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Today β€” October 19th 2019Your RSS feeds

White House Adviser Peter Navarro Calls Fictional Alter Ego An 'Inside Joke'

By Scott Horsley
Peter Navarro, White House director of trade and manufacturing policy, has admitted quoting a fictional character in several of his nonfiction books.

Peter Navarro, a key architect of President Trump's trade policy, made up one of the people the adviser repeatedly quotes in his nonfiction books. Navarro's publisher is not amused.

(Image credit: Win McNamee/Getty Images)

  • October 18th 2019 at 23:54

White House Adviser Peter Navarro Calls Fictional Alter Ego An 'Inside Joke'

By Scott Horsley
Peter Navarro, White House director of trade and manufacturing policy, has admitted quoting a fictional character in several of his nonfiction books.

Peter Navarro, a key architect of President Trump's trade policy, made up one of the people the adviser repeatedly quotes in his nonfiction books. Navarro's publisher is not amused.

(Image credit: Win McNamee/Getty Images)

  • October 18th 2019 at 23:54

Trump Taps Dan Brouillette to Succeed Rick Perry as Energy Secretary

By Mariel Padilla

Mr. Brouillette, the deputy secretary of energy, will be nominated to take over from Mr. Perry, who said he would resign amid scrutiny over his role in the Ukraine scandal.

Trump Taps Dan Brouillette to Succeed Rick Perry as Energy Secretary

By Mariel Padilla

Mr. Brouillette, the deputy secretary of energy, will be nominated to take over from Mr. Perry, who said he would resign amid scrutiny over his role in the Ukraine scandal.

White House Adviser Peter Navarro Calls Fictional Alter Ego An 'Inside Joke'

By Scott Horsley
Peter Navarro, White House director of trade and manufacturing policy, has admitted quoting a fictional character in several of his nonfiction books.

Peter Navarro, a key architect of President Trump's trade policy, made up one of the people the adviser repeatedly quotes in his nonfiction books. Navarro's publisher is not amused.

(Image credit: Win McNamee/Getty Images)

  • October 18th 2019 at 23:54

W.H.O. Continues Emergency Status for Ebola Outbreak in Congo

By Donald G. McNeil Jr.

New cases are down to 15 a week from a high of 128 in April, but outbreaks are still popping up in remote and dangerous mining areas.

W.H.O. Continues Emergency Status for Ebola Outbreak in Congo

By Donald G. McNeil Jr.

New cases are down to 15 a week from a high of 128 in April, but outbreaks are still popping up in remote and dangerous mining areas.

New Energy Secretary Fits Trend: Cabinet Dominated by Lobbyists

By Lisa Friedman

President Trump said he would “drain the swamp,” but with the elevation of a former auto lobbyist to be energy secretary, he is sticking to the trend of filling his cabinet with Washington insiders.

Impeachment’s hectic fourth week ends. Here’s what to look for next week.

Impeachment’s hectic fourth week ends. Here’s what to look for next week.The fourth week of the Democrats’ impeachment inquiry in Congress was the busiest so far, with five different depositions, a fractious meeting of Republicans and Democrats at the White House, and a shocking press conference by President Trump’s chief of staff.


  • October 18th 2019 at 23:45

Impeachment’s hectic fourth week ends. Here’s what to look for next week.

Impeachment’s hectic fourth week ends. Here’s what to look for next week.The fourth week of the Democrats’ impeachment inquiry in Congress was the busiest so far, with five different depositions, a fractious meeting of Republicans and Democrats at the White House, and a shocking press conference by President Trump’s chief of staff.


  • October 18th 2019 at 23:45

Report: Diocese of Lansing mishandled 1990 sexual abuse case

Report: Diocese of Lansing mishandled 1990 sexual abuse caseThe Roman Catholic Diocese of Lansing says an independent investigator determined that the diocese failed to investigate allegations that a priest had sexually assaulted a man at a boxing training camp decades ago. The diocese on Thursday released the findings of an independent investigation conducted by a law firm it hired to look into the matter. The investigators say the man sent the Rev. Pat Egan a letter in 1990 saying Egan had sexually assaulted him the previous year, when the accuser was about 25 years old.


