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- Foreign forces raise Gulf 'insecurity': Iran's Rouhani
Iran's President Hassan Rouhani said on Sunday that the presence of foreign forces creates "insecurity" in the Gulf, after the US ordered the deployment of more troops to the region. "Foreign forces can cause problems and insecurity for our people and for our region," Rouhani said in a televised speech at an annual military parade, adding that Iran would present to the UN a regional cooperation plan for peace.
- 'She was drunk:' Bus driver facing DUI charges after child calls 911 to report her
- Area 51 events mostly peaceful; thousands in Nevada desert
Events involving thousands of Earthlings answering an internet buzz about an invitation to "Storm Area 51" in the Nevada desert have been mostly festive, with crowds numbering in the low thousands and few arrests, officials said. Three more people were arrested Friday on the remote once-secret military base, Lincoln County Sheriff Kerry Lee said, bringing to five the tally since Thursday of accused trespassers during "Alienstock" and "Area 51 Basecamp" events and festivals in the tiny desert towns of Rachel and Hiko.
- The Amex Business Platinum perks are so good it makes me want to start my own company
BGR has partnered with The Points Guy for our coverage of credit card products. BGR and The Points Guy may receive a commission from card issuers.Please note: the offers mentioned below are subject to change at any time and some may no longer be available.One of our favorite rewards credit cards for ordinary consumers is The Platinum Card® from American Express, which combines a big up-front welcome offer of 60,000 points (after using the card to spend $5,000 in your first three months) with a ton of luxe perks. The benefits range from an airline fee credit of up to $200 to American Express Concierge travel service, and much more. Business owners, meanwhile, fear not. The Business Platinum® Card from American Express is a companion version of the charge card tailored to the needs of business people, and it not only has a similarly impressive lineup of benefits.You've also got until December 4, 2019, to take advantage of a limited-time, increased welcome bonus of up to 100,000 Membership Rewards points.Who needs this card: If you rack up frequent travel expenses over the course of your business operations, or even if you simply charge thousands of dollars a month in business expenses to a charge card, it's hard to argue the Amex Business Platinum doesn't deserve a spot in your wallet.Why you should sign up for one right now: The current welcome points offer means if you can put $25,000 in charges on this card in your first three months of card ownership (and before December 4), the 100,000 Membership Rewards points bonus can be yours. Yes, that's a big outlay in order to get the welcome reward, but since this is a business card we're talking about that's not an unreasonable amount of expense to put on a charge card.Moreover, based on the most recent monthly valuations from The Points Guy, 100,000 Membership Rewards points are worth $2,000 in travel, which makes this card's bonus an extremely lucrative one and potentially worth the high spending levels. We should also add -- you'll earn the welcome points in two tiers.Spent $10,000 on qualifying purchases in the first 3 months of card membership, and you'll earn 50,000 Membership Rewards points. Once you put another $15,000 on this card (for qualifying purchases) after that initial $10,000 -- and, again, still before the first three months are up -- then you'll earn an additional 50,000 points.If you read our previous post outlining the slew of lucrative benefits available to Amex Platinum cardmembers, you're already familiar with many of the benefits of the Amex Business Platinum. Both cards share perks like: * Up to $200 airline fee credit each year * Access to Centurion Lounges and Delta Sky Clubs (when flying Delta) * Access to other lounges in the American Express Global Lounge Collection * Gold elite status with Hilton Honors and Gold elite status with Marriott Bonvoy * Upgrade with Points to request an airline ticket upgrade on select airlines * 5 points per dollar spent on flights and prepaid hotels (both must be booked through Amex Travel on the Business Platinum)However, here are some of the benefits you get that are exclusive to the business version of the Platinum card: * 10 free Gogo inflight Wi-Fi passes each year * 1.5x points on purchases of $5,000 or more (up to 1 million additional points per year) * A complimentary year of Platinum Global Access with WeWork (enrollment must be done by December 31, 2019) * Up to $200 in annual statement credits for Dell technology purchases, split into a $100 credit for January through June and another $100 credit for July through December The final wordWhile this card does come with a $595 annual fee that can seem hefty at the outset, if you take advantage of the $200 airline fee credit and the annual up to $200 Dell credit, you'll effectively pay a net of only $195 a year for the card. This card proves its worth and then some for any businessperson engaged in regular travel. From lounge access at almost any airport in the world to elite status at Hilton and Marriott hotels, plus helping you get onto the internet while in the air during flights, this card has tons of benefits (not to mention that welcome bonus that's higher than ever) just waiting for you to take advantage of.
