Thursday, February 28, 2019

Meeting between Trump and Kim ends abruptly without agreement

HANOI - The meeting between the president of the United States , Donald Trump , and the leader of North Korea , Kim Jong-un , ended on Thursday, 28, ahead of schedule and without agreement , the White House said .
The two leaders leave the hotel in Hanoi where the summit was held after the suspension of a public ceremony that was scheduled. Trump advanced within two hours of his press conference, raising doubts about the progress made during the meeting. "Sometimes you have to go ahead, and this was just one of those moments," he told reporters. 
According to the Republican, the summit ended without agreement because he was not willing to suspend all sanctions against North Korea. "It was because of the sanctions," he emphasized. "Basically they wanted the sanctions to be lifted in their entirety, and we could not do that."
Trump said that Kim offered to dismantle the Yongbyon nuclear research center in exchange for the suspension of all sanctions on Pyongyang and that was rejected by Washington. "Of course (that would dismantle Yongbyon), but he wants the sanctions to be suspended for this."
However, Trump pointed out that he and the North Korean leader have a good relationship. "We like each other. There's a cordiality that I hope will continue, and I think it will." According to the US president, Kim has promised he will not resume nuclear or ballistic missile tests "He said he will not test rockets, missiles or anything that has anything to do with nuclear." 
They have held "very good and constructive encounters," and "talked about ways to advance concepts related to denuclearization and the economy," said White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders. "No agreement has been reached at this time, but their respective teams expect to meet in the future." There was no joint statement.
Despite what Sarah Sanders said about a new meeting, Trump said he did not schedule another meeting with the North Korean leader. Asked about a third summit with Kim, the American said, "We'll see if it happens."
Also during the interview, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that Kim "was not prepared" to implement the denuclearization advances that Washington demanded of Pyongyang. "We asked him to do more, but he was not prepared for it," he pointed out beside Trump. "I wish I had made more progress, but I'm still optimistic about the progress we've made, and that put us in a good position to achieve a good result."
Trump and his delegation left the capital of Vietnam on Thursday, around 15:50 (5:55 am), when Air Force One took off for Washington

Saturday, February 23, 2019

Meghan Markle's luxury trip to New York provokes criticism

A luxurious escape from Meghan Markle, wife of Prince Harry, New York has sparked a small earthquake in the UK, where the royal family struggles to avoid any sThe Times reported that after this wave of outrage there may be a cultural misunderstanding.
"For some Brits, the simple concept of 'baby shower' - an American import - seems inappropriate," the paper wrote. "It's vulgar and stingy," said another Internet user at Mumsnet.
Numerous celebrities paraded on Wednesday for the five-star hotel where the party happened, loaded with gifts for the future baby, who will be seventh in the order of succession to the throne of England. Among the guests were attorney Amal Clooney and tennis star Serena Williams.
The superstar couple formed by Beyoncé and Jay-Z congratulated the future mother on social networks, wishing her "a lot of happiness".lippage that could affect their image.
The expenses of this trip, to celebrate a baby shower with her friends, made the eyebrows of the British, even if it has not been paid with public money.
The suite at The Mark Hotel, where the Duchess of Sussex stayed, costs $ 75,000 a day, several British media reported. And the expectant mother, seven months pregnant, returned to the UK on a private plane, despite her public support for the fight against climate change.
"Is it possible to be a philanthropist in public and live as a Roman empress in particular?" The Daily Mail tabloid said Friday, wondering what Queen Elizabeth II thinks of this "extravagant journey".
In addition, some fans of the 37-year-old former American actress, generally praised for her simple, laid-back style, expressed her disapproval.
"You can not put yourself at the level of normal people and then fly to a 'baby shower' at an enormous cost, without expecting criticism," wrote a Mumsnet user, an online forum for young mothers.

Friday, February 22, 2019

Autism brain works at different speed, study says

Sensory responses are faster, but motor control region is slower - and these variations may help to explain the symptoms

Autism is a neurological disorder that affects about 25 million people worldwide, according to data from 2015. It causes difficulty in communication and social interaction, as well as restricted and repetitive behavior. Despite the many researches on the subject, the causes of autism have not yet been identified - most studies indicate that it is the union of genetic factors with environmental causes.
Now a study by British and Japanese scientists has found that the neural velocity of some areas of the brain may be linked to the cognitive symptoms of people with autism.
To understand the finding, one must remember something somewhat obvious: the sensory areas of the brain that process information related to human reflexes, coming from the eyes, skin and muscles, have short, fast processing times. Areas that process more complex information, such as memory, intelligence, and decision-making, respond naturally more slowly.
But the new study shows that this hierarchy of "neural times" is different in autistic people. The study, which used magnetic resonance imaging, found that the autistic brain processes sensory signals faster than normal. Already the responses of the right caudate nucleus, region of the brain linked to learning and the control of motor impulses, are slower.
Although the caudate nucleus processes information more slowly in the brains of people with autism, it has more neurons. According to the researchers, this may contribute to recurrent and recurrent behavioral patterns, as well as the communication and interaction difficulties faced by autistics.

