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28 апреля, 22:00

Fight Heats Up Over Trump's Army Secretary Pick As Lawmakers Decry His Anti-LGBTQ Views

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); WASHINGTON ― Democratic House members are calling attention to the anti-LGBTQ views of President Donald Trump’s nominee for Army secretary, increasing the profile of a confirmation battle that has largely gone under the radar.  “LGBT soldiers are willing to make tremendous sacrifices to protect our rights and freedoms,” wrote a group of 13 Democrats in a letter to Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Jack Reed (D-R.I.), the chair and ranking member of the Armed Services Committee, respectively. “It would be deeply disrespectful to their service to appoint a Secretary of the Army whose history of homophobia and transphobia makes it clear that he is not willing to do the same for them.” Trump’s pick to be the civilian head of the Army is Tennessee state Sen. Mark Green (R), a West Point graduate and physician. He was an Army medic for the special operations team that captured Saddam Hussein in 2003.  But Green has also spoken out against equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer individuals. He recently sponsored a bill that would block local governments and public universities from considering companies’ internal policies (such as whether they discriminate based on gender identity or sexual orientation) when doing business or giving out contracts. In September, Green told a tea party gathering that he believes being transgender is a disease. (The medical community disagrees.) And he opposes allowing transgender people to use the restroom corresponding with their gender identity, because he believes it opens the door for men to sexually assault women. He has cited the Bible for his opposition to these policies, saying he needs to “crush evil” in order to “protect women in their bathrooms.” Neither McCain nor Reed returned a request for comment on the letter, which was led by Rep. Joe Kennedy (D-Mass.), the chair of the Congressional Transgender Equality Task Force.  Mr. Green's past statements and actions have made it clear that he cannot be trusted to ensure that LGBT soldiers are able to serve their country without discrimination or harassment. Democratic House members, in a letter opposing Mark Green as Army secretary LGBTQ groups have spoken out against Green’s nomination. Transgender celebrity and Olympian Caitlyn Jenner, who voted for Trump, has also said she’s disappointed in his pick of Green. “He’s up for secretary of the Army, and this guy has come out with some of the most anti-LGBT statements ever, calling me, a trans person, as a disease,” Jenner said. “I hate to tell Mark Green, I don’t have a disease, OK?” This week, Green broke his silence and responded to some of the criticism, going after the “liberal left” for making him seem like an LGBTQ “hater.” “I believe that every American has a right to defend their country regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, and religion. It’s the radical left that won’t allow the latter,” he wrote.   If confirmed, Green would oversee a force that’s been fully integrated since June, when the Pentagon ended its ban on transgender people serving openly. If confirmed, he would stand in significant contrast to the previous Army secretary, Eric Fanning, who was the first openly gay person to serve in the position.  “Mr. Green’s past statements and actions have made it clear that he cannot be trusted to ensure that LGBT soldiers are able to serve their country without discrimination or harassment,” wrote the Democratic lawmakers in their letter. Want more updates from Amanda Terkel? Sign up for her newsletter, Piping Hot Truth, here. type=type=RelatedArticlesblockTitle=Related Coverage + articlesList=58e68301e4b07da81324a57f,58955cd0e4b09bd304bb936e,57291058e4b0bc9cb044f246 -- 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.

28 апреля, 15:00

How Companies Say They’re Using Big Data

Laura Schneider for HBR Are companies seeing any value to their investments in “big data”? I’ve been surveying executives of Fortune 1000 companies about their data investments since 2012, and for the first time a near majority – 48.4% — report that their firms are achieving measurable results from their big data investments, with 80.7% of executives characterizing their big data investments as “successful.” Survey respondents included Presidents, Chief Information Officers, Chief Analytics Officers, Chief Marketing Officers, and Chief Data Officers representing 50 industry giants, including American Express, Capital One, Disney, Ford Motors, General Electric, JP Morgan, MetLife, Nielsen, Turner Broadcasting, United Parcel Service, and USAA. The chart below illustrates the range of big data initiatives that are underway at leading corporations, with expense reduction being the most mature, as measured by the number of initiatives that are underway, with nearly one-half of all executives indicating that they have decreased expenses as a direct result of their investments in big data.   However, big data isn’t just being used for cost-cutting. The survey strongly indicates that firms are also undertaking “offensive” efforts that are explicitly intended to change how they do business.  After the initial “quick wins” are wrung from cost-reductions, executives are turning their attention to new ways to innovate using data. In spite of the investment enthusiasm, and ambition to leverage the power of data to transform the enterprise, results vary in terms of success. Organizations still struggle to forge what would be consider a “data-driven” culture. Of the executives who report starting such a project, only 40.2% report having success. Big transformations take time, and while the vast majority of firms aspire to being “data-driven”, a much smaller percentage have realized this ambition. Cultural transformations seldom occur overnight. Related Video The Explainer: Big Data and Analytics What the two terms really mean -- and how to effectively use each. Save Share See More Videos > See More Videos > At this point in the evolution of big data, the challenges for most companies are not related to technology. The biggest impediments to adoption relate to cultural challenges: organizational alignment, resistance or lack of understanding, and change management. Big data is already being used to improve operational efficiency, and the ability to make informed decisions based on the very latest up-to-the-moment information is rapidly becoming the mainstream norm. The next phase will be to use data for new products and other innovations. About half of the executives I surveyed predict major disruption on the horizon, as big data continues to change how businesses operate and compete. Companies that fail to adapt do so at their own competitive and market risk.

28 апреля, 00:47

U.S. House may vote within days on tighter North Korea sanctions

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. House of Representatives could vote as soon as next week on legislation to toughen sanctions on North Korea by targeting its shipping industry and companies that do business with the reclusive state, congressional aides said on Thursday.

28 апреля, 00:47

U.S. House may vote within days on tighter North Korea sanctions

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. House of Representatives could vote as soon as next week on legislation to toughen sanctions on North Korea by targeting its shipping industry and companies that do business with the reclusive state, congressional aides said on Thursday.

27 апреля, 01:41

Democrats turn the screws on border wall builders

The idea is to punish businesses that work on Donald Trump's project.

27 апреля, 00:54

Senators hauled to White House for rare classified briefing

President Donald Trump spoke briefly at the all-senators session.

26 апреля, 21:15

Ryan, McConnell, Brady, Hatch Statement on Administration’s Tax Plan

WASHINGTON—Following today’s tax reform announcement by the Trump Administration, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI), Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), House Ways & Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX), and Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-UT) issued the following joint statement: “The principles outlined by the Trump Administration today will serve as critical guideposts for Congress and the Administration as we work together to overhaul the American tax system and ensure middle-class families and job creators are better positioned for the 21st century economy. Lower rates for individuals and families will allow them to keep more of their hard-earned money and empower them to invest more in their future. Getting tax rates down for American companies, big and small, will create new jobs and make the United States a more inviting place to do business. With an eye toward fairness and simplicity, we’re confident we can rebuild our tax code in a way that will grow our economy, better promote savings and investment, provide our job creators with a competitive advantage, and bring prosperity to all Americans.”

26 апреля, 20:50

There Is a Peaceful Way Out of the North Korea Crisis

Kim Jong Un’s nuclear and missile programs represent one of the most dangerous challenges since the end of the Cold War. But there are opportunities to stop them.

26 апреля, 19:01

Convenience the byword for retail hotshots

IN retailing, it seems that small is indeed beautiful. Convenience stores have been a rare bright spot in a sector where foot-traffic is slowly being eroded by online shopping. Small, ubiquitous convenience

26 апреля, 14:00

The C-Suite and IT Need to Get on the Same Page on Cybersecurity

A recently published global survey of C-Suite level executives and IT Decision Makers (ITDMs) revealed a large gap in assessments of cyber threats, costs and areas of responsibilities. Among the most significant disconnects: 80% of the executives surveyed in the U.S. believe cybersecurity to be a significant challenge facing their business, while only 50% of ITDMs agree. ITDMs estimated the average cost of a cyber breach at $27.2 million, much higher than the average $5.9 million cited by executives. 50% of the executives surveyed believe the reason why an attack on their organization would succeed would be due to human error of employees, compared to 31% of ITDMs. The research shows there is a lack of understanding when it comes to the cost of a successful breach, which many underestimate. It isn’t just about what the thieves get away with. A successful cyber attack can have far reaching implications such as impacting share price, lost business, fines — even a failed strategic investment or merger. Insight Center Getting Cybersecurity Right Sponsored by Accenture Safeguarding your company in a complex world. Gaps between the strategic visions of the C-suite and the real-world experiences of IT specialists should not be a surprise. They may think differently about the nature of cyber risk and of the way threats translate into business and technological risks. This is largely due to their priorities — C-suite executives have responsibility for mitigating business risk, while IT delivers the technological support that drives the business. The most common area of agreement between these key groups is that danger lurks in cyberspace. Sixty percent of C-Suite executives and 66% of ITDMs think their businesses will be targeted for a cyber attack in the next 12 months, and both groups report that they expect the frequency and severity of attacks to increase. This is confirmation that the threat from cyber attack is now just part of the day-to-day reality of doing business in a hyper-connected world. Organizations that take cyber security seriously should implement best practices that will help reduce the disconnects and ensure effective cyber risk management. Among them: Include the C-suite in incident response table-top exercises so they fully understand their roles, and all the possible costs of an attack. Having firsthand experience of an attack, even a simulated one, means the C-suite will gain awareness that’s vital to driving a top-down security-focused culture. Educate both groups — and all employees — on the need to understand their organization’s cyber exposure and how attackers can exploit information they gather from reconnaissance efforts to craft targeted attacks. It should be more than a theoretical exercise, using real examples of what can be found about the organization. For example, customer details including login credentials and account information is often for sale on the dark web. This information can be leveraged by attackers to create synthetic IDs that are often used to enable cyber crime. Introduce a forward looking, strategic approach to cyber defense to deal with the reality of the likelihood of cyber attacks. This strategy must capture an appropriate balance between tools, people and processes. There is no silver bullet when it comes to protecting critical assets and technology cannot be counted on alone. You can have the latest and greatest technology in place, but it can still be vulnerable if you don’t have the right people with the correct skills as well. Furthermore, operating procedures need to be well defined and expressed to get the most from the technology. For example, security teams need to have enough bandwidth to investigate alerts that are being generated – and simply turning up the alerting threshold and thereby reducing the number of alerts is not a good way to deal with a lack of bandwidth. Exploring the use of automation, where possible, in operational processes is becoming a focus as security professionals look to maximize what they can do with existing resources. To triage efficiently, security teams need as much context as possible to ascertain if an alert is important or not. This context includes internal as well as external data, such as threat-intelligence, which can provide broader context on attack groups’ tools, tactics and procedures. With the continued risk of ransomware attacks, IT teams must implement an appropriate back up strategy to help mitigate the impact of these attacks. If valuable data is lost because it was encrypted by ransomware, backups can be used to restore the data without the need to pay the ransom. Data needs to be stored in protected locations to ensure that it isn’t encrypted during an attack. This back up strategy needs to be part of an organization’s broader Incident Response plan, which should capture in detail what would be done to contain and then recover from a ransomware attack. Assume that at some point your organization will be breached. Review your ability to detect and respond to threats inside your network and on your endpoints. New security initiatives should focus on reducing the time it takes to discover and then contain and remediate unwanted activity on your systems. It is now broadly accepted by security thought leaders that only looking for patterns of nefarious activity derived from previously seen attacks is not sufficient to detect well-crafted targeted attacks that are likely not to have been seen before. To reduce the time it takes to detect unwanted activities in IT systems, organizations now need to evaluate the use of additional detection techniques. For example, hackers often establish command and control channels to direct their attacks. Finding these channels is crucial to uncovering unwanted activities. As the threats evolve, it isn’t just about tracking known threats, but taking a proactive approach and working to understand new, unknown cyber threats.

