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Palestinians Vow to Suspend Talks If US Closes PLO Mission

Voice of America + 2 other

Voice of America, Palestinians Vow to Suspend Talks If US Closes PLO Mission WASHINGTON —  The Palestinians threatened Saturday to suspend all communication with the United States if the Trump administration follows through with plans to close their diplomatic office in Washington. The potential rupture in relations threatens to undermine President Donald Trump's bid for Mideast peace, a mission he has handed his senior adviser and son-in-law, Jared Kushner. Senior Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said the U.S. decision was "very unfortunate and unacceptable," and he accused Washington of bowing to pressure from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government "at a time when we are trying to cooperate to achieve the ultimate deal." In a video statement on social media, Erekat said: "We will put on hold all our communications with this American administration." There was no immediate reaction from the Trump administration. Netanyahu's office said the closure was "a matter of U.S. law." U.S. officials had insisted before Erekat's statement that the move wasn't aimed at increasing leverage over the Palestinians, but merely the unavoidable consequence of U.S. law. The administration announced late Friday that the Palestinians had run afoul of a legal provision that says the Palestine Liberation Organization cannot operate a Washington office if the Palestinians try to get the International C…

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Selective Outrage: Trump Criticizes Franken, Silent on Moore

Voice of America + 17 other

Voice of America, Selective Outrage: Trump Criticizes Franken, Silent on Moore President Donald Trump is displaying selective outrage over allegations of sexual harassment against prominent men in politics, as his own tortured past lingers over his response. Trump moved quickly Thursday to condemn accusations against Minnesota Democratic Sen. Al Franken as "really bad," but he has remained conspicuously silent on the more serious claims leveled against Roy Moore, the Republican in Alabama's special Senate race who faces allegations he sexually assaulted teenage girls decades ago. Trump has repeatedly declined to follow Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House…

Why a Firm Believer in Tax Cuts Could Derail the Senate Tax Cut Plan

The New York Times + 12 other

WASHINGTON — On the eve of the House’s vote to pass a far-reaching $1.5 trillion tax cut, Speaker Paul D. Ryan of Wisconsin placed a hasty phone call to his state’s senior senator, Ron Johnson, in hopes of resolving an unlikely conflict in his own back yard. Mr. Johnson had become the first Senate Republican to say publicly that he could not vote for the Senate’s version of the tax bill. During the phone call on Wednesday afternoon, Mr. Ryan, who had campaigned heavily for Mr. Johnson in 2016, posed an essential question, according to the senator: “What are you going to need?” What Mr. Johnson…

Kushner's Lawyer Pushes Back on US Senate Committee Request

Voice of America + 5 other

Voice of America, Kushner's Lawyer Pushes Back on US Senate Committee Request A lawyer for White House adviser Jared Kushner pushed back Friday after a Senate committee said he had not been fully forthcoming in its probe into Russian election interference.   Lawyer Abbe Lowell said Kushner encouraged others in President Donald Trump's campaign to decline meetings with foreign people who "go back home and claim they have special access to gain importance for themselves.''   The top Republican and Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee wrote a letter to Kushner, who is Donald Trump's son-in-law, on Thursday asking him to provide additional documents to the committ…

Experts: Puerto Rico May Struggle for More Than a Decade

Voice of America + 6 other

Voice of America, Experts: Puerto Rico May Struggle for More Than a Decade Puerto Rico could face more than a decade of further economic stagnation and a steep drop in population as a result of Hurricane Maria, experts say. The stark estimates were presented this wee to members of a federal control board overseeing finances of a U.S. territory that is already in the 11th year of a recession. "The situation is dire to say the least, with destroyed infrastructure, lack of power and water, and an accelerated pace of migration," economist Heidie Calero said. She estimated that the hurricane caused $115 billion in damage, even without counting business losses. "We…

Keystone Pipeline Spills 5,000 Barrels of Oil in South Dakota

Voice of America + 7 other

Voice of America, Keystone Pipeline Spills 5,000 Barrels of Oil in South Dakota TransCanada Corp.’s Keystone pipeline leaked an estimated 210,000 gallons of oil onto agricultural land in northeastern South Dakota, the company and state regulators said Thursday, but state officials don’t believe the leak polluted any surface water bodies or drinking water systems. Crews shut down the pipeline Thursday morning and activated emergency response procedures after a drop in pressure was detected resulting from the leak south of a pump station in Marshall County, TransCanada said in a statement. The cause was being investigated. Discovery of the leak comes as Nebraska regulat…

Trump Puts on Hold New Policy on Imports of Big Game Trophies

Voice of America + 2 other

Voice of America, Trump Puts on Hold New Policy on Imports of Big Game Trophies U.S. President Donald Trump says he is putting on hold a decision to allow imports of big game trophies until he can “review all conservation facts.” Trump tweeted Friday that he will review the issue with Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke. He said the policy has been “under study for years.” The abrupt change in policy follows an announcement Thursday by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which said it will allow the importation of body parts from elephants shot for sport in Zimbabwe and Zambia. The agency concluded that encouraging wealthy big-game hunters to kill the threatened species w…

