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FILE PHOTO: The logo of Samsung Electronics is seen at its office building in Seoul
FILE PHOTO: The logo of Samsung Electronics is seen at its office building in Seoul, South Korea, March 23, 2018. REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji/File Photo

May 24, 2019

SEOUL (Reuters) – A South Korean court approved arrest warrants on Saturday for two executives at Samsung Electronics Co Ltd over their alleged roles in a suspected accounting fraud at the biotech arm of Samsung Group.

The Seoul Central District Court said in a statement it had granted warrants to arrest the executives due to concerns over possible destruction of evidence.

However, the court rejected the prosecution’s request for a warrant to arrest the chief executive of Samsung BioLogics Co Ltd.

Two Samsung Electronics officials were also arrested on suspicion of destroying evidence earlier this month.

South Korea’s financial watchdog in November accused the biotech arm of Samsung Group of breaking accounting rules ahead of its 2016 listing, sparking a criminal investigation.

Both Samsung Electronics and Samsung BioLogics were not immediately available for comment.

The widening probe comes at an awkward time for Samsung Group, South Korea’s top family-run conglomerate, as de facto head and heir Jay Y.Lee awaits a Supreme Court ruling on bribery charges and political pressure builds for greater transparency in its governance.

Samsung BioLogics had been touted as a new growth engine for Samsung Group amid a slowdown in the global smartphone market. Samsung Electronics is the second-biggest shareholder of BioLogics with a 31.5 percent stake.

Samsung Electronics had no comment on the case earlier, except that it was cooperating with prosecutors.

(Reporting by Heekyong Yang; Editing by Stephen Coates and Elane Hardcastle)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: A trekker stands in front of Mount Everest at Kala Patthar in Solukhumbu District
FILE PHOTO: A trekker stands in front of Mount Everest, which is 8,850 meters high (C), at Kala Patthar in Solukhumbu District May 7, 2014. REUTERS/Navesh Chitrakar/File Photo

May 24, 2019

By Gopal Sharma

KATHMANDU (Reuters) – Three Indian climbers and one Nepali guide died on Mount Everest in the past couple of days, taking to seven the total number killed or missing on the world’s highest mountain in this year’s climbing season, Nepali officials said on Friday.

More than 120 climbers scaled Everest on Thursday, but some of them were caught in the crowd of people on the slopes, leading to exhaustion, dehydration and death, the officials said.

Hiking officials say between five and ten climbers die on Mount Everest in an average climbing year.

Two women from India were among those who died.

They were named as Anjali Sharad Kulkarni, 54, from the commercial capital of Mumbai, and 49-year-old Kalpana Das, from the eastern state of Odisha. Both died while descending from the summit, which is 8,850 meters (29,035 feet) high.

The Indian man who died, also while descending, was Nihal Ashpak Bagwan, 27, from India’s western city of Pune.

“Bagwan died of dehydration, exhaustion and tiredness after being caught in the jam of climbers,” said Keshab Paudel of the Peak Promotion hiking agency that handled the climber’s logistics.

“We don’t know for how long the jam lasted nor how many climbers were clogged by a single line near the summit,” Paudel said.

Lhakpa Sherpa of another agency, Arun Treks and Expeditions, said his client, Kulkarni, died of weakness while coming down to Camp IV on the South Col of Everest.

The deaths were confirmed by Mira Acharya, an official of Nepal’s tourism department.

Nepal has issued permits to 379 climbers on Mount Everest in the season, which ends this month.

The Nepali guide fell sick and died on Friday, officials said without giving details. Another Nepali guide perished on nearby Mount Makalu, they said, also without providing more information.

A total of 17 climbers have died or are missing on different Himalayan peaks in Nepal, seven of them Indians, since the start of the climbing season in March.

On the Tibetan side of the mountain there have been additional casualties, though it wasn’t immediately clear how many.

A member of a Swiss team died at 8,600 m (28,215 ft) on the Tibetan side of the mountain on Thursday, according to Everest blogger Alan Arnette, who cited a Swiss operator, Kobler & Partner. The climber’s full name has not been released.

“The winds have returned, plus the routes are extremely crowded on both sides, due to few summit weather windows this spring,” Arnette said on his blog http://www.alanarnette.com/blog/2019/05/23/everest-2019-3-new-deaths-now-6-on-everest-15-overall.