25 апреля, 20:16

Trump Army Secretary Pick: 'Liberal Left' Is Making Me Seem Like An LGBTQ 'Hater'

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); Tennessee state Sen. Mark Green (R), President Donald Trump’s choice to be the next Army secretary, has finally broken his silence about the strong opposition he has faced for his positions and comments about the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer community. In a Facebook post Tuesday, Green went after the “liberal left” for making him out to be a “hater.”  “I believe that every American has a right to defend their country regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, and religion. It’s the radical left that won’t allow the latter,” he wrote.  As the civilian head of the Army, Green would oversee a force that’s been fully integrated since June, when the Pentagon ended its ban on transgender people serving openly. If confirmed, he would stand in significant contrast to the previous Army secretary, Eric Fanning, who was the first openly gay person to serve in the position.  Some of Green’s past comments and positions, to which he alluded in his Facebook post: - Anti-LGBTQ Legislation: As a Tennessee state senator, Green recently sponsored a bill that would bar government entities from taking “discriminatory action against a business entity on the basis of the internal policies of the business entity” in the state. Tennessee’s nondiscrimination protections currently do not cover discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity, although some municipalities do have stronger rules protecting LGBTQ government employees. Green’s bill, however, would block local governments and public universities from considering companies’ internal policies (such as whether they discriminate based on gender identity or sexual orientation) when doing business or giving out contracts ― because the legislation considers that to be discriminatory. The measure passed the Tennessee state Senate, but the House deferred it until next year.  - Being “Transgender Is A Disease”: In September, Green told a Tea Party gathering that he believes being transgender is a disease: “If you poll the psychiatrists, they’re going to tell you that transgender is a disease. It is a part of the DSM-6, I think it is, the book of diagnostic psychological procedures or diagnoses. It’s very interesting to see what’s happening in government, or in our nation.” The medical community actually does not agree with Green. Watch the entire exchange here.  - A Mission To “Crush Evil”: In June, Green said he opposed allowing people to use the restroom that corresponds to their gender identity, rather than the sex assigned at birth. He told an online radio show he believed the matter should be left up to the states rather than the federal government, and then cited the safety of women as a key reason he personally opposes transgender equality in public accommodations.  Green also cited the Bible for his opposition to such policies, saying he needs to “crush evil”: “The government exists to honor those people who live honorably, who do good things ― to reward people who behave well and to crush evil. So that means as a state senator, my responsibility very clearly in Romans 13 is to create an environment where people who do right are rewarded and the people who do wrong are crushed. Evil is crushed. So I’m going to protect women in their bathrooms, and I’m going to protect our state against potential infiltration from the Syrian ISIS people in the refugee program.” It’s already illegal for men to sexually assault women, whether it takes place in a bathroom or any other place. Such policies change nothing in that regard. And leading organizations dedicated to fighting sexual assault say they support transgender equal access. The LGBTQ rights group GLAAD, which first shared the audio of Green with HuffPost, hit back on Green’s assertion that his words had been cut and spliced:  “GLAAD unearthed and shared the full, unedited audio interview in which Mark Green called transgender Americans an ‘evil’ that must be ‘crushed,’” said Sarah Kate Ellis, the group’s president and CEO. “Mark Green can try and blame others, but it’s his own words that make him unfit to be the next Army Secretary.” On Monday night, transgender celebrity and Olympian Caitlyn Jenner called out Trump for his nomination of Green. “I’m really concerned with, kind of the next move for the Trump administration, is Mark Green, who’s a Republican from Tennessee. ... He’s made some of the most anti-LGBT statements ever, calling me, a trans person, as a disease. I have to tell Mark Green, I don’t have a disease, OK?” Jenner said.  Want more updates from Amanda Terkel? Sign up for her newsletter, Piping Hot Truth, here. -- 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.

25 апреля, 16:34

In 'Captured,' People In Prison Draw The 'People Who Should Be'

Charles and David Koch are the CEO and VP of Koch Industries, respectively. Joseph Acker is an incarcerated artist currently serving a 10-year sentence. Acker doesn’t know the Koch brothers personally, but he drew them as part of a project called “Captured.” Started by Jeff Greenspan and Andrew Tider in 2016, “Captured” attempts to shine a spotlight on what its creators deem are “crimes masquerading as commerce.” By asking incarcerated artists to draw the CEOs, VPs and chairmans they believe should be behind bars, they hope to inspire other people to consider a world in which the highest levels of corporate leadership are held personally responsible for the illegal actions of their companies. “If we put poison in a glass of your drinking water, and you got sick or your children had birth defects because of it, we would certainly be hauled off to prison,” Greenspan told HuffPost. “But when a corporation does it on a large scale, if anything, they’re given a fine. [...] It’s kind of just the cost of doing business.” “So we started thinking,” he added, “it’s interesting when you have the veil of a corporation around you, it’s almost like you’re exempt from [...] behaving within the law.” Greenspan and Tider recognized early on the power of juxtaposing the circumstances of incarcerated artists with the “rap sheets,” as they call them, of corporate leaders accused of various misdeeds. In Acker’s case, he’s serving 10 years in prison for receiving stolen goods, possessing altered passports, and possessing body armor as a felon. The Koch brothers, “Captured” asserts on its website, have yet to see prison time for bribing their way into securing contracts in Africa, India and the Middle East; selling millions of dollars of petrochemical equipment to Iran; bribing judges and legislators; propagating mass deception by funding climate change denial groups; polluting American’s air, water and climate; and rigging Congress. “What we thought would be interesting is to juxtapose the two: People who are in jail, who society has already deemed to be criminals, whether it be for murder or for theft or for burglary or manslaughter. And put them up against companies who are really committing the same kinds of crimes,” Greenspan said. “So we display each piece of artwork with a ‘rap sheet’ ― a ‘rap sheet’ for the incarcerated artist and a ‘rap sheet’ for the companies and the crimes they’ve committed over the past couple of decades.” ”Captured” wasn’t easy to get off the ground. In order to get in touch with the various incarcerated artists who took part in the project, Greenspan and Tider originally reached out to the prisons and prison wardens themselves, to no avail. Eventually, they got in touch with an art therapy program coordinator who couldn’t help them on the record, but agreed to bring a letter from the two men detailing the project to the prison she worked with. “She couldn’t promise it wouldn’t be in her pocket the day she visited the prison and fall out of her pocket in the art room,” they explained. Next, Greenspan and Tider turned to eBay, where they found a group of incarcerated artists selling portraiture ― images of Elvis or Madonna or other famous people. They contacted the eBay sellers, who tended to be family or friends of the incarcerated individual, who would facilitate contact with the actual artist. “Once we got there, the project sort of went viral in the prison system,” Tider added. “An inmate would tell another inmate, even in other prisons, and we were able to get a lot of artists that way.” To arrange for the actual portraits in “Captured,” Greenspan and Tider began by offering artists a selection of five to 10 corporate leaders they could draw. But because of the limited means of communication, and the delays that come along with using traditional snail mail, they felt it became more feasible if they just chose a subject for each of their participating artists. So Greenspan and Tider would create a dossier on the proposed subject, with images to draw from, background on the associated company, and information and case materials on the “crimes” committed, and send it to the artist. If the artist agreed to draw the person, the project moved forward. If they didn’t, they could offer them a different person. “All the incarcerated artists knew the aspects of the project and the context of the project,” Greenspan added. He and Tider warned them about the attention the project could draw and the subsequent blowback that could affect an inmate’s chances at parole; some of the individuals involved were on death row and felt little regard for those potential consequences. Moreover, each artist was compensated fairly for their work. “Captured” paid the artists $100 (based on an estimation that the average rate for a prison portrait was $30), covering any fees associated with services like JPay. Online, “Captured” includes links to contact information for the incarcerated artists, allowing fans of their work to reach out if they so choose.  “Corporations maintain that they have the same rights and freedoms as individuals. That’s kind of a reframing of a corporate entity that has no conscience ― it’s now being considered a person,” Greenspan noted. “Yet we’ve got actual people in prison who are treated like subhumans. By putting contact information there, by showing their artistry ― we’ve seen people go, ‘Wow, there’s a person behind this.’” “Captured” also takes physical form. Last year, Greenspan and Tider sold 1,000 “Captured” books, donating all proceeds to the Bernie Sanders presidential campaign. The timing couldn’t have been more ideal ― they’d included a portrait of Rex Tillerson, currently the secretary of state in President Donald Trump’s administration, in the series. This year, they have plans to release 1,000 more copies, and although they don’t know yet where the proceeds will go, they’ve been thinking about groups like the Brooklyn Bail Fund or organizations working on prison reform policies and lowering prison populations. “When you see something like Rex Tillerson become secretary of state, a man who’s worked for a company with decades-long abuses of the law ― what it’s done to our environment. It’s troubling,” Greenspan said. “But we’re not telling you that it should be troubling, we’re asking you to at least consider it.” “One of the big goals was to redefine things in people’s minds,” Tider concluded. “If you consider corporations anew, and you consider the things that they’ve done, you might come out with a different perspective on them. Likewise, it’s the same for the inmates. If you thought of inmates as people who were very different from you, you might see the beautiful artistry they do and think differently.” Welcome to Battleground, where art and activism meet. -- 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.