After all, what happened to Venezuela?

It was once one of the four richest nations in the world, has more oil than Saudi Arabia, and is broken. Understand how chavismo has broken the country.

For seven months in Brazil, working in a Peruvian restaurant owned by an Argentinean owner in the city of São Paulo, Venezuelan Eliza is one of many figures that give life to the syncretism of Brazilian culture. But Eliza and her brother, who helped emigrate to the country three months ago, also represent a frightening phenomenon: the Venezuelan exodus.
Since 2015, 3 million citizens have left Venezuela. One in ten inhabitants. Half immigrated to Colombia and Peru. Brazil, which has its economic center far from the border with Venezuela and speaks another language, received fewer people, but still a considerable contingent: 85,000 people. Good part with nothing and willing to live in the street in Roraima. According to a FGV survey, 30% of them have a college degree.
And the tendency is to get worse. The UN estimates that the number of refugees is expected to reach 5.3 million by the end of this year. Almost 20% of the population - an exodus of biblical proportions. All this in a country that holds the largest oil reserves on the planet (well ahead of Saudi Arabia, second placed). All this in a nation that until the beginning of the 21st century had the highest GDP per capita in South America, and which, in the 1950s, was among the four richest in the world. What happened?
Of course, the dictatorships of Chaves (1999-2013) and Maduro (since 2013) are at the center of the problem. But the story is longer. After the discovery of oil in Venezuela in 1922, the country saw a succession of coups and political parties that sought to capture part of the resources generated in the agreements with foreign companies. What seemed settled with democracy, implemented in 1958, and which would become the longest in South America, lasted little.
In 1973, after the first oil shock, the country decided to nationalize oil companies, condensing everything into the giant PDVSA. With oil resources, the state has entered the economy. Large business owners realized that, while resources were in government, they had to adapt and produce for the government, not for consumers. And the population became more and more dependent on state aid.
Well, oil and oil products account for 96% of Venezuela's exports (in Brazil, for example, they are only 9%). The boom in barrel prices over the past decade under the Chavez government has brought more than $ 750 billion into Venezuela. With full control over the country's greatest source of wealth and ailing entrepreneurs, Chavez took advantage of the bonanza to further expand the state's presence in the economy.
He bought from the private initiative the control of steelmakers, banks, food industries, factories of all kinds. Between 2008 and 2015, the private sector declined from 70% to 20% of total consumer goods supplied in the country. The toast of money has put up the public deficit (that is, the amount the government spends more than it collects). Brazil, which needs reforms not to break, now has a deficit of 7.5% of GDP. The one from Venezuela has quickly reached 16%.
With public funds almost all destined to cover the deficit, money in the jewel of the crown, PDVSA, began to be lacking. Oil production imploded, dropping from 3.2 million to 1.5 million barrels a day (less than Petrobras, which takes 2 million barrels a day). To make matters worse, the price of a barrel of oil went from US $ 103 in 2014 to US $ 35.7 in 2017. With fewer dollars coming in, the country has severely impoverished: in 2012, they imported US $ 62 billion. In 2018, it was only US $ 9.2 billion (Brazil, to give a reference, imported US $ 180 billion last year, with dollar on the rise and everything else).
In order to pay civil servants' wages, the government resorted to the stupidest solution: turning on the money printers. With more money in circulation than things to buy, it gave no other: prices inflated. By 2019, Venezuelan inflation is expected to top 10 percent, according to the IMF. Amid this chaos, the contraction of GDP reached 13.7% in 2017; another 15.4% in 2018. Today, nine out of ten Venezuelans are below the poverty line.
In this, the Maduro government collapsed. His last election was declared fraudulent by the Venezuelan Parliament. Juan Guaidó, the young leader of the Assembly, 35, declared himself interim president of Venezuela in January, and was recognized as such by the US, the largest countries in Europe and most of Latin America (Brazil included, obviously).
But there is no way to match the Russians. The declaration of Guaidó is not worth anything inside Venezuela, because Maduro has hot backs. With well-armed military and paramilitary forces, the dictator has tools to intimidate anyone who opposes him. In 2008, Hugo Chavez distributed 100,000 rifles to his militia. In 2017, it was Maduro's turn to set up another 500,000. The militia, a kind of SS implemented by Chavismo, has been responsible for much of the repression, and remains faithful to the Chavista leader.
The Venezuelan military, which supports Maduro in power, controls 14 of the 32 ministries, as well as managing the PDVSA, which is responsible for basically all the country's dollar revenues and, unsurprisingly, where most of the diversion of public resources - according to Swiss Swiss banker Matthias Krull, only Maduro's family diverted $ 1.2 billion.