- Surprising Facts You Didn't Know About Rhinos
- Biden, Warren Join Striking UAW Pickets Outside GM Plants
(Bloomberg) -- Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren joined striking United Auto Workers members on a picket line on Sunday as they compete for the support of a critical voting bloc in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination.Warren was mobbed as soon as she arrived at General Motors’ Detroit-Hamtramck plant in Michigan, where a strike is entering a second week. Cheers and chants broke out when she joined the picket line while holding a “UAW on strike” sign.She condemned the automaker for making “billions of dollars in profits” even as it closed U.S. plants. “GM is demonstrating that it has no loyalty to the workers of America or to the people of America, their only loyalty is to their own bottom line,” Warren said on Sunday. “If they can save a nickel by moving a job to Mexico or to Asia or to anywhere else on the planet, they will do it.”A strong turnout by organized labor will be key for Democrats as they seek to defeat President Donald Trump in crucial swing states in the rust belt such as Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. These states were supposed to ensure Hillary Clinton’s victory in 2016 but all went for Trump, at least in part thanks to support from some union members, who had traditionally been solidly aligned with the Democrats.Red ShirtBiden joined a group in front of a GM facility in Kansas City, Kansas. Wearing a red UAW shirt, he stood on the back of a pick-up truck and addressed hundreds of striking workers.“There’s been a war on labor’s house for a long, long time,” Biden said. “Corporations bought back over a trillion dollars in their own stock.”The former vice president, who has a long history of support from labor unions during his political career, received a warm welcome from the workers, many of whom stayed to pose for pictures and get autographs after he finished speaking.“This is simply wrong and I know it’s easy for me to stand up here and say keep at it because I’m not making the sacrifice you’re making,” he said. “I’m not in a position where I am out here and I am losing wages and I only have about 250 bucks to get me by. I’m not in that position. But I tell you, the American people, we owe you. We owe you for this effort.”Salary DemandsAbout 46,000 GM workers walked off the job Sept. 15 after their contact expired. The strikers are asking for concessions from the carmaker, including higher salaries, more jobs and a narrower pay gap between new hires and longtime employees.The strike is the first in 12 years and could cost the carmaker about $50 million a day in earnings before interest and taxes, according to an estimate by Credit Suisse. Standard & Poor’s on Friday said GM could lose production of 45,000 vehicles, creating a cash burn of $1 billion, in the first week. The automaker may be able to make up some of that output later.Both candidates scheduled trips to the carmaker’s plants nationwide after striking workers criticized Democratic hopefuls for being absent from the picket lines.“This is the time that we find out who people are,” Warren told UAW workers. “We find out who stands with workers,” she added, after hugging and taking pictures with people on the ground.‘She Cares’“She’s here, that’s all that matters and we got her back,” said Joe Ryan, 59, who has been working at the Detroit-Hamtramck plan for 40 years. “That somebody of that caliber would be interested in coming not only to support us but walk in the picket line, that shows us that she cares about working-class people.”Warren has brought union power to the forefront of her presidential campaign, vowing to bring in a union leader as labor secretary and promising that a union representative would be present at trade negotiations. Prior to joining the picket line, she privately met with UAW members.Before Sunday, only two major Democratic candidates -- Tim Ryan and Amy Klobuchar -- had joined the GM protests. Senator Bernie Sanders will visit Detroit on Wednesday.Ryan, a congressman whose Ohio district was battered by job losses when GM idled its Lordstown plant, has been tweeting from union halls and factories across Ohio and Michigan since Monday. Klobuchar, a Minnesota senator, took coffee and doughnuts to striking workers at the Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plant on Thursday.Meanwhile, negotiations continued into the second week. GM has offered $7 billion of investment in eight U.S. plants and more than 5,400 additional jobs, most of which would be new hires. But the union said GM’s proposal fell short in key areas including health care, use of temporary workers and the length of time it takes for shorter-tenured members to get to top-scale pay.\--With assistance from David Welch.To contact the reporters on this story: Misyrlena Egkolfopoulou in Detroit at firstname.lastname@example.org;Tyler Pager in Kansas City at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Wendy Benjaminson at firstname.lastname@example.org, Max BerleyFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
- Tropical Storm Karen Has the Internet Saying the Storm 'Wants to Speak to a Manager'
- Israel Could Not Survive Hamas' Missiles Without The Iron Dome
- Face transplant recipient's donor face failing
- UPDATE 2-Israel's Arab party support pushes Gantz ahead of Netanyahu
Israel's Arab-dominated Joint List party moved on Sunday to back the centre-left bloc of Benny Gantz, who is challenging Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's right-wing alliance, to form a new government. With final results all but in, neither Gantz nor Netanyahu command a majority in parliament, so the Arab List's decision to end its usual policy of withholding support for any candidate in the wake of elections could nudge President Reuven Rivlin to ask Gantz to form a government. Rivlin, who began consulting with party leaders on Sunday to discuss who should lead the country after no clear victor emerged from Tuesday's election, suggested Gantz and Netanyahu join forces, though it is uncertain who would be the senior partner.