(Reporting by Gopal Sharma; Editing by Sanjeev Miglani and Martin Howell; Editing by Toby Chopra)

Source: OANN

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On the roster: ‘The torch; be yours to hold it high’ – The GOP’s long game to diminish Biden – How Socialist Bernie became Bernie the millionaire – Phony Pelosi video blows up on right wingers – *ahem* A clean getaway

‘THE TORCH; BE YOURS TO HOLD IT HIGH’
We feel self-conscious to even talk about Peter Jackson’s World War I documentary, “They Shall Not Grow Old” because so few people have discussed it. 

If social media engagement is a reflection of interest in the masterful film that heartbreakingly tells the story of the war that made the modern world compared to those from any television show about sexy dragon masters or sexy serial killers or sexy pirates, or… God help us.

But this is our note, and we think what Jackson has accomplished needs far more attention. In fact, our culture is in terrible need of the movie right now. You can find discussions of libertarianism and intersectionality in “Game of Thrones” elsewhere, if that’s your bag.

Jackson took 100 hours of mostly unseen films and 600 hours of taped interviews with veterans of the Great War that had been moldering at the Imperial War Museum and turned them into an arresting, evocative work that we will not soon forget.

The movie was made to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the end of the war last November, and made it to some American theaters this year, but is now widely available to stream at home.   

Its title comes from the 1914 poem “For the Fallen” by Lawrence Binyon.

“They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old://Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.//At the going down of the sun and in the morning//We will remember them.” 

It is a movie told entirely in the voices of the survivors – there is no narrator – but it is most certainly about the dead. Binyon, too old for service but who would later make it to the front in 1916 as a medic, was writing with the pang of guilt that many of his countrymen felt when the terrible cost of the war was first becoming clear.

Fighting a war with 20th century technology and 19th century techniques produced immediate, catastrophic losses. In one battle alone – Verdun, where Binyon tended to the wounded – more than 300,000 men were killed. 

British losses were staggering. Nearly a million subjects of the empire were killed. More than 2 percent of the United Kingdom’s entire population was dead by the time the guns were finally silenced. Nearly an entire generation of men lost.  

Our losses were a pittance by comparison. More than 116,000 Americans died “over there,” something like 20 times fewer fatalities as a percentage of our population compared to Britain. 

You may notice that British people wear paper poppies on their lapels in the month of November to commemorate Armistice Day when, on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, the senseless, industrialized slaughter finally was allowed to end. 

We celebrate our Veterans Day at the same time, but it has a very different meaning for us than it does to our British cousins. We use that day to thank our neighbors who served. They are called to stand up at church or the football game to hear our grateful applause. We celebrate the living. They mourn the dead of a million soldiers who fought with ancient methods against modern means. 

The poppies are from another war poem, “In Flanders Fields,” by Royal Army surgeon John McRae after the battle of Ypres in Belgium.

“In Flanders fields the poppies blow//Between the crosses, row on row,// That mark our place; and in the sky//The larks, still bravely singing, fly//Scarce heard amid the guns below.//We are the Dead. Short days ago//We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,//Loved and were loved, and now we lie,//In Flanders fields.”

For Americans under 35, there is an answer to Veterans Day. Are you a U.S. citizen or permanent resident? Do you have a high school diploma or the equivalent? Do you meet medical, moral and physical requirements? Your local recruiter would be happy to talk.

But there isn’t such an answer for Britons to Armistice Day. 

There will, Lord hear our prayer, never be another war like those that devastated the Western world in the first half of the last century. Modern technology and techniques have changed the way we fight, and the existence of nuclear weapons has for more than 70 years ensured that great powers avoid direct confrontations.

Nov. 11 is a day for Americans to celebrate those who served. It is a day for the British to mourn the dead.

We have our own day for that.

Memorial Day is many things in our culture: The unofficial start of summer, a much-needed long weekend and a good time to buy a mattress. But its purpose is clear in its name: To lift high the memory of our own war dead. 

Memorial Day grew out of Decoration Day, when the survivors and widows of the Civil War would festoon the graves of those killed in our own great, tragic war.

The war to end slavery and preserve the union claimed nearly 700,000 lives, a proportion of our population that time roughly equivalent to the losses Britain suffered in World War I. 

And like the Great War, the slaughter was industrial in scale. There were more than 12,000 casualties before noon at the Battle of Antietam alone. 

This weekend is the time for Americans to pause over a hard truth: The freedom and prosperity we enjoy was bought with blood. More than 1.3 million Americans have died in conflicts back to the revolution that made us a nation. That’s about the population of Dallas. And they too shall not grow old.