Futures point to a flat open on Wall Street, amid more earnings, data releases

CNBC + 4 other

U.S. stock index futures pointed to a flat open Friday, as investors geared up for the final cluster of economic data and digested more corporate earnings. Dow Jones industrial average futures fell 13 points, while S&P 500 futures declined 0.25 points. Nasdaq 100 futures rose 7.25 points. On Thursday, U.S. markets roared back into action, with the Dow Jones industrial average jumping 187 points by the market close, following strong quarterly results from the likes of Cisco Systems and Wal-Mart. Jin Lee | Bloomberg | Getty Images Michael Liloia, a trader with Deutsche B…

A Turkish-Iranian businessman may now be cooperating with investigators looking into Michael Flynn

CNBC + 2 other

Carlos Barria | Reuters Michael Flynn But a former U.S. attorney told The Daily Beast that inmates in pretrial detention can sometimes be moved when they are cooperating with the government, a possible explanation for Zarrab's removal from prison. If Zarrab has any information about the deal that was reportedly floated for his release, this could be a damaging development for Flynn. An attorney for Flynn did not respond to a request for comment from CNBC. Zarrab has retained a team of celebrity attorneys to fight his case, including former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani and Ben B…

White House Seeks $44B in Hurricane Aid From Congress

Voice of America + 5 other

Voice of America, White House Seeks $44B in Hurricane Aid From Congress The White House on Friday said it had asked Congress for $44 billion in supplemental disaster assistance to help those affected by the recent hurricanes that hit Puerto Rico, Texas, Florida and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The request was far short of what some government officials have said is needed, with Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rossello asking for $94.4 billion to rebuild the U.S. territory's infrastructure. Texas was seeking $61 billion and Florida had asked for $27 billion. "This request does not come close to what local officials say is needed," Democratic U.S. Representative Nita L…

Top-ranked Baltimore Officer Cleared in Police Van Death

Voice of America + 2 other

Voice of America, Top-ranked Baltimore Officer Cleared in Police Van Death A police disciplinary board on Friday cleared the highest-ranking Baltimore officer involved in the 2015 arrest of Freddie Gray, a young black man who died from a spinal cord injury he sustained in a police van. The three-member panel ruled that Lt. Brian Rice was not guilty of all 10 administrative charges related to Gray's arrest and transport, meaning he can keep his job. The board was chaired by Prince George's County Police Maj. Melvin Powell and also included two Baltimore police officials. Rice appeared visibly relieved and hugged his attorney and others after the findings were read…

Jesse Jackson Announces He Has Parkinson’s Disease

The New York Times + 2 other

The Rev. Jesse L. Jackson, the longtime civil rights leader and former Democratic presidential candidate, said Friday he has Parkinson’s disease. In a letter posted on Twitter on Friday afternoon, Mr. Jackson, 76, shared the news and his struggle to accept it. “Recognition of the effects of this disease on me has been painful, and I have been slow to grasp the gravity of it,” he wrote. “For me, a Parkinson’s diagnosis is not a stop sign but rather a signal that I must make lifestyle changes and dedicate myself to physical therapy in hopes of slowing the disease’s progression.” Parkinson’s is a…

Wal-Mart says it’s preordered 15 of Tesla’s new electric tractor trailers

CNBC + 2 other

show chapters Source: Tesla Tesla Semi The pilot is planned for the U.S. and Canada. Wal-Mart's fleet has about 6,000 trucks. In an expansion from personal vehicles, Tesla CEO Elon Musk unveiled an electric semitractor-trailer Thursday that has a 500-mile range on a single charge and is electronically connected with a fleet's management system. The vehicle allows the driver to stand and puts the steering wheel in the center with a touchscreen panel on both sides of the driver. Musk said the truck is set to go into production in 2019, although the company has fallen far …

System Failure: How Politics and Bad Decisions Starved New York’s Subways

The New York Times + 2 other

After a drumbeat of transit disasters this year, it became impossible to ignore the failures of the New York City subway system. A rush-hour Q train careened off the rails in southern Brooklyn. A track fire on the A line in Upper Manhattan sent nine riders to the hospital. A crowded F train stalled in a downtown tunnel, leaving hundreds in the dark without air-conditioning for nearly an hour. As the heat of packed-together bodies fogged the windows, passengers beat on the walls and clawed at the doors in a scene from a real-life horror story. In June, after another derailment injured 34 people…

Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez's bribery case ends with mistrial

CNBC + 2 other

Peter Foley | Bloomberg | Getty Images Sen. Robert Menendez, a Democrat from New Jersey, arrives at federal court in Newark, New Jersey, on Thursday, Nov. 16 2017 The federal bribery trial of Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez ended in a mistrial Thursday when the jury said it was hopelessly deadlocked on all charges against the New Jersey politician and a wealthy donor. Prosecutors can seek to retry the lawmaker. U.S. District Judge William Walls declared the mistrial after more than six full days of deliberations that had to be re-started midway through when a juror was replaced. …