- New York Post blasts Bill de Blasio with 'obituary' for his ended presidential campaign
- World leaders feel the heat in upcoming climate summit
Only those with new, specific and bold plans can command the podium and the ever-warming world's attention, Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said. As if to underscore the seriousness of the problem, the U.N.'s World Meteorological Organization released a science report Sunday showing that in the last several years, warming, sea level rise and carbon pollution have all accelerated. Brazil's, Poland's and Saudi Arabia's proposals for dealing with climate change fell short, so they're not on Monday's summit schedule.
- Rohingya 'bandit' couple killed in Bangladesh gunfight
A Rohingya couple was shot dead during a gunfight in a border town camp hours after they were detained by Bangladesh police, officials said Sunday, the latest killings amid growing tensions between the refugees and authorities. Police in Teknaf town said the refugee couple -- Dil Mohammad, 32, and his 26-year-old wife Jaheda Begum -- were members of a Rohingya "bandit group". Authorities claim the gang killed a local ruling party official, Omar Faruk, in a refugee settlement in southeastern Bangladesh last month.
- Mike Pence takes eight-vehicle motorcade across island where cars have been banned for a century
For more than a century, motorised vehicles have been banned from Mackinac Island in Michigan - giving the former Revolutionary War battle site a unique charm and turning it into a tourist haven.The ban is so strictly enforced that when President Gerald Ford visited in 1975, he and first lady Betty Ford travelled by horse-drawn carriage.
- 105 people injured as a pair of strong earthquakes rattle Albania
Cars were crushed by bricks falling from buildings in Albania's capital Tirana, as the country was struck by a pair of strong earthquakes on Saturday.According to the Ministry of Health, at least 68 people were injured, but some reports say there are as many as 105 people injured. The majority of injuries occurred in Durres and Tirana. There have been no reported deaths.The Saturday afternoon earthquake was followed by more than 100 aftershocks, authorities report. It also damaged about 600 homes and temporarily cut power and water facilities in Tirana and Durres.According to the United State Geological Survey (USGS), the first earthquake struck at 4:04 p.m., on Saturday near Durres, about 18 miles (29 km) to the west of Tirana.A second earthquake struck just 11 minutes later a short distance away. Shake Map of the larger 5.6 earthquake in Albania on Saturday, September 21, courtesy of the USGS. The first and larger earthquake was reported as a magnitude 5.6 on the Richter Scale, which is Albania's strongest earthquake in 30 years. The second was measured to be slightly weaker at 5.1.Buildings were damaged in the town of Durres which is close to the epicenter.> A university building in Tirana pic.twitter.com/J5UVYyrJOh> > -- Fatjona Mejdini (@FatjonaMejdini) September 21, 2019> Durres albania earthquake pic.twitter.com/BWPIWvErk1> > -- Alice Taylor (@The_Balkanista) September 21, 2019
- More Fracking, or More War?