Because we are free, we can observe Memorial Day any way we choose. And life is indeed for the living, so we should enjoy these first ardent rays of the summer sun. 

But we would suggest that you make some room in your playlist amid the dragon-fired bodice rippers for Jackson’s masterful work. You will find it engrossing for sure, but it may also stir in you a fresh desire to be the kind of citizen who would be worthy of their sacrifices.

[Ed. note: In observance of Memorial Day, the Halftime Report will not be published on Monday.
   
THE RULEBOOK: EQUAL REPRESENTATION 
“Taking each State by itself, its laws are the same, and its interests but little diversified. A few men, therefore, will possess all the knowledge requisite for a proper representation of them.” – Alexander Hamilton or James MadisonFederalist No. 56

TIME OUT: BRIGHT STARS
Atlantic: “The first stars ignited billions of years ago… The stars blazed until they exploded in bursts powerful enough to forge heavy chemical elements. … The new elements found their way into other stars, and then planets, and, eventually, life. It’s a remarkable cosmic tale, with a recent twist. Some of the stardust has managed to become sentient, work out its own history, and use that knowledge to better understand the stars. Astronomers know stars so well, in fact, that they can tell when one doesn’t belong—when it’s migrated to our galaxy from a completely different one. Today astronomers study the chemical compositions of stars near and far… Astronomers take starlight, absorbed and collected by telescopes, and break it down into its constituent lines, same as a prism of glass stretches light into the colors of the rainbow. These lines correspond to different elements, from the light kind … to the heavy stuff…”

Flag on the play? – Email us at HALFTIMEREPORT@FOXNEWS.COM with your tips, comments or questions.

SCOREBOARD
Trump job performance 
Average approval:
 41.6 percent
Average disapproval: 53.2 percent
Net Score: -11.6 points
Change from one week ago: down 4.2 points 
[Average includes: CBS News: 41% approve – 52% disapprove; Monmouth University: 41% approve – 52% disapprove; Quinnipiac University: 38% approve – 57% disapprove; Fox News: 46% approve – 53% disapprove; Gallup: 42% approve – 52% disapprove.]

THE GOP’S LONG GAME TO DIMINISH BIDEN
Vanity Fair: “Welcome to the plot to take down Joe Biden, the 2020 candidate most feared by President Donald Trump and the Republican insiders working to re-elect him. For years, decades really, Biden was largely written off as a buffoon. … After a couple years lashed to the Trump merry-go-round, Uncle Joe looks like the steady, centrist status quo. … With laser-like precision, the G.O.P. machine plans to expose it all… Republicans want to rewind the clock and re-write the script, recasting Biden as the rhetorically cringe-worthy second coming of Crooked Hillary, responsible for nearly everything that’s gone wrong in Washington during Biden’s 50 years walking the corridors of power. To pull it off, the R.N.C., working hand in hand with the Trump campaign, has assembled perhaps its largest-ever war room, with approximately six to seven operatives working in opposition research and four to five conducting near ‘round-the-clock rapid media response. The effort—featuring public document requests and other standards of the dirt-digging trade—has been well underway since last year.”

Bill Weld gets Trumpian with Trump – ABC News: “President Donald Trump’s lone Republican primary challenger, former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld, ratcheted up his attacks on the president Tuesday night. Speaking at the first in a series of Kennedy Institute events focused on the 2020 election cycle, Weld levied a number of his harshest verbal jabs yet, saying earlier this week that the president preferred an ‘Aryan nation.’ ‘I celebrate that America has always been a melting pot,’ Weld said at the speaking event on Tuesday. ‘It seems he would prefer an Aryan nation.’ … When asked to explain what specifically he meant by ‘Aryan nation,’ Weld told ABC News that he believes the president ‘would prefer a nation with no immigrants.’ The comment, which appeared to be a step further than Weld had gone with past attacks aimed at the president, even elicited a justification from the long-shot candidate himself.”

