble Energy – which operates Leviathan with a 39.66-percent working interest – said today that it had sanctioned the first phase of the project, targeting first gas sales for the end of 2019. The initial development of the Leviathan field, which contains 22 trillion cubic feet of gross recoverable natural gas…

23 февраля, 17:21

WPX Energy (WPX) Q4 Loss Narrower than Expected, Sales Lag

WPX Energy Inc. (WPX) reported a loss of 16 cents per share in the fourth quarter of 2016, narrower than the Zacks Consensus Estimate of a loss of 17 cents.

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23 февраля, 16:26

Без заголовка

**Live from the Orange-Haired Baboon Cage: Duncan Black**: _[Conservative Principles][]_: "One of my least favorite liberal tics is to grant there was some time when American conservatism was some sort wrong but noble affair... [Conservative Principles]: http://www.eschatonblog.com/2017/02/conservative-principles.html >...and to appeal to various horrible things as some deviation from those principled...

23 февраля, 05:13

Don't Try To Co-opt Indivisible Movement, Fulfill It

There are two things currently happening in the world of Democratic and progressive politics, which are happening independently of each other, for the most part. This weekend, the Democratic National Committee will meet to elect a new chair. Meanwhile, out in the hinterlands, the progressive wave of energy and resistance to Donald Trump and his agenda shows no signs of abating. But I would extend a word of caution to whomever becomes the next D.N.C. chair: Don’t attempt to corral or co-opt the burgeoning Indivisible movement ― instead, just do your damnedest to fulfill their expectations. Although the new movement is only one month old (like Trump’s presidency, which is no coincidence), it’s already had an impact on the national political debate. Establishment Democrats, so far, are caught between hoping the movement sustains its energy all the way to the midterm congressional elections and worrying about how to “harness” the movement for their own ends. This is the very same dilemma the Republican Party faced when the Tea Party began (although I’m not suggesting Indivisible is a complete parallel or mirror-image of the Tea Party, because it’s so early that it’s impossible to make such comparisons). But Democrats should be worrying more about living up to the movement’s goals than somehow grabbing the reins of the movement in any way. This is a true bottom-up movement. Social media has now made it possible for such movements to exist and flourish completely independently of any political party’s direct control. That’s the beauty of it ― leaders are not required. The Women’s March on Washington which was organized by one woman posting on social media what she’d like to see happen. It snowballed from there. It wasn’t a Democratic Party initiative, it just happened. The Indivisible movement’s name comes from a web page put together by congressional staffers ― the people who actually get most of the work done in Washington, in other words. They knew from personal experience what works to change the political landscape and what doesn’t. They shared their experience online and urged people to use the tactics that had worked in the past. But they didn’t try to “lead” their own movement in any way ― they just published a playbook and let the populace take it from there. Liberal annoyance at the shortcomings and outright failures of Washington politicians to address the real needs of the people has always been with us in some form or another. Sometimes it is just more vocal and visible, really. Sometimes progressives mutter in their beer and sometimes they take to the streets. Sometimes it simmers on the back burner, sometimes it erupts. The last such eruption was wildly successful at messaging, but ultimately wound up being no more than a footnote, politically. Occupy Wall Street was a bottom-up movement, and one that significantly changed the parameters of the national political debate. The idea of the “one percent versus the 99 percent” was their doing. We would likely not be talking so much about income equality if Occupy never happened, to put it another way. But in terms of political results, it fell far short. There were never “Occupy candidates” or even “Occupy Democrats” or indeed anything of the like. The Occupy movement had a number of fatal flaws, really. The first was the timing ― you just don’t begin an outdoor long-term protest movement right as winter is setting in. The weather will do more to defeat such a movement than its opponents. The second was its governing methodology. Occupiers may even dispute that there was any sort of governing methodology, but when defined as “self-governing” there was ― and it set its own bars way too high to ever get anything accomplished. Their “general assemblies” were run on the notion that an incredible 90 percent of them had