Here is a news lead that begins with a bang and ends with a whimper: “The strike on the heartland of Saudi Arabia’s oil industry, including damage to the world’s biggest petroleum-processing facility, has driven oil prices to their highest level in” — here, Reuters should have used some ellipses of irony — “nearly four months.”Four months!If the United States declines to go to war against Iran on behalf of Saudi Arabia, our increasingly troublesome client state, one of the reasons for that happy development will be: because we do not need to. It is no longer the case that the world sneezes when the Saudis catch a cold. U.S. interests and Saudi interests remain aligned, broadly, but they are severable.The high-tech method of mining shale formations for oil and gas colloquially known as “fracking” — though hydraulic fracturing is only a part of it — has been a game-changer for more than one game. While countries such as Germany set headline-grabbing, politics-driven carbon-reduction targets only to woefully fail to achieve them (it is very difficult to greenwash 170 million tons of brown coal), the United States has been relatively successful on that front, reducing energy-related carbon emissions by 14 percent from 2005 to 2017, thanks to natural gas; put another way, fracking has helped the United States to what climate activists ought to consider one of its greatest environmental victories.When the United States intensified its attention to the Middle East in the wake of the 9/11 attacks, the country was heavily dependent on petroleum imports. Today, the United States is the world’s largest exporter of petroleum — thanks to fracking. The pointy-headed guys in the Washington war rooms spend a lot less time worrying about whether tankers can get through the Strait of Hormuz these days. And that means the United States has a much more free hand — and more realistic options — when dealing with Riyadh, Tehran, or any of the other pits of vipers that pass for national capitals in that part of the world.“No war for oil!” they chanted when George W. Bush’s administration prepared to invade Iraq. It was always a stupid slogan — if we’d wanted to get our hands on that Iraqi oil, we could simply have bought it at a discount rather than pay a horrifying blood premium for it — but now that chant can reasonably be turned back on its authors: If you want less war, then you should want a lot more fracking.And not just here in the United States, even though the people of New York State, for example, would be much better off without Governor Andrew Cuomo’s idiotic and politically driven prohibition on the most effective means of petroleum production. Spain has seen its demand for natural gas climb as worldwide production drives prices down, but, thanks to its own Cuomos, the country remains largely dependent on imports from Algeria and Nigeria — even though it sits on reserves that by some estimates are equal to the better part of a century’s consumption. The United Kingdom may be able to extricate itself from the European Union, but if nothing changes, it will remain vulnerable to the same Russian energy pressure as much of Europe. In much the same way that increased petroleum production has given the United States a stronger position vis-à-vis the Middle East, more British and European production means more British and European options.Set aside the fantasy of “energy independence.” World energy markets are heavily integrated, and it probably is never going to be the case that what happens in Saudi Arabia or Russia or Iran has no effect on U.S., British, or European prices and supplies. And even if that happy state comes to be someday, it is not the case now and will not be the case in the near future: The spare capacity that allows the world petroleum markets to function smoothly provides, at the moment, a margin that is insufficient to cover the production that could realistically be taken offline by a broader Iranian attack on Saudi energy infrastructure. U.S. refineries remain disproportionately optimized for the relatively high-sulfur oil we’ve long imported rather than for the “light sweet” crude we produce. Our own energy infrastructure, and that of the rest of the world, remains far too vulnerable to terrorism and conventional military attack. There is much work to be done.It all begins with supply. The more supply there is, the more incentive to build out and improve the infrastructure, the more liquid the market, the less fragile the system. There is no substitute for abundance — and a wide choice of providers. Every barrel of oil and cubic foot of natural gas produced outside of the Middle East and Russia makes the United States and its allies better off.Beady-eyed realpolitik used to mean deferring to the world’s big oil producers when it came to our relations in the Middle East. Now it means being the world’s big oil producer and — once they decide they’ve grown tired of unnecessarily taking on risk while giving up wealth, income, and jobs — helping our British and European allies become bigger players, too. Fracking involves some real environmental challenges — American producers and regulators have developed great skill at dealing with them. The environmental challenges of fracking are manageable. The Saudis and the Iranians are manageable, too, but at a radically higher cost in blood and resources.Politics is about tradeoffs. We owe it to ourselves to take the smart one.
- U.S. Navy and Marine Corps Want Small Ships to Land Troops in a War
The U.S. Navy and Marine Corps are considering acquiring small transport ships in order to complement existing large amphibious vessels and give the fleet more ways of landing troops during a major war.
