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Drug trafficking up sharply under Venezuela's Maduro: US


Drug trafficking up sharply under Venezuela's Maduro: US Drug trafficking to and from Venezuela has shot up 50 percent under President Nicolas Maduro, who is enriching himself by working with organized crime, the United States charged Thursday. Maduro, a leftist who has been in power since 2013, helps crime gangs and has given refuge to terror groups, said Admiral Craig Faller, commander of the US Southern Command based in Miami. "We're seeing an increase in drug trafficking placed out of Venezuela that is aided and abetted by the illegitimate Maduro regime," Faller told a Caribbean security conference. Číst dále >>> Přeložit do en

As Supreme Court weighs DACA, Trump pushes fiction about 'hardened criminals'


As Supreme Court weighs DACA, Trump pushes fiction about 'hardened criminals' As the Supreme Court considers whether it is legal for the Trump administration to cancel the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program, the president and his allies have begun spinning a familiar — and false — narrative about the program’s nearly 700,000 beneficiaries. Číst dále >>> Přeložit do en

Iran starts gasoline rationing, hikes prices - state TV


Iran starts gasoline rationing, hikes prices - state TV Iran introduced gasoline rationing and price hikes on Friday with an official saying that the revenue would be used for subsidies for 18 million needy families, state television reported. Iran, which has some of the world’s cheapest fuel prices due to heavy subsidies and the fall of its currency, has been fighting rampant fuel smuggling to neighbouring countries. Mohammad Bagher Nobakht, head of the country's Plan and Budget Organization, told state TV that proceeds from the price hikes would be used to fund additional subsidies for 18 million families, or about 60 million people. Číst dále >>> Přeložit do en

U.S. Senate Sets Up Expedited Vote on Hong Kong Democracy Bill


U.S. Senate Sets Up Expedited Vote on Hong Kong Democracy Bill (Bloomberg) -- The U.S. Senate is preparing for quick passage of legislation to show support for pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong by placing the city’s special trading status with the U.S. under annual review.The Senate is set to bring the bill to the floor under an expedited process that would allow for quick passage unless there is an objection, according to Republican Senator Marco Rubio, the lead sponsor. The bill could pass as early as next week, according to a Senate aide.“The world witnesses the people of Hong Kong standing up every day to defend their long-cherished freedoms against an increasingly aggressive Beijing and Hong Kong government,” Rubio said in a statement. “Now more than ever, the United States must send a clear message to Beijing that the free world stands with Hong Kongers in their struggle.”Clashes between police and protesters in Hong Kong have grown increasingly violent and widespread since they began five months ago. The financial hub has been paralyzed since Monday morning, when a demonstrator was shot during protests.The Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act would require the State Department to certify at least once a year whether Hong Kong should keep its special status under U.S. law. This legislation is slightly different from the version passed by the House of Representatives, which means the two bills would have to be reconciled and passed by both chambers before going to President Donald Trump to be signed into law.The Chinese Foreign Ministry on Thursday warned of retaliation if the measure passes Congress.Rubio and Democratic co-sponsor Senator Ben Cardin have garnered broad bipartisan support for their bill, including from Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Jim Risch, who has pressed Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell for a swift vote.“The world needs to see that the United States will stand up and tell the Chinese Communist Party that what they are doing to the people of Hong Kong is wrong,” Risch said in a statement. “The U.S. stands with the people of Hong Kong, and I look forward to continuing to work with Senate leadership and my colleagues across the aisle to move this bill swiftly.”Rubio and McConnell met late Wednesday to hash out a way forward for the legislation, which would also levy sanctions on people the president finds responsible for human rights violations.(Updates with bill timing in the second paragraph.)To contact the reporter on this story: Daniel Flatley in Washington at dflatley1@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Joe Sobczyk at jsobczyk@bloomberg.net, Anna EdgertonFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P. Číst dále >>> Přeložit do en

Southern Poverty Law Center Attacks Stephen Miller for Sharing Center for Immigration Studies Research