25 апреля, 16:00

Наш прогресс видят даже противники

Главное из отчета Медведева в ДумеПремьер-министр России Дмитрий Медведев в пятый раз с 2013 года выступил с ежегодным отчетом о работе правительства в Госдуме. Главные тезисы из его выступленияГлавное политическое событие 2016 года — выборы в Госдуму, в их результате был определен политический курс России на ближайшие годыВажнее всего в работе власти для граждан — последовательность и ответственность за решения, способность слышать и выполнять обещанное, побеждать честно и чистоНа выборах в Госдуму люди проголосовали за стабильность и за развитие, чтобы успех стал нормой в нашей странеПолитический запрос общества на стабильность и развитие сохранится на выборах президента в 2018 году, политическая борьба не будет превращена в войнуЕсли тратить время на популизм, то от этого выиграют те, кому безразлична судьба России, те, кто хочет поражения и изоляции страны2016 год прошел в режиме жесткой экономии ресурсов, но он стал годом осознанных возможностейРоссии приходится рассчитывать только на себяРоссию «давят санкциями», к тому же подешевела нефть, но страна научилась использовать свои конкурентные преимуществаВызовы не пугают Россию, а дают ей стимулы развиватьсяЭкономика развивается, несмотря на то что многочисленные предсказания об обратном; прогресс нашей страны видят даже противники РоссииПрогресс есть в каждой из критически важных для развития отраслей, это не отдельные, а системные успехиЭкономика России начала расти вопреки внешней конъюнктуре, которая остается негативной, это произошло благодаря совместной успешной работе парламента и правительстваГосударство должно вкладывать деньги в человека, на реализацию инфраструктурных проектов и обеспечение безопасности страныВ 2017 году правительство не планирует повышать налогиПравительство не прислушалось к экспертам, которые говорили, что кризис — это благо и он «подчистит» все негативные явления в экономике, и правильно сделало: точечная господдержка позволила людям сохранить свои рабочие места и добиться успехов в импортозамещенииГлавные критерии для оценки качества экономической политики региональных властей — это количество созданных высокотехнологичных компаний, рост регионального экспорта и доходов людейВыбранное направление развития России верное. Ничто — ни трудности в экономике, ни внешние вызовы — не помешает стране добиваться поставленных целей​«Александр Васильевич Суворов говорил: «Природа произвела Россию только одну, она соперниц не имеет. Мы, жители России, все одолеем». Хорошие слова, я тоже так думаю». Дмитрий Медведев, 19 апреля 2017 годаГлавные результаты работы правительства России в 2016 году, отмеченные Медведевым в ходе выступления в ДумеРейтинговые агентства Moody`s и Fitch изменили прогнозы для экономики России с «негативного» на «стабильный»За последние пять лет в рейтинге Doing Business Россия поднялась на 80 позицийПродолжительность жизни с 2006 года выросла на шесть лет, до 72 лет, это лучший результат в истории страныПо рождаемости Россия обгоняет многие европейские страныЧисло сирот в стране с 2011 года уменьшилось со 120 тыс. до 60 тыс.Сокращение детской смертности: за 25 лет на 75%, с 2011 года — вдвоеУслуги МФЦ в России доступны уже 96% населенияВ IV квартале 2016 года Россия показала рост экономики в 0,3%Несырьевые доходы бюджета составили почти 60%На валютном рынке нет дефицита и ажиотажного спросаВ I квартале 2017 года налоговые поступления выросли почти на треть по сравнению с I кварталом 2016 годаКоличество объектов малого и среднего бизнеса выросло более чем на 8%Производство российских лекарств увеличилось почти на 25%Капитальный ремонт сделан в 40 тыс. российских домовЗа год построено почти 80 млн кв. м жилья и выдано на 25% больше ипотечных кредитов, чем годом ранееДоля отечественной сельхозтехники на рынке превысила 50%В России создано 17 территорий опережающего развития, это несколько тысяч рабочих мест в неградообразущующих предприятияхВ 2016 году региональные бюджеты исполнены с минимальным дефицитом бюджета за десять лет — он уменьшился до 12 млрд руб.Заработала программа «Дальневосточный гектар» и прекратился отток населения с Дальнего ВостокаКрым стал частью энергосистемы РоссииОтветы Дмитрия Медведева на вопросы депутатовКПРФ: Почему второй год подряд нет индексации пенсий?— Ситуация не самая простая. Мы ориентируемся в первую очередь на индексацию тем, кто не способен трудиться. Я думаю, это справедливо. Проблема существует, тему мы не закрываем и скоро сформулируем позицию, каким образом поступать дальше.ЛДПР: Последнее время мы наблюдаем увеличение протестов дальнобойщиков против системы «Платон». Они выстраиваются вдоль трасс, перекрывают движение, в городах проходят митинги. Будет ли выстроен диалог с ними?— Не просто будет, он выстроен. Если говорить о том, кто находится в состоянии забастовки, это примерно 480 человек. А в системе зарегистрированы 800 тыс. То есть бастует небольшое количество людей. Дальнобойщики хотят работать не в серой, а в белой зоне. А те, кто выступает с определенными требованиями, они как раз в этой системе незарегистрированные.КПРФ: Что мешает вам защититься от нападок Навального?— Я не буду специальным образом комментировать лживые продукты политических проходимцев.ЛДПР: Фракция ЛДПР решительно осуждает агрессивную политику Вашингтона. Какие меры будут предприняты, если ракетные удары повторятся?— Все, что произошло в последнее время в Сирии, не идет на пользу регулирования ситуации. То, что произошло в Идлибе, — это большая и продуманная провокация. С точки зрения международного права то, что сделали США, — это акт военной агрессии. Американцы применили силу без санкции ООН. Я знаю точно, кто выиграл от этого акта: ИГ (организация запрещена в РФ и признана террористической)! Им развязали руки этими решениями.«Справедливая Россия»: Ипотечники в связи с ростом курса в прошлом году попали в ужасную ситуацию. Готово ли им правительство помогать?— Люди, конечно, попали в очень сложную ситуацию. Мы выделили деньги на помощь 20 тыс. заемщиков. Эта работа еще не завершена. Запрета на оказание им помощи нет. Но мы стараемся такие сигналы посылать, чтобы эта помощь оказывалась не по сплошному принципу, а тем, кто попал в сложную ситуацию.«Единая Россия»: Какие меры правительство намерено принять для исправления сложившейся демографической ситуации?— Если говорить о системе поддержки деторождения, у нас одна из лучших в мире систем. В какой стране есть материнский капитал? За счет этого нам удалось сохранить демографические тренды. Но и эта система в известной степени себя исчерпала. Нужно подумать о сохранении в том или ином виде программы материнского капитала, о стимулировании рождения не только вторых и третьих детей, но и рождения первенцев.ЛДПР: Медуслуги стали платными для населения. Нет перечня гарантированных услуг, тарифы, заложенные в ОМС, экономически не обоснованы, оптимизация привела к тому, что не только отделения закрываются, но и целые районные больницы. Это и есть госполитика в области здравоохранения? Или ситуация будет меняться?— Решения такими по изменению системы легкими не бывают. По поводу оптимизации: она должна быть разумной и не должна причинять ущерба. Это ответственность региональных властей. По поводу стандартов: мы смогли создать более современную систему стандартов, естественно, мы заинтересованы в том, чтобы норматив рос, не было дифференциации. Стандарт есть, и он действует. Есть услуги, которые могут и должны быть платными. Система не идеальна. Она требует совершенствования. За бесплатностью услуг должны следить все. Подмена бесплатных услуг платным — это правонарушение.источник

25 апреля, 15:23

Remarks by the Vice President at a Meeting with US and Indonesian Business Leaders

