U.S.-China Trade Talks Stumble on Beijing’s Spending at Home

BEIJING — One year ago, when he began a multibillion-dollar trade war with China that shook the global economy, President Trump demanded that Beijing end lavish government spending aimed at making the country a world power in computer chips, robotics, commercial aircraft and other industries of the future. Today, as the two sides struggle to reach a truce, the Trump administration is finding just how difficult that will be. Trade talks between the United States and China nearly ground to a halt this past week, and a seemingly intractable dispute…

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Facebook Faces a Big Penalty, but Regulators Are Split Over How Big

WASHINGTON — Facebook’s announcement in late April that it had set aside $3 billion to $5 billion to settle claims that it mishandled users’ personal data suggested a strong consensus by federal regulators that the social media giant needed to be held accountable. But the reality behind the scenes at the Federal Trade Commission is far more complicated, reflecting the politics and give-and-take of the negotiations. The F.T.C.’s five commissioners agreed months ago that they wanted to pursue a historic penalty that would show the agency’s teeth. But now, the…

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Trump Administration Outlines Case to Strike Down Obamacare

The Trump administration has revealed its legal argument against the Affordable Care Act, claiming Congress rendered the law unconstitutional by removing the individual mandate. The individual mandate imposed a penalty on American who do not have health insurance, but was removed the the ACA by Congress in 2017. The Justice Department argues, since Congress included findings that said the individual mandate was necessary for the law’s protections for people with preexisting conditions, the entire law cannot function without it. Assistant Attorney General Joseph Hunt wrote in the filing to the…

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First All-Female Spacewalk Canceled Because NASA Doesn’t Have Two Suits That Fit

It hadn’t been planned as a historic mission, yet it would have represented a moment of sorts: the first all-female spacewalk. But that moment will have to wait, NASA said Monday, because of a somewhat basic issue — spacesuit sizes. The two astronauts who were scheduled to walk together in space on Friday, Anne C. McClain and Christina H. Koch, would both need to wear a medium-size torso component. But only one is readily available at the International Space Station. [Read about the Trump administration’s pledge to return to the…

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Facebook Halts Ad Targeting Cited in Bias Complaints

After years of criticism, Facebook announced on Tuesday that it would stop allowing advertisers in key categories to show their messages only to people of a certain race, gender or age group. The company said that anyone advertising housing, jobs or credit — three areas where federal law prohibits discrimination in ads — would no longer have the option of explicitly aiming ads at people on the basis of those characteristics. The changes are part of a settlement with groups that have sued Facebook over these practices in recent years,…

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Obama Says he Based Decisions on ‘facts, Reason and Logic’

Former President Barack Obama said Wednesday that he tried to build a culture centered around problem-solving and not personal gain while in the White House — an effective strategy for any organization that also prevents “big scandals and indictments.” Obama’s comments drew applause from a crowd of about 9,000 people at a business conference in Salt Lake City. Obama didn’t mention President Donald Trump and wasn’t asked about him during a question-and-answer session, but he made several comments that seemed to allude to the state of the country and the…

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N.Korea Says U.S. Will Never Escape Security Threats If No Result in Talks- KCNA

North Korea’s state media said on Sunday that the people of the United States would “never be cleared of security threats” if this week’s nuclear talks in Vietnam end without results. The North’s official KCNA news agency criticized U.S. Democrats and others for “plotting to disrupt” a second summit between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday and Thursday in Hanoi. KCNA accused the Trump administration of “lending an ear” to opponents of dialog, even after the United States launched diplomatic efforts with North…

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Arms should flow in to Kurds even after US is out of Syria – top general — RT World News

The arming of Syrian Kurds should continue despite the US pulling outs its troops, the American general overseeing the entire Middle East believes. Such a plan is sure to anger Turkey, which considers Kurdish militias terrorists. For several years the Kurdish militias, which are at the forefront of the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), have been playing the role of the ground troops in northern Syria for Washington. With the help of US airstrikes and artillery shelling, they captured Raqqa, the former stronghold of the Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL)…

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Former Gitmo inmate recalls horrors of infamous camp & CIA black sites — RT World News

Being detained in the Guantánamo Bay camp was like hovering between life and death but the CIA-run ‘black sites’ were even worse, a man who spent 15 years –without charge– in the infamous facility has told RT’s Going Underground. Mansoor Adayfi, from Yemen, who was confined in the US’s most notorious detention camp between 2002 and 2016, is still tormented by the traumatic experience he had there. Detained because of alleged ties he had to Al-Qaeda, he was eventually released without charge. “We were totally disconnected from the world outside.…

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New Laws Are Putting California Further at Odds with Trump

California Gov. Jerry Brown is leaving office Jan. 7 after signing more than 1,000 laws in his last year, further positioning the state as a bastion of liberal activism and goad to President Donald Trump. The laws, most of which take effect Tuesday, ease criminal sentences, tighten gun restrictions and address climate change, gender discrimination and sexual harassment. The Democratic governor approved 1,016 laws, the most in any of his last eight years in office. His 201 vetoes also were the most during his final two terms, as lawmakers passed…

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