to all agree on anything for it to be an official movement goal. That is a recipe for gridlock, to put it mildly (just look what the filibuster threshold of 60 percent does to the Senate, if you don’t believe this). In the end, the movement couldn’t ever agree on much of anything, except endless navel-gazing and constructing their castle-in-the-air of the perfect world they would (eventually) demand be built. The weather, the organizational dysfunction, and the cops and mayors (who finally got tired of it all) ended Occupy with a whimper. I don’t mean to belittle the effort. Their strategy was noble, but their tactics left a lot to be desired, that’s all. But the Indivisible movement seems oriented towards much more practical avenues for change. After all, it was started by lower-level Washington insiders, who merely tossed a playbook for action out there to see what would happen. What has so far been happening is encouraging. People are flocking to the streets to let their voices be heard in the era of Trump. People are showing up at town halls ― even in deep red districts and states ― to give their elected representatives an earful. Regular people are considering running for office who had never before entertained such an idea. Some Democratic politicians are already beginning to understand the fear of “getting primaried” (which, so far, has been almost exclusively a fear of Republican officeholders). People who have never engaged in politics before are even flooding in to local Democratic Party meetings, to see what can be done to accomplish change. The Occupy movement strenuously insisted that it didn’t have “leaders.” Neither, really, does the Indivisible movement. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren certainly inspire the movement, but they’re not truly leading it. But that didn’t stop the Tea Party from becoming a force in Republican politics. Who, after all, could be said to be the “leader” of the Tea Party? It also has some favorites who inspire it (Ted Cruz, Dave Brat, etc.), but it still resembles more of an unruly mob than what would traditionally be referred to as a congressional “bloc” of votes. Because of its leaderless nature, the temptation already exists for Democratic politicians who are salivating over the prospect of somehow “capturing” all those incredibly-energized voters out there in the streets. But the nature of such social media movements is that they will not be led around by the nose. How do you “capture” a herd of cats? Each individual is out there protesting for their own reasons ― not some position paper or slogan dreamed up by the Democratic National Committee, after all. They’re going to be impossible to capture, co-opt, or even corral by any top-down organization, that’s my best guess. Which leaves only one effective tactical option for the incoming D.N.C. chair ― don’t worry so much about controlling or directing the movement’s energy, instead aim for fulfilling its goals on your own. At the best, you can hope to be elevated to the ranks of Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren ― solid inspirations for the movement, who don’t attempt to direct it from above. What the protesters want is obvious ― all you have to do is listen to them. They want Obamacare defended and protected. They want women’s health rights to likewise be defended and protected. They want politicians to stand up for people’s rights, including minorities of all types. They want more attention paid to Main Street than Wall Street. They want economic justice. Most of what they stand for almost completely overlaps the Democratic agenda (at least, the one Bernie Sanders was able to write into the last party platform), so there really shouldn’t be a lot of ideological angst for Democrat politicians to join the movement wholeheartedly. But that verb is important. Democratic politicians ― from the local city councilman up to the D.N.C. chair (whomever that happens to be, next week) ― should seek to join the movement that is already underway. Democratic politicians facing a primary challenge from the movement should really examine their own votes and positions to see why so many constituents are so angry with them. Smart Democratic politicians will show up at the rallies and protests to make their own case directly to the people. In doing so, they should try to live up to the crowd’s goals in order to get their support, with a message that speaks directly to each protester. This can either be a full-throated: “I’m one of you!” or perhaps just: “Here’s where I agree with you, here’s where I disagree” ― whatever level of support the politician is comfortable with. But that’s really as far as any Democratic politician should go, because any attempt to redirect the movement into nothing more than a fundraising arm of the Democratic National Committee is very likely doomed to fail.   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.