- Enter the Arena, Democrats. Teddy Roosevelt Was Right.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- In April 1910, former president Theodore Roosevelt spoke before a large audience in Paris. “The poorest way to face life,” he said, “is with a sneer.”These days, too many Democrats are sneering — not only at President Donald Trump, but also at one another. From the left, many progressives are describing former Vice President Joe Biden as out of touch, old, too conservative, maybe even a bit racist. From the center, many Democrats are describing Senator Elizabeth Warren as unelectable, unlikable, unrealistic, disconnected from the values and beliefs of ordinary Americans.That’s a shame for many reasons, but one in particular is that it threatens to put Democrats in a position akin to that of Trump-era Republicans. A recurring question, mostly faced by Republicans in the age of Trump, is whether to work for a party nominee or an elected official with whom they have intense disagreements. Over the last two years, many Republicans have declined to join the Trump administration, others have been criticized for doing so, and some have been, and now are, torn about whether to resign. No Democrat is saying “Never Biden” or “Never Warren,” at least not yet. But many have said contemptuous things about Biden, Warren and other contenders for the Democratic presidential nomination that could signal reluctance to serve in the wrong kind of Democratic administration.Roosevelt had the best response to that impulse on that April day in Paris, and lurid though his language may have been, the sentiment remains as fresh as ever:It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.Roosevelt was deploring “a cynical habit of thought and speech, a readiness to criticize work which the critic himself never tries to perform.” Speaking before an audience at the Sorbonne, one of the world’s great universities, Roosevelt singled out for opprobrium “the man of learning, the man of lettered leisure.” Those of learning and leisure might be tenured professors in Paris or New Haven, or writers for prestigious magazines in London or New York.Roosevelt was making a plea for stronger forms of commitment and engagement. As he knew, those who struggle to do the deeds often know incalculably more than those who do not, because of that very struggle. As he also knew, people who sneer often have no idea what they are talking about, even when they speak or write with elegance and panache.Those who accept Roosevelt’s plea can of course have diverse views about particular politicians and about whether it is appropriate to support or work for them. But it is reasonable to take his argument to support a kind of rebuttable but firm presumption: If you can, enter the arena. Don’t sneer.With respect to today’s Democrats, the implication is straightforward. Suppose, for example, that you are on the left and that you are unenthusiastic, or worse, about Biden. If he is the Democratic nominee, you should support him and work on his behalf. And if he is elected, and if you are lucky enough to have a chance to work in some capacity for his administration, you should be inclined to say yes. The point holds for public service more generally.I was fortunate enough to spend nearly four years in President Barack Obama’s administration (and to have had part-time positions for most of remaining four). I learned that if you are in the arena, you can achieve far more in a good month than you can in a decade outside it.You will certainly get frustrated; your face will be “marred by dust and sweat.” Things won’t always go your way. Many days aren’t a lot of fun. Still, you should be inclined to say yes. You should do that even if you anticipate that you will disagree, on important occasions, with your boss.Let’s give Roosevelt the last word:“It is war-worn Hotspur, spent with hard fighting, he of the many errors and the valiant end, over whose memory we love to linger, not over the memory of the young lord who ‘but for the vile guns would have been a soldier.’”To contact the author of this story: Cass R. Sunstein at email@example.comTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Jonathan Landman at firstname.lastname@example.orgThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Cass R. Sunstein is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist. He is the author of “The Cost-Benefit Revolution” and a co-author of “Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth and Happiness.”For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
- Stealth bomber for Area 51 crowd? US military unit apologizes for tweet
A U.S. military unit apologized on Saturday and deleted a tweet that used the specter of a stealth bomber being deployed against any young people who tried to break into the Area 51 base in Nevada. The tweet, posted on Friday on the Twitter account of the Defense Visual Information Distribution Service (DVIDS), took aim at UFO fans and curiosity seekers who poured into the Nevada desert this week, after an online campaign to "storm" the U.S. military base long rumored to house government secrets about extraterrestrial life and spaceships.