  THE VICE PRESIDENT:  Good morning.      AUDIENCE MEMBERS:  Good morning.      THE VICE PRESIDENT:  Selamat pagi.  (Laughter.)      Vice President Kalla, thank you.  Thank you for joining us this morning.  Thank you for your kindness and your hospitality.  It was an honor to meet with you yesterday to discuss the economic partnership between the United States and Indonesia.      I look forward to forging a strong relationship with you in the years ahead for the benefit of both of our nations.  Thank you again.  (Applause.)      And thank you all for being here today -- Ambassador Joe Donovan, Minister Ignatius Jonan, Brian Arnold, members of the American Chamber of Commerce in Indonesia, members of the Kadin, distinguished leaders of the business community, honored guests. It is my great honor to be here in Indonesia today on my first trip to Southeast Asia as Vice President of the United States of America.      I just spoke to the President earlier this morning, and I bring greetings from the President of the United States of America to all those gathered here and to the people of Indonesia, President Donald Trump.      Before I go any further, let me take a moment to address the terrorist attack that happened in Paris yesterday.  This is just the latest reminder that terrorism can strike anywhere at any time -- something that the people of Indonesia and the United States know all too well.  As President Trump said yesterday in the face of this great evil, “We have to be strong and we have to be vigilant.      Today, the people of Paris have our condolences and our prayers.  The people of France are on our hearts today.  And the people of Indonesia can be confident in the wake of this latest attack:  We will not relent in our effort to end terrorism and the threat it presents to both of our peoples, and I pledge to you our continued cooperation against terrorism in the uncertain days in which we live      Thank you for letting me address that issue first.      But let me also, on a lighter note, let me say it is a particular honor for me to be here on Kartini Day.  (Applause.)      Kartini was a pioneer of the women’s movement here in Indonesia, and her example that has inspired Women’s Emancipation Day is an inspiration not only to this region, but to the wider world.  It’s heartening to see Indonesia’s commitment to empowering women through education and to ensuring that they have the opportunity to lend their voices and their talents to building Indonesia’s future.      In fact, there are three great examples in the room and more that are worth mentioning on this Kartini Day.  I’ve had the great privilege to spend time with your Foreign Minister Retno -- (applause) -- who I believe will be visiting Washington, D.C. in the coming weeks, and we look forward to continued productive discussions.      Also I just finished conversations this morning with two of the most prominent women in Indonesia, speaking about expanding and strengthening our relationship between our two countries -- Mari Elka Pangestu, the former minister of trade and minister of -- economy.  (Applause.)  Thank you, Mari.      And the vice chair of Kadin and the CEO of Sintesa Corporation, the distinguished Shinta Kamdami.  Shinta is here, thank you so much.  (Applause.)      Would everyone join me in recognizing these and every other successful woman who is leading in public and private life on this Kartini Day?  (Applause.)      Yesterday morning on President Trump’s behalf, I had the great privilege to meet with President Joko Widodo, my friend Jokowi, to reaffirm the United States’ enduring commitment to our strategic partnership with Indonesia.  We had a frank and open conversation.  We discussed how our nations -- the second- and third-largest democracies in the world -- can further strengthen our partnership for our mutual benefit, a point I reiterated in my afternoon meeting with Vice President Kalla and several government ministers.      And yesterday I met with ASEAN Secretary General Minh and the permanent representatives as a sign of the United States’ strategic partnership with ASEAN and our steadfast commitment to the Asia Pacific as a whole.  It was my privilege in that moment to inform the Secretary General and the permanent representatives that President Donald Trump will attend the U.S.-ASEAN Summit, the East Asia Summit, and the APEC Leaders Meeting in Vietnam and the Philippines this November.  (Applause.)      I hope you all see this as what it is -- a testament of the tremendous value that President Trump places on this vitally important region of the world.  Our history here stretches back for generations, and our shared past is the foundation of our shared future, a future of security and prosperity for all our nations and the world.      And the United States’ economic relationship with Indonesia is central to that future.  As the crossroads of the Asia Pacific, Indonesia has a long-shared, strong commercial bond with the United States and our business community.  American companies have done business in Indonesia for decades.  And American products and services have greatly contributed to Indonesia’s economic development and quality of life in recent years.  And the American Chamber of Commerce in Indonesia has been there every step of the way.      Since 1971, the American Chamber of Commerce, AMCHAM, in Indonesia, has brought together U.S. and Indonesian companies to invest in this country and invest in our shared future.  Today AMCHAM boasts more than 250 business members, and your hard work has helped to strengthen the relationship between the United States, Indonesia, and the broader Southeast Asia region.      And the same goes to all the businesses that are so well represented here today, companies like Microsoft, Coca-Cola, JPMorgan Chase, Freeport, and really every business here.  You've done yeoman’s work promoting trade and economic growth on both sides of the Pacific.  Your businesses create jobs, drive innovation, and open up opportunity in both of our countries.  And thanks in no small part to your hard work, the stage is set for an even stronger partnership between the United States, Indonesia, and Southeast Asia.      The truth is American companies see tremendous potential throughout this region.  Across all 10 members of ASEAN, of which Indonesia is the heart, the United States exports more than $100 billion a year in goods and services, supporting nearly 550,000 jobs back in the United States.  And combined ASEAN’s member nations are the top destination in Asia for U.S. investment.  At nearly $274 billion, the investments here are more than the investments in China, India, and Japan combined.      These numbers show the incredible -- thank you -- that's a very impressive number.  (Applause.)      This incredible economic bond is testament in these numbers to the bond between the United States and Southeast Asia.  And today on President Trump’s behalf, I have the honor to be here -- along with Vice President Kalla and with American and Indonesian businesses -- as they sign historic agreements that will draw our nations even closer together to the benefit of jobs and opportunities for both of our peoples.      All told these companies are signing no fewer than 11 major deals worth more than $10 billion, and it’s happening today.  (Applause.)      From Lockheed Martin upgrading Indonesia’s air force, to GE and Applied Materials building electronic infrastructure, to ExxonMobil’s sale of liquefied natural gas, these deals represent the tremendous excitement that American companies feel about opportunities here in Indonesia.       President Trump and I are grateful -- grateful to these businesses.  This is truly a historic day for the U.S.-Indonesia partnership, but the best is yet to come.  Would everyone please join me in thanking these pillars of prosperity for the steps that they're taking today to create jobs and opportunities on both of our countries?  (Applause.)      Despite the big announcements today, the truth is the United States and Indonesia can do much more, we believe, to improve our trade relationship.  Last year our two-way trade with Indonesia totaled about $30 billion, but American exports have actually fallen by more than 30 percent in the last four years.  And it’s not for lack of trying -- whether its extending electricity to communities that lack it, or building infrastructure, connecting Indonesia’s 17,000 islands, American businesses are ready and willing to drive Indonesia’s growth to an even greater extent.      As President Jokowi and I discussed yesterday, we can and will do more to expand commerce and opportunity between Indonesia and the United States.  Our goal is simple.  We seek trade with Indonesia that is both free and fair.  We seek to create a win-win trading relationship for both of our nations and all of our people.  (Applause.)      To that end, we will work President Jokowi to reduce barriers to trade and investment and to create a truly level playing field where all our businesses have equal opportunity to market access.  As many of you know, U.S. companies face many barriers and difficulties in the Indonesia market.  These include intellectual property challenges, the lack of transparency, or requirements to manufacture, or include local content before being able to sell products to the Indonesian market.  Just a few examples.       While we appreciate President Jokowi’s efforts to undertake economic reforms, especially easing business regulations, the truth is, I say respectfully, there’s much more that must be done to improve the business and investment climate in Indonesia.  And with all of your help today, we're committed to helping to support that.      As members of the business community, you can help us identify the barriers we need to break down, the areas where we can make the most progress for our nation’s mutual benefit.  President Trump and I value your continued input on these issues, and we look forward to working with each one of you as we move forward to a system that maximizes jobs, growth, and a brighter future for Indonesia and the United States of America.  (Applause.)      The truth is that a stronger American economy means a stronger economy for Indonesia, as well, and for all of our trading partners.  The United States is the driver of global growth, and under President Donald Trump, we're going to be driving global growth like never before.  I promise you.  (Applause.)      President Trump and our administration are working around the clock to pass an agenda of lower taxes, less regulation, better infrastructure, and a renewed focus on American energy.  I’m sure the businesses gathered here -- from America will be glad to know that tax reform is going to be one of our top priorities.  I don't have to tell you how the American tax code harms the business community at home and abroad.  Our corporate tax rate is actually one of the highest in the developed world.  It’s 10 percent higher than the tax rate here in Indonesia.      President Trump has a plan to slash the corporate tax rate, reform the tax code to make it simpler, flatter, and fairer.  And rest assured, our tax reform plan will make the strongest economy in the world stronger still, and that will benefit all of the businesses that are represented here today.      The same is true of President Trump’s decisive action to cut through regulations and red tape that have been strangling American enterprise and companies that do business in our country.  The President has already ordered every agency in Washington, D.C. to find two regulations to get rid of before issuing any new ones.  (Applause.)      And President Trump has already signed a dozen bills turning back the last administration’s burdensome mandates, and he’ll continue to work Congress, as we slash through red tape.       Make no mistake about it, under President Donald Trump, the era of over-regulation and over-taxation is over.  A new era of jobs and growth in the American economy has begun, and it will benefit America first, but it will benefit a growing economy will all of our trading partners, including Indonesia.  (Applause.)      Now, these are only a few of the President’s policies.  I could go on today, but I won’t.  I appreciate the feedback I received from so many of you at our roundtable about what our administration could continue to do to promote growth and opportunity.  But rest assured, President Trump’s agenda is going to renew America’s reputation as the premier investment destination in the world to the benefit of our people and to the benefit of all with whom we do business.      Now, I don't need to tell all of you in this nation of Islands that President John F. Kennedy was right that a rising tide will lift all boats.  And as America grows, all of our partners, including Indonesia, will grow with us.  (Applause.)      Indonesia and Southeast Asia are vitally important to America’s economic future, and in the United States you have no better partner and no better friend.  Together with Indonesia and with all the businesses represented here, we're going to work to deepen our bond and build on the foundation we stand on today.      I’ll leave Indonesia in a just a few hours.  As I do, I’ll depart here deeply impressed by everything that I’ve seen.  Indonesia’s commitment to freedom, the rule of law, to human rights, and religious diversity has made a profound impact on me and my wife and our two daughters.      Just yesterday I had the honor and the privilege to visit Indonesia’s national mosque, where the grand imam guided me and my family on a tour of that beautiful place.  As I know Vice President Kalla, as the chairman of the Indonesian Mosque Council, would agree, Indonesia’s tradition of moderate Islam is an inspiration to the world.      As we stood in that courtyard, the grand imam pointed to the spires of the Catholic cathedral just rising over the wall.  It’s a testament to Indonesia’s commitment to tolerance and religious freedom.  In your nation, as in mine, we know that religion unifies, not divides.  It gives us a foundation for hope and a brighter future for all of our people.  And I commend the people of Indonesia for your example.  You're inspiring the world.  (Applause.)      With the leadership of President Trump and President Jokowi, I have faith -- faith that the friendship between the United States and Indonesia will grow; faith that our strategic partnership will grow; and faith that our example of freedom, security, and prosperity will grow for the benefit of our people, and for the benefit of the world.      Thank you all for having me today.  It’s been a great, great honor to be with you.      (The agreements are signed.)                                END  

25 апреля, 07:25

Как Набиуллина призвала лечить неравенство цифровой экономикой, а минэк превратили в штаб

Какое поколение должно стать лидером изменений в России, рассказал накануне на заседании коллегии минэкономики РФ 34-летний министр экономики Максим Орешкин, а первый вице-премьер Игорь Шувалов предложил ему сделать из минэка «объединяющий штаб» для обеспечения будущей экономической мощи РФ... О том, как Дмитрий Медведев говорил о проектном подходе, а министр экономики РТ Артем Здунов напоминал о разногласиях с центром по межбюджетным отношениям, — в репортаже «БИЗНЕС Online».