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22 февраля, 18:30

Обзор портативного ЦАП с усилителем для наушников CEnrance DACPortable

Немногие знают, но именно CEntrance были одними из первых разработчиков, представивших по-настоящему портативный ЦАП. Их DACPort был представлен в далёком уже 2009 году. С тех пор прошло немало лет, модель получила дальнейшее развитие в лице сначала DACPort HD, а потом и DACPortable, о котором сегодня и пойдёт речь. Вообще, секрет успеха компании с одной стороны […]

21 февраля, 05:00

Rocky Starts In Presidential History

Since it is Presidents’ Day (or whatever else you call today, apostrophized or not), I thought I’d take it easy on our current president, and take a break from the regular ridicule I’ve been heaping upon him since he was sworn in. Today’s supposed to be a noble holiday, after all, so I thought I’d make an extra effort at evenhandedness, and take a look back through history at some of the rocky starts various American presidents have had on the job. Donald Trump has unquestionably had a rocky start. But he certainly hasn’t faced the worst rocky start of any president in history, not by a long shot. Abraham Lincoln wins this honor hands-down, since the crisis started before he was even sworn in. Between Lincoln’s Election Day and his Inauguration Day, seven Southern states seceded from the Union. Lincoln was sworn in on March 4, 1861, and five weeks later Fort Sumter happened, officially kicking off the Civil War. One certainly hopes that no other United States president ever has such a rocky start to his or her term, that’s for sure. The worst presidential start in history (on a more personal level) is also a fate I’d wish on no other. William Henry Harrison, America’s ninth president, died 31 days after being sworn into office. Harrison holds two notable records in the field of American presidential history, as his was not only the shortest term in office (unless you count the strange case of “President for a day” David Rice Atchison, which most do not), he also gave the longest inauguration speech in American history ― almost 8,500 words long ― which took him roughly two hours to orate. Also, Harrison delivered this monstrously-long speech wearing neither overcoat nor hat, even though it was a cold and wet day ― which might just have contributed to his death from pneumonia a month later. Less-tragic (but still shocking), Ronald Reagan didn’t die while in office, but he did survive an assassination attempt only 69 days after being sworn in ― which pushed his approval rating to a high point, as the country rallied around their wounded leader. Other tragic deaths in office have led to vice presidents being thrust into the presidency unexpectedly, and some of them have had rather noteworthy beginnings to their presidencies. The most stressful new presidency of this type we’ve ever seen was quite likely Harry Truman’s. The nation was in shock over the unexpected death of the beloved F.D.R. in April of 1945, and Truman got an early boost from the victory over the Nazis in Europe (V.E. Day happened on May 8, 1945). But by the beginning of August, Truman had to make one of the toughest decisions a president has ever had to ― whether to drop atomic bombs on Japan or not. Truman had been kept in the dark about even the existence of the Manhattan Project while he was vice president, it’s also worth noting. Sometimes the first days of a new president didn’t hinge on external events, but from deliberate bold actions. Roughly a month after Teddy Roosevelt assumed office (after the assassination of William McKinley), he invited Booker T. Washington to the White House. This was the first time a sitting president had invited an African-American in such a fashion, so it was a provocative action to many. Roosevelt went on to grasp the reins of the presidency with vigor, and when he was done he had issued 1,081 executive orders ― almost matching the combined total (1,262) of every president who had come before him. The most prolific president previously had been Grover Cleveland, who issued 253 executive orders of his own. Dwight D. Eisenhower spent much of the time during his early days in office ending the Korean War. He took a trip to the war zone in November of 1952, while still only president-elect. By July of 1953, an armistice was in place. When Ike left office, he also left a planned invasion of Cuba on the drawing board, which turned out to be a disaster for J.F.K.’s first days in office. The Bay of Pigs happened in April of Kennedy’s first year in office. Trump likes to compare himself to Andrew Jackson, who faced a personal tragedy of his own before assuming office. Between his election and his inauguration, Jackson’s wife died. The election of 1828 was one of the most vicious in all of American history, complete with charges that Jackson married her before she was divorced from her previous husband. Jackson took such things personally, and he bitterly charged his political opponents with the responsibility for her death. As a result of Rachel Jackson’s death, his extended family became very important to him while in office. This isn’t a direct parallel with Trump’s son-in-law or his daughter, but the historical comparison is interesting. Andrew Jackson relied heavily upon the advice of an unofficial “kitchen cabinet” during his presidency, which included not only members of the partisan media (pro-Jackson newspaper editors), but also one of his closest and most-trusted advisors ― his adopted son Andrew Jackson Donelson, who was also his nephew by marriage (Donelson was Jackson’s wife’s sister’s son ― who, after his father died and his mother remarried, moved in with and was adopted by the Jacksons). Donelson also moved into the White House when Jackson did, and Donelson’s wife then served as the White House’s hostess (since Rachel Jackson had died, there was no First Lady). Jackson went on to fire his entire official cabinet, in what became known as the “Petticoat Affair,” because their wives (led by John C. Calhoun’s wife Floride) were socially snubbing the wife of his War Secretary ― the only time (so far) that an entire cabinet has been dismissed en masse by any president. Having the shortest National Security Advisor in history doesn’t even really come close. Of course, I wouldn’t put it past Trump to fire his whole cabinet at some point over some petty issue ― and I wouldn’t even be surprised if it was because a member of his family was treated badly on the social scene; but then I’m supposed to be giving Trump a break today, so I’ll just stop speculating about historical parallels altogether. Presidents often stumble during their first few months in office, and a lot of these stumbles are later either forgiven or almost completely forgotten, especially if the rest of the president’s term works out well. For instance, Bill Clinton had the “Travelgate” scandal in May, 1993 (during his first year in office), but few remember it now. Clinton had other stumbles right out of the gate as well. He had made a campaign promise to allow gays and lesbians to serve openly in the military if elected, and did consider immediately implementing it but was counseled to take things much slower. By December of his first year in office, he unveiled “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, Don’t Pursue” (later shortened by one “don’t,” to make it easier to say). For the time it was a fairly bold move towards full acceptance, but it was also nothing short of a stop-gap compromise ― not what he had initially promised at all. Barack Obama took office during the second-worst economic crisis in the last 100 years, and due to winning such large majorities in Congress, he was able to get both his stimulus bill and the Lily Ledbetter Act signed during his first month in office. The public’s sense of panic and fear cannot be overstated before Obama took office, as America was losing 750,000 jobs per month. But by the end of his first year in office, the economic tide had begun to turn, although the recovery took much longer than anyone had anticipated. Obama’s first six months in office were some of the most productive he’d ever see, though, as Republican resistance to his agenda began to solidify harder than cement. To give just one example, Obama boldly issued an order to close the prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba during his first days in office, but he never actually achieved this goal in his two full terms. Not all of those early decisive moves work out all the time, in other words. Of course, the whole notion that the “first 100 days” in office should be a new president’s most meaningful comes from Franklin D. Roosevelt’s first few months as president. This was the first time the “100 days” term was used in American politics ― it previously had referred to Napoleon’s last days of glory, from the time he escaped exile on Elba to his ultimate defeat at the Battle of Waterloo. F.D.R. inherited the Great Depression, which had already dragged on for years. He also entered office with sky-high expectations from the public. Two days after being sworn in, he closed the entire U.S. banking system. Three days later, Congress acted to pass federal deposit insurance, to restore confidence in banks. The night before the banks would reopen, F.D.R. gave the first of his “fireside chat” radio addresses. Within two weeks, half the money people had been stuffing in their mattresses (to avoid their savings being wiped out in all the bank failures which had been happening) was re-deposited in the banking system, averting total collapse. Roosevelt went on to enact as much of his “New Deal” as fast as he possibly could. He created many of his “alphabet soup” of new federal agencies in his first 100 days, including the Civilian Conservation Corps and the Tennessee Valley Authority. Hopefully, no other president will ever match the frenetic pace of F.D.R.’s first 100 days. I say “hopefully” because I do sincerely hope no other president will ever have to. The only president to take office in a worse situation for the country was Lincoln, after all. Roosevelt certainly didn’t solve all the nation’s problems overnight (or as fast as the banking crisis), but he sure tried his hardest to do so, in as many ways as he could possibly think up. I guess my conclusion here would be that while nobody’s ever going to live up to F.D.R.’s first 100 days, a lot of the focus on the first days any president spends in office isn’t really reflective of their overall performance. Sometimes it is, but oftentimes it just doesn’t work out that way ― for better or for worse. Sometimes a president stumbles early, but then later recovers. Sometimes nothing much happens at the start, but then a president proves his mettle later on. I have no idea how the rest of the Trump presidency is going to play out, but it’s something to keep in mind after his first month in office, at least.   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.