In addition to the military, Maduro has wide condescension of the Judiciary, which he tried to elaborate throughout his term. Although faced with opposition in the House, such as the president of the house, there is little or nothing that the Legislature can do with hands tied by the judges.
With power maintained, Maduro would face new elections only in 2025, when the Chavista Revolution would turn 27. If you're still there, there's no doubt that Venezuela will have taught you valuable lessons on how to ruin a country.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Agreement in principle to prevent further government shutdown in the US

US lawmakers announced an agreement in principle between Democrats and Republicans to avoid a new shutdown, while Donald Trump extolled the merits of his wall in a speech in El Paso, a city on the Mexican border.
The compromise, announced on Monday night to prevent a further partial shutdown of the federal administration in a few days, provides $ 1.3 billion, including for the construction of some 90 km of new border barriers, far from the initial demands of the White House.
It will still have to be voted by Congress and approved by the presidency.
"We have reached an agreement," said one of the top Republican negotiators, Senator Richard Shelby, quoted by CNN after the negotiation meeting.
Weakened by the House's loss in November and its retreat in late January in the fight with Democrats over immigration, Donald Trump still requires the release of about $ 5 billion to build the controversial wall.
This move to combat illegal immigration from South America is a campaign promise by the American president, who insisted Monday night in El Paso that the walls help "save lives."
 "We need a wall ... and we will build it quickly," he said.
Trump remained elusive about a possible exit from the impasse in Congress. "They said there was progress ... There may be good news, but who knows?"
After a 35-day stalemate, a record in US history, Donald Trump finally relented in late January, signing a budget bill to pay the salaries of some 800,000 federal employees.
But the truce was only temporary, and the new deadline, set for February 15, is approaching.
Several weeks ago, the White House has threatened to resort to an exceptional emergency procedure to release the necessary funds without going through Congress.
A 1976 law, the National Emergencies Act, authorizes the president of the United States to invoke a national "urgency" to activate extraordinary powers.
 Realizing that such an initiative, which is not unanimous in his field, could trigger a fierce political-legal battle, Donald Trump has avoided taking that step.
With his eye on the 2020 presidential election, where he plans to seek a second term, the president pinned Beto O'Rourke, a rising star of the Democrat party attending a rally not far off.
The 40-year-old man, who promised to rule on possible presidential ambitions by the end of February, called the rally to respond to "lies and hatred of the truth and an ambitious and positive vision of the future."
Donald Trump, on the other hand, mocked this "young man who lost a (senatorial) election against Ted Cruz".
The demonstration, organized by several NGOs, aimed to denounce "Trump's obsession with the border wall and the deforming prism with which he describes life in El Paso."
Last week, during his annual address to Congress, the White House tenant cited the city as an example. But these arguments did not please everyone.
"The city has an extremely high rate of violent crime and was considered one of the most dangerous cities in the country," he said. "Once a powerful barrier has been established, El Paso has become one of the safest cities in the country."
 This description of this Texan city located more than 3,000 kilometers from Washington does not, however, resist the analysis of numbers.
The construction of a barrier occurred in 2008/2009. But over the last 30 years, crime has peaked in the mid-1990s, with a one-third drop in violent crime between 1993 and 2006.
"El Paso is one of the most secure communities in the United States and long before the wall was built," said Democrat Veronica Escobar, who believes the president of the United States should apologize to its residents.
"This misinformation is causing damage," she added.
Throughout his speech in El Paso, Donald Trump once again stepped up attacks on journalists.
"The so-called fact-checkers are among the most dishonest people in the media," he said in front of a crowd of "Make America Great Again.

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Steve Bannon: Brazil's Vice-President Is "Useless And Unpleasant"

Former White House official also said that corruption accusations against Flávio Bolsonaro are "part of the cultural marxism war"

Donald Trump's former chief strategist Steve Bannon has been paying close attention to what happens outside the United States, especially in Brazil.