25 апреля, 00:20

Press Briefing by Press Secretary Sean Spicer, 4/24/2017, #40

James S. Brady Press Briefing Room  1:31 P.M. EDT MR. SPICER:  Hi, guys.  Well, can’t outdo Gronk, but I brought some special guests today.  As you know, the ambassadors to the U.N. Security Council are here today visiting, and Ambassador Haley wanted to come by and make sure we have an update as to what they’re talking about -- some of the issues.  When she’s done, she’s got to join a meeting that’s in progress.   Secretary Mnuchin has some comments that he’d like to make.  We’ll take some questions from him and then resume the briefing.   So without further ado, the Ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley. AMBASSADOR HALEY:  Thank you, Sean.  I will tell you, we have had an exciting day in D.C.  We are hosting the members of the Security Council.  And when you think of that, this is the most powerful group that decides sanctions, relief, any sort of conflict that comes up.  This is the group.  And so the idea that they were able to come to D.C. is overwhelming for them.  They are extremely pleased.   We started the morning at the Blair House with Senators Graham and Cardin, as well as Congressman Smith and Congresswoman Bass.  So they had a lot of interaction, probably about an hour and a half, talking about issues from budget all the way to peacekeeping issues, as well as conflicts in North Korea and Syria, and then with the problems in Iran.  So it was a very healthy discussion there. From there, we came over to the White House, and the President greeted all of the members, had his picture taken with them, and then we all sat down for lunch.  And it was an open dialogue, very much of the members wanting to hear from the President what his plans are, what he was going to continue to do on Syria or not continue to do -- North Korea.  All of those issues are certainly at the forefront.  And the idea that he would have that dialogue with them is tremendously helpful to me -- whereas in the Security Council, we need them to really engage, we need them to now know that we are about action.   And I think that what we’ve tried to do in the U.N. is really bring reform -- reform in the way we spend, reform in the peacekeeping operations, but also reform in the resolutions that are passed, that what we pass actually means something and that there’s accountability in what we pass.   And so I think they heard that loud and clear today from the President.  I think that they are thrilled with the engagement that they had.  And I think it shows that the President is very engaged on foreign policy, and they see that.  The idea that he would sit down and want to talk to them about each of their countries and the Security Council collectively is massive for a President to be able to do this, and it was certainly helpful for the United States.   Now they are in briefings with General McMaster focusing on North Korea, also focusing on ISIS and engaging on that front.  And we’ll continue to have other conversations as well.  But as far as we go, great day for the Security Council, great day with the President, and certainly more good to come out of this meeting. So thank you very much, I’ve got some ambassadors waiting, and we will talk to you soon.  Thank you. MR. SPICER:  Thank you, Ambassador.  So without further ado, Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin. SECRETARY MNUCHIN:  Seems like I’m becoming a regular here.  It’s nice to see all of you again. Q    We have no problem with that, sir. SECRETARY MNUCHIN:  Earlier today, the United States Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Asset Control imposed sanctions in response to the April 4th, 2017 sarin attack on innocent civilians by the regime of Syrian dictator Assad.  OFAC is sanctioning 271 employees of Syria’s Scientific Studies and Research Center -- the Syrian government agency responsible for developing and producing nonconventional weapons and means to deliver them.  OFAC has targeted these 271 employees because they have expertise in chemistry and related fields, or have worked in support of chemical weapons programs since at least 2012.   Today’s action, less than three weeks after the attack on Khan Sheikhun, is one of the largest ever executed by OFAC.  In a single action, we are more than doubling the number of individuals and entities sanctioned since the start of the Syrian conflict pursuant to Syria-related executive orders.  These sweeping sanctions are intended to hold the Assad regime and those who support it, directly or indirectly, accountable for their blatant violations of the Chemical Weapons Convention and U.N. Security Council Resolution 2118.  The United States is sending a strong message with this action that we will not tolerate the use of chemical weapons by any actor, and we intend to hold the Assad regime accountable for its unacceptable behavior.  The Treasury Department, together with the Department of State and our international partners, will continue to relentlessly pursue and shut down the financial networks of any individuals involved with Syria’s production or use of chemical weapons. I’d also comment that, recently, we had sanctions on North Korea and Iran, and will also continue to add to and monitor those as appropriate. And with that, I’d be happy to take a few questions. Q    Mr. Secretary, is this the only round of sanctions we can expect against Syria in the wake of that chemical weapons attacks or are you considering more?  And are you considering the possibility of sanctions against Russia for not going far enough to try to dissuade Assad? SECRETARY MNUCHIN:  We don’t comment on the specifics of sanctions that we are going to do in the future.  But again, what I will tell you is, these sanctions programs are very important, they’re very effective, and we will continue to use them to the maximum amount available by law. Q    Secretary, on the budget, is the border wall a deal breaker for the President, even to the point of a government shutdown? SECRETARY MNUCHIN:  I’m not going to comment on the specifics of that, but I will say is, I was in a meeting this morning with Director Mick Mulvaney and other senior people.  The President is working hard to keep the government open and addressing various issues. Q    Secretary, can you tell us what these sanctions actually do?  What is different today than was different yesterday before OFAC moved? SECRETARY MNUCHIN:  Well, the sanctions are enormously important.  So by identifying 271 additional people, these sanctions, as you know, will both freeze assets, if there’s assets here, and prevent U.S. entities from doing business, as well as these sanctions have enormous impact with all of our partners around the world who also work with us on these issues. Q    As you know, the administration is trying to grapple with the Paris Climate Agreement and come to a decision on that.  Where do you stand on it?  Do you support staying in Paris or coming out? SECRETARY MNUCHIN:  Again, I would just comment that we’re having discussions on that, and that’s where I’ll go on that. Q    The President said last week there would be a tax reform proposal Wednesday. SECRETARY MNUCHIN:  He did indeed.  It’s been widely reported. Q    I imagine that surprised you a little bit.  What can we expect? SECRETARY MNUCHIN:  Let me just first say, I’ve been working with the President for over the last year on his economic plan in regards to creating growth.  The President is very determined that we can get to sustained economic growth of 3 percent or higher.  We’re working on tax reform, we’re working on regulatory reform, we’re looking at job creation, and this is something that, on the tax side, I’ve been meeting weekly with the House and the Senate on designing things.  And we’ll be coming out, as the President said, with more details on Wednesday. Q    Secretary, thank you very much.  Along the lines of tax reform, I know the specifics of the broad details will be delivered on Wednesday, but without getting into the specifics, what does the middle class gain if there is a simplification but also a loss of deductions, whatever they might be.  If we lose the deductions, how does that help the middle class? SECRETARY MNUCHIN:  Well, let me just say, we’ve been clear on what the President’s objectives are for tax reform:  Middle income tax cut -- a priority of the President’s.  Simplification -- the average American should be able to do their taxes on a large postcard.  Business tax reform -- we need to make business taxes competitive, and we expect, with doing that, we will bring back trillions of dollars from offshore. Q    Thank you, sir.  I guess the question I have is to sort of bounce off of what John was asking about this announcement on Wednesday.  It doesn’t sound like we’re going to get the finer details of what this tax reform package will entail.  Is it a good idea to start talking about tax reform -- something that you say can’t be accomplished by August -- when you don’t have all the details? SECRETARY MNUCHIN:  Well, there will be details that will come out.  And yes, I think it is important that we’re talking about it and we are going to move forward. I’ll just take a couple more.  Right there, yes. Q    Can I just follow up on what Major was asking you?  For those of us who are not completely clear about the 271 employees, are you suggesting, by looking at these sanctions, that there are U.S. companies, or they have holdings in the U.S., or they would be traveling or doing some sort of business that we’re actually freezing or barring? SECRETARY MNUCHIN:  Again, I can’t comment on the specifics of these sanctions beyond what we release.  But I can assure you that when the U.S. puts out sanctions, they have impacts both here and throughout the world, and we wouldn’t be doing this if we didn’t think it is impactful; it’s quite impactful. One more.  Back there, yes. Q    Mr. Secretary, would you say that simplification of the tax code or cuts would be the first priority?  You’ve mentioned both the Coast Guard -- SECRETARY MNUCHIN:  Both. Q    -- and closing the gap with growth.  But which is the first thing that we’re going to hear about on Wednesday? SECRETARY MNUCHIN:  Again, what I'd say:  On the personal side, we’re about a middle income tax cut and simplification.  On the business side, we’re about making them competitive. This is the last one.  Go ahead. Q    Can you say if the tax plan will be revenue-neutral? SECRETARY MNUCHIN:  Again, what I’ve said before is, the tax plan will pay for itself with economic growth. Thank you, everybody.  Nice to see you. MR. SPICER:  Thank you, Mr. Secretary and Ambassador Haley.  So I just want to kind of walk through what the rest of the day and the week, and then we’ll get to some questions. As you know, this morning, the President had a call with German Chancellor Merkel who had extended a gracious invitation for the First Daughter and Assistant to the President, Ivanka Trump, to attend the W20 Summit.  Tomorrow, Ivanka will be in Berlin at the W20 participating in a panel that is entitled, “Inspiring Women: Scaling Up Women’s Entrepreneurship.”  This follows the roundtable on vocational education and workforce development -- issues that are central both to Ivanka and the Chancellor’s agenda that they hosted here at the White House in March. While in Germany, Ivanka will also visit a school for an interactive tour and discussion with students participating in the apprentice program.  In commemoration of Holocaust Remembrance Day, she will visit the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe in Berlin.  A readout of the President’s and Chancellor Merkel’s call should be out already. Following that call, the President spoke with Dr. Peggy Whitson, the commander of the International Space Station via video teleconference.  As I told you guys last week, Dr. Whitson, who is on her third extended stay aboard the International Space Station, breaks the record for the most space time of any American astronaut.  The President was honored to celebrate this incredible achievement by Dr. Whitson and the American space program, and discuss the exciting future of space exploration and space science -- including how the Inspire Women Act, which the President recently signed, ensures that NASA continues recruiting women for important STEM-related jobs in aerospace. After that, as I mentioned at the top, the President had a working lunch with U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley and the other ambassadors of the countries that are part of the U.N. Security Council.  Under the President’s leadership, America has once again taken a leadership role on the world stage, and our global partners have welcomed this renewal of American diplomacy. Later on, this afternoon, the President will sign a proclamation on Holocaust Remembrance Day, part of the weeklong Days of Remembrance first held in 1979, and later established by Congress as our nation’s commemoration of the Holocaust.  Tomorrow, as every President since the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum opened in 1993, President Trump will participate in a Days of Remembrance commemoration.  As he said during his video message to delegates of the World Jewish Congress Plenary Assembly, the Trump administration is committed to stamping out prejudice and anti-Semitism everywhere it is found. Following the proclamation, the President will host a credential ceremony for newly appointed ambassadors.  He will then have dinner with Senator and Mrs. McCain and Senator Lindsey Graham. Later this evening, the Vice President will return to Washington where he finished his time throughout the world.  While in Hawaii today, the [Vice] President will have lunch with U.S. troops at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam and participate in an arrival ceremony at USPACOM before boarding Air Force Two for the ride home to Washington. As we get closer to the President’s 100th day in office, throughout the week the White House is hosting briefings and events to provide several opportunities for many folks in the press to hear directly from the administration and our officials on what we’ve achieved in the first 100 days, and what we’re looking to continue to achieve on days 101, 102, 200, et cetera. Throughout the week, the President, Cabinet officials, and senior White House staff will be talking about the President’s agenda on national, local media, and various platforms. Finally, I want to acknowledge the distressing reports regarding American citizens coming out of the Ukraine and North Korea.  We're deeply saddened by the death of a paramedic, a United States citizen, serving in the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe -- Special Monitoring Mission.  We extend our deepest condolences to his family, friends, and loved ones, and wish his colleagues who were injured in the blast a quick and speedy recovery.   We call on all parties to cooperate with the Special Monitoring Mission to allow it to fully investigate this incident.  The tragic death of a staff member only serves to underline the urgent need for all sides, particularly the Russian-led separatist forces, to implement their commitments under the Minsk agreements. We're also aware of reports a United States citizen was detained in North Korea over the weekend.  The protection of United States citizens is one of our government’s highest priorities.  I would direct any further inquiries on this matter to the State Department.   Also on North Korea, on Wednesday, the White House campus will play host to a briefing for all U.S. -- 100 U.S. senators on the subject.  The briefers will be Secretary Tillerson and Mattis, Director Coats and General Dunford.  This is a Senate briefing convened by the Majority Leader, not a White House briefing.  We are just serving as the location.  For further questions, I'd direct you to the Majority Leader’s office and the office of the four briefers.   