- Cory Booker campaign warns he 'might not be in this race for much longer' without fundraising surge
- Youth leaders at UN demand bold climate change action
Fresh off the climate strike that took hundreds of thousands of young people out of classrooms and into the streets globally, youth leaders gathered at the United Nations Saturday to demand radical moves to fight climate change. "We showed that we are united and that we, young people, are unstoppable," Swedish 16-year-old activist Greta Thunberg, who started the climate strike movement with her lone protest in front of her country's parliament about a year and a half ago. More than 700 mostly young activists attended the first of its kind Youth Climate Summit, according to Luis Alfonso de Alba, the U.N. special climate summit envoy.
- Israel cuts power in parts of West Bank over debts
Israel's national electricity company said Sunday it was cutting power to parts of the occupied West Bank due to outstanding payments amounting to nearly $483 million. The Israel Electric Corporation said it was owed 1.7 billion shekels in debts from the main Palestinian power distributor for the West Bank, which is based in east Jerusalem. From Monday, the company "will reduce the current in some areas of the West Bank" because of the debts, it said in a statement.
- White supremacist who praised ‘psychedelic Nazis’ caught with stockpile of guns and LSD
In a secret chat last November, according to court filings, two associates of a violent white supremacist group discussed whether drug use was in line with their political beliefs.“Psychedelic Nazis . . . There’s nothing more Aryan than entheogenic drug use,” Andrew Thomasberg, 21, texted a friend, according to prosecutors, referencing plants that have psychedelic effects. But, he added, “Drug addiction is untermensch” – a Nazi term for people considered subhuman.
- Emmys 2019: Kim Kardashian, Kendall Jenner laughed at for calling themselves 'real people' onstage: 'Savage'
- Chinese journalists will have to pass a government test on Marxism and President Xi Jinping to be granted press passes
- Don't Forget France Has Quite A Few Nuclear Weapons
- Woman convicted in texting suicide case denied parole
- U.S. Senator Graham says he is trying to get Turkey back in F-35 fold
"We're trying to get them back in the F-35 program," Graham, a close ally of U.S. President Donald Trump, said in New York, according to a video posted on Twitter and reports in Turkish media. Ankara and Washington have clashed over Turkey's purchase of Russian S-400 missile defenses, which the United States says are not compatible with NATO defenses and pose a threat to Lockheed Martin Corp's F-35 stealth jets.
- Iconic Iowa steak fry draws historic crowd of 12,000 attendees, 17 presidential candidates
- Typhoon heads to northeast Japan after some damage in south
A powerful typhoon was heading northeast to Japan's main island of Honshu on Sunday after lashing parts of the country's southern islands with heavy rains and winds that caused flooding and some minor injuries. Typhoon Tapah was passing near Nagasaki in southern Japan on Sunday afternoon after hitting other parts of southern Japan, including Okinawa, the two previous days. Japan's Meteorological Agency said the storm was moving northeast at a speed of 30 kilometers per hour (19 mph), with maximum winds of 162 kph (100 mph).
- Suspected drones disrupt Dubai flights
Flights at Dubai's international airport, one of the world's busiest, were briefly disrupted Sunday due to "suspected drone activity," officials said. Two arriving flights had to be diverted, it said, while media reports said the planes had landed at a smaller airport in the neighbouring emirate of Sharjah. "Dubai Airports can confirm that flight arrivals were briefly disrupted at Dubai International from 12:36 (0836 GMT) to 12:51 (0851 GMT) UAE local time this afternoon due to suspected drone activity," a spokesperson said in a statement Sunday.
- GM strike exposes anti-worker flaws in US labor laws. Companies have the upper hand.
- GLOBAL MARKETS-U.S. stock futures gain on better trade tone, oil climbs
Wall Street stock futures edged up in early trade on Monday, setting an upbeat tone for Asian markets on hopes of an interim Sino-U.S. tariff deal after the U.S. Trade Representative characterised their two days of talks as "productive". The E-mini futures for U.S. S&P 500 climbed 0.5% in while Chicago-traded Nikkei futures suggest Japan's Nikkei is on course to rise 0.4%. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan , up 3.4% so far this month, is likely to hold a firm tone on Monday.