20 февраля, 21:52

Remarks by the Vice President and NATO Secretary General Stoltenberg at a JPA

NATO Headquarters Brussels, Belgium 4:13 P.M. CET SECRETARY GENERAL STOLTENBERG:  (In progress) took office, and just a few days after your great speech in Munich where you so clearly declared the strong commitment and the unwavering support of the United States to the transatlantic bond.   And we welcome that because we see the strong commitment of the United States to the transatlantic bond, not only in words but also in deeds.  These days the United States is deploying new forces -- additional forces -- to Europe, which is of great importance for the security of Europe and which demonstrates the strong transatlantic commitment of the United States.  And we are very grateful for this commitment.   You also stressed that just as the U.S. stood with Europe, Europe stood tall with the United States.  And we have to remember that the only time that the alliance has involved our collective defense clause, Article 5, was after an attack on the United States.  And this was more than just a gesture.  Several hundred thousands of Canadian and European troops have served in Afghanistan, and more than a thousand have paid the ultimate price. The bond between the United States and NATO -- between the United States and Europe embodied in the NATO alliance is very important today because we live in times of turmoil and instability, and then we need a strong alliance more than ever.  And we are stronger when we stand together.   During our meeting, we discussed our progress in the fight against terrorism.  NATO continues to train security forces in Afghanistan.  We have started to train security forces and officers in Iraq.  And we support the U.S.-led coalition against ISIL   with AWACS surveillance planes. But we agree that the alliance can and should do more in the fight against terrorism.  We also agree on the importance of higher defense spending and fairer burden sharing in NATO.  This is has been my top priority since I took office.  Europeans cannot ask the United States to commit to Europe’s defense if they are not willing to commit more themselves.   And they are committing more.  In 2016, after many years of cuts, we turned a corner.  Defense spending increased across Europe and Canada by 3.8 percent in real terms, or U.S. $10 billion.  But we still have a long way to go, so all allies must speed up their efforts to spend 2 percent of GDP on defense. This will be an important point when allied leaders meet here in Brussels in May.  So, Mr. Vice President, thank you for our excellent discussion.  We agree that NATO is the most successful alliance in history because NATO has been able to adapt and change when the world is changing.  And we agree that we must continue to change to keep our people safe.  U.S. leadership remains indispensable.  So I really look forward to working with you and to welcoming President Trump in Brussels in May. So please, you have the floor. THE VICE PRESIDENT:  Thank you, Mr. Secretary General. It is a privilege to meet with you today to bring greetings on behalf of President Donald Trump and also to have the opportunity for a thorough and substantive discussion of the issues facing NATO and our historic alliance. It has been a busy weekend for me.  As I prepare to head back to the United States, I’m grateful.  I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to speak on Saturday about our shared security issues at the Munich Security Conference.  And I appreciate your encouraging words about the message of the United States at that conference. And I also was pleased to be able to hold a series of productive bilateral meetings with leaders from all across the world.   It was also deeply moving for me and my family to return to Dachau, the very first concentration camp, and to be accompanied by a survivor by the name of Abba Naor.  I had first visited that camp in 1977.  I wanted my daughter to see it.  And we went there and walked through that historic memorial.   Abba told me that he arrived at Dachau as a 17-year-old boy.  He told me of the nightmarish existence that he experienced there.  But then he spoke words that resonate with our alliance.  He said:  “Then the Americans came.” Those words touched my heart, and they speak volumes about the history and importance of the North Atlantic alliance and of NATO, more of which I’ll address momentarily. But I thank you again for your hospitality in this historic place at this important time. I was also grateful today to meet with the leadership of the European Union.  And on behalf of President Trump, I express the commitment of the United States to continued cooperation and partnership with the EU.  While we have our differences on some issues, I reiterated this point in all of my meetings with the EU leadership and appreciated the cordial and substantive discussions that we had. But on Saturday, as the Secretary General mentioned, at the Munich Security Conference, I brought a message from President Trump -- the message is the same one I bring to you today.  It is my privilege here at the NATO Headquarters to express the strong support of President Trump and the United States of America for NATO and our transatlantic alliance.  The United States has been a proud and faithful member of NATO since its founding in 1949.  This alliance plays a crucial role in promoting peace and prosperity in the North Atlantic and, frankly, in the entire world.  The United States’ commitment to NATO is clear.  As we speak, President Trump and our administration are developing plans to ensure that the strongest military in the world in the United States becomes stronger still. Let me assure you, Mr. Secretary, that in the United States, we're about the process of strengthening our military and restoring the arsenal of democracy.  Working with members of Congress, we intend to increase military funding to make it possible for us to provide for the common defense for the people of the United States, but also meet the obligations that we have with our treaty allies, including in this historic treaty. America -- therefore I can say with confidence:  America will do our part.  But Europe’s defense requires Europe’s commitment as much as ours. At the Wales Summit in 2014, all 28 members of the NATO alliance declared their intention to move towards a minimum security investment of 2 percent of their gross domestic product on defense within a decade.  As a candidate for office, President Trump actually called attention repeatedly to the fact that for too long, for too many, this burden has not been shared fairly among our NATO allies.  