With that, I'm glad to take a few questions. Q    Talking about the budget, how committed is -- this was asked earlier, but can you talk about how committed the President is to having the border wall funded this week or having some funding in that spending bill?  And if it is not in there, will he sign it? MR. SPICER:  Again, those negotiations continue with House and Senate leadership.  Obviously, the money for our military and our border security and wall have been part of that request and that is something that really are the President’s priorities heading in -- with respect to the CR and keeping the government open. I think we feel very confident where we're headed, and I'm not going to get ahead of the negotiations that are ongoing.  Director Mulvaney has been very, very deep in those discussions and I expect there to be an announcement soon with what -- but I'm not going to start to take things on and off the table with respect to what the President may or may not do. Phil. Q    Yes, Sean, just doubling up on that question there about the CR debate and the funding, does he specifically expect there to be funding for the border wall, or would border security measures be enough to satisfy the President?  And how do you differentiate between the two?  For example, what could be funded in the CR that you could say is part of the wall even if it's not explicitly funding for the wall? MR. SPICER:  There’s obviously a lot of components to that. You’ve got fencing and drones, and again, I don't want to get ahead of those negotiations.  They are ongoing.  But the President’s priorities have been very clear from the beginning. Q    Sean, just to follow up -- are we backing off from the wall?  Are you saying it is on the table? MR. SPICER:  No, we're saying that the President has made very clear that he’s got two priorities in this continuing resolution -- number one, the increase in funding for the military; and number two, for our homeland border security and the wall.  But I'm not going to start to get into -- we are having a negotiation with House and Senate leadership, and to prejudge where it ends up at this point would be -- would not be prudent. Q    Two questions for you.  On the Syrian economic sanctions, how would the administration determine how effective they are? MR. SPICER:  Well, I think there’s going to be a lot of ways.  But I think first and foremost is to send a clear signal to make sure that they understand that we don't take their actions lightly and that we want to do everything we can to have stability in the region.  So I think there’s going to be a lot of ways in terms of their behavior going forward that we'll know whether they’re working.  But I think as the President has made clear and Secretary Mnuchin just did, I think we have a lot of tools at our disposal to try to achieve an outcome that brings stability to that region. Q    And my second one on North Korea.  The fact that a third U.S. citizen has been detained by the regime in Pyongyang, does this make it more difficult for the President to negotiate through China to try to denuclearize North Korea? MR. SPICER:  No.  I think China -- and we noted it before, Ambassador Haley noted it in several interviews this morning -- but China has been very, very helpful in this process and continues to be.  And I think we hope to see a change in behavior.  But it is a very positive sign, the level of engagement that China has been -- has enacted. Q    Is the Trump administration calling for the release of this U.S. citizen currently being detained? MR. SPICER:  Well, absolutely.  I mean, we want to make sure that all of our citizens are protected and returned home.  But the State Department is playing the lead on that. Eamon. Q    Thanks, Sean.  You know there’s quite a bit of concern among Republicans on Capitol Hill about the federal deficit.  When you roll out the tax plan on Wednesday, are you also going to include pay-fors in there, that is those things that raise revenue as well as those things that are tax cuts, so that conservatives can be confident that this won't blow a hole in the deficit? MR. SPICER:  I think we will have further details.  I'm not going to get ahead of the President’s rollout, but I'm not going to -- the level of specificity in terms of the pay-fors and the cost, we'll have to see how comfortable the President is. Jennifer. Q    Sean, can you tell us if the President is aware of the American pastor jailed in Turkey?  And did he raise that with President Erdogan in the call he made to congratulate him? MR. SPICER:  I'm not going to get into the specifics of the President’s conversation.  We're obviously aware of that action, and we're going to continue to work through the State Department on that. Jordan. Q    Sean, can you explain why President Trump didn’t use the word “genocide” to refer to the killing of 25 million Armenians in his statement today? MR. SPICER:  Yes.  The statement that was put out is consistent with the statements that have been put out for at least several of the past administrations.  So I think if you look back to the language that President Obama, President Bush have used, the language the President used is consistent with all of that. Q    I have two questions on two different topics.  First, the border wall, the logistics of that.  Secretary Kelly said he still expects construction to start this summer.  There are still a few ranchers in Texas and Arizona who welcome the security but are skeptical of giving up family-owned land that's been in their families for generations.  So what is the White House message to them directly?  And what -- can you guarantee that they will be compensated? MR. SPICER:  We're going to -- we will do everything in accordance with the law.  This has been an issue that has gone on several times as that issue has been raised over the last several decades -- excuse me -- several years.  And so we will do everything in accordance with the law with respect to the land that's needed for that.  But again, the Homeland Security Secretary understands what’s going to be needed and will do surveys and the appropriate planning to make sure that we minimize that to the extent possible. Q    And on the next question on a different topic -- the FBI and Justice Department last week arrested two doctors in Michigan for allegedly performing genital mutilation on little girls, as young as six years old.  It's the first case in the United States.  What is the White House reaction to that case? MR. SPICER:  We've talked before about having investigations and we don't comment on any pending investigations or actions by the Justice Department. Major. Q    Is 100 days, as the President said on Twitter, a ridiculous benchmark, or an important one? MR. SPICER:  Well, I think obviously in the context of an entire administration, there is a lot that I think we feel very proud of what we've gotten done and taken care of.  You look at the immigration piece in particular, border crossings way down.  The number of executive orders and pieces of legislation the President has signed -- I think we feel very proud of what we've been able to accomplish and fulfill the promises that he’s made to the American people.   But I think it's got to be kept in context.  And I think that's -- there is sort of this artificial number that gets thrown out.  So on -- Q    What is the context? MR. SPICER:  Well, I mean, the context is it's 100 days, and four years in your first term and eight years for two terms -- that I think -- Q    In the campaign Mr. Trump introduced a contract with the American voter over 100 days -- MR. SPICER:  Right.  And so, again, I think when you look at the number of pieces of legislation, the executive orders, business confidence, the U.S.'s role in the world -- there’s a lot that we feel -- a lot of accomplishments that have occurred.  And we feel very good about what we've done as we head up to this first 100 days.  But I think you're going to continue to see a lot of action, a lot of results going into the second 100 days, the third 100 days, all the way through. Q    If in that 100 days there is no funding -- explicit funding for the wall, and there’s no healthcare reform or repeal of Obamacare -- would the President consider that, and would he invite his supporters to consider that a conspicuous failure, based on the promises he made during the campaign? MR. SPICER:  I think when you look at the totality of what we've accomplished on job creation, on immigration, on trade, it is unbelievable what he has been able to do.  And so it's not -- you can cherry-pick any couple of things and say, okay, well, what about this and that.  But I think when you look at it overall in terms of the drop in border crossings, if you look at consumer confidence, and the relationships that we've developed around the globe, and the accomplishments this President has had in protecting the country, in bringing back jobs and starting -- those have been unbelievably significant. And so to minimize that, or to look and pick out two or three things -- but I think, look, we're going to continue to push for healthcare reform.  We feel very good about the direction that it's going in.  It's been very positive.  And I think the construction of a wall is going to continue to be an area that moves forward.  But all of that stuff is happening just as the President asked for and committed to doing.  Some of it has been a little slower, but mostly because of working through Congress and getting things done.  But when you think about what he started -- he'll move forward on tax reform, healthcare, on immigration, on trade -- it's been a hugely successful first 100 days.   Q    And without the President necessarily describing it as a failure or not, would he say that he's learned something about the process and how long things take that he perhaps didn’t appreciate as a candidate?  Maybe he over-promised on the speed with which he'd achieve these things? MR. SPICER:  Look, with all due respect, I think that when you look at the list of things in each of the various areas that he's been able to do, I think he's very pleased -- Q    I'm talking about some conspicuous campaign promises that, at rally after rally, he made and said, don't worry it's going to happen.   MR. SPICER:  Right.  And I think on healthcare -- Q    All I'm asking is, does he have a different awareness of how difficult those things are than he did as a candidate? MR. SPICER:  I'm sure that there are things that you learn on the job, but I think that he is very proud of what he has set out to do and the progress that we've made.  And I think you're going to see healthcare get done, but it's going to get done right, and that in particular is something that we're continuing to work at.  We can't make people vote, but we've made significant progress and moved the legislation forward and improved it greatly.  And I think that we are going to see progress on that.  Zeke. Q    Thanks, Sean.  Two questions on two different topics.  First, to follow up on Jordan, and the other question is on the budget.  Is the President willing to sign a continuing resolution that is not deficit-neutral or deficit-reducing?  For instance -- MR. SPICER:  Sign a continuing resolution? Q    Yeah.  Continuing resolutions that would increase the deficit.   MR. SPICER:  I have not seen a score on anything that's come out.  And I think we'll have to wait and see what the final -- Q    You're not ruling that out one way or -- MR. SPICER:  I'm not -- not at this point. Q    And following up on Jordan's question, the President talked a lot about -- he has not been shy about criticizing his predecessors for some of their missteps from both parties, and also hasn’t -- has made a point of often balking (inaudible).  So why not take this moment to label the killing of a million-and-a-half Armenians a genocide?   MR. SPICER:  I think, again, as I noted to Jordan, the statement that the President put out is consistent with the last several administrations. Q    (Inaudible.) MR. SPICER:  I understand that.  But it is perfectly in keeping with the language that's been used over and over again.  John. Q    Would you agree with the assessment that some within the administration have that a vote on healthcare this week is very, very unlikely? MR. SPICER:  I think the vote is going to get scheduled when Speaker Ryan and Leader McCarthy and Congressman Scalise determine that they have the votes and they feel confident.  I think we've been very clear -- the President made it clear on Friday when he was walking back over from the Treasury Department -- that if it happens and we have the votes this week, great; if it's next week or the week after.  But I think we want to make sure that we've got the votes and we're headed in the right direction before putting some kind of artificial deadline. Q    But would you think that this week is unlikely? MR. SPICER:  I think that whenever the Speaker and the Leadership over at the House tell us that they feel confident that they have the votes, then we would encourage them to move forward.  I hate to -- I'm not trying to not answer the question, but I think that's the answer.  It comes down to when they feel as though they've got the commitments to push the bill forward. Q    But there was a push to try to get something on the legislative scoreboard by the 100th day.  Does it look like that now will not happen? MR. SPICER:  As I said, we have been very clear from here, and I think the President has been very clear in his comments that our goal is to get it done and get it done right, and get it done to make sure that we have the votes.  I think there have been some -- I've read some background quotes and sources about when it -- but we've been very clear publicly about when we want to get that done. Kelly. Q    The President has been very clear that Judge Gorsuch, now Justice Gorsuch, is a big part of his first 100 days' accomplishments.  And the White House, in the rollout about the 100 days, said there would be a dinner with the President and all the justices of the Supreme Court.  Now that is off the list.  Is the dinner not happening, or is not publicly being talked about because it's wrapped up in the politics of the White House? MR. SPICER:  I think we've moved some things around on the President's schedule this week, but we hope to have something at some point. Q    Was it unfortunate to sort of sweep the High Court into the politics of 100 days? MR. SPICER:  No.  I think having a relationship and meeting with the Supreme Court at some point would be a great idea and something that we hope to have on the schedule some point soon. Kaitlan. Q    Can you explain the President's change of thought on DACA? MR. SPICER:  I think he's been consistent about two things.  One, that he has a heart.  He wants to make sure that he does what's in the interest of children in particular.  But secondly, I think the President's priorities since he took office have been very clear that the focus would be on folks who presented a danger to public safety.  And that's what it's been, and that's where it continues to be.  And I think he is someone who understands the issue and the priorities that need to get laid out by this country.  And so everything that he has done has been consistent with what he said from the get-go. Q    But I understand that he said that the criminals would leave first, but last August he said that DACA defied federal law and was illegal.  So does he still think it's illegal? MR. SPICER:  I understand.  And I think that his comments that he made last week, that he understands that in a lot of cases this involves families and small children who have been here, and he has a heart, and we're going to work through the immigration -- Q    But does he still think it's illegal? MR. SPICER:  I understand.  What I'm trying to do is answer the question.  I think the President wants to make sure that he addresses the issue of illegal immigration and all of its components in terms of visa reform, border security, the wall, all of these things, in a system of priorities.  