HOW SOCIALIST BERNIE BECAME BERNIE THE MILLIONAIRE
Politico: “Based, though, on a deeper examination of [Bernie Sanders’] financial disclosures, his tax returns, property records in Washington and Vermont and scarcely leafed-through scraps of his financial papers housed here at UVM, Sanders’ current financial portrait is not only some stroke-of-luck windfall. It’s also the product (with the help of his wife) of decades of planning. The upward trajectory from that jalopy of his to his relative riches now—as off-brand as it is for a man who once said he had ‘no great desire to be rich’—is the product of years of middle-class striving, replete with credit card debt, real estate upgrades and an array of investment funds and retirement accounts. As an immigrant’s son who started close to the bottom and has ended up nearer to the top, Sanders has a narrative arc that would form the backbone of the campaign story of almost any other candidate. But it’s more complicated for him. There’s never been anybody like Sanders in the modern political history of this country—somebody who made a career out of haranguing millionaires … and who is now a millionaire himself.”

Castro speaks out against Trump’s merit immigration plan – NPR: “Democratic presidential candidate Julián Castro has a plan to change immigration policy in the U.S. The former Housing and Urban Development secretary wants to address immigrant detention, family reunification and the immigration court system. In stark contrast to current policy, he also wants to decriminalize crossing the border illegally, a plan he outlined in a Medium post in April. ‘For a long time in this country we actually did not treat crossing the border as a criminal act. We treated it as a civil violation,’ Castro told NPR. ‘A lot of the problems that we see in the system today flared up after we started treating it as a criminal offense.’

PHONY PELOSI VIDEO BLOWS UP ON RIGHT WINGERS 
WaPo: “Distorted videos of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), altered to make her sound as if she’s drunkenly slurring her words, are spreading rapidly across social media, highlighting how political disinformation that clouds public understanding can now grow at the speed of the Web. The video of Pelosi’s onstage speech Wednesday at a Center for American Progress event, in which she said President Trump’s refusal to cooperate with congressional investigations was tantamount to a ‘coverup,’ was subtly edited to make her voice sound garbled and warped. It was then circulated widely across Twitter, YouTube and Facebook. One version, posted by the conservative Facebook page Politics WatchDog, had been viewed more than 2 million times by Thursday night, been shared more than 45,000 times, and garnered 23,000 comments with users calling her ‘drunk’ and ‘a babbling mess.’ The origin of the altered video remains unclear…”

Giuliani tweets unclear apology for sharing the video – WashTimes: “Rudy Giuliani, President Trump’s attorney, gave a confusing statement Friday after sharing and deleting a video of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi Thursday that was doctored to display her as inarticulate. ‘Ivesssapology for a video which is allegedly is a caricature of an otherwise halting speech pattern, she should first stop, and apologize for, saying the President needs an ‘intervention.’ Are,’ Mr. Giuliani tweeted along with a gif of a basketball game celebration, which was screenshotted by Mediaite. Mr. Giuliani followed it up with another tweet that makes his point better. ‘Nancy Pelosi wants an apology for a caricature exaggerating her already halting speech pattern. First she should withdraw her charge which hurts our entire nation when she says the President needs an ‘intervention. ‘People who live in a glass house shouldn’t throw stones,’’ he tweeted.”

TRUMP GIVES BARR AUTHORITY OVER CLASSIFIED RUSSIA DOCS
AP: “President Donald Trump has granted Attorney General William Barr new powers to review and potentially release classified information related to the origins of the Russia investigation, a move aimed at accelerating Barr’s inquiry into whether U.S. officials improperly surveilled Trump’s 2016 campaign. Trump on Thursday directed the U.S. intelligence community to ‘quickly and fully cooperate’ with Barr’s investigation of the origins of the multiyear probe of whether his campaign colluded with Russia. Former intelligence officials and Democratic lawmakers criticized Trump’s move, which marked an escalation in his efforts to ‘investigate the investigators’ as he works to undermine the findings of special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe. Trump’s announcement came amid mounting Democratic calls to bring impeachment proceedings against him.”

Rep. Nadler says Mueller willing to do private testimony – NBC News: “Special counsel Robert Mueller has expressed interest in giving private testimony to Congress about his two-year investigation into Russian interference with the 2016 presidential election. Mueller has told House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler that he is willing to make a public opening statement, but leave his testimony behind closed doors, Nadler said on ‘The Rachel Maddow Show’ Thursday night. Nadler, D-N.Y., has made repeated efforts for Mueller to speak in front of Congress. If Mueller did proceed with private testimony on his report, the public would get a transcript, Nadler said.”

PLAY-BY-PLAY
Pelosi makes it to recess, doesn’t cave to impeachment pressures – Politico

UK PM Theresa May announces resignation amid fury over Brexit – Fox News

Trump unveils a second, $16 billion bailout for farmers hit by his trade war – WSJ

AUDIBLE: LET THE GAMES BEGIN 
“When he engages in the general, it will be like tagging Hulk Hogan into the ring.” –Rep. Eric Swalwell talking about what he expects when President Obama gets involved in the general election. 

