Scenarios: How U.S. shutdown over border wall fight might play out


Trump walked out of negotiations with Democrats on Wednesday, according to Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer.

The following are some possible scenarios for how the impasse might play out, with Trump’s request for $5.7 billion in taxpayer funds for his wall firmly opposed by congressional Democrats …

Source: Scenarios: How U.S. shutdown over border wall fight might play out

Charged


Automakersquote’ plans to spend at least $300 billion on EVs are driven largely by environmental concerns and government policy, and supported by rapid technological advances that have improved battery cost, range and charging time.

The accelerated rate of industry spending — much of it led by Germany’s Volkswagen — is greater than the economies of Egypt or Chile.

Source: Charged

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What are Bolton, Pompeo telling Mideast leaders? What they want to hear. | Reuters

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Sadly, if the Trump White House ever had a weltanschauung – a grand and consistent world view – it all began to fall apart before even the first of the two envoys tapped to deliver these messages had arrived.

There were challenges from the moment National Security Adviser John Bolton landed in Jerusalem on Sunday, especially as he headed onward to Ankara, while Secretary of State Mike Pompeo began his eight-nation tour on Tuesday.

After Bolton’s stop in Israel, he was suddenly uninvited to meet with Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan – apparently a result of Bolton’s demand that Turkey not attack pro-U.S. Kurdish fighters in Syria.

Source: Commentary: What are Bolton, Pompeo telling Mideast leaders? What they want to hear. | Reuters

U.S. buyback market support may wane in 2019 | Reuters


Wall Street’s recent volatility has optimists betting that buybacks could provide the market with an even better buffer in 2019.

But many strategists see the lift from buybacks – a major factor behind the bull market – losing some force as earnings growth slows while tax policy bonanzas fizzle out.

Source: U.S. buyback market support may wane in 2019 | Reuters

Tough-on-crime record trails U.S. attorney general nominee into Senate hearings | Reuters


President Donald Trump’s nominee for U.S. attorney general is expected to tell a Senate panel next week that he supports a new law easing prison sentences for some criminals, even though he advocated for decades for just the opposite.

Source: Tough-on-crime record trails U.S. attorney general nominee into Senate hearings | Reuters

Trump storms out of meeting as shutdown careens toward fourth week | TheHill

President Trump abruptly left a White House negotiating session with congressional Democrats about 20 minutes into the meeting, dismissing it as a “total waste of time” as the partial government shutdown careened toward a fourth week.

Source: Trump storms out of meeting as shutdown careens toward fourth week | TheHill

Is Hungary becoming a rogue state in the center of Europe?


Most of the international criticism directed at Hungary over the past nine years has focused on domestic indicators such as the rule of law, separation of powers and press freedom.

Prime Minister Viktor Orban has been remarkably blunt about his designs for Hungary, citing China, Russia and Turkey as models. After an election in April widely deemed free but not fair, he sounded a triumphal note, declaring that “the era of liberal democracy is over.”

Since Orban won reelection, however, his behavior has called into question not only his democratic bona fides, but also his basic trustworthiness as an ally of the United States and member of the democratic Western world.

Increasingly, Hungary is behaving like a rogue state.

Source: Is Hungary becoming a rogue state in the center of Europe?

Trump’s shutdown could wear out his welcome in the Senate once and for all


.. Once there are a total of 20 Republicans willing to vote with Democrats, they can override Trump’s threatened veto of the spending bill and the government will reopen. In other words, four down; 16 to go.

Such an outcome is not out of the question. Trump has been embarrassed by his party in the Senate before—remember the failed vote to repeal Obamacare?

But this president seems unfazed by ordinary embarrassment and cares only about pleasing his base, not putting together majorities.

What the president may not realize, however—and what makes a vote like this especially hazardous for him—is that 67 votes in the Senate is the same number that would be needed to convict him should the House, pending one or more bombshells in the Mueller report, decide to vote on articles of impeachment.

Source: Trump’s shutdown could wear out his welcome in the Senate once and for all

Can the Federal Trade Commission Ever Adequately Regulate the Tech Industry? | Pacific Standard


Understanding the scope and stakes of the hearings requires taking a zoomed-out look at the current tech-company landscape.

Importantly, the hearings take place against a context of growing public outcry directed both at tech giants for violating consumer trust and at government agencies for a perceived lack of enforcement.

A recent survey, for instance, shows that 80 percent of consumers agree that government regulation of new technologies is crucial for consumer protection—but 70 percent believe that the government is ineffective at ensuring fair use of their data.

As the primary government agency charged with enforcing privacy regulations, the FTC is not exempt from these accusations.

Source: Can the Federal Trade Commission Ever Adequately Regulate the Tech Industry? – Pacific Standard

What Happened When Swarms of Bees Invaded Valencia | Pacific Standard


In Valencia, a city of 790,000 on Spain’s east coast, bee colonies up to 10,000 strong emerged in abandoned cars, streetlights, graveyards, and parks. The bees set themselves up in the arches of old buildings and around ornamental fountains—anywhere with a ready access to water, and away from chemicals sprayed by the citrus industry.

Their frenzied arrival was a direct result of the great bee die-off across Europe and the Americas, threatening one-third of all food consumed by humans.

Spanish bees have been just as susceptible as their counterparts in other countries to the vicious Varroa mite, the predatory Asian wasp, and increasingly erratic global temperatures.

But it’s the agricultural sector’s former use of neonicotinoid pesticides—which the European Union banned earlier this year—that the country’s beekeepers identify as the biggest culprit. Queen bees infected by the nicotine-derived chemicals become sluggish and struggle to make new colonies.

Source: What Happened When Swarms of Bees Invaded Valencia – Pacific Standard