And right now, the priority is to make sure that folks who present a public-safety concern to the United States and to our citizens are dealt with first, and that's what's happened.  He's also very pleased that, through his action and his vision for how he wants to move forward on this, sees a huge drop of illegal border crossing.  That is a big accomplishment for this presidency and is something that we're obviously very proud of. Q    Border crossing is a big thing, but amnesty is a big part.  Does he -- MR. SPICER:  I understand that.  I've just walked through the question. Jonathan. Q    Sean, how confident are you that there will not be a shutdown?  Can you, from that podium, guarantee that there will not be a government shutdown? MR. SPICER:  I can't guarantee anything.  (Laughter.)  Q    How close can you get to confidence -- MR. SPICER:  But I think that the work that Director Mulvaney and others have made in these negotiations has been very positive.  They feel very confident that that won't happen. Q    So he won't insist that his priorities get funded on the border, the wall, or increase security? MR. SPICER:  That's not what I said.  I said that I think that -- Q    Is he willing to shut down the government to accomplish that? MR. SPICER:  No, it's not -- look, they are currently negotiating.  We feel very confident that they understand the President's priorities and that we'll come to an agreement by the end of Friday. Q    And on the 100 days, if I could just follow up.  The contract with the American voter that the President signed included 10 pieces of legislation.  Right now he's over 10, and only one of those has been introduced.   MR. SPICER:  Right.  And I think we're going to continue to work with Congress -- as he says in that document, I will work with Congress to achieve these things; we are going to continue to work with Congress to achieve those. Q    But why have nine of them not even been introduced yet? MR. SPICER:  I think when you look at what he has done in terms of the Supreme Court justice, the executive orders, the number of legislation, there's a lot that has gotten done.  I don’t think anyone -- I remember very clearly the first few weeks and still, to some extent, the comments that got made about the pace that we were keeping and we have kept.  The President has been extremely busy.  And I think when you recognize the amount of issues that he's tackled and the amount of progress that he's made, it is very significant, and we will continue to present all that throughout the week.  But again, as I said to Major, I think you can look at a few of these areas and nitpick a couple of them, but I think overall he has signed a record number of executive orders, he has rolled back regulatory reforms -- Q    But this isn’t nitpicking.  These are 10 pieces of legislation -- MR. SPICER:  No, I understand that, but -- Q    -- he promised to take action on in his 100 days. MR. SPICER:  But I don’t think there's any question that the President has done a significant amount for the American people on the issues that he has put forward during the campaign. Q    And just to be clear, you're not describing the wall and healthcare as nitpicking, are you? MR. SPICER:  No, I'm not -- those pieces are not small.  But I'm saying in terms of overall, what he has accomplished, has been unbelievably significant when you talk about all of the other areas -- the regulatory relief, the efforts that he's made on immigration, on trade.  All of those issues.  And again, what I'm trying to say is, when you look at everything that he's done and the amount that he's accomplished in these first 100 days, I think you can go back and find an area, one or two, and say, okay, well, he didn’t do this.  But I think you have to look at it in totality of what he actually did get done. Jim. Q    Sean, on the wall, why is there even a discussion about shutting down the government over paying for the wall?  Isn’t Mexico supposed to pay for the wall? MR. SPICER:  Well, I think, Jim, the President has made very clear that initially we needed to get the funding going, and there's several mechanisms to make sure that that happens.  That funding piece will happen in due time. Q    But that is a promise that the President made during the campaign time and again --  MR. SPICER:  I understand that. Q    -- that Mexico would pay for the wall.  And now we're having a discussion that the government might shut down over the wall and who's going to pay for it. MR. SPICER:  Right.  So a couple things.  One, as I pointed out to Jonathan, we feel very confident the government is not going to shut down.  Number two is, I think the President has been very clear in the past about the fact that -- and this is not a new thing; he talked about this -- that in order to get the ball rolling on border security and the wall, that he was going to have to use the current appropriations process but he would make sure that that promise would be kept as far as the payment of it. Q    And just a real quick follow-up.  If border crossings are down -- and that's a talking point that the White House uses time and again -- is the wall even necessary? MR. SPICER:  Absolutely.  The wall does several things. Q    How can the border crossings be down when the President is saying, well, we're going to have all these drugs flowing in if we don’t have a wall? MR. SPICER:  Because you can't -- just because you have a couple good months in a year, I think you want to make sure that you take prudent long-term steps.  So the President is going to fulfill it, and frankly, it's a promise that he made to the American people.  I think if you are coming in from our southern border, he has taken a lot of steps so far that has deterred border crossing.  But this is a permanent step that will extend beyond his presidency.  Eight years from now, the next President will have that wall in place to make sure that it doesn’t continue. Q    So Mexico is going to pay for it? MR. SPICER:  That's right.  Thank you.  Alexis. Q    Sean, this might relate to Jim's question, too, but on Wednesday -- I have two questions.  On Wednesday, when we see the outline that Secretary Mnuchin was just describing, will the President help aim Congress toward his decision about whether the border adjustment tax is the right idea, and also, related to that, whether the pay-fors for the wall that might be of interest to lawmakers will become evident as part of the outline of what he'd like to do in terms of taxes?  MR. SPICER:  Right.  Well, I don’t mean to evade that, but I think there's a reason he chose -- we're waiting until Wednesday to have the details that he wants to share out.  We got a couple days before that happens, so I'm going to have to ask you to wait 48 hours.   Q    Can you say whether we will have a generally better idea?  Will we have a generally better idea of where his thinking is? MR. SPICER:  I think you will have a better idea of where the President stands on tax reform and what he wants to accomplish.  Yes. John. Q    Wait, wait, I have one follow-up.  When you were just describing, and Secretary Mnuchin was describing, achieving economic growth of 3 percent or higher, which is slightly lower than what the President talked about in the campaign, which was a very ambitious goal of 1 percent -- I'm just trying to figure out, what is the timeline for that?  Is the President thinking he would like to achieve 3 percent or higher in his first term because of the headwinds that obviously the United States is facing abroad?  I mean, that's a very ambitious goal still -- 3 percent.  MR. SPICER:  Well, and I think that he has taken a lot of steps not just on the tax side, but on the regulatory side, as well, that I think are clearly already paying dividends in terms of what you're seeing -- we've talked about this before -- manufacturing come back and jobs come back.  And I think there's going to be a renewed commitment of manufacturers, American companies to bring back jobs, to grow, to hire, to expand here in the United States.  And so I think that that growth will proceed the President's actions, both on the tax front and on the regulatory side. John. Q    Thanks so much, Sean.  As you know, the first go-around at replacing Obamacare was not successful.  Since then, are you any closer to getting 218 votes in the House to pass or replace the Affordable Care Act? MR. SPICER:  Yes.  (Laughter.)  Q    Got a number? Q    Yeah, elaborate a little more than "yes"? MR. SPICER:  Well, first of all, we only need 216.  You're making it a little tougher on us right now.  But I do think that we have seen progress with members in terms of some of the changes that have been made to make it a stronger bill.  But we're getting close.  And as I mentioned at the outset, when I think the President feels confident that -- or when the leadership of the House tells him that they feel confident that they have the votes, then I'm sure they'll call a vote.  But that's up to them to decide. Q    And a separate one, obviously a different topic, and that's the election over the weekend in France.  Any comment on the results that came out of France over the weekend?  Would the President be satisfied with either alternative, Macron or Le Pen? MR. SPICER:  Yeah, obviously it's up to the people of France to decide who their next leader is.  And we respect the decision that they make in May.  So let's -- our job is to work with whomever the French people choose. Anita. Q    Two questions.  One, on the budget, the spending plan, what is the President doing?  I understand Mick Mulvaney and others are doing things.  Is he calling members?  I don’t see anything on his schedule for this week.  Are members coming over?   MR. SPICER:  As needed, he'll be involved.  I think the legislative team has been giving him updates, and as he needed -- Q    Has he been calling members? MR. SPICER:  He's talked to members.  I just mentioned he's having dinner tonight with Senator McCain and Senator Graham.  He's had lots of discussion with members at various times.  This is not -- we're not at a position now where he is actively engaging the way he was at, say the end of healthcare.  I think as his team tells him that he needs phone calls, but he is actively monitoring and been given updates by the senior team that is working with the Hill. Q    When he calls, is he talking about his priorities?  I would like you to include -- MR. SPICER:  I think his priority have been crystal-clear.  I mean, remember, starting in the first week of March, Director Mulvaney engaged with appropriators on the House side.  And I'm not sure when he started.  So this has been an ongoing discussion now, almost for eight weeks, with the senior team here and appropriators in the House in particular. Q    Okay.  And then on the second issue, on the 100 days, someone mentioned the President tweeted that it was a ridiculous timetable or whatever.  Why is the White House doing so much this week?  You have indicated that all these activities this week, from hearing from different people, are because of the 100 days.  Why do this 100-day push if it's a ridiculous amount of time? MR. SPICER:  I think we've gotten a fairly decent amount of inquiries from you and your colleagues.  And so in order to answer those inquiries -- Q    So you're doing something for us? MR. SPICER:  Yeah, well, you know, we're givers.  (Laughter.)  But I don’t think there's anyone in this room that hasn’t lodged a request to say, "We're writing a story on the 100-day mark, we're doing this on the 100-day mark."  And so we want to make sure that we answer your questions as truthfully as possible and as thoroughly and comprehensively.  So we will have to fulfill all of these requests that are coming in from you and your colleagues, but I also think that we are very proud, and the President is very proud, of what he's been able to accomplish in the first 100 days.   And as we sprint towards these final 100 days, there's two things.  One, I think because of the inquiries we've had, we want to make sure we take an opportunity to make sure that people understand how much he's done in all the different areas, but we also want to start talking about the next 100 days and what else is left to be done, and how we're going to continue to work hard to get all of that done.  But there's a lot that has been accomplished, and I think it's appropriate to comment and to share with the American people all the things that he has done to fulfill the pledges that he made to the American people. Q    And just to clarify, are we going to hear, prior to the rally on Saturday, are we going to hear directly from him?  There was some talk of a press conference. MR. SPICER:  I'll have further updates on the schedule going forward. Q    So there will be one, or maybe not? MR. SPICER:  Huh? Q    The press conference -- MR. SPICER:  We're working on some scheduling issues for the rest of the week, and I'll make sure I give you an update as we move forward. Kristen. Q    Thanks, Sean.  I just want to circle back on healthcare, because at the top of the President's listed agenda items for the first 100 days was repealing and replacing Obamacare.  So does the President want to, expect to see, a vote on healthcare this week? MR. SPICER:  Look, he'd love to do it.  If the Speaker and the Majority Leader and the Whip come and tell him that they've got the votes, then we'd love to do it.  I think his goal isn’t to fit it into a finite timetable, as he mentioned on Friday.  If it happens this week, that's great.  If it happens next week, that's great too.  The goal is to get it done, and get it done right.  And so we're not going to jam it through just for the sake of it. Q    So he's concerned about potentially rushing it through.   MR. SPICER:  No, no, he -- Q    I hear what you're saying is he doesn’t want it to happen this week just to meet that. MR. SPICER:  Exactly. Q    Okay.  Let me ask you about tax reform.  I know you don’t want to get ahead of the announcement on Wednesday. MR. SPICER:  Thank you. Q    But there's a sense that it is more realistic to pursue targeted tax cuts as opposed to broad tax reform.  Will we, on Wednesday, see a proposal for targeted tax cuts? MR. SPICER:  As you stated in your question, I'll let the President and the team speak on Wednesday with respect to what they're going to outline, but I'm not going to get -- Q    But does the President think that it's realistic to do broad tax reform without having to repeal or replace Obamacare? MR. SPICER:  I think that the President said that he's going to -- Q    Is it possible, mathematically? MR. SPICER:  There's a lot of things that are possible, but let's let the President -- he made a commitment to get it out on Wednesday, so let's be patient and wait until Wednesday. Q    And just one more.  MR. SPICER:  Of course.  (Laughter.)  Q    Is there a plan for infrastructure reform in the works?  Will we get that before -- MR. SPICER:  That's another thing that's on the list, but I think we seem to have our hands full right now with healthcare and tax reform.  He's obviously still committed to seeing infrastructure, something he's talked about a lot in terms of roads and bridges and rebuilding things.  But let's get these first two things moving.  But I think you're going to see a continued commitment to infrastructure as well. Q    It's one of the things that could potentially have bipartisan support.  Is there urgency to get infrastructure reform passed? MR. SPICER:  (Laughter.)  So either we're doing too much or we're not doing enough.  But I think -- look, he has made it very clear that that is a priority of his.  As you point out, it's something that I think both sides of the aisle, of both chambers, probably agree on.  There's a public-private partnership that could really benefit our infrastructure in terms of the financing piece of this.  We'll have further details on that moving forward, though. Thank you, guys, very much.  I'll see you tomorrow.  Have a great Monday. END  2:14 P.M. EDT