ANY GIVEN SUNDAY
This weekend Mr. Sunday will sit down with presidential candidate Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Calif., and Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C. Watch “Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace.” Check local listings for broadcast times in your area.

#mediabuzz – Host Howard Kurtz has the latest take on the week’s media coverage. Watch #mediabuzz Sundays at 11 a.m. ET. 

FROM THE BLEACHERS
“Chris and Brianna, Thank you for sharing the story of ‘Crechale’s Cafe’s Highway Legacy’ by John Edge. This has to be more than serendipitous as my wife and I have a July trip planned to Jackson MS. We will be visiting to see our son umpire the MiLB series between Jackson Generals v Pensacola Blue Wahoos. I promise to email a review of both Crechale’s and the ballpark’s fare.” – Dan Burch, Turlock, Calif.

[Ed. note: Oh good! Ours is a world filled with delights for those willing to see them. But little could ever surpass a truly great onion ring.]

Share your color commentary: Email us at HALFTIMEREPORT@FOXNEWS.COM and please make sure to include your name and hometown.

*AHEM* A CLEAN GETAWAY 
Boston Globe: “When Nate Roman came home from work on May 15, he could tell that a stranger had been in his house. Roman, 44, lives in a single-family home on a typical suburban tree-lined street in Marlborough. He said it’s possible that he forgot to lock his back door, because whoever entered his house didn’t break anything to gain entry. But here’s the strange part: whoever ventured into his home didn’t take anything. They just thoroughly cleaned his house. Roman looked around and saw that they neatly made the beds, vacuumed the rugs, and scrubbed the toilets. … Marlborough Police Sergeant Daniel Campbell said the department hasn’t heard of any other situations like this one. … Roman said he still doesn’t know who did it. The best theory he could come up with is that a housekeeping service mistakenly went to the wrong address and showed up at his house.”

AND NOW, A WORD FROM CHARLES…
“The premise of a free market is that people can withhold their labor if they find the conditions under which they work intolerable.” – Charles Krauthammer (1950-2018) writing for Time magazine on Jan. 31, 2003.

Chris Stirewalt is the politics editor for Fox News. Brianna McClelland contributed to this report. Want FOX News Halftime Report in your inbox every day? Sign up here.

Source: Fox News Politics

The Trump administration proposed revoking Obama-era discrimination protections for transgender people in health care on Friday, a move LGBT groups fear will result in some Americans being denied needed medical treatment.

The Health and Human Services Department released a proposed regulation that in effect says “gender identity” is not protected under federal laws that prohibit sex discrimination in health care.

HUD SECRETARY CARSON WANTS TO ROLL BACK OBAMA MANDATE ON GENDER IDENTITY AT HOMELESS SHELTERS

It fits into a backdrop of administration actions to limit or move back some of the new recognition for LGBT people in areas ranging from military service to housing.

“The actions today are part and parcel of this administration’s efforts to erase LGBTQ people from federal regulations and to undermine nondiscrimination protections across the board,” said Omar Gonzalez-Pagan, a senior attorney on health care at Lambda Legal, a civil rights organization representing LGBT people.

But the HHS official overseeing the writing of the new regulation said transgender patients would continue to be protected by other federal laws that bar discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age and disability.

“Everyone deserves to be treated with dignity and respect,” said Roger Severino, who heads the HHS Office for Civil Rights. “We intend to fully enforce federal laws that prohibit discrimination.”

Asked about the charge that the administration has opened the door to discrimination against transgender people seeking needed medical care of any type, Severino responded, “I don’t want to see that happen.”

The Trump administration’s proposed rule reverses the Obama administration, which concluded that the Affordable Care Act’s anti-discrimination section does indeed protect transgender people seeking health care services.

Friday’s action had been expected by activists on both sides of the nation’s social issues divide. Trump’s religious conservative base has argued that the Obama administration stretched the meaning of “sex discrimination” when it included gender identity as a protected class. Civil rights and LGBT groups say that view is logically and legally flawed.

The proposed rule change is unlikely to have immediate consequences beyond the realm of political and legal debate. It faces a 60-comment period and another layer of review before it can be finalized. Court challenges are expected.