  • October 18th 2019 at 23:41

Analysts HaveΒ a Few Problems With Trump β€˜Chaos Trades’ Article

Analysts Have a Few Problems With Trump ‘Chaos Trades’ Article(Bloomberg) -- While the idea Donald Trump’s White House might have leaked market-moving news isn’t crazy, a new magazine story suggesting traders made billions of dollars front-running geopolitical events failed to pass the smell test among Wall Street professionals.Analysts and investors who spoke to Bloomberg News were mostly skeptical of a Vanity Fair article titled “The Fantastically Profitable Mystery of the Trump Chaos Trades” that raises the possibility traders did more than get lucky buying S&P 500 futures right before big market swings. While nothing is impossible, experts who examined the story said any implication that people traded on inside information fell short of being proven.“I don’t see where the dots are connected,” said Michael O’Rourke, JonesTrading’s chief market strategist. “Unless you have the trading records, which you don’t, you can’t tie one and one together to make two the way this story is laid out.”The story’s author, William D. Cohan, said “of course I’m standing by my reports,” which reflected the accounts of sources in Chicago trading pits. The one-time Bloomberg Opinion columnist said he was alerted to trading patterns that caught the attention of professionals with decades of experience, and that alternate explanations could exist.“I don’t make any allegations, I don’t know what really happened. I was just being reportorial about what traders in the pit were seeing,” he said. “Do I trust my sources? Absolutely. Are they vastly experienced? Absolutely. Does everybody see things differently? Probably. What I’m saying is ‘Hey, there are regulators whose job it is to see these things and investigate them.’”The article describes five big trades in S&P 500 e-mini futures from June 28 to Sept. 13, ranging from 55,000 to 420,000 contracts. It said each position was taken shortly before market-moving news -- three times involving the U.S.-China trade war, once the bombing of Saudi oil fields and once Hong Kong politics. Thanks to market reactions, the magazine said, people involved in the transactions could’ve booked gains of $82.5 million on the smallest to $1.8 billion on the biggest.But attributing sinister intent to a handful of trades that quickly became money-makers ignores how common such large trades are in the futures market, said industry pros. Given how often people move tens of thousands of futures contracts at once -- and how often people like President Donald Trump send stocks reeling -- someone looking for suspicious timing is guaranteed to find it.“Typically these stories focus on the times you’re right. No one writes about people buying a couple hundred million of e-minis and the market doesn’t do anything,” said Max Gokhman, the head of asset allocation for Pacific Life Fund Advisors. “Volume spikes happen all the time.”Anita Liskey, a spokeswoman for CME Group Inc., the exchange where S&P 500 futures trade, declined to comment. The Vanity Fair article cited a spokeswoman for the CME saying the trades in question didn’t originate from a single source and they were of no concern.One trading expert, the chief executive officer of a major quantitative shop who asked not to be identified, said an analysis by his firm suggests no giant trades like the ones the article described appear to have happened. The story says that in the last 10 minutes of trading on Aug. 23, someone bought 386,000 of the September S&P 500 contracts. That number is close to the total volume for September e-minis from 3:50 p.m. to 4 p.m. New York time, spread over thousands of trades -- unlikely to be the work of a single person.Moreover, CME rules prohibit anyone from owning more than 60,000 e-minis at a time. And such a trade would’ve been gargantuan: worth nearly $60 billion. That’s big enough to send the stock market sharply higher and probably trigger trading halts, according to the CEO. That didn’t happen.The Vanity Fair story described Chicago pit traders concerned that people got inside information on “Trump or Beijing’s latest thinking” before taking the positions. Others saw coincidence. In a world where the president sends markets up and down multiple times a day, they said, it’s possible to depict virtually all trading as a reaction to something he does.“Every time stocks move after some crazy Donald Trump news -- which, again, is every time stocks move -- half the people who traded futures ahead of the move will look smart (and the other half will look dumb), and you can, if you want, build a conspiracy theory out of that,” Bloomberg Opinion columnist Matt Levine wrote Thursday.Prompted by the Vanity Fair article, Democratic Representatives Ted Lieu and Kathleen Rice called for a federal investigation into the timing around sales of e-mini futures contracts before significant geopolitical events or statements from Trump.“Millions of futures contracts trade a day, billions of dollars trade a day, so to make a connection, I feel like it’s very hard to do,” said JonesTrading’s O’Rourke. “To me the article just speaks more about the national sentiment about the office of the president.”(Adds U.S. House members calling for an investigation. An earlier version of this story was corrected to remove erroneous volume data.)To contact the reporters on this story: Sarah Ponczek in New York at sponczek2@bloomberg.net;Nick Baker in Chicago at nbaker7@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Chris Nagi at chrisnagi@bloomberg.net;Jeremy Herron at jherron8@bloomberg.netFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.