24 апреля, 21:38

What You Don't Know About Credit Card Billing Cycles Will Blow Your Mind

Billing cycles can really mess with your head. Don't take my word for it. Consider what happened to Michael Dearing, a registered nurse from Chicago, when Comcast adjusted -- or in his words "played with" -- his billing cycles recently. "For about two years, our due date was always the 24th," he says. "Then, over the next 12 months, the date moved to the 23rd, then the 20th. By the time the year was up, a few months ago, the new billing date was the 17th -- a full week earlier." Ah, billing cycles! The mysterious corporate actions to remove money from your bank account on a pre-determined day -- or to return it. While it may be a source of profit to the company, it's also an endless cause of aggravation to customers like Dearing, and maybe to you, too. There are two billing cycles that really matter. The first is a cycle for a recurring service, like a cable or phone bill. And the second is the billing cycle used by your credit card company for refunds. Both of them come into play when you're paying starting or ending service. So if you're thinking of canceling your cable or wireless bill soon, pay attention -- this could really help. "Because we can" Billing cycles are pretty arbitrary. A lot of customers end up on the wrong side of a billing cycle when they cancel their service halfway through the cycle and are charged for the rest of the month. Why? It's in the fine print. "When I called Comcast to complain, I was told that it was their right to change the billing date," remembers Dearing. "To me, it's like an additional billing period just because they can." Comcast publishes a page that annotates its complex bills, but only mentions cycles twice in passing. There are, however, plenty of complaints about the company changing its cycles and billing for two months in a single month. A Comcast representative told Dearing the company could only keep its dates unchanged for customers "who only have one service" but not for him, since he subscribed to both cable and Wi-Fi. That makes no sense. Companies move up their cycles because having your dollars in the bank even a day earlier can have a noticeable impact on its revenues. Time is money, after all. The takeaway? For a recurring service, it's more important than ever to know your billing cycle and to pay your bill on or before the due date. Otherwise, you could accrue late penalties and in extreme cases, have your service discontinued. Also, be sure to cancel only on the last date of your billing cycle. And pay attention: Companies can shift their cycles to suit their whims, and you have to keep up. One way to avoid getting caught with a late bill is to set up autopay, but you need to monitor the monthly amounts, just in case the company decides to raise your rates with little or no warning. That happens too often. Credit card billing cycles explained When it comes to credit cards, billing cycles present an entirely new series of challenges. When you open a new credit card account, the card issuer assigns a billing cycle. For example, if you open an account on July 2, your card may assign a cycle from July 2 to Aug. 1. "In this case, every month would hold this same schedule where billing cycle starts on the 2nd and ends on the 1st of the following month," says Alex Cramer, head of cards for Final, a digital credit card company based in Oakland. Some card issuers allow you to change your cycle, but they won't allow you to change it to manipulate the due date and avoid late payments. Alas, only the card companies can do that, and their ability to play with the calendar is limited. They can change a billing cycle, but only from time to time, either at the customer's request or for "operational" reasons. Manipulating billing cycles or due dates by card issuers to trap consumers into missing payments or paying additional interest charges may be against the lawl, but not so long ago, card companies played with the calendar for their benefit. Issuers used to impose something called double-cycle billing, which effectively charged two billing cycles worth of interest even if the cardholder paid off the entire balance in the first billing month. Fortunately, the 2009 CARD Act banned that practice. If parts of the CARD Act are overturned with new legislation, we could easily go back to this. During a billing cycle, purchases, returns, fees, interest charges, payments and other fees will affect your balance. At the end of the billing cycle, your credit card company issues a statement balance for that period. The real problems with billing cycles happen during a refund to your card. That's when a company promises to return your money, but the funds don't show up for weeks, and sometimes months. Even government guidelines on refunds are at best, vague. Consider the Federal Trade Commission's guidance on refunds, which states: If the customer paid by cash, check, money order, or by credit where a third party is the creditor, or by any other method except credit where you are a creditor, you must refund the correct amount within seven working days after the order is cancelled. If the customer paid by credit where you are a creditor, you must credit the customer's account or notify the customer that the account will not be charged within one billing cycle after the order is cancelled. How is it possible for seven days to mushroom into two months? Easy. Companies and credit card issuers are allowed to take up to two billing cycles for your refund to actually be issued. I've lost count of the number of times consumers have lost patience with a company, believing they're stonewalled. But the company is just doing what it legally can. Check out my FAQ section on credit cards for details on how refunds work (or don't). Oddly, the extended refund timelines appear to be a direct violation of Regulation Z, which governs certain refunds, which states that the card issuer shall "within 3 business days from receipt of a credit statement, credit the consumer's account with the amount of the refund." It's often hard to know if the credit card company is delaying or if the company you're doing business with is dragging its feet. Getting the truth from either party is close to impossible. "Credit card billing cycles are often confusing to people," says John Ganotis, the founder of Credit Card Insider, a credit card site. But they aren't confusing to your credit card company. Nor are billing cycles a problem for the average company. Rather, they are opportunities for fudging dates in order to earn an extra dollar. It's all the more reason to know about billing cycles. Find out when yours start and end. Pay your bills on time and cancel at the right time (that would be at 11:59 p.m. on the last day of your cycle, in case you were wondering). And be aware that your credit card company is allowed to take its sweet time with a refund and that there's nothing you can do about it. What's that? There ought to be a law, you say? Please, don't get me started. -- 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 апреля, 14:25

The Price For Killing Workers Must Be Prison

Every 12 days, a member of my union, the United Steelworkers (USW), or one of their non-union co-workers, is killed on the job. Every 12 days. And it’s been that way for years. These are horrible deaths. Workers are crushed by massive machinery. They drown in vats of chemicals. They’re poisoned by toxic gas, burned by molten metal. The company pays a meaningless fine. Nothing changes. And another worker is killed 11 days later. Of course, it’s not just members of the USW. Nationally, at all workplaces, one employee is killed on the job every other hour. Twelve a day. These are not all accidents. Too many are foreseeable, preventable, avoidable tragedies. With the approach of April 28, Workers Memorial Day 2017, the USW is seeking in America what workers in Canada have to prevent these deaths. That is a law holding supervisors and corporate officials criminally accountable and exacting serious prison sentences when workers die on the job. Corporations can take precautions to avert workplace deaths. Too often they don’t. That’s because managers know if workers are killed, it’s very likely the only penalty will be a small fine. To them, it’s just another cost of doing business, a cost infinitely lower than that paid by the dead workers and their families. This year is the 25th anniversary of the incident that led Canada to establish federal corporate criminal accountability. It was the 1992 Westray coal mine disaster that killed 26 workers. The Plymouth, Nova Scotia, miners had sought help from the United Steelworkers to organize, in part because of deplorable conditions the company refused to remedy, including accumulation of explosive coal dust and methane gas. Nova Scotia empaneled a commission to investigate. Its report, titled The Westray Story: A Predictable Path to Disaster, condemns the mine owner, Curragh Resources Inc., for placing production – that is profits – before safety. The report says Curragh “displayed a certain disdain for safety and appeared to regard safety-conscious workers as wimps.” In fact, Curragh openly thwarted safety requirements. For example, the investigators found, “Methane detection equipment at Westray was illegally foiled in the interests of production.” The calamity occurred because Curragh callously disregarded its duty to safeguard workers, the investigators said. “The fundamental and basic responsibility for the safe operation of an underground coal mine, and indeed of any industrial undertaking, rests clearly with management,” the report says. The USW pressed for criminal charges, and prosecutors indicted mine managers. But the case failed because weak laws did not hold supervisors accountable for wantonly endangering workers. The Steelworkers responded by demanding new legislation, a federal law that would prevent managers from escaping liability for killing workers. It took a decade, but the law, called the Westray Act, passed in 2003. Under it, bosses face unlimited fines and life sentences in prison if their recklessness causes a worker death. Over the past 13 years, since the law took effect in 2004, prosecutors have rarely used it. Though thousands of workers have died, not one manager has gone to jail. The first supervisor charged under the Westray Act escaped a prison sentence when he agreed to plead guilty under a provincial law and pay a $50,000 fine. This was the penalty for a trench collapse in 2005 that killed a worker. There are many methods to prevent the common problem of trench cave-ins, but bosses routinely send workers into the holes without protection. In 2008, the company Transpavé in Quebec was charged under the Westray Law after a packing machine crushed one of its workers to death. There was a criminal conviction and $100,000 fine. But no one was jailed. In another case, a landscape contractor was criminally convicted in 2010 for a worker’s death, but the court permitted the contractor to serve the two-year sentence at home with curfews and community service. Soon, however, prison may become more than a theoretical possibility. A Toronto project manager was sentenced last year to three and a half years in prison for permitting workers to board a swing stage, which is a scaffold that was suspended from an apartment building roof, without connecting their chest harnesses to safety lines. The scaffold collapsed, and four workers plummeted 13 stories to their deaths. A fifth worker survived the fall with severe injuries. Another worker, who had clicked onto a safety line, was unscathed. Before the project began, the manager took a safety course in which the life-and-death consequences of unfailingly utilizing safety lines was emphasized. The manager described asking the site foreman, as the foreman and the workers climbed onto the scaffold at the end of the work day on Dec. 24, 2009, why there were not enough safety lines for all of the workers. When the foreman told him not to worry about it, the project manager, who was in charge of the job, did nothing. Seconds later, the scaffold floor split in half, dumping the foreman and four other men without safety lines to the ground. The prosecutor said the manager’s failure to stop the scaffolding from descending with unsecured workers demonstrated “wanton and reckless disregard for the lives and safety of the workers.” The judge said the manager’s position conferred on him the responsibility for safeguarding the workers and that his conduct constituted criminal negligence under the terms of the Westray Law. The manager has appealed the sentence. The worker who connected himself to the lifeline said the manager asked him that day to lie about what happened because, the manager told him, “I have a family.” Of course, that ignores completely the families of the dead men. It is what far too many bosses and CEOs do. They believe their lives are precious and workers’ are not. That’s why so many supervisors defy worker safety rules. In most U.S. workplace deaths, the company suffers nothing more than a fine. Last year, for example, an Everett, Washington State, landscape company paid $100,000 for the death of a 19-year-old worker crushed in an auger on his second day on the job. His father, Alan Hogue, told The Seattle Times, “It’s just a drop in the bucket. It’s like fining me $10 for shooting a neighbor.” The state cited the company for 16 serious and willful safety violations. Federal criminal penalties for killing a worker in the United States are so low that they are insulting. The maximum sentence under OSHA is six months; under MSHA, one year. Prosecutors almost never bring such cases, since the penalties are so low and the burden of proof so high. U.S. supervisors have gone to jail under state criminal laws, though it’s rare. A New York construction foreman was convicted of criminally negligent homicide and sentenced in 2016 to at least 1 year behind bars for sending a 22-year-old worker into an unsecured trench and for failing to stop work when an engineer warned it was too dangerous. The trench collapsed minutes later. In a similar case, the owner of a Fremont, Calif., construction company and his project manager were convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to two years in prison after a trench collapsed on a worker. The January 2012 incident occurred three days after a building inspector ordered work to stop because the excavation lacked shoring. The manager ignored the order. “These men, the workers, were treated like their lives didn’t matter,” Deputy District Attorney Bud Porter told a reporter at the time of conviction. The only way to make workers’ lives matter is to make prison a real possibility for CEOs and supervisors. Lethal greed must be tempered by frightening ramifications. Fines are no threat. Only prison is. America needs its own Westray Law and aggressive enforcement. type=type=RelatedArticlesblockTitle=Related... + articlesList=58cc0aede4b0ec9d29dbb226,5714e1e2e4b0060ccda3a66f -- 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 апреля, 12:04

Минэкономразвития захотело поднять Россию на 10 позиций в Doing Business

Минэкономразвития в 2017 году намерено вывести Россию на 30-е место в рейтинге Всемирного банка Doing Business. Ведомство планирует улучшить позиции в сфере строительства, подключения к электрическим сетям, регистрации предприятий и защиты миноритарных акционеров. В прошлом году Россия заняла в рейтинге 40 строчку.

22 апреля, 14:28

Why Trump likes his freewheeling Oval Office schedule

The loose set-up allows friends and unofficial advisers to whisper in the president’s ear on policy issues.