“Despite the goals of this White House … courts have been clear for decades that prohibitions on sex discrimination encompass discrimination against transgender individuals,” said Louise Melling, deputy legal director with the American Civil Liberties Union. Her organization, she added, will challenge the proposal in court.

Melling said the potential impact of the proposed rule goes beyond transgender people and could also subject women to discrimination for seeking or having had an abortion. The proposal would remove “termination of pregnancy” as grounds for making a legal claim of sex discrimination in health care.

Abortion opponents had argued that the Obama regulation could be construed to make a legal argument for federal funding of abortions.

In a twist, the rule would also affect the notices that millions of patients get in multiple languages about their rights to translation services. Such notices often come with insurer “explanation of benefits” forms. The Trump administration says the notice requirement has become a needless burden on health care providers, requiring billions of paper notices to be mailed annually at an estimated five-year cost of $3.2 billion.

HHS official Severino said that the Trump administration is going back to the literal text of the ACA’s anti-discrimination law to correct what it sees as an overly broad interpretation.

The Obama rule dates to a time when LGBT people gained political and social recognition. But a federal judge in Texas said the rule went too far by concluding that discrimination on the basis of gender identity is a form of sex discrimination, which is forbidden by civil rights laws.

Under the original rule, a hospital could be required to perform gender-transition procedures such as hysterectomies if the facility provided that kind of treatment for other medical conditions. The rule was meant to carry out the anti-discrimination section of the ACA, which bars sex discrimination in health care but does not use the term “gender identity.”

In the Texas case, a Catholic hospital system, several states and a Christian medical association argued that the rule went beyond the law as written and would coerce providers to act against their medical judgment and religious beliefs.

Severino also said that the proposed rule does not come with a new definition of a person’s sex. Earlier, a leaked internal document suggested the administration was debating whether to issue an immutable definition of sex, as based on a person’s genital organs at birth.

Source: Fox News Politics

Democrats should embrace identity politics rather than running away from the issue, Georgia Democrat Stacey Abrams said on Wednesday.

“I would argue that identity politics is exactly who we are, and it’s exactly how we won,” she told an audience at event held by the Center for American Progress in Washington, D.C.

She pointed to efforts in Florida and Georgia where, she indicated, Democrats attracted new voters.

Her comments came as the party wrestled with how moderate it should appear before the general election in 2020. Conservatives have criticized identity politics as a way of fragmenting the electorate according to their skin color and other attributes.

But according to Abrams, identity politics helped her party connect with voters.

“When we refuse to engage in the conversation of identity politics, when we refuse to acknowledge that we see you and we understand you and we understand the barriers that you face, then what we are met with is a lack of trust,” she said.

HEMINGWAY ON GILLIBRAND’S ‘IDENTITY POLITICS’ PUSH: ‘COME UP WITH A BETTER GIMMICK THAN BEING YOUNG AND A WOMAN’

She also pushed back on criticism of the tactic, arguing that detractors used the term “identity politics” as a “dog whistle.”

“The notion of identity politics has been peddled for the last 10 years, and it’s been used as a dog whistle to say that we shouldn’t pay too much attention to the new voices coming into progress,” she said.

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“We have to recognize that the internal threat we face is a fear of who we are,” she said.

Abrams caught scrutiny after she refused to concede her loss in the Georgia governor’s race in 2018, citing allegations of voter suppression.

She has been outspoken about voter suppression and indicated she might throw her hat in the ring for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination.

Source: Fox News Politics

“Fox News Sunday” anchor Chris Wallace said Friday that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was trying to get “under President Trump‘s skin” this week and “clearly succeeded to some degree” in her efforts.

Wallace reacted on “America’s Newsroom” to the ongoing feud between Pelosi, D-Calif., and Trump, which erupted this week after Pelosi accused Trump of engaging in a “cover-up” and the president cut short a meeting on infrastructure with Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y.

Tensions escalated further Thursday when Trump blasted Pelosi at a news conference, calling her a “mess,” prompting Pelosi to call for him to act “more presidential.”

PELOSI SCRAMBLES TO TAMP DOWN TRUMP IMPEACHMENT FRENZY IN CAUCUS

“I’m not sure who was trolling whom,” said Wallace, noting Trump’s reaction to Pelosi having said she was “praying” for the president and wishing his family would have an “intervention” for the good of the country.

“Clearly she succeeded to some degree in getting under his skin when yesterday at that press conference he called on about four or five members of his administration to confirm the fact that he didn’t have a temper tantrum when he ended the meeting on infrastructure,” said Wallace, adding that Trump “gives as good as he gets.”