Last week, he appointed Brazilian House Representative Eduardo Bolsonaro (PSL-SP) as a spokesperson in Brazil for his new project, called The Movement, a network of political parties and politicians aligned with radical right-wing ideas, as well as populism and nationalism. Bannon called both Eduardo, one of president Jair Bolsonaro's four sons, and the captain (as Bannon calls the president) "extraordinary people," during a phone call on Sunday (3rd).

But Bannon doesn't seem to be as pleased with vice-president Hamilton Mourão (PRTB). "He is unpleasant and steps out of line," he said. "As far as I know, president Bolsonaro didn't give him many responsibilities, and it looks like it was a wise decision." Some people inside the administration, connected to Eduardo and his brothers, share his views. 

Bannon also defended Bolsonaro's oldest son, senator Flávio Bolsonaro, currently under investigation for corruption. According to Bannon, the inquiry is part of the cultural Marxism movement's war against the family.

Bannon also weighed in on Donald Trump. He thinks Trump's reelection will be unlikely unless the US president builds his promised wall along the southern frontier with Mexico.

Jeff Bezos accuses pro-Trump publisher of blackmail with intimate photos

Editor of the National Enquirer threatened the CEO of Amazon with the publication of intimate photos sent by him to his lover

The "National Enquirer" had access to private text messages, exposing the case of Bezos with Lauren. The story provoked his divorce with his wife, Mackenzie.
Washington - Amazon chairman and CEO Jeff Bezos accused the tabloid publisher of the "National Enquirer" of blackmail on Thursday after being threatened with posting of intimate photos he sent to his mistress.
The complaint comes after the tabloid reported last month that Bezos had an extramarital affair with Lauren Sanchez, a former news anchor and entertainment reporter. The publisher said on Friday it would "thoroughly investigate" the allegations.
American Media Inc (AMI) said in an e-mailed statement that it "fervently believes it acted lawfully in the information on the Bezos story" and that it conducted "bona fide negotiations" with the American billionaire.
Although "in the light of the nature of the complaints made by Bezos, the Board met and determined that it should investigate complaints immediately and exhaustively," the company added.  In a post on the blogging platform Medium, Bezos said the Enquirer publisher, American Media Inc (AMI), led by David Pecker, threatened to publish the photographs if it did not stop investigating the motives behind the leak.
According to Bezos, the publisher demanded that he and his security advisor, Gavin de Becker, who led the investigation, publicly said that "they had no knowledge, or basis, to suggest that AMI's coverage was politically motivated or influenced by political forces ".
Recently, De Becker mentioned in an interview with Daily Beast that "strong evidence points to political motivations" and that he looks at the profile of Lauren Sanchez's brother Michael, who openly supports US President Donald Trump and has ties to his circle of employees, as possible responsible. In his Medium post, Bezos recalled AMI's and Pecker's prior cooperation with Trump, including payments to omit negative stories about the president, which are currently being investigated by federal prosecutors.  The richest man in the world, Bezos also owns The Washington Post, Trump's permanent target. The president often uses him as an example when he attacks the press and accuses the media of being "enemies of the people" and generators of fake news.  He also mentioned AMI's ties to Saudi Arabia. Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman is named as a suspect for ordering the murder of "Post" columnist Jamal Khashoggi. Trump refused to criticize the Crown Prince.The "Post" was one of the leading American newspapers that gave more coverage to the murder.  Last month, Trump mocked Bezos, calling them Jeff "Bozo," in what seemed to be an allusion to the Enquirer story.   "I am very sorry to hear the news that Jeff Bozo was overthrown by a competitor, whose information, I understand, is far more accurate than his lobby newspaper, the Amazon Washington Post. ') ends up in better & more responsible hands, "he tweeted.  Still in Medium, Bezos also commented on the "Post"."Ownership of the Washington Post is a factor of complexity for me. It is inevitable that certain powerful people who suffer from the Washington Post news coverage mistakenly conclude that I am their enemy," Bezos wrote.
"President Trump is one of those people, obviously because of his many tweets. Moreover, The Post's essential and relentless coverage of the murder of its columnist Jamal Khashoggi is undoubtedly unpopular in certain circles."
"More than giving in to extortion and blackmail, I decided to publish exactly what they sent me, despite their personal cost," Bezos wrote in Medium, under the title "No, thanks, Mr. Pecker."  In the article, it included copies of emails s"I do not want, of course, to post personal photos, but I will not be part of their well-known practices of blackmail, political favors, political attacks and corruption.

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