  • October 18th 2019 at 23:38

A day in Elton John's life: Buy Rolls, write hit song, dine with Ringo

A day in Elton John's life: Buy Rolls, write hit song, dine with RingoWhen Elton John was working on his new autobiography, the legendary singer, songwriter and performer pulled out diaries he had been encouraged to write during a stint in rehab. One entry read like this: "Got up, tidied the house, bought a Rolls Royce, had dinner, wrote 'Candle in the Wind,' had dinner with Ringo Starr," the musician said. The diary entries helped jog John's memories from his 50-year career filled with hit records, Grammy awards and royal friendships but also addiction and a suicide attempt two days before a show at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles.


  • October 18th 2019 at 23:37

Trump taps Perry deputy to replace him at Energy Department

Trump taps Perry deputy to replace him at Energy DepartmentPresident Donald Trump on Friday selected Dan Brouillette, deputy to departing Energy Secretary Rick Perry, to lead the Energy Department, calling him a "total professional" with unparalleled experience. Trump acted quickly, just a day after Perry told the president that he would leave by year's end. Perry said his decision was not related to his role in administration actions on Ukraine that are now the focus of a House impeachment inquiry.


  • October 18th 2019 at 23:36

Early life stress tied to increased pain sensitivity later

Early life stress tied to increased pain sensitivity laterResearchers focused on stressful life events that might occur in children’s households during pregnancy or early childhood such as pregnancy complications, the death of a close friend or family member, marital problems or breakups, job loss or other financial hardships, or residential moves. Then, researchers tested pain sensitivity for 1,065 participants when they reached 22 years old. “Significant life stress is known to result in changes to the body’s biological systems partially by modifying gene expression,” said Rob Waller, lead author of the study and a researcher at Curtin University in Perth, Australia.


  • October 18th 2019 at 23:35

Charges: Cemetery killer booby-trapped home to target police

Charges: Cemetery killer booby-trapped home to target policeHenry West, of Schofield, appeared Friday in court, where his cash bond was set at $10 million. West, 64, is charged with one count of first-degree intentional homicide, 11 counts of attempted first-degree intentional homicide, one count of arson, three counts of attempted arson and resisting or obstructing an officer, the Wausau Daily Herald reported. Authorities say he opened fire Oct. 3 at Pine Grove Cemetery in Wausau.


