Will President Trump Make A Wise Decision or a Dangerous One?

Trump almost took the country to the abyss, but instead he stopped and made the smarter choice. Instead of giving Bannon a rubber stamp on the national security council he gave the national security state a man they trust and respect.

General known for sharp questions will be Trump's new top security adviser - Reuters

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Trump's Gorsuch Pick: Promises Made, Promises Kept

RealClearPolitics - Thu, 02/02/2017 - 07:16
Ann Corkery, RealClearPolitics
Well, that was quick. Once again proving himself to be no ordinary politician, President Trump took a New York minute to deliver on one of the most important promises of his presidential campaign....

Grassroots Rage and the Democrats' Crackup

RealClearPolitics - Thu, 02/02/2017 - 07:15
Salena Zito, New York Post
SEWICKLEY, PA — Just a few years ago, then-Speaker of the House John Boehner and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell were treated by their own Republican Party's grassroots as the enemy. Câ?¦

News Roundup 2/2/17

LibertarianInstitute - Thu, 02/02/2017 - 07:13
  • Senate Democrats have been boycotting committee meeting because committee rules state that at least one member of each party had to be present for the vote. This has allowed the Democrats to temporarily block some of Trump’s appointees from being approved by the committees. Republicans in the Senate Finance Committee changed the rules of the committee to vote on two of Trump’s appointments. [Link]
  • The Senate approved Rex Tillerson to be Secretary of State. The Senate voted 56-43, with all Republicans voting for Tillerson. [Link]
  • Speaking about last weekend’s raid in Yemen, a US military official said, “that Trump approved his first covert counterterrorism operation without sufficient intelligence, ground support or adequate backup preparations.” [Link]
  • The Army Corps of Engineers will approve the final steps to complete the Dakota Access Pipeline within days. [Link]
  • The city of LA is working on a plan that will decriminalize sidewalk vending. [Link]
  • Inmates at a Delaware prison took control over a building during a riot yesterday. The prisoners continue to hold the building and have hostages including three guards. The prisoners are demanding reforms including more education opportunities. [Link]
  • National Security Advisor, Mike Flynn, said the US is putting Iran on notice because of Iran’s ballistic missile test. Flynn claims the test is a breach of a UN resolution and threatens the US in the Middle East. [Link] In a statement that seems to contradict Flynn, the Pentagon’s spokesman said the US’s position on Iran is unchanged. [Link]
  • Greece complains that Turkey has violated Greek airspace over 100 times. [Link]
  • Syrian troops are getting close to Turkish troops in northern Syria. The Turkish troops are working to retake al-Bab from ISIS as Syrian troops are also closing in on the city. Both Turkey and Syria are members of the ceasefire in Syria. [Link]

The post News Roundup 2/2/17 appeared first on The Libertarian Institute.

News Roundup 2/2/17 was first posted on February 2, 2017 at 6:13 am.

Trump: Iran has been 'put on notice' for firing ballistic missile

Top Reuters News - Thu, 02/02/2017 - 07:08
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump said in a tweet on Thursday that "Iran has been put formally put on notice" for firing a ballistic missile, after his administration said on Wednesday it was reviewing how to respond to the launch.

Syrian opposition figure to deploy all-Arab force in Raqqa offensive

MiddleEasteye - Thu, 02/02/2017 - 07:03
Language Undefined

'There is a feud between us and this terrorist organisation,' said Ahmad Jarba, who hails from northeastern Syria, of the Islamic State

Merck matches profit expectations but sales come up a bit short

MarketWatch Market Pulse - Thu, 02/02/2017 - 07:00

Merck & Co. Inc. reported Thursday fourth-quarter earnings that rose to $1.18 billion, or 42 cents a share, from $976 million, or 35 cents a share, in the same period a year ago. Excluding non-recurring items, the health care giant said adjusted earnings per share came to 89 cents, matching the FactSet consensus. Revenue slipped 1% to $10.12 billion from $10.22 billion, just shy of the FactSet consensus of $10.23 billion. Pharmaceutical sales declined 1% to $8.90 billion, while animal health revenue rose 6% to $884 million. For 2017, Merck expects adjusted EPS of $3.72 to $3.87, surrounding the FactSet consensus of $3.83, while revenue is expected $38.6 billion to $40.1 billion, compared with the FactSet consensus of $40.13 billion. The stock, which was still inactive in premarket trade, has rallied 23% over the past 12 months, while the SPDR Health Care Select Sector ETF has gained 8.4% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average has run up 23%.

Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.

Don’t Avert Your Eyes from “Inconvenient” Climate Disaster

Who What Why - Thu, 02/02/2017 - 07:00

To many Americans, Al Gore is an overweight lightweight, a serial exaggerator and bragger of no real consequence. Problematically, those same people also think that talk about Climate Change is so much hot air.

Today, on the tenth anniversary of a pronouncement from the world’s leading climate scientists that global warming is a serious threat to humankind, is “very likely” caused by humans, and will be unstoppable for centuries — I’d like to introduce the skeptics (and the rest of us) to an essential film which, I believe, will disabuse folks on both accounts. It’s called An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power, and is a clever twist on its equally cleverly titled 2006 parent film, An Inconvenient Truth.

That documentary arguably did as much as any single source to wake people up to the reality that humanity is doomed unless we take drastic action.

Now, I understand how some folks can believe that 99% plus of scientists are flat wrong about the onrushing disaster of Climate Change. Or that this disaster is primarily caused by humans. I watched An Inconvenient Sequel at the Sundance Film Festival, in Park City, Utah — a ski resort which, as the festival was getting underway, experienced one of its most abundant snowfalls in recent memory.

At breakfast each day at the lodge where I stayed, I overheard the affluent red-state skiers watching the morning news and grumbling about the Women’s March and other alarms over Trump, and looking forward to their day gliding through mounds of powder. I heard not one of them express any concern or awareness of Climate Change or its deadly corollary, Global Warming.

Because, what warming? It was cold enough to make a whole lot of snow.

That’s where a film like An Inconvenient Sequel comes in. Through a masterful combination of just enough science and statistics, persuasive documentary footage and time-lapse photography, and a well-narrated story of one man doing something on behalf of us all, it makes a case that almost no one can dispute — if they watch it.

Admittedly, it seems a little self-serving that Gore himself is the storyteller and the main character. But why not? It is his story. He, as much as anyone, has led the effort to save the world while there is still time.

And make no mistake: there is very, very little time left. 2016, like the two preceding years, was the hottest year globally on record.

Yet, what this documentary and the work of this man shows is that, as the title reminds us, it’s remarkably easy to deny reality when it is simply “inconvenient.” In ignorance resides a kind of comfort, however short-term.

Perhaps that works with a lot of things — injustice, poverty, isolated environmental desecration — but it doesn’t work when we’re all in the same boat, and that boat is going down fast.

Those who doubt it will have a conversion experience when they hop aboard a helicopter with Gore and travel to Greenland, where in front of our eyes, massive ice boulders crash into new rivers, rapidly diminishing the ice cap and raising sea levels.

Those who doubt it will have their eyes opened when they join Gore in touring the (recurrently) flooded streets of Miami Beach, or listen to the mayor and others talk about their losing battle to save the town. And about their Florida governor, another denier who sits on his hands.

Those who doubt it will feel abashed when they travel with Gore to the Paris Climate Talks, where everyone from countries around the world — who seemingly cannot agree on anything else — all say they get it.

As for Gore himself, there’s no question the film adds to his luster as a politician who went on to infuse his life, and ours, with extraordinary substance. And why not? One is particularly struck by a segment in which Gore seemingly single-handedly saves the Climate accord.

When the Indian prime minister balks at signing the treaty, noting that his country is still plunged in poverty and a substantial minority of its population still has no electricity, Gore jumps into action.