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Wallace said the whole episode was “very entertaining” to political reporters, but it’s “concerning” to Americans because the government needs to function and many important issues must be handled.

He said beyond infrastructure spending, the debt limit must be raised this year, an agreement to fund the government must be reached before October 1st and Trump’s new trade deal must be passed.

“There’s a lot of business they need to get done and at this point, they’re not getting any of it done,” he said.

Source: Fox News Politics

Mexico's President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador attends a news conference, in Mexico City
Mexico’s President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador attends a news conference, at the National Palace in Mexico City, Mexico, May 21, 2019. REUTERS/Henry Romero

May 24, 2019

By Anthony Esposito

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Mexico’s economy shrank in the first quarter of 2019 from the previous three-month period, data showed on Friday, dealing a blow to the new government’s drive to convince investors it can boost growth in Latin America’s second-largest economy.

President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador took office in December pledging to ramp up lackluster growth and job creation.

But the economy shrank 0.2% compared with the October-December period as services and industrial activity dipped, the first contraction since the second quarter of 2018, according to data from national statistics agency INEGI. The contraction was particularly sharp in March.

“March was a very bad month for economic activity, clocking a 0.6% contraction,” Mexican central bank board member Jonathan Heath said on Twitter, citing monthly economic activity data also published on Friday.

Goldman Sachs economist Alberto Ramos said strikes and fuel supply disruptions earlier in the year had contributed to the slump.

After the data was published, Mexico’s benchmark stock index <.MXX> fell more than 1% to a two-month low, the peso currency <MXN=> dipped into negative territory, and economic research consultancy Capital Economics cut its Mexican growth forecast to 1.8% for 2019.

“The weak Q1 GDP figure means the economy won’t, barring a major surprise, grow by the 2.5% that we had projected … The next few years will be underwhelming for Mexico’s economy,” said William Jackson, Chief Emerging Markets Economist at Capital Economics.

Lopez Obrador brushed aside concerns about the data at his daily morning press conference.

“Investment is growing, I said it yesterday, our currency is strong, it is appreciating more than other currencies around the globe and inflation is stable. And there will be growth, much more growth. So we’re going to wait,” said Lopez Obrador.

Mexico received some $10 billion in foreign direct investment in the first quarter, up 7% from the same quarter last year, and inflation was slightly lower than expected in the first half of May at 4.43%.

The peso has appreciated over 6% since Lopez Obrador took office.

Still, some of the president’s decisions have rattled investors, prompting concern among private sector analysts.

The International Monetary Fund on April 9 lowered Mexico’s 2019 growth outlook to 1.6% from 2.1%, citing shifts in perception about policy.

In a note, Goldman Sachs’ Ramos said high interest rates would weigh on consumer spending, adding that the investment outlook was lackluster, partly due to uncertainty over the ratification of a new trade deal with Mexico’s top export market the United States.

The U.S. economy expanded 3.2 percent in the first quarter in annual terms, but some economists believe that growth rate will be short lived, bringing more gloom to Mexico.

“The projected deceleration of the U.S. economy may also weaken the thrust to activity from exports and foreign direct investment,” Ramos said.

In annual terms, Mexico’s economy expanded just 1.2%, slightly lower than the 1.3% growth preliminary data published last month showed. It was the weakest quarterly annual growth in a year.

(Reporting by Anthony Esposito; Additional reporting by Miguel Angel Gutierrez and David Alire Garcia; Editing by Susan Thomas and James Dalgleish)

Source: OANN

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler had to receive medical attention Friday after a health scare at an event in New York City.

Despite reports that the powerful New York Democrat appeared to pass out, his office said he merely felt ill but did not faint. A spokesman for Nadler told Fox News that the congressman is “okay” and “seems to have been dehydrated,” describing the room as “very warm.”

Nadler, 71, was speaking at a press conference on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, alongside 2020 Democratic hopeful New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, when the incident happened. De Blasio could be seen checking on him and patting him on the shoulder, as someone brought over a glass of water.

Fox News is told the congressman was being taken to a hospital in an ambulance.

“He is now responsive and receiving a check-up,” a spokesman told Fox News.

Nadler’s office noted that he was sitting down, so he “did not faint or anything.”

But local reporters on social media attending the event said that Nadler appeared to have briefly passed out.