And that must come to an end. At this moment, the United States and only four other NATO members meet this basic standard.  And while we commend the few nations that are on track and have met the obligation, the truth is that many others, including some of our largest allies, still lack a clear and credible path to meet this minimum goal.  So let me say again what I said this last weekend in Munich, the President of the United States and the American people expect our allies to keep their word and to do more in our common defense.  And the President expects real progress by the end of 2017.  As Secretary of Defense James Mattis said here in Belgium just a few short days ago, if you’re a nation that meets the 2 percent target, we need your help encouraging other nations to do likewise.  If you have a plan to get there, as he said, our alliance needs you to accelerate it.  And if you don’t yet have a plan, these are my words not his:  Get one.  It is time for actions, not words. And let me thank specifically the Secretary General for your outspoken leadership on this issue.  As you and I discussed privately and you've discussed with the President, the world needs NATO’s strength and leadership now more than ever before.  And we are grateful, Mr. Secretary General, that you join us in calling for immediate and steady progress on all of our NATO allies’ commitment to our common defense. The truth is the rise of adversaries new and old demands a strong response from this alliance.  In the east, NATO has embarked on improvement in its deterrent posture by stationing four combat-ready multinational battalions in Poland and the Baltic States. And as I assured the Secretary General in our meeting today, in the wake of Russian efforts to redraw international borders by force, the United States will continue its leadership role in the Enhanced Forward Presence Initiative and other critical joint actions.  With regard to Ukraine, as I said before, our alliance will continue to hold Russia accountable and demand that they honor the Minsk Agreements, beginning with de-escalating violence in eastern Ukraine.  For the sake of peace and for the sake of innocent human lives, we urge both sides to abide by the ceasefire that began today.  And we pray for peace in Ukraine. Be assured, the United States, as well, will continue to hold Russia accountable, even as we search for new common ground, which President Trump firmly believes can be found. As I said in Munich, though, NATO’s continued leadership is also necessary in the fight against radical Islamic terrorism; this, another item that as a candidate for office, President Trump first raised. As a candidate a year ago, he called on NATO to evolve by expanding counterterrorism operations.  And we're encouraged to see under your leadership NATO is in the process of doing just that.  It’s hard to speak of these issues in the abstract as I stand here in Brussels, just now almost a year ago that three horrific suicide bombings occurred, 33 innocent victims, including four Americans, hundreds more injured.  I just want to assure the people of Brussels and all the people of Europe that your pain is our pain, your loss our loss.  And it’s precisely why the President believes it’s essential that NATO continue on this new path of evolving and expanding its mission to be more effective in counterterrorism. We will work tirelessly with our NATO allies to ensure security in our countries and yours.  But adapting to these new and ever-shifting challenges must remain a central focus of our collaboration and cooperation.  Our alliance needs to intensify efforts to cut off terrorist funding and increase cyber capabilities.  We must be -- as I said before, we must be as dominant in the digital world as we are in the physical world.  And the United States is committed to continuing to work with our NATO allies to achieve that objective for the security of all the nations in our alliance. By building on tactics from the last century with these new century opportunities and challenges, NATO will be better prepared to confront and overcome the new adversaries of the 21st century. Under President Trump’s leadership, the United States, I can assure you, is fully committed to NATO’s noble mission.  We are grateful for your leadership, Mr. Secretary General.  And I know the President looks forward to working closely with you to advance our shared objectives.  A strong NATO means a safer world.  And the United States of America looks forward to continuing to work with our partners in NATO to achieve just that. So, Mr. Secretary, thank you very much for your hospitality and for your leadership. Q    Vice President, you've given your assurances today here in Brussels to European leaders that the U.S. is committed to working with Europe.  President Trump has said very different things.  He’s said that the EU is a vehicle for Germany, that the U.K. was smart to get out, and he expected other countries to follow.  Who should European leaders listen to -- you or President Trump?  Can they be certain that what you say, the assurances you give, won’t be contradicted in a tweet or a statement at a press conference tomorrow?   And, Secretary General, who do you listen to?  And are you concerned about differences in what you hear? VICE PRESIDENT PENCE:  Well, thank you for the question.  Let me say it’s my great privilege to serve as Vice President for the 45th President of the United States.  And the President directed me to go to Munich and to come here to Brussels with a very specific message:  To go to Munich to the Munich Security Conference and make it very clear, as I do so again today here at NATO’s Headquarters, that the United States is expressing strong support for NATO, even as we challenge NATO and challenge our allies to evolve to the new and widening challenges and further meet their responsibilities in this ever-changing, ever-complicated world of threats. But with regard to the EU, the President also directed me to come here to Brussels.  And I had the great privilege of meeting with leaders of the Europe Union throughout the morning, and to express the desire of the United States to continue cooperation and partnership with the European Union.  We respect the determination of the people of Great Britain, as manifested in Brexit.  And we respect the judgement of the peoples of Europe in the European Union.  