Calling the head of the leading provider of solar energy, the California-based company SolarCity at home and at night, he persuades the hesitant CEO to offer India some sort of inducement in terms of free technology — and India then reverses itself and signs on with all the other countries.

If you can watch this with a dry eye, you have a hard heart.

If none of this is persuasive, the filmmakers still have a card up their sleeves: the mayor of one of the reddest towns in America, a conservative Republican who has decided that, yes, Climate Change is real, and yes, he is going to do something about it. He has put Georgetown, TX, on track to become the first Texas city running on 100% renewable energy.

As he says, “It’s just common sense…The less stuff you put in the air, the better it is.” And, notwithstanding longtime claims that solar and wind will always be more expensive than fossil fuels, Georgetown can already get renewable power cheaper.

And larger towns and cities and states and countries are following suit. Rockport, Missouri, for instance. In 2011, it became the first city in the US to be 100% powered by wind energy. Other cities in that wind-rich region are expected to follow their example. And please go here to see how the use of solar energy is growing, in the sunbelt, as you might expect, and even in not so sunny places. Also please see our story, Can the Koch Brothers Block the sun? An Experiment in Iowa, about a school superintendent who cut his school’s electric bills by 90% by converting to solar power — and how the fossil fuel industry reacted to this inconvenient turn of events.

As An Inconvenient Sequel makes clear, it is almost too late to save ourselves. Almost. Gore says he still has hope, because of the speed at which some are taking action to stem warming from fossil fuels.

Gore himself has been running trainings worldwide for people who return to their countries and organize for climate and renewable-energy action. That, alone, makes him a global hero.

As for the future, it’s touch-and-go. The planet is on life support.

But what Gore, now 68 and a self-described “recovered politician” is doing — what we all must now be doing — is worth the effort. Because….what is the alternative?

Gore notes that while the media covers Climate Change, it has failed to do so in the sustained way that will make a difference fast enough.

At WhoWhatWhy, we agree. We don’t even remember hearing from the media about many of the things mentioned above.

We think about: what if the media covered Climate Change the way they did the battle for the White House? Or the Super Bowl title?

We’re small, and our resources are limited. But we’re getting ready to launch our own effort to sound a still stronger alarm, and produce the kind of reporting breakthroughs that can mobilize the citizenry to the heroic effort required of all.

Will you join us? Write me directly and tell me how you would like to help.

Related front page panorama photo credit: Adapted by WhoWhatWhy from Al Gore (Paramount Pictures / YouTube).

The post Don’t Avert Your Eyes from “Inconvenient” Climate Disaster appeared first on WhoWhatWhy.

Trump threatens Cal-Berkeley with 'no federal funds'

MarketWatch Market Pulse - Thu, 02/02/2017 - 06:43

President Donald Trump has responded on social media early Thursday to violent protests at the University of California, Berkeley. A planned appearance there Wednesday by controversial internet figure Milo Yiannopoulos, an editor with the conservative website Breitbart, was canceled after protests over the scheduled event turned violent on campus. In response, Trump tweeted: "If U.C. Berkeley does not allow free speech and practices violence on innocent people with a different point of view - NO FEDERAL FUNDS?" Protesters took to the streets of Berkeley on Wednesday afternoon and evening local time after police dispersed the crowd at the university. Some protesters broke into several banks and businesses including a Chase location and a Wells Fargo location, according to local news reports.

Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.

Who checks World-Check? It’s high time someone did

MiddleEasteye - Thu, 02/02/2017 - 06:40

The apology issued by World-Check to Finsbury Park Mosque calls into question the lack of regulation of such private screening databases

Cigna reports higher revenue, upbeat outlook on earnings

MarketWatch Market Pulse - Thu, 02/02/2017 - 06:39

Cigna Corp. reported higher revenue on Thursday, boosted by growth in its customer units, and posted an upbeat outlook on earnings for this year. The health-insurance provider reported fourth-quarter adjusted earnings per share of $1.87, unchanged from the year-ago period. That matched expectations of analysts polled by FactSet Research. Revenue rose to $9.94 billion from $9.52 billion in the year-ago period. Cigna said for the full year 2017, it's expecting consolidated adjusted income from operations in the range of $2.35 billion to $2.48 billion, or $9.00 to $9.50 per share. Shares were unchanged in premarket activity.

Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.

‘Anarchists’ in Amona: Hardliners hold out in West Bank settlement outpost

MiddleEasteye - Thu, 02/02/2017 - 05:52
Language Undefined

Police say they're trying to negotiate the departure of between 70 and 150 'anarchists' who have barricaded themselves inside a synagogue

LA judge orders Trump to allow immigrant visa holders into the U.S.: reports

MarketWatch Market Pulse - Thu, 02/02/2017 - 05:49

A federal judge in Los Angeles has ruled that the Donald Trump administration must allow immigrants with visas from seven Muslim-majority countries into the U.S., going against an executive order from the president. In another blow to Trump's travel ban, Judge André Birotte Jr. of United States District Court late Tuesday ordered U.S. officials to refrain from "removing, detaining or blocking the entry of plaintiffs or any other person ... with a valid immigrant visa," according to media reports. Officials at border controls have been blocking people from the seven countries in Trump's immigration ban from entering the U.S., even those with visas that allow them to legally reside in the country. Birotte's ruling follows similar decisions in at least four other states following Trump's executive order issued on Friday. The order enforced travel restrictions on people from Syria, Iraq, Iran, Yemen, Sudan, Somalia and Libya -- predominantly Muslim nations -- for 90 days.

Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.

HRW: Iraqi militias detaining men fleeing Mosul

MiddleEasteye - Thu, 02/02/2017 - 05:40
Language Undefined

Popular Mobilisation Units have been accused of carrying out screenings of men from Mosul without a mandate to do so

Qatar bank lending growth picks up in December

Reuters Us Markets - Thu, 02/02/2017 - 05:00
Feb 2 (Reuters) - Annual bank credit growth in Qatar picked up in December while the M2 money supply measure shrank for an 11th straight month, central bank data showed on Thursday. QATAR...

GLOBAL MARKETS-Non-commital Fed drives down dollar, dampens stocks

Reuters Us Markets - Thu, 02/02/2017 - 04:57
LONDON, Feb 2 (Reuters) - The dollar slipped to a 12-week low on Thursday and stock and bonds markets both showed caution after the U.S. Federal Reserve stuck to its mildly upbeat view of the world...

European shares down on poor earnings, Deutsche Bank suffers

Reuters Us Markets - Thu, 02/02/2017 - 04:56
LONDON, Feb 2 (Reuters) - European equities fell on Thursday, with companies such as Germany's Deutsche Bank and Denmark's Novo Nordisk leading the broader market lower after their results failed to...

Protesters force UC Berkeley to cancel far-right speaker's speech

Top Reuters News - Thu, 02/02/2017 - 04:56
(Reuters) - Hundreds of protesters at the University of California at Berkeley on Wednesday smashed windows, set fires and clashed with police as they forced a right-wing speaker to cancel his appearance at the liberal-leaning institution.

'Dumb deal' drags Australia-U.S. ties to new low after tense Trump call

Top Reuters News - Thu, 02/02/2017 - 04:55
SYDNEY (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump labeled a refugee swap deal with Australia "dumb" on Thursday after a Washington Post report of an acrimonious telephone call with Australia's prime minister threatened a rare rift in ties between the two staunch allies.

UPDATE 1-Brazil's Bradesco makes little change to targets after profit miss

Reuters Us Markets - Thu, 02/02/2017 - 04:53
SAO PAULO, Feb 2 (Reuters) - Banco Bradesco SA has made little change to lending growth and provisions targets for this year from 2016 goals, a sign of prudence as Brazil's No. 3 bank copes with a...