  • October 18th 2019 at 23:34

Ken Fisher ClientΒ Pulls $30 Million in Backlash

Ken Fisher Client Pulls $30 Million in Backlash(Bloomberg) -- The Iowa Public Employees’ Retirement System is yanking the $386 million it has invested with Ken Fisher after the billionaire made vulgar comments at an industry conference.The move brings the total amount divested from Fisher Investments to more than $1.3 billion. Air Products & Chemical Inc. said earlier Friday that it was pulling $30 million from Fisher.“It is our opinion that Mr. Fisher’s comments have damaged the credibility of the firm and its leadership,” the Iowa pension said in a statement. “As a result, the risk to IPERS is that the firm could lose investment talent, and/or it may be unable to recruit high caliber talent in the future.”Fisher Investments is seeing a growing backlash since the firm’s founder made offensive comments about women, spoke of genitalia and then failed to immediately understand the gravity of his words. The Camas, Washington-based firm, which manages $112 billion, is also facing scrutiny from several other pensions which are examining their business with Fisher.The Boston Pension Board on Oct. 16 yanked the $248 million it invested with Fisher after the Michigan Retirement Fund ended its relationship with the firm, which managed $600 million for the state. The Philadelphia Board of Pensions also plans to divest $54 million in assets from Fisher.Air Products, founded in 1940, provides industrial gases and related equipment to many industries. The company in Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania, is the world’s leading supplier of liquefied natural gas process technology and equipment.Fisher Investments was managing about $10.9 billion on behalf of 36 state or municipal government entities, including pension plans, at the end of 2018, according to the firm’s Securities and Exchange Commission registration. That figure is down from $13.2 billion at the end of 2017.At the Tiburon CEO Summit on Oct. 8, Fisher compared the process of gaining a client’s trust to “trying to get into a girl’s pants” and talked about genitalia. Fisher has apologized for the comments.Here are the reactions from pensions and firms.Sources: Bloomberg, filing. *Fisher is 1 of 11 subadvisers\--With assistance from Miles Weiss, John Gittelsohn, Sridhar Natarajan and Annie Massa.To contact the reporter on this story: Janet Lorin in New York at jlorin@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Alan Mirabella at amirabella@bloomberg.net, Vincent BielskiFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.


  • October 18th 2019 at 23:34

Mitch McConnell Calls Syria Withdrawal β€˜Grave Strategic Mistake’

Mitch McConnell Calls Syria Withdrawal ‘Grave Strategic Mistake’Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) lambasted the Trump administration’s decision to withdraw Troops from Syria on Friday, declaring that “America’s wars will be ‘endless’ only if America refuses to win them.”In an op-ed published in the Washington Post, McConnell — who said on Thursday that he wanted “a strong, forward-looking strategic statement” — called Trump’s withdrawal “a grave strategic mistake” that mirrors “the Obama administration’s reckless withdrawal from Iraq, which facilitated the rise of the Islamic State in the first place.”In his op-ed, McConnell laid out “three principal lessons” he has learned from the fight against Islamic terrorism in the years following 9/11: “the threat is real,” “there is no substitute for American leadership,” and “we are not in this fight alone.” Despite the recent brokering of a ceasefire between Turkey and the Kurds by a White House delegation, McConnell said the pullback was a “strategic nightmare.”“Even if the five-day cease-fire announced Thursday holds, events of the past week have set back the United States’ campaign against the Islamic State and other terrorists," he wrote "Unless halted, our retreat will invite the brutal Assad regime in Syria and its Iranian backers to expand their influence. And we are ignoring Russia’s efforts to leverage its increasingly dominant position in Syria to amass power and influence throughout the Middle East and beyond.”McConnell also pushed back on Trump’s defense that “the endless wars must end,” a line the president has adopted in recent days after criticism of the decision.> I am the only person who can fight for the safety of our troops & bring them home from the ridiculous & costly Endless Wars, and be scorned. Democrats always liked that position, until I took it. Democrats always liked Walls, until I built them. Do you see what’s happening here?> > -- Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 17, 2019“As neo-isolationism rears its head on both the left and the right, we can expect to hear more talk of ‘endless wars.’ But rhetoric cannot change the fact that wars do not just end; wars are won or lost,” McConnell argued, and concluded by calling for a re-commitment to “our Afghan partners as they do the heavy lifting to defend their country and their freedoms from al-Qaeda and the Taliban."McConnell has long been a critic of Trump’s motivations to withdraw troops from Syria. “While it is tempting to retreat to the comfort and security of our own shores, there is still a great deal of work to be done. We’re not the world’s policemen, but we are the leaders of the free world,” he said in January after the initial news of Trump’s planned pullback.