And as I said today through many leaders, we look forward to working across the Channel with all parties in the years ahead on behalf of peace and prosperity. SECRETARY GENERAL STOLTENBERG:  I have heard exactly the same firm message from the President of the United States in two phone calls; from the Vice President in meetings today and in Munich; and from Secretary Mattis -- Tillerson, and Kelly.  They all conveyed the same message that the United States is firmly committed to the transatlantic partnership and have an unwavering support for the NATO alliance. And I welcome that very much -- both the very clear statements from all leaders in the new administration, but also the fact that this is not only something we see in words, but we also see it in deeds.   For the first time in many years, we see an increase of U.S. military presence in Europe.  And we are deploying new battle groups.  The U.S. is deploying a new brigade.  And we see on the ground more U.S. presence in Europe.  So this is a commitment in words, but also in deeds. When it comes to the European Union, I would like to underline the importance of the enhanced cooperation between NATO and the European Union.  We have actually been able to bring that to a new level, implementing many different issues -- or measures.  And we signed the joint declaration between President Tusk, President Juncker, and me in Warsaw and are now following up on implementing that.   We are working closer on hybrid, on cyber, on addressing how to build the capacity in our neighborhood, and how to stabilize our neighborhood, our areas where we work together with the European Union.  And I think, actually, the NATO-EU cooperation is even more important now because we live in times with turmoil and unpredictability, and then we need a strong cooperation between NATO and the European Union, and I welcome the very strong U.S. support for that approach. Q    Thank you.  Mr. Vice President, I wanted to ask you about the dismissal of General Flynn recently.  Did you feel like you were misled by members of the Trump administration?  Or were you frustrated that you were left out of the loop on this situation?  And what assurances have you received from President Trump that something like this will not happen again?   And for Mr. Secretary General, both you and the Trump administration have talked about the need for additional funding for defense.  What are the consequences for inaction by NATO members?  Is there any scenario in which the Article V commitments might be considered conditional if NATO members do not fulfill their defense spending obligations? VICE PRESIDENT PENCE:  Thank you, Ken.  Let me say, I am very grateful for the close working relationship I have with the President of the United States.  I would tell you that I was disappointed to learn that the facts that had been conveyed to me by General Flynn were inaccurate.  But we honor General Flynn's long service to the United States of America, and I fully support the President's decision to ask for his resignation.  It was the proper decision.  It was handled properly and in a timely way.   And I have great confidence in the national security team of this administration going forward.  The combination of Secretary Mattis, of Director Pompeo at the CIA, of Secretary Kelly at Homeland Secretary I think gives the American people great confidence that the team in this administration is providing the leadership and the direction to those agencies and also to the President of the United States to advance the security of our people. GENERAL SECRETARY STOLTENBERG:  Our collective defense clause, our collective defense commitment is unconditional.  It's absolute, and it's the core of the NATO alliance.  And I welcome the very strong commitment of the United States to this transatlantic bond and to this collective defense clause. At the same time, I fully support what has been underlined by President Trump and by Vice President Pence today, the importance of burden-sharing.  And I think we have to remember that this is not only something that the U.S. is asking for, it's actually something that 28 Allies agreed.  The leaders from 28 NATO-allied countries sat around the same table in 2014 and agreed to stop the cuts, to gradually increase defense spending, and then to meet the 2 percent target within a decade.   And the good news is that we are moving in the right direction.  After many years of decline, after many years of defense cuts across Europe and Canada, we saw that in 2015 we stopped the cuts, the first year after we made the pledge.  And then, in 2016, we had a significant increase of 3.8 percent in real terms, or $10 billion.  There is a long way to go, and much remains to be done, but at least we have turned a corner and we have started to move in the right direction.  I am encouraged by that, and I expect all allies to make good on the promise that they made in 2014 to increase defense spending and to make sure to have a fairer burden-sharing. Q    A question to the Vice President and the Secretary General.  The German Foreign Minister has called the 2 percent goal too ambitious, and said that more spending would not necessarily lead to more security.  Are you disappointed by that?  And what would be the consequence if a country like Germany would not hold up to the 2 percent goal? And a question to the Vice President, if I may.  President Trump has repeatedly talked about his war with the press.  Since NATO is an alliance of values, can you assure the allies that the freedom of press is not under threat in the United States?  Thank you. GENERAL SECRETARY STOLTENBERG:  All allies have committed to the defense investment pledge, meaning to stop the cuts and to start to increase.  And that also includes Germany, and it has also been clearly expressed from Germany that they are committed to the defense investment pledge we made together in 2014. The good thing is that Germany has started to increase defense spending.  In 2017, there will be a significant increase in German defense spending, with around or by -- around 8 percent.  So, of course, Germany, as many other allies, have a long way to go.  And some allies will meet the 2 percent target within a year or two.  Romania declared last week that they will meet the 2 percent target this year.  Lithuania and Latvia will soon be able to meet the 2 percent target also within a year or two.   So we are really making progress.  Germany has started to increase defense spending.  And again, I expect all allies to keep the pledge they made together as leaders in 2014.     