Southern Poverty Law Center Attacks Stephen Miller for Sharing Center for Immigration Studies Research The Southern Poverty Law Center on Thursday criticized White House senior policy advisor Stephen Miller for sharing statistics released by the Center for Immigration Studies, which the civil rights group includes on its list of hate groups.Miller sent at least 46 emails involving CIS over a ten-month period to former Breitbart News editor Katie McHugh, the SPLC said in the second of a serious of lengthy reports based on roughly 900 leaked emails Miller sent to Breitbart during the 2016 presidential election cycle. One of the emails included an “embargoed” CIS report and was sent from Miller's government email address.CIS is a mainstream think tank that works to advance restrictionist immigration policy through academic research. Reports produced by CIS scholars are widely cited in conservative media and elsewhere.McHugh, who recently renounced her support for white nationalism and her affiliation with Breitbart, now claims the publication relied on CIS research to smear entire racial demographics.“We used [CIS material] to spin a narrative where immigrants of color were not only dangerous, violent individuals but also posed an existential threat to America,” McHugh said of what Breitbart did with the research Miller provided them. “We never fact-checked anything. We never called up other organizations to get any other perspective about those studies. … It was understood. You just write it up.”McHugh eventually wrote an article using the CIS information Miller sent her titled, “Surge of Mexican Immigration Pushes Foreign-Born Population to 42.1 Million as Economy Stagnates.” She has since attempted back away from her alt-right past after being fired by Breitbart over her anti-Muslim tweets."It is not exactly a newsflash that political staffers pitch stories to journalists," Breitbart spokesperson Elizabeth Moore said in response to the publication of Miller's emails.The SPLC added CIS to its list of anti-immigrant hate groups in 2016, accusing the group of "using data to portray immigrants unfavorably" and associating with "white nationalist writers."CIS executive director Mark Krikorian pushed back on the SPLC's designation in 2017, saying the civil rights group "conflates groups that really do preach hatred, such as the Ku Klux Klan and Nation of Islam, with ones that simply do not share the SPLC’s political preferences."The SPLC has been called out for recklessly including others in its catalogs of hate groups and individuals as well, such as the Family Research Council, which opposes abortion.The group was previously forced to apologize and pay a $3.375 million settlement to former Islamic radical-turned-Muslim-reformer Maajid Nawaz for including him in its “Field Guide to Anti-Muslim Extremists.”The SPLC also apologized in 2015 to Ben Carson, then a Republican presidential candidate, for placing him on its "Extremist Watch List." Číst dále >>> Přeložit do en

Jewish Groups Blast Fox News for Joe diGenova’s Anti-Semitic Soros Conspiracy Theory


Jewish Groups Blast Fox News for Joe diGenova’s Anti-Semitic Soros Conspiracy Theory Fox has come under fire from Jewish organizations following a Wednesday night segment on Fox Business Network’s Lou Dobbs Tonight in which Trump-boosting lawyer Joe diGenova seemingly trafficked in anti-Semitic tropes by accusing Jewish financier George Soros of controlling “very large parts” of the U.S. Department of State.Speaking with host Lou Dobbs—who has a history of peddling Soros-based conspiracies—diGenova dismissed the impeachment testimony of senior diplomat George Kent by baselessly claiming he is part of an insidious Soros plot to take over Ukraine with the help of State and the FBI.“Well, there’s no doubt that George Soros controls a very large part of the career foreign service of the United States State Department,” exclaimed diGenova, who is currently entangled in the Ukraine scandal. “He also controls the activities of FBI agents overseas who work for [non-governmental organizations]. That was very evident in Ukraine. And Kent was part of that. He was a very big protector of Soros.”[Soros] corrupted FBI officials, he corrupted foreign service officers,” the frequent Fox guest concluded. “And the bottom line is this, George Soros wants to run Ukraine and he’s doing everything he can to use every lever of the United States government to make that happen, for business interests, not for good government business.”The far-right lawyer’s remarks are extremely similar to comments made by Judicial Watch’s Chris Farrell last year during a Dobbs interview—comments that got Farrell banned from Fox programming. At the time, Farrell invoked the anti-Semitic “Zionist occupied government” conspiracy theory by claiming migrant caravans from Central America were being funded by the “Soros-occupied State Department.”Jonathan Greenblatt, the CEO of the Anti-Defamation League, took to Twitter on Thursday to call on Fox to hold to the same standards they used with Farrell.“Invoking Soros as controlling the State Dept, FBI, and Ukraine is trafficking in some of the worst anti-Semitic tropes,” he wrote. “@FoxNews won’t have Chris Farrell on for making similar remarks, and they should hold the same standard for @JoeDiGenova.”Greenblatt also pointed to an ADL explainer on why many of the Soros conspiracy theories spread by the right are anti-Semitic dog whistles.In an additional statement to the Daily Beast, Greenblatt said: “If Mr. DiGenova insists on spreading anti-Semitic conspiracy theories, there is absolutely no reason for Fox News to give him an open mic to do so. Mainstream news networks should never give a platform to those who spread hate.”A spokesperson for J Street, a liberal Jewish advocacy group, told The Daily Beast that there was “no excuse” in providing diGenova a platform to push his “hateful” conspiracies."The fact that Fox News guests have repeatedly promulgated anti-Semitic conspiracy theories about George Soros and other wealthy Jewish people is dangerous and outrageous,” spokesman Logan Bayroff said in an email. “It's part of a trend of rising xenophobia in which far-right activists and their political allies demonize immigrants, Jews, Muslims and other vulnerable minority communities—a trend that has in turn fueled a surge of white supremacist violence. There can be no excuse for providing a regular platform for these hateful lies."“George Soros is to the 21st Century what the Rothschilds were to the 20th Century: Jewish individuals who antisemitic conspiracy theorists seize upon and invoke as symbols of Jewish power,” Emily Mayer, co-founder of progressive American Jewish group IfNotNow, told The Daily Beast. “DiGenova’s comments aren’t new: We’ve heard them before on Fox News—not just from guests, but from hosts like Lou Dobbs himself and Laura Ingraham. It comes from a sitting public officials, leaders like Kevin McCarthy, Chuck Grassley, and Donald Trump. And because of those who repeat vile tropes, antisemitic conspiracy theories about George Soros have made their way from the corners of far-right chatrooms into the  political mainstream. We only have to look at Pittsburgh to see that the consequences are deadly.”Halie Soifer, executive director of the Jewish Democratic Council of America, added in a statement: “There is a deeply troubling pattern of Trump administration officials and allies trafficking in anti-Semitic conspiracy theories and tropes, which has directly contributed to the emboldening of white nationalism and rise of anti-Semitism in America under Trump. Our organization is tr Číst dále >>> Přeložit do en