- Delta has an incredible fare sale through Wednesday with flights as low as $97
Regular travelers probably don't associate the idea of sales and low-fares with a carrier like Delta Airlines, which are more in the wheelhouse of a low-cost brand like Southwest that offers up flash fare sales on the regular.Nevertheless, that's exactly what Delta has going at the moment \-- a fare sale with deals that start as low as only $97, though they come with a few important catches.One is that you've only got until September 25, to lock one of these fares in. Just as important to know: These are Delta basic economy fares, a classification that leaves several things to chance. You'll be assigned a seat at check-in, for example, and you'll be stuck in the last boarding group and thus will probably have to gate-check your luggage.If you can be fine with those limitations, though, there are some great deals to be had. In most cases, they're fares that are meant for travel happening sometime between October and February 2020, and the deals include a $97 round-trip offer in basic economy between Atlanta and Nashville; a $99 round-trip offer between Los Angeles and San Diego; a $117 offer between Austin and Cincinnatti; and a $127 offer between Seattle and San Jose.The full list of routes and discounted fares offered can be found on Delta's sale website. Of course, just because a fare that's discounted here looks pretty low doesn't mean you won't find a comparable offer elsewhere -- one that may also have some of the perks like earlier boarding that you're denied through this Delta sale. Speaking of those basic economy limitations here, savvy travelers should be able to easily get around them using certain co-branded credit cards that offer perks like early boarding, luggage benefits and the like.If you decide these deals are worth it, though, remember -- you've only got a few more days to decide, as the fare sale is only good through Wednesday.
- India Has Reason To Fear China's Submarines In The Indian Ocean
- Iran issues 'battlefield' warning and U.S. deploys troops
Any country that attacks Iran will become the "main battlefield", the Revolutionary Guards warned Saturday after Washington ordered reinforcements to the Gulf following attacks on Saudi oil that it blames on Tehran.
- Ethiopia says detains suspected Islamist militants planning attacks
Ethiopia said on Saturday it had arrested an unspecified number of Islamist militant members of the Somali group al Shabaab and Islamic State who were planning to carry out attacks in the country on various targets including hotels. Some of those arrested were carrying out intelligence work including photographing potential targets, the National Intelligence Security Services (NISS) said in a statement read out on state-affiliated broadcaster Fana. "The group was ... preparing to attack hotels, religious festivities gathering places and public areas in Addis Ababa," NISS said.
- How Trump could lose the popular vote again – and hold the White House
Hillary Clinton won a majority but lost the presidency in the electoral college. A close election could bring a repeatDonald Trump waves to supporters as he arrives for a campaign rally in Rio Rancho, New Mexico. Photograph: Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty ImagesSome defeats never lose their sting. In Washington this week, Hillary Clinton summed up her bid for the White House in 2016.“You can run the best campaign. You can have the best plans. You can get the nomination. You can win the popular vote. And you can lose the electoral college and therefore the election.”Clinton beat Donald Trump in the popular vote by nearly 3 million ballots yet lost the electoral college – the body of people who represent states and actually get to choose the president – by 304 votes to 227. A black swan event never to be repeated? No. In 2020, it could easily happen again.A study from the University of Texas at Austin found that the electoral college is much more likely than previously thought to elect the candidate who loses the popular vote. In close elections, researchers argues, such “inversions” are normal, not exceptional.In a race decided by less than 2% (2.6m votes), the study found, the probability of an inversion is 32%. In a race decided by less than 1% (1.3m votes), the probability is 45%.“It’s almost a coin flip,” said Michael Geruso, an assistant economics professor.Some critics of Trump have never quite accepted him as the legitimate president, pointing out that he does not represent the will of the majority. After his uniquely divisive first term, a repeat could trigger a furious backlash.> The Republicans do a really determined job of winning power with fewer voters> > Senator Sheldon WhitehouseIn 48 presidential elections since 1824 there have been four inversions: in 1876, 1888, 2000 and 2016. All four favoured Republicans, although the researchers argue there have been periods when it was more likely a Democrat would win by inversion.“We wanted to understand, were these statistically likely events or were they flukes?” Geruso said. “And in some sense it was just shocking to us that no one had asked and answered that question yet.”Geruso and his colleagues found that all the most common election models used by political scientists led to a very similar result for the probability of inversion.