VICE PRESIDENT PENCE:  Let me say again:  The President and I, our administration, are very grateful for the Secretary General's focus on burden-sharing and for our NATO allies, whether it be Germany or other countries, to meet the commitment that treaty allies made to one another. I think it's a demonstration of President Trump's leadership that before taking office he was speaking about the fact that the United States provides more than 70 percent of the cost of NATO today, and we are committed to continue to do our part, but that the time has come for our NATO allies to step forward.  And the Secretary General's strong message on this is in all of our collective interest. I will tell you that I had very productive discussions with Chancellor Merkel.  We spoke about just this issue.  And we look forward to a continued dialogue.  Our hope is that we will have a date very soon where Chancellor Merkel will come to the White House.  I expect the President will talk with her about it, as well.  But this is simply about all of us doing what we all said we would do -- to provide for our common defense.  And in the ever-changing threat environment in which we live, that's more important now than ever. With regard to your second question, rest assured that both the President and I strongly support a free and independent press.  But you can anticipate that the President and all of us will continue to call out the media when they play fast and loose with the facts.  And the truth is that we have in President Trump someone who has a unique ability to speak directly to the American people.  And when the media gets it wrong, I promise you President Trump will take his case straight to the American people to set the record straight. Q    Mr. Vice President, you said the U.S. commitment to the EU was steadfast and enduring.  Is the administration opposed to further disintegration of the EU, further countries exiting?  And on NATO, what is the or else?  If there isn’t more defense spending this year, would you recommend cutting the European Reassurance Initiative?  Would you cut back on exercises?  What's the or else? VICE PRESIDENT PENCE:  Well, I think your second question is a very fair one.  What is the “or else”?  I think when Secretary Mattis was here, he spoke very plainly here at NATO's headquarters about the frustration of the American people, that as our country continues to make investments in Europe's security, we see European countries falling behind.  The President really put this issue front and center, before the American people in his campaign for President.  And, frankly, it struck a very resonant chord.   And so I don’t know what the answer is to “or else,” but I know that the patience of the American people will not endure forever; that the commitment that we have made to one another, that the American people are keeping with the people of Europe and NATO, is a commitment that the President of the United States and the American people expect our allies in Europe to keep, as well.  But failing that, questions about the future we'll just leave in the future as hypotheticals. But I have to tell you, with the Secretary General's strong leadership, having made the issue of burden-sharing his top priority, having a partnership with so many countries across NATO who, in my meetings over this weekend, have expressed a desire to step forward and keep their word, I'm very encouraged about the progress.  What you see happening here is in a very real sense the result of American leadership.  In President Trump we have a President who is stepping forward, he's expressing American leadership not just on the issue of funding, but also on his call last year that NATO should evolve to widen its tactics to include counterterrorism as a major focus.  And NATO has begun to do that.  The United States looks forward to supporting that. With regard to the European Union, my message very simply was that the United States is committed to continuing our partnership with the European Union.  And I wanted to make that very clear.  We understand the relationship between our economies.  We understand the deep heritage of member states in the European Union with people in the United States of America.  Looking for ways that we could reassure this weekend leaders of the European Union of our commitment to ongoing cooperation and that maintaining that partnership in the years ahead is hopefully a resonant message that came through, and it's my great privilege to be here to deliver it. SECRETARY GENERAL STOLTENBERG:  Let me just add that the focus of the alliance is on how can we make sure that we succeed in delivering on what we agreed about fairer burden-sharing and increased defense spending.  And, therefore, I will not speculate so much about “or else,” what will happen if we don’t succeed.  But we heard a very firm and clear message from the United States.  We heard it from the President, we heard it from the Vice President, and from Secretary Mattis at the defense ministerial meeting.   So I think that just underlines the importance of making sure that we move, that we succeed in increasing defense spending across Europe and Canada.  And the good thing is that we have started; 3.8 percent real increase in 2016 is a significant step, but is only one step in the right direction.  We need much more. Let me also add that we need both to spend more, but we also need to spend better.  So the focus of the alliance, the focus of the defense ministers, but also in our cooperation with the European Union, is how can we increase efficiency, how can we develop cooperation, how can we make sure that we address the fragmentation of especially European defense industry so we can reduce costs and get more out of the money we invest in our defense.   But there is no way we can choose between either spend more or better.  We need to spend both more and better.  So what we committed in 2014 was not either to spend more or to spend better, but it was to spend 2 percent of GDP in a better way, and we are addressing both things, and we are moving forward on both tracks. END 4:44 P.M. CET

19 февраля, 07:30

15 Worst Professions to Pay Off Your Student Loans

Racking up an enormous amount of debt via student loans? You'll need a job that pays well -- and these professions won't cut it.

Выбор редакции
18 февраля, 09:00

Обзор усилителя для наушников Beresford Capella

Вообще, в среде «трушных» аудиофилов бытует поверье о том, что музыки не должны касаться мерзкие обработчики типа эквалайзеров и темброблоков, а слушать надо «натуральный» звук (впрочем, единого мнения о том, какое звучание считать самым натуральным, аудиофильское сообщество так и не представило). В общем, настоящий поклонник высокого звука, усилитель, о котором я сегодня поведаю, предаст анафеме, […]