U.S. Farm Finances Worsen Despite Trump Trade War Aid


U.S. Farm Finances Worsen Despite Trump Trade War Aid (Bloomberg) -- Terms of Trade is a daily newsletter that untangles a world embroiled in trade wars. Sign up here. Farm finances deteriorated across a swath of agricultural states during the summer and early fall despite the Trump administration’s second round of trade aid payments and slightly higher prices, the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City reported Thursday.The report underscores the mounting economic pressure on a key Donald Trump constituency as he confronts a re-election campaign and impeachment struggle while undertaking negotiations with Beijing on a partial trade deal that could provide relief from retaliatory tariffs hitting American farmers. The trade talks have bogged down as Trump seeks assurances that Beijing will deliver on commitments on agricultural purchases.Farm income fell in the third quarter from a year ago in each of the seven rural states covered by the Kansas City Fed, according to its survey of agricultural credit conditions. The report cited the trade war, volatile crop prices and disruptions at a major beef processing facility.Bankers contacted by the Fed said the drop in farm income was sharper than they expected going into the summer. Respondents expect income to decline further and credit conditions to worsen in the coming months despite trade aid payments. The USDA started issuing payments from its 2019 trade aid program in August.“Extreme weather conditions and commodity prices continue to adversely effect the financial condition of our producers,” said one banker quoted in the report, identified only as located in Central Nebraska. “These conditions are potentially setting up a difficult renewal season this fall” for loans.Farmers have responded by cutting back on spending and equipment purchases to preserve cash. Even so, their working capital deteriorated “at a modest pace,” according to the Fed.The Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, which covers five Midwestern states, also reported Thursday that farm credit conditions “slid yet again” in the third quarter. Bankers participating in the Chicago Fed regional survey also said they expected crop net cash earnings to drop in the fall and winter from levels a year earlier.Farmland values in the Chicago region declined 1% from a year earlier, the bank reported. The Kansas City Fed reported “stable” farmland values in its region.Other indicators also show rising financial stress. U.S. farm bankruptcies in the 12 months through September rose 24% from the same year-ago period to the highest since 2011, according to a report by the American Farm Bureau Federation. That report also highlighted farmers’ and ranchers’ growing dependence on government financial help.Almost 40% of projected farm profit this year will come from trade aid, disaster assistance, federal subsidies and insurance payments, according to the report, which is based on Department of Agriculture forecasts. That’s $33 billion of a projected $88 billion in net income.(Updates with Chicago Fed report beginning in seventh paragraph)To contact the reporters on this story: Mike Dorning in Washington at mdorning@bloomberg.net;Michael Hirtzer in Chicago at mhirtzer@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Joe Sobczyk at jsobczyk@bloomberg.net, James AttwoodFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P. Číst dále >>> Přeložit do en

New Jersey seeks $640M from Uber for misclassifying workers


New Jersey seeks $640M from Uber for misclassifying workers New Jersey is seeking more than $640 million from Uber in taxes and penalties, saying the ride-hailing company misclassified its drivers as independent contractors. The decision is the latest setback for Uber and other companies in the so-called “gig economy” that rely heavily on contract labor to deliver the services at the heart of their popular apps. New Jersey’s labor department told Uber it, along with its subsidiary Rasier, owes $523 million in overdue taxes form the last four years and is also facing fines and interest of $119 million, according to letters from the department that were first reported Thursday by Bloomberg Law. Číst dále >>> Přeložit do en

The Latest: Bevin concedes in Kentucky governor’s race


The Latest: Bevin concedes in Kentucky governor’s race Republican Gov. Matt Bevin says he will not contest results showing Democrat Andy Beshear winning the Kentucky governor’s race. Bevin made the dramatic announcement Thursday at the state Capitol on the same day election officials across Kentucky double-checked vote totals. Last week’s election results showed Bevin trailing Beshear by more than 5,000 votes of more than 1.4 million cast, for a lead of less than 0.4 percentage points. Číst dále >>> Přeložit do en

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