“There’s lots of questions where different models would give different answers but, on the question of how likely is an electoral inversion in a close race, we don’t need to agree or decide on what the perfect model of elections is. They all give the same answer.”Clinton ran up huge margins in states such as California, Illinois and New York. Agonisingly, her loss of Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin by a combined 77,000 votes cost her the electoral college.Some analysts doubt Trump could get so lucky again. But Geruso said he has a decent chance of catching lightning in a bottle once more.“It’s really easy to look at the 2016 election and for people to feel like that was an extraordinary election, an extraordinary political moment, it was unusual in a lot of ways. And that may all be true but it turns out that’s not why the 2016 election ended in a mismatch between the electoral college and national popular vote. It ended in an inversion because that election was close and close elections, we show, just have a relatively high probability of ending in an inversion.”It is less about Trump’s appeal to certain constituencies than simple geography and maths.“Don’t be tempted into thinking that the reason that 2020 might be an inversion is because Donald Trump is running in that race. Inversions are going to keep happening in close races for as long as we have the electoral college because they have been happening.”According to Geruso, two major reasons are often cited for inversions. When Clinton won New York and California she did so by big margins, but when she lost states such as Florida or Ohio she did so narrowly. Thus there was an imbalance in the aggregate vote tallies.Secondly, since a state’s number of electoral college votes is determined by how many senators and representatives it has, and every state has two senators, small states have greater representation in the college relative to population size. Each senator in California represents nearly 20 million people. Each senator in Wyoming represents 290,000. The current alignment favours Republicans, although there are exceptions such as the District of Columbia.The researchers found a 77% probability that, if an inversion occurs, it will be a Democratic popular vote majority and a Republican electoral college win. ‘Second-grade soccer’Several Democratic candidates for president, including Senator Elizabeth Warren and Mayor Pete Buttigieg, have called for the college to be abolished. The party, however, is wrestling with how to exploit it as ruthlessly as Republicans do.Senator Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island, appearing on Real Time with Bill Maher, said: “The Republicans do a really determined job of winning power with fewer voters and we don’t take on that infrastructure and we don’t take on that strategy. We’re too happy fighting the fight of the minute. It’s second-grade soccer, chasing the ball, and they are planning ahead.”> The electoral college actually undermines democracy> > LaTosha BrownSome observers fear the electoral college encourages voter suppression. Republican efforts to use voter ID laws to limit registration in Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin will be closely scrutinised.Stanley Greenberg, a Democratic pollster and strategist and author of new book RIP GOP, said: “If there is a close national election, Republicans will resort to things they have done demonstrably well over the last decade of trying to suppress the vote.“There’s no doubt that the Wisconsin case in 2016 was produced not by low turnout among African Americans but pushing them off the voter rolls with new voter ID laws, and so there was a sharp drop in eligible voters and people were prevented legally from voting. So obviously the most important thing is to make sure we did not have a close election.”While southern states such as Mississippi, Louisiana and Georgia have the highest proportions of African Americans in the country, those who vote for the Democrat are effectively ignored by the electoral college.Hillary Clinton delivers her concession speech, in the New Yorker hotel. Photograph: REX/ShutterstockLaTosha Brown, co-founder of Black Voters Matter, said: “They never have any influence on picking the president because of winner takes all. It gives the impression everyone in the south is conservative.“In these states it’s based on a systemic history of racism. What I’m seeing is people of colour don’t fundamentally believe they’re living in a democracy. Why don’t you have proportional representation? What possible justification is there for winner takes all? The electoral college actually undermines democracy.”Few expect Trump to win the popular vote. But in a chilling warning for Democrats, the New York Times suggested he could win the electoral college again, because mostly white working class rust belt states remain at the centre of the electoral map.“A strategy rooted in racial polarization could at once energize parts of the president’s base and rebuild support among wavering white working-class voters,” Nate Cohn wrote. “Many of these voters backed Mr Trump in the first place in part because of his views on hot-button issues, including on immigration and race.”Bill Whalen, a research fellow at the Hoover Institution think tank at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California, noted that George W Bush lost the popular vote in 2000 but won it in 2004 after improving in Texas and post-9/11 New York.For Trump, he said, “it’s a tight squeeze. There’s not much margin for error. But he could do it again, like he did in 2016, without the popular vote.“So expect Trump derangement syndrome to get even worse.”
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