  • October 18th 2019 at 23:31

Brexit Decision Day Looms as U.K Lawmakers Weigh Vote on Deal

Brexit Decision Day Looms as U.K Lawmakers Weigh Vote on Deal(Bloomberg) -- Boris Johnson will put his Brexit deal to Parliament to accept or reject Saturday, knowing that his political future and that of the country he leads are on the line in the knife-edge vote.The U.K.’s 650 members of Parliament will convene in Westminster for only the fourth Saturday sitting since World War II to decide whether to endorse the Brexit agreement Johnson struck Thursday with the European Union.Will Johnson Win? We’re Counting the VotesIf the British prime minister wins the critical vote, the country will be on course to leave the EU at the end of the month in an orderly break-up. A status-quo transition period lasting until the end of 2020 will give businesses and citizens time to plan for life outside the EU.But if Johnson loses, the U.K. will be hurled into an unprecedented political and constitutional crisis, with a potentially severe impact on trade, hitting supplies of food and fuel, and sparking civil disorder.Johnson has vowed he will seek to force the U.K. out of the EU on Oct. 31 even if MPs reject his divorce accord Saturday -- without an agreement to soften the impact on the economy and society.Parliament Votes on Boris Johnson’s Brexit Deal: Your GuideHis opponents in Parliament are aiming to stop him by using a new law under which he is required to write to the EU by the end of the day Saturday seeking to secure an extension to the Brexit deadline, if he hasn’t won MPs’ backing for his deal, or for a no-deal split.Johnson says he will keep fighting to exit the EU on time, whatever the cost. The clash could end up with legal challenges against the government within days, potentially concluding in the U.K. Supreme Court.An emergency 11th hour summit in Brussels, a general election, another attempt to pass a vote in Parliament, and even another referendum could all follow.Without a majority in the Commons, and having alienated his Northern Irish allies, who prop up his government, Johnson faces a struggle to secure the votes he needs to prevail.He spent Friday trying to woo skeptical MPs in his own party as well as opposition Labour politicians who represent pro-Brexit districts. The result looks set to be too close to call, and Johnson’s team believe they’re making progress, according to an official who declined to be named.“Imagine what it could be like tomorrow evening, if we have settled this, and we have respected the will of the people, because we will then have a chance to move on,” Johnson said in an interview with BBC TV on Friday. “This has been a long, exhausting and quite divisive business.”Johnson received a boost from the EU when French President Emmanuel Macron said even if Parliament rejected the deal, there would be no further delay to Brexit day beyond the current deadline of Oct. 31.That added to the pressure on MPs who would prefer another extension to the deadline to leaving the EU without a deal.Order! Order! A Minute-by-Minute Guide to U.K. Parliament VotesIn other developments:Opponents of Johnson’s threat to pursue a no-deal Brexit moved to reinforce their options.Former Tory cabinet minister Oliver Letwin is proposing an amendment to the motion to approve Johnson’s exit accord that he says will act as an insurance policy to make sure the U.K. can’t an accidentally fall out of the EU with no-deal on Oct. 31.Letwin’s amendment, which may be voted on before Johnson’s deal gets a chance to be put to MPs for approval, would withhold Parliament’s endorsement for the exit agreement until a new law is in place implementing Brexit.A group of Labour MPs have put forward an amendment to Johnson’s motion that would give Parliament’s backing to a referendum on any deal agreed with the EU.Johnson sought to woo Labour MPs with a promise to make commitments that ensure increased protection of workers’ rights and environmental standards in domestic law as the U.K. leaves the EU.A separate new pledge from Downing Street would increase parliamentary scrutiny of the negotiations on the future partnership trade deal between the U.K. and the EU.(Adds Johnson pledge on worker rights.)\--With assistance from Jessica Shankleman and Thomas Penny.To contact the reporters on this story: Tim Ross in Brussels at tross54@bloomberg.net;Robert Hutton in London at rhutton1@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Flavia Krause-Jackson at fjackson@bloomberg.net, Robert JamesonFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.


  • October 18th 2019 at 23:30

Brexit day of reckoning: parliament to vote on Johnson's deal

Brexit day of reckoning: parliament to vote on Johnson's dealPrime Minister Boris Johnson puts his last-minute Brexit deal to a vote in an extraordinary sitting of the British parliament on Saturday, a day of reckoning that could decide the course of the United Kingdom's departure from the European Union. More than three years since the United Kingdom voted 52-48 to be the first sovereign country to leave the European project, Johnson will try to win parliament's approval for the divorce treaty he struck in Brussels on Thursday. In a day of Brexit high drama, lawmakers convene for the first Saturday sitting since the 1982 Argentine invasion of the Falklands, while hundreds of thousands of people march to parliament demanding another referendum.


  • October 18th 2019 at 23:30
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