Nadler’s committee is currently battling with the Trump administration over access to an unredacted version of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia report. Earlier this month, his panel voted to hold Attorney General Bill Barr in contempt of Congress for defying a subpoena for the full report and its underlying documents and evidence.

Nadler, as judiciary committee chairman, would also oversee any impeachment proceedings should Democrats launch them — a question that has divided the party.

Fox News’ Chad Pergram contributed to this report. 

Source: Fox News Politics

Elections in Indonesia
Indonesian presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto speaks to the media after polls closed in Jakarta, Indonesia April 17, 2019. REUTERS/Willy Kurniawan

May 24, 2019

By Fransiska Nangoy

JAKARTA (Reuters) – Lawyers for defeated Indonesian presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto submitted a lawsuit to the Constitutional Court late on Friday challenging the result of the April 17 election after complaining that the vote was rigged.

President Joko Widodo won 55.5% of votes in the poll to lead the world’s third-biggest democracy, beating retired general Prabowo, who got 44.5%, the General Election Commission (KPU) said on Tuesday.

The election supervisory agency has said previously there was no evidence of systematic cheating and independent observers have said the poll was free and fair.

“Hopefully this will be a part of realizing a democratic nation that is based on the rule of law,” said lawyer Bambang Widjojanto while handing over a thick dossier to court clerks.”We believe the Constitutional Court will be an important part of this whole process.”

After the KPU’s announcement this week, Prabowo repeated earlier claims that there had been widespread cheating in favor of the incumbent and thousands of his supporters protested against the result in the capital, at times violently.

Eight people were killed, including three teenagers, while more than 900 were hurt in two nights of rioting and clashes between police and protesters, Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan and the city health department said.

VERDICT IN LATE JUNE

The Constitutional Court is scheduled to hold the first hearing on the case on June 14 and to deliver a verdict on June 28, according to court spokesman Fajar Laksono.

“The process of submitting the dispute lawsuit and other legal efforts are steps to ensure that we can carry election results that are free and fair,” Prabowo’s running mate, Sandiaga Uno, told reporters earlier on Friday.

He said people had “witnessed with their own eyes” that the polls were unfair.

An exit poll conducted by pollster Indikator Politik Indonesia on election day showed that 94% of voters believed the election had been free and fair.

Police have arrested hundreds of people accused of taking part in the riots or provoking violence, two of whom were members of a militant group that had pledged support for Islamic State, national police spokesman Muhammad Iqbal said.

Police had also found envelopes containing money, suggesting instigators had paid some of the rioters, Iqbal said, adding that tests showed some of the suspects had taken the stimulant methamphetamine.

A small number of protesters gathered peacefully near the Constitutional Court on Friday.

Widodo has warned of tough action against those instigating riots, while Prabowo has called for peaceful protests and restraint.

Jusuf Kalla, Widodo’s vice president, met Prabowo on Thursday, Prabowo’s campaign team said without elaborating.

Prabowo also lost the 2014 presidential election to Widodo by a slimmer margin and had objected to that result, lodging a complaint with the Constitutional Court that was rejected.

Some analysts have said he faces an even tougher task this time to get the court to accept his campaign’s arguments, given the margin of Widodo’s victory.

The government has deployed 58,000 police and soldiers across Jakarta to maintain security and put temporary blocks on some social media to prevent unrest sparked by fake news.

(Additional reporting by Jessica Damiana, Gayatri Suroyo and Kanupriya Kapoor; Editing by Ed Davies, Robert Birsel, Gareth Jones)

Source: OANN

Fed Cup - World Group Semi-Final - France v Romania
FILE PHOTO: Tennis – Fed Cup – World Group Semi-Final – France v Romania – Kindarena, Rouen, France – April 21, 2019 France’s Caroline Garcia reacts during her match against Romania’s Simona Halep REUTERS/Charles Platiau

May 24, 2019

(Reuters) – France’s Caroline Garcia defeated compatriot Chloe Paquet 6-3 6-4 in the Strasbourg International semi-finals on Friday to set up a title clash with fifth seed Dayana Yastremska.

Garcia, the 2016 champion, dominated the contest, firing 11 aces and 24 winners, and did not face a break point in the match as she advanced to her first career meeting with Yastremska.

Earlier, the Ukrainian teenager moved into her second title clash of the season by stunning big-hitting second seed Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus 6-4 6-4.

After winning the opening set with a decisive break in the fifth game, 19-year-old Yastremska secured an early break in the second before sealing the contest on her fourth match point.

(Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Ken Ferris)

Source: OANN


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